Saturday, June 16, 2012
Vampire Bat (1933)
Until recently I had never seen this film. Its was filmed on the sets of the Old Dark House and Frankenstein and concerns a small Baravaian village where supposedly giant bats are sucking the blood of the villagers.
Frankly its a damn good movie that has atmosphere to spare and a cast that won't quit, Lionel Atwill, Dwight Frye, Faye Wray and Melvin Douglas playing a character named Brettschnieder which is of intrest to me since that was my great grandmother's maiden name.
This is a carefully modulated film that has suspense and witty one liners that slowly builds for its brief running time, only going astray when about ten minutes before the end they realized they had limited time to wrap everything up. From that ppoint to the end its a straight run to the finish with very little of the fun that preceeded it.
Lenoard Maltin and IMDB list a running time of 71 minutes and warn of shorter prints. The trouble is that IMDB and Maltin can be wrong, and in this case I think they are since a source I trust more says the full running time is 67 minutes (The Overlook Film Encyclopedia) Quibbling about this I know is insane but since most prints that are available tend to run around 60-63 minutes the amount of missing material is considerably less if its only 67 minutes long. Personally I think it won't matter that much since its at most five minutes and I doubt very much it will make or break the film.
What ever the running time , if you like creaky old films, do, by all means do, watch this moviue, its a great dark and stormy night film