Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Horrors of October 2013 - Bats (#16)

Bats (1999)

Genetically-altered bats devised by a clearly mad scientist have escaped into the desert wilderness and seek to munch on a bunch of extras in the small Texas town of Gallup. It's up to the town's sheriff, a bat researcher and her token black smart aleck to save the world. Shaky cam and slam cuts are the bread and butter for this abysmal nature on the loose flick, horribly supervised by director Louis Morneau. All of the animal attacks are too chaotic to picture coherently, just a rush of extreme visual insanity. The bats look silly, whether rubber or computerized figures, and their "vicious" onslaught on people (i.e. the victim literally shaking the bat as if they're working for Ed Wood) devalue the film's grade level from a B to a Z. The script is worse than bare bones, having nothing of value to change the monster menace formula. Shockingly, it was written by John Logan, who later would be Oscar-nominated and write the scripts for THE AVIATOR, HUGO and RANGO! The movie even dares to try to make two companion bats literally be the main villains but it's rendered moot considering the bats all look the same (please excuse my bat-racism). The mains are bad cookie-cutter: Lou Diamond Phillips can't overcome the sheriff's blandness, the lovely Dina Meyer had to bleach her hair for no reason, and Leon's jokey dude is one "oh hell nah!" away from being offensive. Don't look to the townsfolk for relief; not only are they idiots for not evacuating when asked to, they also all seem to be deaf and partially blind because they don't hear or see the person being assaulted literally right next to them. Say what you will with the old giant black scorpions and spiders that wish to fight Earth, or hell even EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS, at least those films have some kind of charm and can be stably viewed. BATS instead is just pure guano.


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