The town of Heath believes that Dr. Paul Carruthers (Bela Lugosi) is a kind-hearted soul who wouldn't hurt a fly, but he secretly harbors hatred for the Heath family who grew rich on his formulas when he foolishly accepted cash instead of a percentage. His method of revenge is bizarre to say the least. He has used electricity to create a gigantic bat, about ten times the size of a normal bat, and sends if off after his victims by using a special shaving lotion that attracts the bloodthirsty animal. When each victim tells the doctor good-night or farewell, he grimly intones "Goodbye." The Devil Bat is hard to take seriously but it is a fun movie, with a better performance from Lugosi than the picture probably deserves. Lugosi's portrait of a man whose bitterness has nearly driven him insane but who hides it beneath an avuncular manner, is dead-on. The other actors don't seem to matter much next to Lugosi but they include Dave O'Brien [Captain Midnight] as a reporter, Donald Kerr as his photographer, Suzanne Kaaren as Mary Heath, and John Ellis and Alan Baldwin as her brothers. When the photographer tricks up a fake Devil bat to fool his editor, it doesn't look much worse than the "real" thing, a mock-up inter-cut with close-ups of a bat's mouth. This was essentially remade six years later as The Flying Serpent with George Zucco. Followed by Devil Bat's Daughter. From poverty row studio PRC.
Verdict: Bela goes bats! **1/2.