The Film Detective, in conjunction with UCLA Film & Television Archive, are bringing Frank R. Strayer’s horror classic The Vampire Bat to Blu-ray and DVD on April 25th. This new release will be presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 1:33 and feature Dolby Digital sound. The release was restored from a 355mm composite acetate fine grain master and a 35mm nitrate print and UCLA’s restoration recreates the sensational Gustav Brock color sequence, unacknowledged and unseen since the first run.
When corpses drained of blood begin surfacing in the small European village of Kleines Schloss, town elders suspect a vampire is on the loose, but policeman Karl Brettschneider (Melvyn Douglas, Ninotchka, Hud) doubts the existence of blood-sucking creatures.
Arguing the contrary is mad scientist Dr. Otto von Niemann (Lionel Atwill, Doctor X, Mystery of the Wax Museum), who is caring for the patients—terrifying his lab assistant, Brettschneider’s love interest Ruth Bertin (Fay Wray, King Kong, The Most Dangerous Game).
Amid mass hysteria, fingers point at the village idiot, Herman Gleib (Dwight Frye, Dracula, Frankenstein), who has a creepy affinity for bats. But after local vigilantes eliminate him from the picture, the killings continue … and Brettschneider tries to keep a cool head as he reluctantly starts searching for supernatural answers.
-A Melvyn Douglas featurette with his son, Gregory Hesselberg
-Audio commentary by film historian Sam Sherman.