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The Vampire Bat [DVD]

Melvyn Douglas , Fay Wray , Frank Strayer    Parental Guidance   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Melvyn Douglas, Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Dwight Frye, Maude Eburne
  • Directors: Frank Strayer
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Redemption
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Jan 2006
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A1OFE6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,941 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A series of murders in which the bodies are completely drained of blood causes superstitious villagers to believe there is a vampire at work. In reality a mad scientist is commiting the crimes in order to use the blood in his experiments.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fun Poverty-Row Horror, Stinko Transfer 16 May 2006
Redemption UK, is going to lose a lot of credibility putting out dreadful looking (and sounding) DVDs like this, it's the kind of transfer one expects from a dollar-store, but they have the nerve to charge the price of a legitimate release. White Zombie and Vampyr are just as bad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quite effective and atmospheric. 25 Mar 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
this film has a noticeably lower budget than other horror films of the period but "the vampire bat" is still an effective and quite creepy film. it has a good cast, especially lionel atwill and dwight frye who give the best performances.
i heard that this film was shot at "universal" studios as some of the sets and studio backlots look familar.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for its time 23 Feb 2004
With Lionel Atwill in the cast the outcome is pretty predictable.He wasn't too fussy what studio used his two-faced villany.
In my case I just want to add that I have yet to find this film in its complete version as any current copies are now short of 10mins (almost an entire reel). Even when I caught this many years ago both in the cinema & on TV I could never understand the inexplicable jump in the action at the end to reveal Atwill in his lab at work on his final victim prior to the previous sequence. A similar thing happened towards the end of "The Wolf Man" when Chaney is seen being strapped into a chair by Claude Rains and locked into the room as the full moon is rising. The very next minute he is seen rampaging through the woods after his next victim fully transformed without any indication of how he made his escape!
Some janitor,somewhere,must have swept up these cuts - but where did they get to?
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4.0 out of 5 stars CAUSE OF DEATH: VAMPIRE 30 Jan 2014
By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is an hour long old black and white basic film about vampires hitting on the stereotypes. We never see a bat in this film and the vampire appears only as a shadow. People in a small German village are becoming victims of bites and blood drain. They consult the town records and discover this has happened before in 1643.

Herman is a suspect as he plays with bats which are "soft like a cat." The film builds character and contains enough humor to make it an enjoyable watch. Interesting is that auntie is prescribed salicylic acid (aspirin) for her heart.

A film I enjoy owning as part of a vampire multi-pack.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise 3 July 2006
By One of many - Published on
The Vampire Bat (1933) is on one level a cheap way to pass the time. On another level, it's a classic in its own right, showcasing one of Dwight Frye's more intriguingly maniacal characters and a story that surpasses many for its time.

Set in a small village called Kleinschloss in Bavaria, the plot revolves around numerous murders that have been occurring. The unfortunate twist to these murders? Each victim is found blood-drained with the cliche bite marks on their neck. The superstitious town is petrified and insists that it is vampirism spreading this horror about. But investigator Karl Brettschneider (Melvyn Douglas) is skeptical. He would rather pursue the matter from a more scientific standpoint. Dr. Otto von Niemann (Lionel Atwill) is the town doctor, and is torn between the two sides, not sure what should be done. And then, of course, we have Herman Gleib (Dwight Frye). The unfortunate man who everyone's pointing their finger at. You see, the mentally handicapped Gleib has a fascination with bats. Couple that with his eccentric and at times creepy personality and the poor guy never had a chance. The townsfolk focus their fear on him -- eventually chasing down Herman, leading to his death. They drive a stake through his heart just to be sure. But wouldn't you know it, the killing continues. Faced with a mystery that threatens to go on and on if the true source of this depravity is not uncovered, the story then kicks into the next gear, ultimately winding down to its ending.

I bought The Vampire Bat DVD for really one reason: Dwight Frye. Most recognized for his portayal of Renfield in 1931's Dracula, he's been known by horror fans for his ability to bring insanity to the screen (even though in all actuality he was much more versatile in his acting ability). I was indeed impressed with his part in The Vampire Bat. Sure, his role could've been given a tiny bit more screen time, but for what it's worth, I'm left satisfied. Yet the real kicker was the surprise hit with the film in general. It's nowhere near a masterpiece, but it's definitely more than the average B flick to pop out of the 30s. I think anyone who enjoys that era of horror will certainly enjoy this.

The DVD, however, isn't anything to really write home about. The DVD edition I own (Studio: CiniVu, Production Company: Majestic Pictures Inc., DVD cover: orange movie title with Atwill's hypnotic face in gray) doesn't have very nice picture or sound, but one can only assume that because of the film's age just about every transfer will be this way. The menu is no more than the scene selection page and a "Play Feature" button. So I'd say when it comes to choosing which edition, just go for the cheapest. I've yet to hear of any DVD with extra features or a spectacular transfer. So, in other words, my four stars are for the film itself!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NON-UNIVERSAL, UNIVERSAL HORROR 27 Jun 2005
By Tim Janson - Published on
The Vampire Bat from Little known Majestic Pictures does a great job of capturing the look and feel of classic Universal Horrors of the 1930's. First it had a great cast featuring Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, and Dwight Frye. Frye plays Herman, a simple-minded fellow who may even be crazier that the Renfield role he played in Dracula just two years earlier. Atwill, of course, was no stranger to Universal Horrors, having co-starred in The Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, to name just a few. Also in the cast is Lionel Belmore as the Burgomeister. Belmore played the exact role in the Original 1931 Frankenstein. This may almost be the same village as in Frankenstein as well.

Several residents of Klineschloss have been killed. Drained of their blood with two puncture wounds in their necks. They immediately attribute the killings to a vampire. The police inspecter Karl Brettschneider (Douglas) doesn't believe in vampires though. And soon he sets his eyes on Herman Gleib as a suspect due to his affinity for bats. Frye gives one of his great performances in this film...creeping and skulking about, eyes wide in a maniacal grin. He really makes the movie for me.

Atwill is the town doctor, Dr. Otto von Niemann and he is assisted by Ruth Bertin (played by a dark haired Fay Wray) who is also in love with Karl. When Herman is killed, and the murders continue, karl now has to set his sights on a new suspect...a very surprising suspect.

In some ways the Vampire Bat is a bit of a combination of Dracula with Frye and the apparent attacks, and Frankenstein, as Von Niemann is seeking to create his own form of life. The fog shrouded, misty little German hamlet is straight out of Universal's horrors and the atmostphere is superb. The only thing that really didn't work for me was the sappy love plot between Wray and Douglas. Thankfully that was kept to a minimum.

All in all, Vampire Bat was a wonderful horror, well in the tradition of Universals classics.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Smear Yourself With Garlic Butter! 4 Feb 2005
By Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein - Published on
In a small town in europe, people are dying. The blood is being drained from their bodies, and puncture wounds are found on the throat. The Burgermeister and his council are frantic. Is it the work of vampire bats flown in from south america? Or worse, could it be an actual vampire?? Lionel Atwill plays doctor Neiman, a seemingly benign scientist who just might have a dark side. Fay Wray (King Kong, Doctor X, The Most Dangerous Game) is his oblivious assistant. Dwight Frye (Frankenstein, Dracula) is Harold, the town crackpot and number one suspect. I love him in anything! THE VAMPIRE BAT is a lot of fun, and only about an hour long! Well worth owning...
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alpha DVD print 29 Oct 2010
By Jeffrey S. Pfeiffer - Published on
One of my favorite late-night fright flicks! There are already quite a few reviews here on the movie itself, which just about covers everything, so I just wanted to say a bit about DVD quality. There are quite a few out there & various discussions on which is the best. I am a 20-year movie collector and have gone through my share of the various different copies of DVDs of THE VAMPIRE BAT. The best overall copy out there in my opinion is the Alpha print. While many of Alpha's titles are hit-and-miss generally, as to videoo & audio quality, for THIS movie Alpha seems th be the way to go. Many versions are extremely scratchy & soft focus, or else actually missing bits of footage here & there. The Alpha print is the most complete out there and is of very good quality. The few other prints that may be of a slightly sharper picture (and I mean SLIGHLY), such as the recent copy included on the new, much-tauted TRAILERS FROM HELL DVD, have many of the "wipe" transitions between scenes omitted for some reason...scenes just jump from one into the next in abrupt jump cuts. There are also patches of extremely dirty footage (I don't mean pornographic!) that makes some scenes unwatchable for 20-30 seconds at a time. There are also several scenes where footage is missing (such as the scene near the beginning of Karl, Ruth, & Aunt Gussie in the lab leading to Lionel Atwill tending to Martha, the old apple woman).

The Alpha print is extremely clean, generally free of pops, dirt, & scratches, and has all footage intact. It is very slightly softer than the TRAILERS FROM HELL print & a few others, but all those seems to be either filled with scratchy areas and/or missing footage. So, in this collector's opinion, if you are looking for the best overall print of this film, go with the Alpha.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dwight Frye Is Great As Herman!! 22 Dec 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on
This is a good movie about a town who has experienced some suspicious deaths that make it look like the work of a vampire or is it something else? I liked this mystery movie and I really liked Dwight Frye as the mentally challanged Herman.
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