With a title like “Bats”, you shouldn’t expect much from a film. But no amount of low expectations could truly prepare you for the horror of watching this film.
In the small Texas town of Gallup, a whole flock of flying rats has set up shop. If they aren’t stopped, soon they will take over the world! For these aren’t just your average ordinary bats…they’re SuperBats, created by the mad scientist Professor McCabe (Bob Gunton), just because he could. Taking a pair of the largest bats in the world (flying foxes, no less), McCabe purposely infects them with a manmade virus which increases their intelligence a hundred fold, gives them telepathic capabilities, and, oh yes, gives them a craving for meat…just for a little spice.
Leading the charge against the furry flying fiends is none other than Gallup sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips). To help, he’s enlisted the aid of world-reknowned bat expert Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer), and her wacky, claustrophobic, comic-relief assistant Jimmy (Leon).
Of course, for some reason the screenwriters forgot to mention, Kimsey and Casper invite the evil, cackling McCabe to be part of their inner war council. Normally, when someone begins cacklingly maniacly and frothing at the mouth, drooling over how his new improved SuperBats are perfect killing machines, you’d lock him in a closet, not share your top secret bat defense plans with him. But, then, that would require the characters (or the screenwriters) to own a shred of intelligence.
Of course, audience members with a shred of intelligence will be promptly vacating the theater once they hear snippets of the horrific dialogue and sample the cut-rate special effects. In a cheesy horror film, you don’t expect top of the line craftsmanship…but this is ridiculous.
The film has some campy, so-bad-it’s-almost-good qualities…but not enough to last past the first fifteen minutes. By the time we learn that bats don’t really use sonar (they just see the world under a red filter), and see a crude series of animated smudges obscure the full moon, we’ve entered so-bad-it’s-bad territory…and it only gets worse from there.
What was Lou Diamond Phillips thinking? As the “name” in the cast, he held the most to lose, and has promptly lost it. At least his performance in the film isn’t bad, all things considered. He’s the one-note good guy, but at least he’s not as obnoxious as Bob Gunton or Leon.
Consider yourself warned. Bats is pathetic even by cheesy monster movie standards.