5.5/10
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79 user 47 critic

The Devil Bat (1940)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 13 December 1940 (USA)
A mad scientist develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it.

Director:

Jean Yarbrough (as Jean Yarborough)

Writers:

John T. Neville (screen play by) (as John Thomas Neville), George Bricker (original story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Paul Carruthers
Suzanne Kaaren ... Mary Heath
Dave O'Brien ... Johnny Layton
Guy Usher Guy Usher ... Henry Morton
Yolande Donlan ... Maxine (as Yolande Mallott)
Donald Kerr Donald Kerr ... 'One-Shot' McGuire
Edmund Mortimer Edmund Mortimer ... Martin Heath (as Edward Mortimer)
Gene O'Donnell Gene O'Donnell ... Don Morton
Alan Baldwin Alan Baldwin ... Tommy Heath
John Ellis John Ellis ... Roy Heath
Arthur Q. Bryan Arthur Q. Bryan ... Joe McGinty
Hal Price ... Chief Wilkins
John Davidson ... Prof. Raines
Billy Griffith Billy Griffith ... Coroner (scenes deleted)
Wally Rairden Wally Rairden ... Walter King (as Wally Rairdon)
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Storyline

Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sharp Fanged Blood Sucking DEATH Dives from MIDNIGHT SKIES! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Killer Bats See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its first documented telecasts in New York City Wednesday 4 August 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Albuquerque Saturday 20 August 1949 on KOB (Channel 4), in Chicago Wednesday 5 October 1949 on WGN (Channel 9), and in Los Angeles Thursday 23 March 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie, references are made to Illinois locations (Chicago, Peoria, Springfield), yet the scenery shown at the beginning of the movie is clearly Californian. See more »

Quotes

Reporter Johnny Layton: [to Dr. Paul Carruthers] Not so funny when it's your own jugular vein that's in danger. Is it, doc?
See more »

Crazy Credits

[Prologue] All Heathville loved Paul Carruthers, their kindly village doctor. No one suspected that in his home laboratory on a hillside overlooking the magnificent estate of Martin Heath, the doctor found time to conduct certain private experiments -- weird, terrifying experiments. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Edited into Devil Bat's Daughter (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Silly B-film programmer is still fun to watch...
10 October 2004 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

If you're a fan of BELA LUGOSI you'll get a kick out of his sinister role here as a scientist who is bent on getting revenge because he never got his full share of the profits on his inventions.

Given the low-budget look and tacky special effects (a live bat appears in close-ups only), the modest little thriller entertains even though it doesn't quite provide the shudders intended. Still, if you're in a Halloween mood, you might want to sit through this at least once.

Interesting to note Dave O'Brien in the role of Johnny Layton. O'Brien is familiar to me because of all the Pete Smith Specialties he starred in during the '40s and which TCM has been running frequently. Others will recall him in a bunch of westerns he made at poverty row studios. At any rate, he gives the only really professional performance in the film aside from Bela who seems to relish his role as the mad scientist. Most of the acting among supporting players is on the less than credible side.

Also interesting to note that O'Brien was a very versatile man who acted, directed and wrote throughout a prolific career that began in the 1930s--with over a hundred films to his credit. He was my main reason for enjoying THE DEVIL BAT.


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