31 Days of Hallowe’en 2022, Day 28: The Vampire Bat [1933]


I shouldn’t let a year slip by without including at least one classic (read: B&W or silent) horror. But for the life of me I need to watch it during the day – though not for the reason you might think. It’s because the copy that exists (at least on YouTube but presumably it’s among the best) has the sound mixed in such a way that the dialogue is whisper-quiet but the screams are astronomically loud. So, at 2am, I sort of had to watch this like it was a silent film. My fault for showing my friends the brilliant Little Monsters at midnight my time and not having yet seen a fresh film for that night.

The Vampire Bat, directed by Frank R. Strayer, concerns a small European village (populated by Americans with those vintage semi-English Frasier accents) which suffers an attack. The locals become convinced the perpetrator is a vampire since they’ve apparently already had a brush with this before (??), and suspect, naturally, the town’s loner, who also happens to be developmentally challenged, solely because he is a bit weird and thinks that bats are cute. Fuck you, townspeople. That’s all of us! Even post-covid!

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