Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Devil Bat

The Devil Bat (1940)

Directed by: Jean Yarbrough
Written by: John T. Neville
Starring: Béla Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien, Guy Usher, Donald Kerr, Yolande Mallott, Edward Mortimer, Arthur Q. Bryan

Mistook this film for something called The Vampire Bat with Lionel Atwill and, like, Fay Wray and maybe Dwight Frye or something. Thus, I was somewhat confused for a goodly portion of this movie. Well...

Lugosi plays a guy who makes aftershave or something for this big company. He believes that the company has been cheating him out of his money and decides to get his revenge.

Revenge involves a special aftershave containing a rare herb found only in Tibet (where else? It's always frigging Tibet in these movies), the scent of which provokes extreme aggression in a strain of large fruit bats the Lugosi is keeping in his basement. He gives samples of the aftershave to the family members of the heads of the company and then they get killed by crazed bats.

Weird. I guess it's pretty much an average film of that ilk - it was watchable but it didn't really blow my mind or nothing. Lugosi is really creepy (but in a sort of endearing way, you know?), the rest of the acting is decent though no one stood out particularly.

Though the comic relief is somewhat lacking (kind of disturbing in parts), there is some pretty hilarious dialogue along the lines of, 'put the shaving lotion on the soft, tender parts of your neck' or 'I'd rather use the lotion after I shave, when my skin is more tender and receptive' or something. They kept saying tender. It was weird.

At one point, I had to ask Mr. Blue if guys actually ever talk like that about their aftershave (coz hell, I dunno. For all I know men get together in secret and talk about the tender parts of their necks), to which he replied, 'I've never heard such things!'

(Kind of a misquote there, but I can't really remember what he actually said. Man, I would suck as a journalist.)

Yeah, that was pretty weird. I dunno. This movie didn't strike me as being anything special (to be fair, I watched it on a triple bill with Battleship Potemkin and Rashomon...). The bats were awful cute though.


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