The Vampire Bat (1933) was a staple of TV late-night movie programming well into the 1980s. Too often the running time of this maltreated film was irreverently trimmed or stretched to accommodate commercial breaks or better fit into a predetermined time slot. With black-and-white films almost completely banished from the schedules of local television affiliates by 1987, TV Guide disrespectfully dismissed The Vampire Bat as a “Dated, slow-motion chiller.” That’s an unfair appraisal. But with the MTV generation in the ascendant and Fangoria gleefully splashing the lurid and blood-red exploits of such slice-and-dice horror icons as Michael Meyers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger on its covers, it’s somewhat understandable why the other-worldly atmospherics of The Vampire Bat were perceived as little more than a celluloid curio – an antiquated footnote in the annals of classic horror.
The Vampire Bat is hardly original. The film was, no doubt, conceived