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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I have seen battered prints over the years and heard about this edition after it was OOP. I tracked down a copy at a reasonable price and prepared to be disappointed......I was NOT! This film NEVER looked any where near this good and that alone it reason to buy this edition. To sweeten the pot(so to speak), the extras are very nice, including a very interesting and funny commentary, listen as Bela Jr. and Ted Newsome seem to run out of things to talk about regarding the film. Fortunately, this doesn't hurt the commentary as they talk about Lugosi coming to America and Bela Jr's childhood with his father and rest of the family. The other extras include a repo Devil Bat poster card which is very nice, some trailers and a radio program featuring Bela Lugosi.
I know a lot of people think these old films are rather disposable, but I can tell you that seeing them looking crisp and clean makes all the difference. I grew up with this stuff and I hope that future generations will see the positives to restoring these old films. I have heard that they have canceled future releases and the only other films released like this is 'Bowery at Midnight'...too bad, I would have loved to have seen many more of these films done justice. For other quality releases of older films look into Roan Group Archives, they have some great double features and single releases.
Bela is exonerated by the police, but two newspaper reporters look into matters more carefully resulting in a match between Bela and his creation to resolve the movie. Please note the voice of the newspaper editor, Joe McGinty, played by Arthur Q. Bryan. If you think you recognize the voice but can't quite place it you're probably right. He is most widely known as the voice of Elmer Fudd.
The bats themselves are typical of special effects from the era, i.e. big silly contraptions on strings. Although they look better than a lot of later films like "The Giant Claw," flying creatures are hard to get right with models and this is no exception, so some suspension of disbelief will be required. Overall, though, this is a very enjoyable old fashioned horror movie, and fans of the genre and particularly Lugosi will love it; to those people I highly recommend the film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very cheap, very corny old B horror film, but also totally enjoyable. Fans of low-budget horror films from the 40's will be in their glory. Lugosi at his best.Published 3 months ago by Allen C. Kupfer
This review is for the Kino blu-ray release.
First off the transfer is just ok. It has quite a bit of noise and it does not appear as if any attempt was made to clear up... Read more