Bats (1999)

Directed by Louis Morneau
Written by John Logan
Starring Lou Diamond Philips, Dina Meyer, León, Bob Gunton, Carlos Jacott

My Advice: Wait for MST3K.

Bats really get a bad rep, considering that for the most part all they want to do is hang upside down, eat fruit and bugs, and not appear in a Joel Schumacher film.  But now--!  They've gone berserk, and for some reason they're swarming over a town in Texas, and they want BLOOD!  Only the town sheriff (Philips) and two batologists (Meyer and León) can stop them before the belfry is full and the night comes alive! Moohoohahaha!

What an egregiously bad sack of guano this film is.  It's so bad that Destination Films is being slapped by a lawsuit from the Bat Anti-Defamation League.  Destination appears to be destined to fish out films that should have been sent to Direct-to-Video Hell and drop them instead in your local movie house--this if you consider the Eye of the Beholder trailer that appeared in front of this film.  Bats is the kind of film you would rent from the movie store on some night when you're going to have ten of your friends over and just need something pathetic to heckle. 

As for the acting--Philips seems to be slumming, waiting for Young Guns 3 to get greenlighted.  Meyer looks good, and also looks like she might actually be trying to make something of the script--but it's so laugh out loud formulaic that there is literally nothing there to for her hands to find purchase on.  The only person who seems to be having fun and wants the audience to join in is León, who plays the role of the "Can't we just get out of here?" guy with the end result being some minor amusement.  But he can't save this film.  Nothing can.  The dialogue is so bad it's insulting, the characters are not even cardboard cutouts and on the whole it can only dream of achieving campiness.  Somewhere in my heart of hearts, I was hoping for another Tremors, or at least the level of humor associated with Lake Placid.  Instead, the only laughs are unintentional, such as Gunton's speech where he declares "I'm a scientist!"  And the only fear comes from wondering if the cinematographer is all right, since every bat attack is accompanied by what looks like a grand mal seizure on his part.  Stay the hell away from this film.  You were warned.

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