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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two More Snoozers from Undead: The Vampire Collection




As I continued through another DVD in the Undead: Vampire Collection, I continued with the bat theme. This time it was the 1941 B-Movie, the Devil Bat, starring Bela Lugosi. Another of the long line of non vampire movies gracing this collection.


Plot/ A mad scientist develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it. Yes, Dr. Carruthers feels bitter about being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich because of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives.


If not for a great performance from Lugosi, this film would fall even more with there being very limited help from the other actors, the director, the script or special effects. This movie boasts cheap sets, a below average script and the "devil bat" itself is laughable. Yet, as he always does, Bela makes the movie entertaining. He plays one of his many mad scientists -- this one a perfume maker who was monetarily wronged by his partners, now millionaires. As expected, Lugosi makes the character interesting, complex and even sympathetic -- and yet also fearsome as he tells each of his victims, "goodbye" after they try on his new fragrance. Still, for the Bela Lugosi fan, this movie is enjoyable as you watch what one great and talented actor can do in one bad movie.




After that, I moved onto 1969’s Blood of Dracula’s Castle, a movie that I have seen a couple times while watching some of my other Mill Creek sets. As stories go, this one has many of the elements of the Dracula films of the decade, but that is where all of the positives stop.


Plot/ A photographer and his fiancée, are pleased to find that he has inherited Falconroc Castle after the death of his uncle Thomas. Unfortunately, an old couple--Count Charles Townsend and his wife, who have been renting the castle for over 60 years, already inhabits Falconroc. Unfortunately, for the couple, Count Townsend is none other than Count Dracula, and he and his wife like Falconroc where their retarded and disfigured strongman Mango catches young girls, for the Count and his wife to dine on. Throw in some sacrifices, a strange butler and the worship of the Moon God Luna and you have everything you need in a film.


In all, as many probably know, this movie may be one of the worst Dracula movies ever made. It is a shame though, the scenery is great and the acting isn’t half bad. However, while watchable, there isn’t much to make you ever want to suffer through this film again and the copy on this set makes it almost impossible to sit through. The only good thing is it at least brought vampires back into this set (which seems about 50/50) so far.



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1 comment:

  1. I have two questions. Is Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman in letterbox?
    Also, does Nosferatu have a score? If no on either, I think I will wait until something else comes up. If yes, I am running back to Wal Mart and scooping this up!

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