Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Devil Bat (1940)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist, Monster

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: A+

We`ll it toke me a little while to choose which Bela Lugosi movie I would review first, but after awhile I decided on this one. For a variety of reasons actually the first one being that this is one of my top favorite Bela Lugosi movies of all time. The second I don`t believe this movie gets nearly enough recognition for its superb quality.I mean other than me and all the other hardcore Bela Lugosi fans this movie is unfortunately rather obscure. And third this movie is just freaking awesome, one of the best in all the Mad Scientist movies.

Beginning with the story, its basic synopsis is a mad scientist who works for a colon company, creates this colon that once put on, his giant killer bat will smell it on you,then track you down, and finally just simply kill you. Though his motives are just, the people hes killing are the company's bosses who pretty much just short changed him on his colon he specially made for them. So hes really pissed about getting ripped off, so naturally in response he makes this enormous bat that will kill anyone wearing the colon that he made specially. Obviously there was a very strong revenge filled theme in the movie, perfect for a mad scientist movie.
Bela Lugosi`s character who was  the mad scientist, was a unique character or at least he was to me. His character was a sympathetic character, who you feel sorry for, I mean you feel more sympathy toward him then you feel toward the people he kills. You`ll see what I mean when you watch it. But his character wasn't this completely insane Mad Scientist like for example what J.Carrol Naishs Mad Scientist character in THE MONSTER MAKER, now that was an evil homicidal mad scientist that you didn't feel bad for. That is not the case here, Bela`s character is just madly bent madly on revenge. And no one could have played this role better than Bela, this is by far one of his best performances i`ve seen.
As for the rest of the characters you had a surprisingly comical pair of newspaper reporters covering the case, which I think is interesting because can you imagine the newspaper aiding the police in an investigation today, Like they were in this movie. But anyways the pair were pretty funny at times, it was a very Abbot and Costello style of humor. And then of course you had your stereotypical blond, attractive, damsel in distress type character, who's always getting herself caught in tough situations, at least the actress who portrayed her was a fairly decent actress.
Now the movie had some awesome sets and effects, to. Like the Lab that Bela conducts his experiments in and keeps his giant bat in was a super cool lab. It was the ideal Mad Scientist lab for it was creepy, sinister, and just a place you wouldn't want to be alone in. Then the bat was just terrifying, being so huge and then the noise it made was extremely nerve-racking and creepy sounding. Seriously if I saw this giant bat in person I would be scared shitless.
Well the only thing about the movie was the ending. It wasn't a terrible ending at all, it was just well predictable, and something that's been done countless times and if they had just made this ending much less predictable. Like  for example everybody dies except the Mad Scientist then the movie would be golden. But when I think about it some more I gets to me that endings like the one it had, are actually one of the reasons these movies are just so dang enjoyable.
So altogether THE DEVIL BAT was very good Bela Lugosi movie that should watched by anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of Bela Lugosi or classic horror in general. So please if you get the chance, definitely watch this awesome 40s Mad Scientist movie.

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