Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Vampire Bat

--Reviewed by Patrick

Plotline: The small (German?) village of Klineschloss is experiencing a rash of mysterious murders. The victims are found with two puncture holes on their necks and completely drained of blood! Soon, the word "vampire" is brought up and villagers believe the bat-loving local mental case, Herman, is at the source of the killings. Despite the protestations from the local scientific community of two, mob rule ensues and the hunt for Herman begins!

Scariness factor: Simply, none.

Originality: Certainly a vampire tale in a small town is nothing new, but I was pleasantly suprised to see how this one panned out. There was a strong underscore of "superstition vs. technology" with the old beliefs of the villagers coming into conflict with the men of science, within the village. There's also a twist, at the end, that I won't reveal, which leads the viewer to believe that it's now the old creatures of the night we should be afraid of, but that we, ourselves, have become worse than the monsters.

Other High Points: Dwight Frye as Herman. If the name doesn't catch, his biggest role was of Renfield in Dracula (as well as Fritz in Frankenstein, a few years later), The man knows how to play insanity and he does so very well, here.

Other Complaints: Except for Mr. Frye, the acting in 'The Vampire Bat' is decidedly awful. Even Faye Wray seems to be phoning in her performance. It doesn't seem that many people in the movie really want to be there (and the people that do, like the actors who play the villagers, almost too much so). The print quality is also pretty bad.

Overall: Certainly not the worst movie I've ever seen, but definitely not the best. Herman electrifies every scene he's in, but he's only in half of them and the ones without him seem dull and lifeless. Good for a midnight movie watch or to kill an hour and a half.

Grade: B



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