Cast: Lou Diamond Philips
Studio: Dimension
Rating: 5/10

If you hear shrieking in the night, it just might be people complaining about wasting their money on Bats, easily one of the worst films I’ve seen in years. I don’t know what in the world makes film companies think movies about super-animals are ever a good idea. Remember recent busts Lake Placid and Deep Blue Sea?

As I left the movie and walked toward the exit, a guy said to me, “Can you believe that movie? Man, that was crap.” I couldn’t have said it better. Though I would have called it guano, to be a smart-ass. Instead, I mentioned that I didn’t realize that Lou Diamond Philips, who played the local sheriff, needed money so badly that he had to do this film. “I think [Lou Diamond] has a bunch of kids now,” the guy mentioned. “College is expensive,” I replied. And with that I went off into the night, contented that I wasn’t the only one who thought this movie was an embarrassment.

So, here, in just a few paragraphs, I’m going to tell you what it is you need to know about the film. Hopefully I’ll tell you just enough to keep you from wasting your time and money. An evil scientist, Dr. McCabe (Dr. Macabre? Isn’t that funny?), played by Bob Gunton, creates some super-genius predator bats. Then, they bring in a bat specialist, zoologist Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer), and her wisecracking assistant, Jimmy (Leon), to help get rid of this menace. When they fly into a small town in Texas they find out that bats are killing people. Well, surprise, these bats that are usually herbivores now have a taste for the flesh. The local sheriff lends a hand in the search to destroy the bats.

You would think the part of the film where the bats fly all over the place causing havoc and ripping people up would be scary and fun. Wrong. This movie falls far from Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds. It is apparent that they tried very hard to make this movie very similar to Hitchcock’s. They use sideways and distorted camera angles that reminded me too much of the legendary film. Director Louis Morneau didn’t do anything to make this film uniquely interesting or visually appealing.

Then comes the end. This is by far the worst part of the film as the military comes in with enough guys to take over a small country. But the bats kill all of them. Yes, they wipe them out completely. When the heroes arrive in the morning, they find the bodies all over the place. Do they panic? No. They do their duty and the three heroes take care of the flying rodents. Get real.

I hate to say it but the comments made by the audience, like, “Roll up your damn window you idiot,” and, “There’s your ketchup,” (guess you have to be there for that one) were funnier than the onscreen wisecracking Jimmy. The best part of the evening happened in the audience as two people got up, one shrieking as he ran out to get a few laughs while his partner in comedy flapped his wings and started to run then fell flat on his face. The audience clapped and laughed so loud that I missed what was happening on the screen. Fortunately, I didn’t miss anything important. Hell, I could have stayed home and still figured out the script, but I would have never known or believed how bad this movie was had I not seen it firsthand. If it is true that you get what you pay for, this movie should be free.

+ charlie craine

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