5.6/10
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83 user 53 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

His role as editor Joe McGinty provided what is now the most famous credited on-screen role for Arthur Q. Bryan. If his voice sounds familiar, it s because he was the original voice of Elmer Fudd for Warner Bros. See more »

Goofs

After Johnny Layton (Dave O'Brien) shoots and kills one of the devil bats, the article in the Chicago Register states his name as Henry Layton, while another one in the Springfield daily correctly names him as Johnny. See more »

Quotes

Tommy: [trying the lotion] That feels great... very soothing.
Dr. Paul Carruthers: I don't think you'll ever use anything else.
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

Featured in Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula (1997) See more »

User Reviews

It may be tripe, but it's GOOD Tripe!
26 July 2002 | by cinema_universeSee all my reviews

I've seen this many times since my childhood. Probably a few dozen times... Yet, every once in a while, I'll take out my best video copy of it, and play it again. When it was screened on TCM last Halloween I was pleased as punch.

-- By the way, on that Halloween, TCM screened several other Lugosi low-budget films--- all considered bad by critics, but for some unexplainable reason, All very entertaining, and (dare I say it?) ALL were GREAT FUN to watch! (some of them were: "Scared to Death", "The Mysterious Mr. Wong", and "White Zombie").

-- Yes, I enjoyed "The Devil Bat". Another commenter on this film said it was so awful that it should be counted among the "100 worst films". That same commenter said he thought Lugosi only did "bad" films for Ed Wood.

I have news for him, and everyone else: Lugosi NEVER made any bad films!

"The Devil Bat" may be low-budget nonsense (as were Ed Wood's efforts), but it is still being discovered by new generations of film buffs. It's still "In-Print" in both VHS and DVD format (and still selling), and it's still being shown on both local and cable-network TV.

That commenter may be interested to know that Bela Lugosi made NINE low-budget films for Monogram (far more than he made for Ed Wood) as well as films for PRC and other poverty-row studios.

"The Devil Bat" may be tripe, but it's GOOD tripe, and it makes for fun viewing. Kind of like "Spooks Run Wild" (which Lugosi made with The East Side Kids), and "The Gorilla" (which he made at 20th/Fox, with Patsy Kelly and Lionel Atwill). --By the way-- The Ritz Brothers, who were billed as the 'stars' of "The Gorilla," turned in totally forgettable performances.

-- Let's not leave out "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla", or "Vampire Over London" which Lugosi made in England, with Arthur Lucan in drag as Mother Riley (also known as: "Mother Riley Meets the Vampire").

-- In fact, Arthur Lucan's entire late-1940's-to-early-1950's series of "Mother Riley" films (all of which starred Lucan in "old-lady" drag) could have taught Ed Wood a few things about low-budget film-making.

Ed Wood may have a well deserved reputation for having made "bad, but fun to watch" films, but he sure wasn't the first one to do it.

I've always liked "The Devil Bat". I rated it 6.


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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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