PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation) released this classic Bela Lugosi, The Devil Bat, movie back in 1940. It was their very first horror film and with the success of The Devil Bat would go on to make many more movies. They became prolific in their movie releases because they were able to produce movies quickly and cheaply yet retain the same quality of other movie production companies.
The Devil Bat would get a sequel in 1946 titled Devil Bat’s Daughter however, it really has absolutely nothing to do with the original film. No returning actors, no story-line connections, and is frankly less superior to this film.
Bela Lugosi plays a chemist, Dr. Paul Carruthers, who works for a successful cosmetic company. However, Carruthers had become disillusioned with his wealthy benefactors because he felt they were not sharing the companies success with him fairly. So to get back at them he begins a program where he genetically engineers giant bats and then trains them to murder anyone wearing a special aroma he created in the form of after-shave.
Once Caruthers distributes the chemical as a gift he releases his giant Devil Bats at night and the body count begins to rise. The murders begin to gain attention so a large newspaper sends Johnny Layton (Dave O’Brien) to cover the events and possibly assist in solving these crimes. Layton brings along his goof-ball photographer and friend “One-Shot” McGuire (Donald Kerr) and together they begin to work the mystery of the vicious murder. The duo of course add their brand of comedy to the events.
This is a great tale of events and corporate intrigue. Bela Lugosi is a completely believable talent and you can really tell he was trying to put PRC on the map which he successfuly does so because of this great film.
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