`bats' is an insulting slap across the face for any dedicated horror movie fan .
to pull something like this off , you need to have a sense of wit and style , with a heavy dosage of humor to back up the process if the fright factor ever declines .
something like the underground worm thriller `tremors' had just the perfect mixture of these elements , and in return , the film was tremendous fun .
with the notable exception of a wisecracking supporting player , `bats' mainly plays it's premise for straight-arrow horror .
judging by the ridiculous premise , this was not exactly a wise move .
the movie attempts to capture the essence of alfred hitchcock's `the birds' , but fails miserably .
done right , it could have been adequately amusing halloween cinema .
unfortunately , `bats' is a prime example of a formula movie done terribly , terribly wrong .
the only thing amusing about this festering pile of guano is in how intelligible the filmmakers anticipate their core audience to be .
i will recite the following paragraph in a manner that will reach the audience of individuals to whom `bats' is aimed toward .
those guys in hollywood have made a movie about bats .
these bats are not very nice , because they eat a lot of people .
boy , are these bats ugly .
they are infected with this bogus virus that makes them super-duper smart .
they've got big claws and red eyes and they are not very friendly at all .
a whole bunch of people in texas get killed , so a sheriff guy and a scientist lady are brought in to kill the bats .
they have big guns and other cool things to fight them with , but the bats are pretty smart , so it's sorta hard to do .
the bats swoop down and they shoot at them to make they go away for good .
but no , `bats' is probably too violent for pre-schoolers .
the film , directed by louis morneau , should have ventured straight into video stores .
on the small screen , perhaps more fun could have been derived with lower expectations .
but sitting through this crapper on the big screen is almost awkward ; although at a few moments it becomes a guilty pleasure , the film is poorly written , poorly acted and executed with glaring ineptitude .
even the bats themselves are cheesy , and the attack sequences too rushed and jittery to be properly enjoyed .
the sheriff in the story is emmett kimsey ( lou diamond phillips ) , who embodies every pathetic stereotype a small-town authority figure usually portrays ( he chomps on a cigar , struts contentedly in his boots , etc . . . ) .
the scientist is dr . sheila casper ( dina meyer ) , who specializes in flying mammals and is classified as `the best in her field' .
meyer uses a lot of technical terms designed to make the movie seem more intellectually capable , but everything about dr . casper is recycled beyond recognition .
her memories of how she became hooked on the topic of bats sounds suspiciously like oceanographic student matt hooper's tale of how he became infatuated with sharks in `jaws' .
everything revolving around `bats' is tired drivel , which desperately requires some directorial style or acting capabilities to spruce it up .
the supporting cast could have been constructed out of straw , with voices dubbed in later .
in fact , that may have worked out better in the end .
take one glance at casper's bat-loathing sidekick jimmy ( leon ) , and you'll have immediate deja vu - he's the exact same humorous buddy caricature from every other movie , constructed specifically for timed comic relief .
unfortunately , none of his comic interludes are funny .
in the role of deranged mad scientist dr . mccabe , the reliable bob gunton gets cornered with the most hideously idiotic character in the bunch .
mccabe `accidentally' released two experimental test subjects , and the virus spread to other bats .
the entire town of gallup , texas is under attack from an enormous swarm of the creatures , but gunton appears to be inconspicuously contemplating something else .
something like : `when is the damn movie going to be over ? ?
i just want my money . '
the bats are ugly , i must say .
there's the occasional moment where they look moderately convincing , but mainly , the swarm is represented in cheesy digital imagery .
only bits of the bloody action even hint at the campy fun the film could have been , but by the absurdly stupid climax , it's way too late in the game for a decent recovery .
characters experiment in slaughtering the bats with gunfire .
let's explore the logic there : is this really a very efficient way to decrease the bat population ? ?
you could empty an entire clip at the flying winged serpents and not even wound one , and after that there are only 18 , 000 more of them .
this kind of behavior represents the regular level of intelligence behind `bats' .