Projections - Movie Reviews


Back in the nineteen fifties this style of science fiction film would have opened just as Bats does.  A young couple parked under secluded bridge is attacked by unknown flying creatures.  The cause back then would have been nuclear mischief.  Today it's genetic tampering.  For the young couple, it doesn't matter, they are the first victims of a new monster.

These Bats are the product of a crazy scientist's (Bob Gunton) notion they can be used as a military weapon.  The escaped bats find their way to caves outside Gallup, Texas and begin to breed a giant colony determined to attack humans.

Only Sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Dr. Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer) and Jimmy Sands (Leon), Casper's assistant, are available to save the world.

The most fun in Bats occurs in copy cat scenes from other films.  One example, bats fly over a playground which looks very much like the school yard in The Birds.  The bats look like Gremlins and swarm like bees.  What irritates is the constant use of close ups in fast moving scenes which blur what is happening.  These images are designed to show action and activity, but what good are they if they are too dark and too fast to absorb.

The war between humans and bats is carried on in a bat cave where millions of the mutated creatures live.  The scientists who developed this secret weapon never imagined that once released to destroy an enemy the bats would not know the difference and would kill all humans.  Hardware appears abundant, but looks familiar - perhaps from other recent action films.

With no story and no meaning the crazy intelligent bats run rampant on the townspeople.  The Army does foolish things and the two heroes cool down the bats to save humanity.  All of this is accomplished without frightening anyone in the audience.

Provided this film does enough business, I expect these computer generated bats will find a way to crawl out of the ground and get back flying across the moon to menace all of us again.


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