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bats is this year's camp flick .
with the world's worst dialogue , cheesiest premise and stupidest editor , this one should be heaven for those who enjoy films humorous in their inanity .
as for the rest of us , well . . .
i'd say skip it , but looking at the box office figures for this one , it seems as though most of america is following that advice anyway .
follow their lead and you'll spare yourself 90 minutes of your life and 8 bucks to boot .
i love alfred hitchcock's the birds , almost as much as i love the short story on which it is based .
it saddens me even more , then , to see that american treasure ripped off so blatantly by wannabe horror/schlock such as bats .
when mysterious bat attacks occur in a small texas town , the authorities call in a batologist ( dina meyer ) to investigate .
it turns out that a creepy scientist ( bob gunton ) has genetically enhanced a couple bats that escaped from his lab , making them smarter and more vicious .
why has he done this , you ask ?
because , you see , it is apparently a scientist's job to make things " a little better , " even if that means the death of all mankind .
so the batologist , her wisecracking sidekick and the town sheriff ( lou diamond phillips ) have to kill all the bats and save the world .
of course , that can't happen before they wallow in some guamo ( bat shit , for the uninitiated ) , get up close and personal with some truly repulsive flying mammals and survive some of the dumbest situations ever seen in a professionally produced motion picture .
consider , for example , a scene where two people are in a bat cave .
the bats are all sleeping , but the humans are afraid they might wake up before they can get out .
what do they do ?
do they get the hell out of there as fast as they can ?
nope .
they stand there for a while , transfixed by the thousands of bats opening their eyes .
what keeps bats from being scary or creepy is the hyperactive editing in most of the attack scenes .
we don't even get to see what's going on ; the screen becomes a mush because the cuts are so quick .
all we know is that bats are attacking .
how they are attacking and what exactly is happening remains a mystery .
a little technical proficiency does wonders for horror movies , and bats sure could use some .
of course , director louis morneau tries to liven things up with some intentional humor , but it is so conventional it doesn't really go anywhere .
most of the ocmic relief comes courtesy of the batologist's wisecracking sidekick ( leon ) , who takes every opportunity to sputter ingenious lines like " i hate bats ! "
some of these are so bad that they take on a double quality : they may inspire a smirk by their very nature and a roaring laugh because they are so inept .
i hate characters who exist for the sole purpose of spouting lame one-liners .
playing such characters does not help actors' careers .
still , i suppose that if you're looking for a movie that is " so bad it's good , " you could do worse than bats .
it does have a tremendous amount of camp value .
i'm not " recommending " the movie because , quite frankly , it sucks , and i know that this might convince some people to go out and see it .
more power to them .
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