Devil Bat: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
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After brilliant scientist Dr. Paul Carruthers (Bela Lugosi) develops an ingenious product for a cosmetics company, he is cheated out of his fair share of the profits by his greedy partners. Hell bent on revenge, he decides to turn his laboratory of science into one of doom as he creates a giant race of bats that turn into ripping and shredding beasts of fury, designed to attack anyone wearing the very product he invented.
Audio Commentary by Richard Harland Smith (film historian and TCM columnist)
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Top Customer Reviews
Bela is Dr. Carruthers, plotting the death of his enemies by training giant mutated bats to attack those who wear the doc's new experimental shaving lotion. Bela has some great, darkly-comic dialogue. When one intended victim comments on how smooth the new lotion is, Carruthers offers, "I don't think you'll ever wear anything else."
THE DEVIL BAT has, of course, been previously available on DVD and VHS, in various conditions. The best previous DVD release is certainly the one offered by Roan. This new "official" version compares favorably to the Roan disc, though acute listeners might find the sound is a touch clearer on this new disc. Bela Lugosi Jr. partners with genre critic Ted Newsom for an interesting commentary track, which unfortunately shows how little Bela Jr. actually knows about the film.
There are 2 other Lugosi theatrical trailers (but not one for Devil Bat?), some archival photos and a pretty neat audio-only feature: A radio play from the 1940's starring Bela.
If you're a fan of these type of "poverty row" horrors, DEVIL BAT will certainly make your day. If you're a fan of his more popular Universal features, this is a good introduction to a very different career path that poor ol' Bela got stuck on around 1940.
Interestingly, there are some definite similarities between this 1942 film and 1931's Dracula: Lugosi plays an evil man who must steal the life essence from beautiful young women in order to hold mortality at bay; Lorenz secretly enters the rooms of his guests during the night and stares down at them with the look Lugosi is famous for; Lorenz and his wife sleep in coffins; and the dim-witted, eternally slump-backed assistant (called Angel of all things) can be compared with Dracula's Renfield.Read more ›
There are two disappointments with this DVD. First, like all other copies out on VHS or DVD it is missing footage. Years ago when the Devil Bat ran on TV, it included the Coroner's Inquest scene. You even see the Coroner listed in the opening credits. Perhaps someday we will get a release with this missing footage. Second, the sound for "Doctor Prescribed Death" is somewhat uneven. I also collect the old Suspense radio show programs and I know that in most cases there is only 1 master copy of each show. Some are great and others are poor. This one is much better than most, but may annoy some fans that have to adjust the volume throughout the program.
However, these are only minor faults. I can't wait for more released under the "Bela Lugosi Presents" banner!
The film has kicked around the public domain for the last decade or so, with the result that VHS prints of it were either excellent or hardly watchable. DVD versions in general have been clear, but this version beats the others and comes close to being a definitive version of the picture, if one is possible.
Released by the Lugosi estate, "The Devil Bat" is the first in a proposed series of definitve versions of Lugosi films. (The unjustly overlooked "Bowery at Midnight" is the second movie in this series.)Extras on this DVD include stills from the movie, a poster card (very well done), and a commentary track featuring Bela Junior and film historian Ted Newsom. The commentary track is a laugh in itself as the two quickly run out of things to say about the movie (in fact, one wonders if Bela Jr. even saw it before this)and switch topics to Bela Junior's memories of life with father. As he provides some unusual insight into the life of his father, the commentary track is a must for all Lugosi fans, and, combined with the price, makes for one of the biggest bargains for film fans.
Most recent customer reviews
This film is not a very good film, heck it isn't worth much... The acting is bad, the special effects are awful, the story is simple, and the characters probably deserve their... Read morePublished 22 months ago by A. CHIASSON
First off, movie wise, this is far from the best Bela Lugosi you're going to see. It's goofy, cheap and corny, but a heck of a lot of fun. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2013 by R. Grant
OK. The plot of Devil Bat doesn't sound that impressive, but Bela Lugosi's performance earns the movie five stars from this reviewer. Lugosi plays Dr. Read morePublished on June 17 2006 by Daniel Jolley
This would have simply been a terrible movie with laughable special effects if Bela Lugosi were not the star. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2003 by Psychedelic Cowboy