Away from the bright glare of Hollywood’s major dream factories, Poverty Row cranked out gritty little nightmares.
While most of the films are ultimately forgettable and stuck in the boring netherland between good and “so-bad-it’s-good”, some of the films prove to be entertaining to this day- albeit on the corny side.
Such a bit of candy corn is the Bela Lugosi vehicle, The Devil Bat.
This time around, Lugosi (screen history’s most beloved Dracula) plays not a vampire, as the title might infer, but an inventor whose exotic fragrances turned a corporation into a massive money machine. However, Dr. Carruthers (as he is called) missed the boat by asking for cash up front rather than shares (which, by the way, oddly mirrors how Lugosi kept ending up with limited paycheques for films that play to this day).
So the ninety-nine-percenter doctor’s plan for revenge against his One-percenter former colleagues is to develop a prototype after-shave designed to attract the electrically enlarged bat he keeps in his attic.
Electrically enlarging bats used to be more popular than train modeling.
Most amusing is watching the deliciously sinister Lugosi talk his former partners and prospective victims into sampling the fragrance only to bid them a cheerful “Goodbye. Eh eh eh…”
Enjoy this Halloween treat!
Pain Level: 5/10
Quality of pain: Like someone used too much cologne.
Painjoyment™ Index: High