The Vampire Bat (1933) - Drama, Horror, Mystery

Hohum Score

59

Bearable

When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, vampirism is suspected to be responsible.

IMDB: 5.7
Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray
Length: 65 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 14 out of 63 found boring (22.22%)

One-line Reviews (48)

The much more enjoyable supporting cast includes bat-crazy Dwight Frye (as Herman), hypochondriac Maude Eburne (as Aunt Gussie Schnappmann), and suspicious George E.

interesting horror movie about a small German town whose townspeople are suddenly losing their blood when they wake up in the morning,, all but a police detective and his daughter believe that the ghastly murders were committed by a vampire.. the suspicions soon start to fall on the village idiot that everyone thinks is weird,, the police begin to investigate, and what they come up with doesn't seem to match,, so the question is did the town weirdo kill the people or did someone that the police overlook do it,, or was it a real vampire,, not a bad little horror lflick,, lot's of elements from different movies in here, that hint at Somnabulist's and the like,, very interesting,, only thing was the picture did drag in spots, and didn't seem like everything was tied together,, otherwise it's definitely worth watching.

There's also a lack of focus to the story (there's a rather large lull and then a sudden burst of plot in the last twenty minutes) and also a noticeable lack of action.

These here are what make the film enjoyable though this here does have a few discernible flaws with it.

As well as the confusion over what happens in the finale, these here are what hold this one down.

Strayer The Vampire Bat was a cheapie from Majestic Pictures to cash in on the success of it's two stars Atwill & Wray & their success in the previous years Doctor X (1932) & is more of a murder mystery rather than a horror as the exploitative & enticing title may have lead you to believe & quite frankly it's rather dull.

Worth watching.

" A bit of a bore with a misleading title.

I know it's old but that's not an excuse as cinema has moved on a lot since 1933 & a bland, flat, dull, boring & misleading film such as The Vampire Bat just doesn't cut it these days, just look at the original King Kong (1933) released the same year & how brilliantly that still holds up today.

Atwill's Dr. Otto von Niemann is just one of the film's many uninspired stock characters (superstitious burgermeister, sceptical police inspector, sassy female scientist, village idiot, comic relief aunt) who, along with the unimaginative script, routine direction, and predictable outcome, make The Vampire Bat a rather mediocre experience—frustrating since it features a terrific cast worthy of better material, including two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas, King Kong beauty Fay Wray, and Dwight Frye of Dracula fame, who steals the show with his excellent performance as Herman Gleib, a misunderstood simpleton with a love of bats (soft, like cats!

Other than that, tepid with a few creepy moments, but I enjoyed it thoroughly throughout.

Very regrettable, however, is that the story quickly becomes tedious and predictable and the only element left to admire near the end is the sublime acting by a multi-talented cast.

An enjoyable, brief little programmer with an impressive cast (Fay Wray is also here as a love interest for Douglas).

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

The opening sequences of this film (the first 15 minutes or so) is pure vintage horror, with a suspenseful introduction to the story (extended speeches with a detailed description of the killer's modus operandi) and a great use of set pieces and interiors that already proved their effectiveness earlier (the same scenery was used in Universal classics, like "The Old Dark House" for example).

While THE VAMPIRE BAT doesn't have the macabre style of Universal's own "Dracula" or "Frankenstein", it can be credited for its fine reproduction of its creepy atmosphere, chilling scenes, along with a pursuit of the killer by an angry mob with lighted torches quite commonly found in many "Frankenstein" sequels, yet, with all that, THE VAMPIRE BAT is at times disappointing due to its slow pacing, lack of background music, low budget production and intrusive comedy relief provided by character actress Maude Eburne as Aunt Gussie Schnappmann.

Neat performances from Lionel Attwill as the town doctor ,Melvyn Douglas as the sceptical local policeman and the aforementioned Mr Frye compensate for a wan and colourless Fay Wray as the love interest and the tedious comic relief of Maude Elune as a bossy old maiden Aunt prone to fits of the vapours .

, false leads) and while it doesn't take a genius to figure out Frye may not be responsible, the WHO and WHY are intriguing and make it VERY different from the average horror film.

" The film builds character and contains enough humor to make it an enjoyable watch.

The Vampire Bat will I imagine fool a lot of people into thinking that it's a horror film about Vampire Bats when in fact it isn't, personally I thought the whole thing was a bit of a bore.

Lowe Jr. takes itself rather seriously & sets up the basic story that something is killing local villagers & that something could possibly be a Vampire, then for most of it's duration the film focuses on Brettschneider & his incompetent investigations which are, not to put too fine a point on it, boring.

Melvyn Douglas is the bland policeman hero, so that leaves only Dwight Frye to put some life into the film.

Though well shy of being a genre classic, this is still worth watching for fans of classic horror.

The movie, is slow going.

It's not top-tier material, because of a ho-hum resolution of the plot and some embarrassingly bad dialog for Dwight Frye.

This is a derivative and quite frankly dreary old horror flick that owes much of its plot and inspiration to Dracula.

Enjoyable 1933 Classic Film .

(In addition to Atwill you get Fay Wray and Melvyn Douglas, Dwight Frye doing his Renfield schtick and the noisy, tiresome antics of Maude Eburne as Aunt Gussie.

Other than the terrible mis-title this movie has,the alternate name,"The Blood Sucker" is much better,this movie is also dull and plodding and just silly.

Frye plays a madman, a virtual reprisal of his Renfield role from Dracula, and is by far the most enjoyable thing in this film.

Short and boring.

IMO, It's not as good as two other horror films with Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray from the same time period 'Doctor X' and 'Mystery of the Wax Museum', still it's fun and well worth watching for sure.

"The Vampire Bat" is an entertaining low-budget horror movie from the 30's that is visibly inspired in the success of Universal "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" in 1931.

How much I bet Mr. Frye wished he could for once play a dull salesman who wears a tie to work every day.

) and a couple well-used slow zooms (both in and out) that are effective.

Though these are presented as the follow-up scenes of many of these encounters, there's still plenty of energy here giving them some extra incentive to go alongside the rather fine mystery which is quite nicely layered with the attacks rousing the same local hysteria and mounting fear that's handedly played well with their dismissals and continued search leading them into fine territory with the action in the final half.

The plot is predictable with only few minor twists.

Unfortunately, Maude Eburne, a ham of the first water, enjoys a disproportionate amount of deadly dull "comedy relief" footage.

However, while the film is rather derivative, it is STILL well worth watching and provides a few surprises.

Creaky, static, but rather entertaining nonetheless thanks to the cast.

He can be seen in 'The Old Dark House' (1932), and Fay gets dragged around by Joel McCrea in 'The Most Dangerous Game' (1930).

Besides all of that, there's an entertaining mystery tale involving the above mentioned murders.

They spend most of this very short movie accusing the obvious suspect of being the vampire and it gets boring after a couple minutes.

Dreary and Disappointing .

For all of its faults, "The Vampire Bat" is still an enjoyable little film if for no other reason than to enjoy Melvyn Douglas in an early pre-MGM role and Fay Wray just before she found her 15 minutes of fame in "King Kong" the same year.

The filming while pulling off a legitimate spooky atmosphere was more productive at making me yawn - yes you can use too much shadow.

When the apple street vendor Martha Mueller (Rita Carlisle) is murdered, the prime suspect becomes the slow Herman Gleib (Dwight Frye), a man with a mind of child that loves bats.

Great Cast but Bland Film .