Like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea
did for sharks, and Raiders Of The Lost Ark did for spiders and snakes,
Bats takes one of our much-maligned fellow creatures and maligns
them further, parlaying people's irrational fears into box office receipts.
But don't worry, bat friends: this flick is so badly produced and its effects
so incredibly unconvincing that no adult in his right mind could ever take
it seriously. A few well-placed tweaks to the script and Bats could
have been marketed as a comedy. But alas, the producers failed to see that
possibility, and what results is a tragic waste of perfectly good celluloid.
Logan's plot is as common as they come. There's an unscrupulous scientist
(Bob Gunton) who has produced a handful of you guessed it
genetically altered bats. No one explains why this would be necessary (the
closest we come is the good doctor saying "I'm a scientist; it's what
we do!"), but two of these little devils have escaped from the
lab and are infecting the entire local bat population in Gallup, Texas,
with their ravenous bloodlust. These guys look like miniature pit bulls
with wings, and though they would probably meet much less resistance if
they attacked, say, unsuspecting livestock, they apparently only like to
dine on human beings.
So the town's sheriff (Lou Diamond Phillips, still desperately seeking
success) enlists a bat specialist (Dina Meyer, Starship
Troopers) and her goofy sidekick (León, Waiting To Exhale)
to fix the problem. Before it's done, there's plenty of gore, scenes of
people fighting with what appears to be an army of broken umbrellas, and
piles of rubbery-skinned novelty bats (I think I saw the words "Made
in China" on one) in a wiggling match with horrified-looking prostrate
student actors. Not horrified because of the bats, mind you, but because
their faces might actually be recognizable at some point during the film.
Among the more laughable script elements are a bat scientist who is afraid
of bats (even regular ones), a doctor who gets woozy at the sight of blood,
and the continent of Antarctica being referred to as "up there."
It's not often one gets the chance to see a movie as incredibly bad as Bats. So treat yourself to a quality cinematic experience. Go to the theatre and see anything else that's playing. *
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