A woman is found lying unconscious in the road. She is taken to the police station where the sheriff (Ed Cassidy) tries to determine who she is. The police discover that the name of the comatose woman is Nina MacCarron (Rosemary LaPlanche). She also turns out to be the daughter of a notorious murderer named Dr. Paul Carruthers. The physician attending her is Dr. Elliot (Nolan Leary). He calls in a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Clifton Morris (Michael Hale) for his opinion. Morris has the woman sent to the hospital. That night Nina has a panic attack. She runs from the hospital and shows up at Dr. Morris’ house. Morris’ wife Ellen (Molly Lamont) develops an affection for the troubled girl and allows her to stay at their home.
In the meantime Morris is in New York spending some quality time with his mistress, Myra Arnold (Monica Mars). Myra wants Morris to divorce his wife. Morris doesn’t want to give up all that money he married. Myra tells Morris that she doesn’t want to see him until he does something about the situation. Clifton returns home and begins working with Nina to help her overcome her psychological problems. At least it appears that he is trying to cure her.
Ellen’s son from her first marriage, Ted Masters (John James), returns from being discharged from the service. Ted is not too thrilled with his stepfather but he loves his mother and so he swallows his attitude. His feelings about Nina, however, are a different story. Ted and Nina fall in love. Even though Nina is in love with Ted she is haunted by her father’s past. Her nightmares continue. Morris is aware that Nina and Ted have drawn close to each other. He convinces Ellen to send Ted away. He tells her that Nina is dangerous and it could be bad for Ted.
While Ted is away things get worse. The family dog is found dead in Nina’s room. Stabbed by a pair of scissors. Morris tells Ellen that Nina is dangerous and must be sent to a psychiatric hospital. The next morning Ellen is found dead. She had been stabbed with a pair of scissors. Nina is found unconscious outside Ellen’s bedroom door holding the scissors. Nina is arrested for murder but Ted is not so sure that it is Nina that is doing the killing.
“The Devil Bat’s Daughter” was released in 1946 and was directed by Frank Wisbar. It is a poverty row film made by Producer’s Releasing Corporation. Although the film is labeled as a horror film it is more of a psychological thriller. It is also labeled as a sequel to the film “The Devil Bat” 1940 but it really isn’t.
In the original film Bela Lugosi played a scientist named Dr. Paul Carruthers who reportedly killed several people using giant bats created from a growth hormone process. In the sequel Carruthers is eventually cleared of intentionally killing people. This plot development is very different from the original movie.
I thought that “The Devil Bat” was a lot better than this quasi-sequel. The first movie was fun and the silly rubber bats were cute as could be. There was also the mad scientist aspect that made it a proper horror film, not to mention Bela Lugosi. In the semi-sequel the only bats are a little stock footage in Nina’s dream sequences. I suspect that the footage came from the original movie. I’m not sure why they needed to tie it to “The Devil Bat” unless it was to try to garner some of the audience that “Devil Bat” had. No one from the original film was in this one and, outside of references to the first movie; there is really nothing to tie the two together.
Other than the dream sequences, which were OK, the film was a little bland and rather predictable. Not awful but not very impressive. There was an attempt to suggest that Nina was a vampire or at least thought she was a vampire. Morris’s suggestion that her father fixation about his crimes were part of her illness that manifested itself into this vampire obsession was the basis of the plot and of his plan to use her to cover up his own crimes. There aren’t really any spoilers here since you could see that idea coming a mile away. A narcissistic doctor with a mistress who married for money equals a murder plot that is blamed on a patient. It’s a staple in many thrillers.