Bats is one of those movies where you have to get popcorn just to throw it at the screen. It is one of those movies where you have to make fun of those little kids scared out of their wits three rows behind you on the other side of the theatre. Most of all, however, it is one of those movies where you have to provide a running commentary.
My theory on this is that, as the mind sees such a bad product, it begins to make some sense of it by turning it into a comedy. After all, any movie where I can emerge from the theatre saying "once again, man has made the world safe from small mammals" might just provide Post Traumatic Stress Disorder without a bit of sardonic humor implanted into it.
The plot of Bats is so very old that I had to wonder if the movie was vaulted. Vaulted is the industry term for a movie that was deemed unfit for release when it was made but is getting released now because a star or director of it had recent popularity.
Bats centers around two virus-infected carnivorous bats that were genetically altered by a mad scientist and are now infecting a good portion of the bat population around Gallup, Texas. Every night, they come out of their cave and attempt to eat everything in sight. Of course, even though they're supposed to be omnivorous, they skip right by the all-you-can-eat-buffet of grass and go straight for the Grade-A meat known as a fat Texan hick.
To stop these bats, Shelia Casper (Dina Meyer) and her assistant Jimmy (rapper Leon) team up with straw-chewing sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips). What follows is an hour and a half of your best one-liners, insulting a movie that begs for it.
For a vague approximation of how bad the movie actually is, think back to all of those schlock horror films of the 1980s. You know the ones I'm talking about... the films that made people stop making horror films (and then Kevin Williamson came along with Scream).
Better yet, think to any episode you might have watched of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the show where three individuals are forced to watch the worst movies in history and end up cracking jokes on them. When you think in this frame of mind, it's easy to figure out what it will be like watching the film. You will find that you have inside of you more great one-line insults then you ever imagined! Your creativity will be honed!
For this reason, I say that Bats is a fine film to see with a group of friends. Go ahead and watch it, but don't expect thrills. Don't expect chills. Expect laughs... at what comes out of your best friend's mouth.
Dina bites... er, gets bitten.
Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Friday 22nd October 1999
Distributed by: Destination Films
Production compaines: Destination Films
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 35
IMDB: 3.6 / 10
Director: Louis Morneau
Screenwriter: John Logan
Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips as Sheriff Emmett Kimsey, Dina Meyer as Dr. Sheila Casper, Bob Gunton as Dr. Alexander McCabe, Leon Robinson as Jimmy Sands, Carlos Jacott as Dr. Tobe Hodge, David McConnell as Deputy Wesley Munn, Marcia Dangerfield as Mayor Amanda Branson, Oscar Rowland as Dr. Swanbeck, Juliana Johnson as Emma, James Sie as Sergeant James, Ned Bellamy as Major Reid, George Gerdes as Chaswick