So you like vampires huh?
The Search for Dracula (1975)/The Devil Bat (1940)
Directed By: Calvin Floyd (Dracula) and Jean Yarbrough (Devil Bat)
Where to get it: Echo Bridge
The Search for Dracula is a 1975 documentary that dives into the history of vampires. The lore and the legends are all talked about here in a nice little film. And if you like documentary films and vampires, I assume you’d enjoy something like this as well. But as an added bonus, if you get this film you also get the really REALLY old school film, The Devil Bat that comes from 1940 and has the legend himself, Bela Lugosi. I think dropping that man’s name might be a reason for an instant buy alone to some of you black and white horror movie lovers out there.
The Search for Dracula is a documentary exploring the legends of vampires, using books, paintings and early films on the subject. We dive right into history and learn tons of new things that allows us to realize that the idea of a vampire might not only be not as far off as we think. But it also shows us proof that they may have actually existed at a time, or may still exist. So, it’s a little weird, but it does a fine job of giving some nice creepy history. As I was watching this, I believe I remember being showed it back in the day in elementary school. So, if you’re a teacher you might want to consider picking this up for educational reasons.
Another thing about this you will notice is how short it is. Clocking in just around an hour, you have a film that clearly was meant for TV use and I am pretty sure it has found it’s way to TV more than a time or two, possible on the History channel. So yeah, it’s that kind of documentary. That might be a positive or a negative to you depending how you like your vampire documentary films. There could be a few of you that find it a little boring, and at the same time they may be a few more of you that find it fascinating. So, if it sounds like something you could like, feel free to take a chance with it because it also comes with a second movie on the disc.
And that second movie is, The Devil Bat! Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers’ family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives.
This movie is from 1940 and clearly looks it’s age. I can respect Bela Lugosi as much as the next horror fan, but I’d have rather had him as a vampire than just some dude that is controlling a big ass bat. Not that anything is by any means awful, but if I had issues watching early 60’s horror, you can imagine the time I had with one from 1940. So, you might say this one will be an acquired taste, mostly for those old school horror fans that eat this sorta thing up. It wasn’t really my thing per say, but it’s an OK bonus to toss on a DVD with a documentary that is only an hour long.
Well, it’s a combined package that is pretty middle of the road. I’d probably give them both the same score by themselves that I am giving them as a whole. So, if you like old school horror and old school docs, then this could be a worthy buy for you. If you are a person who likes the newer stuff, then not soo much.
The Rating (5/10)