DEVIL BAT DIARY – The Journal of Johnny Layton – Review

Bela Lugosi, 1934
Devil Bat Diary: The Journal of Johnny Layton is a novelization of the public-domain film horror-comedy titled The Devil Bat (1940).

Inspired by the famous 1940 film, Devil Bat Diary tells the “true” story of what actually happened to the unhappy citizens of Heathville, Illinois, during that terrible prewar summer, as recorded in the long-suppressed journals of Chicago City Register’s principal newspaper correspondent, Jonathan “Johnny” Layton.


The “Devil Bats” were furiously furry fiends created by a scientific genius who believes himself wrongfully relegated to concocting perfumes and colognes which he despises for wages not worth mentioning. So, as a means to an embittered end, he manufactures an evil ointment with a scent that so infuriates his giant bats to such an extent they feel compelled to tear the throats out of their unsuspecting victims.

The Devil Bat Diary tells for the first time the full inside story of what took place in ways not possible to show to Production Code audiences back then;  did you know for example that Chief Wilkins loved Layton, or that one of the Mortons was a transvestite, or that Mary was a religious lunatic, or that Layton and his trusted partner “One-Shot” McGuire couldn’t stand the sight of each other? Written to coincide with the 70th Anniversary of the film’s release and dedicated to the eternal memory of the great Bela Lugosi, “Devil Bat Diary” is an unforgettably entertaining venture into a world filled with chirping Chiropterans, malicious murders, sacred sex and revolting revelations.

Overall, The Devil Bat Diary is a completely original story–regardless of the tale being inspired by the 1940’s film. The story is gripping, and certainly hard to let go of–a brilliant idea for a book. Something that we don’t  get to read too often these days. An essential read for any Bela Lugosi fan, and any fan of the classic horror-film genre.

Sharp Fanged Blood Sucking DEATH Dives from MIDNIGHT SKIES!


The Devil Bat Diary is written by 3-time Rondo Award nominee Peter H. Brothers, and also the author of Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda.

For more, please visit Peter H. Brother’s personal website.

Devil Bat Diary
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

  • Devil Bat Diary
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  • Last modified: 12/26/2012

Review Summary:

"Devil Bat Diary" is Peter H. Brothers tribute to his idol and inspiration, Bela Lugosi.

Sandy Hoffman
My name is Sandy +AIDY Hoffman. I am the creative writer and film reviewer of the AIDY Reviews website.
Sandy Hoffman


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