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Nice chiller starred by flying foxes , fast-paced , and well directed by Morneau
ma-cortes5 May 2008
Absolutely surprising carnivorous bats tale , derived from abysmal story . The film starts in Skull Valley , Arizona, where the scientific Casper (Dina Meyer) and his assistant Jimmy (Leon) are investigating about bats . They're brought by a government scientist (Bob Gunton) to a small town called Callup , in Texas . There appears a pack of carnivorous bats that prey on citizens , terrorizing the small community . The chiroptera specialist Casper , his helper , along with a policeman (Lou Diamond Phillips) attempt to stop the genetically altered flying foxes before the military comes into action , bombing the caves.

This is a slam-bang chiller about flying foxes , full of scares and lots of blood and gore . It delivers the goods with suspense , tension and hair-raising chills ; plus , the astonishing special effects of this nature , as the ferocious bats seem alive . It's an eerily effective thriller , quite entertaining , though many will undoubtedly find repulsive when the bats attack and eat their victims . The tale can't bear such close scrutiny , but while this thrills ride is going, you won't mind . With a final budget of 5.25 million, the film went on to gross well over 30 million worldwide in theatrical , DVD , Digital and Television sales . Although considered somewhat unsuccessful at the time, the film recouped its entire budget during its first week of release . The vampire bats are splendidly made by means of Animatronics in charge of Robert Zurtzman , Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger . The bats in the film were a combination of Animatronics, CGI , and 2 live bats. The 2 original bats in the film were brought over from Indonesia . The acting is uneven , an attractive Dina Meyer , Lou Diamond Phillips as the patrolman who along with the scientific facing off the creepy bats and killing them in their caves . Bob Gunton is an oddball baddie acting as a mad doctor and the comic relief in charge of Leon .

Interesting screenplay by John Logan , today writer for blockbusters (Aviator , Last Samurai , Star Trek : nemesis , Time machine) . Produced in just under 6 months , the picture continues to hold one of the top spots for fastest produced 35mm feature films to receive a wide-release . The motion picture was well directed by Louis Morneau , in his best movie . He's a B series director, with no much success (Hitcher 2 , Retroactive , Quake , Soldier Boyz , Carnosaur 2). With similar premise , ten years earlier (79) was shot the movie titled ¨Nightwing¨¨ directed by Arthur Hiller with Nick Mancuso , David Warner and Kathryn Harrold , but it was a flop, this one is a superior film .
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Watchable...if you view it a certain way
Wizard-83 July 2000
This is not a very good movie. If I had seen it at a theater, I would have felt ripped off, certainly. But at home, I watched it with an undemanding mood, and with the feeling this was a basic update of a low budget animal-attacking movie of the '70s. Seeing it that way, the movie was good enough to pass the time. No more, but I wasn't bored.

Certainly, there's a lot of the movie that's dumb. Some of the puppets and computer generated effects look really bad. The black character is only there for humor, and his treatment is somewhat offensive. Lou Diamond Phillips can't act. Sometimes you can't tell what's going on with all the close-ups of flapping wings and bad editing.

There are a few good things. Some of the cliches I was expecting actually didn't happen. (For one thing, the authorities are quick to the danger for once.) The cinematography is excellent, and occasionally the movie has a "big" feeling that makes it look more expensive that its $6.5 million budget.

So if you like B movies, are feeling undemanding, and can see it cheaply or for free, you might want to give it a try.
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Help!…Save us, Batman!!
Coventry16 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
"Bats" is not so much a 'bad' film; it's just very ordinary and déjà-vu. This is your typical creature-feature about a genetically mutated animal-species (in this case: bats, duh!) that becomes a little TOO intelligent after the experiments performed on them and turns against the creators. And of course the two escaped lab-bats infect the normal ones and pretty soon an entire Texas town is overcome by millions of carnivorous bats! It's up to zoologist Dina Meyer, her dim assistant Leon and sheriff Lou Diamond Phillips to prevent that this plague spreads itself throughout the entire United States. This film has quite a few good aspects going for it, but also too many negative ones and the latter make this is a generally unmemorable and lacking horror film. The most important positive element about "Bats" is that the screenplay doesn't waste any time! There clearly is a bat-problem and all the characters immediately acknowledge this. Usually in this type of B-movies, it takes another boring hour or so before everyone accepts that harmless little animals can turn into bloodthirsty monsters. Unfortunately, this is where the praising stops…After the no-nonsense opening sequences, the film turns into an endless series of dull clichés, lousy dialogues, bad acting and terrible special effects. In fact, there are no special effects! The numerous bat-attacks exist of wide pan-shots of the sky but when the critters eventually descend to assault their preys, everything becomes all blurry and you can't possibly make out what's happening. It's hard to take the acting leads seriously (Dina Meyer as a Doctor??) and Leon's character is just a dreadful stereotype of the petrified and witty assistant who brings some comic relief. Worth watching if you really don't have anything better to do…
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This Is NOT As Bad As Critics Say!
Elswet13 May 2007
As usual, I find myself on the opposing side of the critics. This movie has NO BUSINESS in the bottom 100 here at IMDb! It's FAR from a masterpiece, but it's also just as far from deserving that low a rating.

As is often the case, whenever you have a good monster/creature feature, lurking somewhere in the shadows is a mad scientist. Such is the case in this film. In fact, I found the mad scientist a tad too mad. I think that is the main contributor to the low ratings this movie receives here at IMDb. The "doctor's" performance went WAY over the top. Well, he's supposed to be insane, but he plays it like pure camp, and that's horribly out of place in this otherwise serious work concerning a lab experiment gone awry...or has it?

The animated/CGI bats are well done, and all performances besides the doctor are enjoyable and on target. Unfortunately, he was bad enough to have brought down the whole film.

This is fun, generates some good suspense, and isn't afraid to show you the nemesis. The story itself is quite competent to hold up, and does, IF you can ignore the wretched performance given by Bob Gunton. I must say that I do not believe it to be wholly his fault, as he has given some great performances in the past, and since. The fault must lie with the director, Louis Morneau, who has never done much of note.

I like this film and can enjoy it, in spite of the doctor, and do find myself watching it from time to time.

It rates a 6.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Meanwhile Back In The Bat Cave
bkoganbing12 November 2008
Bats, a film that should have premiered on the Science Fiction channel on cable, somehow got a theatrical release. If it had been made fifty years earlier I can definitely see Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi in the part that Bob Gunton plays as the mad scientist.

The scariest thing about Bats is not the creatures themselves although they are the ugliest looking things this side of the Black Scorpion. The scariest part of the film was Bob Gunton's portrayal of the mad scientist who created this race of killer omnivirous Bats. He's identified as working for the Center For Disease Control. I was watching this figuring out how this creep got government clearance.

Yet Gunton is the most enjoyable thing in this film. And you got to love the fact that he had all these government facilities to work with, he's not hidden away in some laboratory in an old castle the way Karloff and Lugosi used to be. He's bred this race of flying fox bats from Indonesia which are aggressive to begin with and they've taken up residence in a bat cavern in Lou Diamond Phillips's county where he's the sheriff.

After several suspicious deaths with mutilation, the cause is identified and zoologists Dina Meyer and Leon Robinson are brought in to clean out the bat cave. If you care about how and if they do it by all means watch the film and the hint is, think blob.

Bats will never go down as a great science fiction classic, but it does have a certain campiness to it. And Gunton is a hoot.
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Very silly but fun.
BA_Harrison5 September 2014
Bats is a very generic late-'90s killer animal flick that follows most of the genre rules to the letter. All of the expected characters are present and correct—untrustworthy government scientist, brave local sheriff, doomed-to-die deputy, dedicated (and sexy) animal expert, wise-cracking sidekick—and the plot develops in an extremely predictable manner, opening with young couple alone in the dark falling victim to the bats, before introducing a whole townful of potential victims, and climaxing with our brave heroes risking their lives in a showdown against the deadly critters.

It all gets very silly at times, with perhaps the most unbelievable scene being the securing and electrification of a whole school by just four people in the space of a few hours, but it still proves to be quite a bit of fun, director Louis Morneau keeping the action moving at such a swift pace that such nonsense is fairly easy to forgive (unlike the director's tendency to 'skew', stretch and blur the image during the frenzied bat attacks, which I found bloody irritating).

What really helps to elevate this formulaic nonsense to slightly-above-average are the solid cast and some fairly decent special effects. Dina Meyer (of Starship Troopers fame) and Lou Diamond Phillips make for a likable protagonists, and Leon is far less objectionable as 'token comedy relief black guy' than one might expect. As for the bats, they're a mixture of more than reasonable CGI and nifty puppetry from KNB; my only gripe, FX-wise, is a lack of splatter—a bit more gore would have been very welcome.
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Movie Nuttball16 November 2004
I really like this film Bats! Lou Diamond Phillips, Dina Meyer, Bob Gunton, and Leon stars in this picture. The movie in My opinion has non-stop Bat action! The actors especially Phillips and Meyer have very good performances. I like the way the movie is filmed. Everything is bright and I think that the camera work is awesome! The Bats are really neat and scary looking little creatures. I love the effects when they fly every where and across the moon! The music by Graeme Revell is very good. Everything else is very good in this movie. I don't know why it is currently on the IMDb bottom 100: #84. I have no clue. The film in My opinion has just about everything and the killer Bats are great! I recommend everyone who loves monster films to ignore the bad rating and comments and watch Bats today because its great film and I strongly recommend it!
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It's Creepy
AlanBryan211211 October 2002
This is NOT a bad movie and it follows the novel it was based on pretty well. I enjoyed it. I even bought it on DVD. Don't expect Minority Report here. This is simply B-Movie Fun. Lou Diamond Phillips is fine in his role as the local law. The guano jokes abound. And like someone said...there's even a mad scientist!!!
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I'm shocked how low this movie is rated, it's FUN
turtleandnoise18 January 2004
This is a fun, fun film that's worth having fun with it despite many of the reviews to the contrary. I enjoyed the cheesy aspect of this film, it's almsot classic watching Lou Diamond Philips shoot bats. It's in the vein of They Live and movies of fun campy nature. Don't let the low rating fool you. See it, enjoy it.
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Good film for B-level horror, however script could have used some work
movievideogamelover16 June 2008
This film is basically about a bat attack and a scientist is brought in to help figure it out. I won't reveal more about this story but however I do have to say two good things about the film: 1.The CG was very good considering the budget was $37 million dollars.

2.The bloody bat attacks were great and the R rated film is my preferred version instead of the original PG-13 versions.

However to balance the issue (not like Fox news), I will say two bad things: 1.The Script was mediocre at best, being a short film screenwriter, it was made for B-level but some of the dialogue sounds like a straight-to-video movie.

2.The Score is way too obvious and a little bombastic.

All in all, this is a very good attempt to make a B-level horror film, now if they had made a better script and did some better marketing, this film would have earned more than $10 million dollars domestic gross I give this film 7 out of 10
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a corker of a film! bats will knock your little cotton socks off!
uvac328 November 2005
A fantastically awful film, 10 out of 10 for effort! the special effects are horrifically cheesy, but that only adds to this films appeal!

lou diamond phillips tries valiantly to pretend that he's in a proper movie, but even his efforts cant save this late night guilty pleasure from stinking.

every horror movie cliché (and I'm using the word 'horror' here in a purely generic sense) is employed to little effect. my particular favourite involves two 'naughty' teenagers, getting up to consensual mischief in a parked car.

despite all this, 'bats' is a must-see film, if only so you can know how truly terrible it really is!
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The Most Awesome Movie Ever
VKM28 April 2000
Ladies and gentlemen of film industry jury. So many bad things have been said about one movie entitled, Bats. I don't understand how this can be done. For there's a simple fact one should have realized before seeing the was going to be BAD!

This movie is a classic Lame Killer Animal Movie. Hence, there in lies it's appeal. If you went into watching this movie looking for a thrilling terrifying scary horror movie, you should have known better. Just like Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea, Anaconda, etc, killer animal movies are great for great laughs. And this is no exception. It's awesome. Before you see a movie, and pass judgement on it, know what you are getting yourself into! Genetically altered killer BATS isn't exactly scary to me...and I knew it was going to be bad before I saw it. Which makes it all that much better. We need to stop taking movies like this so seriously, and realize the comedy that lies there in.

Thank you. And remember.

watchoutforthebats theyregonnagetcha BATS BATS BATS theyregonnagetcha BATS BATS BATS theyregonnasuckyadry
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Werewolf-620 February 2000
I saw this movie opening night and I still remember chuckling at it. I was entertained. That's what we see the movies for, right? To be entertained? Well. Maybe that isn't always the case. In any case I enjoyed this movie and will add it to my "bad" movie collection, if not to complete the Dina Meyer 4 (Starship Troopers, Johnny Mnemonic, Bats and Dragonheart)
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Not bad, not bad at all (8/10)
alt24 October 1999
I really liked this movie. Of course, if you're cynical, you might be better off not going to see this. Just stick with whatever movie you saw a long time ago that you think is better than everything now a days. On the other hand, if you really like movies for what they are, you'll probably have fun watching this movie. Everybody in the audience I was in seemed to have a great time watching this as did I. The dialogue was funny and not ALL that predictable. The acting was not bad, it was actually pretty good. I really liked Dina Meyer in this (although she looked better with curly hair). Anyways, this movie will be liked by kids and anyone who goes to the movies as a form ENTERTAINMENT. I'll probably see this once more and get it when it comes out on DVD. Don't let ME influence you, though. You should always make up your own mind. (8/10).
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"I don't know about the rest of you but I don't like anything climbing higher up the food chain than me, period." Sort of OK in a rubbish way.
Paul Andrews29 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Bats starts late one night in 'Gallup, Texas' where a young couple Quint (Tim Whitaker) & Emma (Juliana Johnson) are waiting at a level crossing for a train to pass, however as they wait they are attacked by bats & killed. Cut to 'Skull Valley, Arizona' & Dr. Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer) is the foremost expert in her field, the field of bats. So it comes as no surprise that sinister Government black suit wearing official Dr. Tobe Hodge (Carlos Jacott) asks for her help & expertise. Together with her assistant Jimmy (Leon) Dr. Casper is flown to the small Texas town of Gallup where Sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips) is trying to work out what happened to Quint & Emma, step in Hodge & genetic scientist Dr. Alexander MaCabe (Bob Gunton) who explain that they have created a new sort of bat, they have taken an ordinary Flying Fox & genetically enhanced it so they are more intelligent, stronger, bigger, work together & are totally hostile to any other living creature, oh & they also carry a viral disease which would infect other bats & turn them into vicious killing machines too. Even though they don't like it Dr. Casper & Sheriff Kinsey decide to help in order to save the town, however it soon become apparent that it won't be as easy as they first thought & it's not long before the entire town of Gallup is under attack from the winged killers...

Directed by Louis Morneau I thought Bats was an OK film in a brain-dead rubbishy sort of way, it isn't going to win any awards but for what it was I quite liked it (emphasis on the word 'quite'). The script by John Logan moves along at a nice pace & is never really boring or overly dull but is stuffed with loads of horror film clichés, the stuffy female scientist who starts to loosen up & become romantically involved with the brave hero, the annoying obligatory black comic relief character, the evil scientist who cares for nothing but his experiments & is finally killed by them, the shady Government figure, the heavy-handed military who are all gung-ho & cause almost as many problem's as the bats themselves, the disbelieving (at first) local townspeople & the isolated location. It's all here folks but it's done in a reasonably entertaining way that passes an hour and a half painlessly enough I suppose. The film lacks any real violence or gore, apart from an autopsy scene at the start Bats doesn't have enough of the red stuff. The climax where a swarm of bats are chasing our heroes through some mine shafts is fairly decent & manages to create some excitement although I'm not sure two human beings could outrun 1000's of genetically enhanced (bigger, better & badder than your average bat) bats in a straight race...

Director Morneau keeps things moving along, doesn't spend too much time on silly unnecessary character development & doesn't seem to take it all too seriously. However the bat attacks are annoyingly edited, loads of ultra quick cuts, so much so that it becomes confusing as to whats happening. Don't expect to see much during these scenes as it really does become a bit of a blur, maybe they are presented this way to hide the special effects up? The bats themselves look pretty cool although it's obvious their puppets.

With a supposed budget of about $6,500,000 Bats looks OK & is generally well made but that sounds like a lot of money considering what ended up on screen. The photography, music & production values are good if not spectacular while the special effects alternate between CGI & rubber puppets, both of which have their fair share of effects that work & effects that don't. The acting was OK but no one stands out except the token black comedy relief guy Leon who becomes highly irritating.

Bats isn't the best horror film ever made that's for sure, but it's far from the worst either. On a dumb predictable sort of level I thought it was watchable, worth a watch for horror fans but others may find it all rather silly & stupid.
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Simple but really exciting
varghesejunior16 July 2014
Watched this simply out of curiosity and turned out to be really good.

A bat research experiment goes haywire, producing killer bats that terrorize a town in Arizona, and it's upto a local sheriff,and 2 scientists to find and eliminate all of them before they can eliminate more human lives.

Its a short film, but really well shot, with good cinematography, action and thrills from start to end. The special effects are not as good as they are nowadays but nevertheless quite realistic. There is also no vulgarity which makes it suited for kids too.

I wish there was a sequel.
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I'm in the minority here.........but I LOVED this movie!
raymond-x-jacobsen3 February 2007
Everything a popcorn/horror movie should be, and more!! I was pleasantly surprised at how well-made this little shocker was, and to me it delivered all the goods. I thought the effects were a heck of a lot better than "Nightwing", and after sitting through the god-awful "The Roost", this looks like an Oscar contender!! I thought the story served the effects well, and most were rather convincing, and the film had the charm reminiscent of older horror films from the 50's. Sure, it's not "Titatic", or "Gone With The Wind", but what were you expecting with a movie called "Bats"? Thoroughly entertaining in every respect, and certainly a few surprises here and there----perfect popcorn fodder for a rainy, dark night. Again, I know I'm in the minority here, but honestly it's a pretty good little film, and does exactly what the title says.
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Treats Its Audience Like Idiots
Theo Robertson25 November 2005
Horror is a very poorly regarded genre and you'll notice that the IMDb top 250 movies has a lack of horror movies in the list . Hardly surprising since much of these plots revolve around characters doing stupid things . As soon as someone says " Don't go into the woods at night " you know fine well what will happen . It's always puzzled me why the heroes go to Castle Dracula at midnight to kill the vampire when their task would have been much simpler if they'd waited till day break . BATS continues this type of trend but what makes it worse is the way it treats its audience like total idiots

Take the heroine Dr Sheila Caspar whose employed by a government agency because she's the world's most renowned expert on bats . The thing is that she can't be a day over 25 ! How long did she spend at university studying bats ? Two minutes ? It's a sad day indeed when the world's most renowned expert on anything looks barely old enough to frequent a bar . I suppose this is possibly forgivable since the producers thought no one over 18 would watch this ( They might actually be correct ) so decided to make the heroine sexy

What isn't forgivable is that BATS lacks any type of internal continuity or logic . In fact it's downright offensive on this score . The bats ( Which have to be seen to be believed ) attack a small town . What would you do if a swarm of bats attacked your town ? Would you lock yourself in a cupboard ? I know I would but for some incomprehensible reason people walking down a street don't seem to notice them until it's their turn to be attacked and despite people screaming and crashing their trucks which then explode people drinking in a bar don't seem to notice the chaos for a full five minutes . It also goes without saying that when one of the heroes is attacked they can literally fight off dozens of the critters but one bite from a single bat is enough to kill a nameless extra . If this was a STAR TREK episode most people would be wearing a red top

I notice that during the attack on the town the local cinema is showing NOSFERATU which seems to indicate a post modernist sophistication on the part of the makers but again would a small American town be showing legendary silent movies at the local cinema ? Highly unlikely and everything else in this movie indicates that the producers thought the target audience were complete and total idiots
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Seen it all before.
Boanthrope19 May 2001
Well, killer bats attacking people. Says it all really. This is a completely mediocre, unexciting, unoriginal example of the normally-harmless-animals-eating-people genre.

The special effects are ropey by today's standards and with it actually being difficult to convincingly depict bats (or even sometimes just a single bat) savaging a human the camerawork uses frantic, in-your-face close-ups of flapping wings and biting teeth, jumping from shot to shot and not allowing you to see what's going on properly. This soon becomes irritating.

Unfortunately, mediocrity permeates every aspect of this film. The acting isn't great, but it's not awful. The same goes for the script. As a result, it doesn't even descend into the so-bad-it's-good category (although there are one or two laughably bad moments). The film doesn't take itself too seriously though and there are a few attempts at humour.

In summary: not very good but not the worst film you'll ever see and hence, probably not worth watching.
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Will give American Beauty and Green Mile a run for the Oscars
Dan Grant8 November 1999
I think the Oscar race just got a little tighter when Bats was released into the market. This is clearly one of the best films that has come out this year. You can forget about the cynicism of American Beauty, the brilliance of Fight Club, the ingenuity of Three Kings and the mania that is Sixth Sense, Bats is set to go down as one of the greats up there with Jaws, Patton, Rocky, Annie Hall and Amadeus. I think future generations of Hollywood directors and writers are going to turn to BATS to see how it is done. John Carpenter's Halloween and Spielberg's Jaws used to be the bench mark when it came to horror, but this has put a whole new perspective into how to scare someone at the theater. When I left the theater my knuckles were a ghostly white from gripping the arm rests and when I looked on the ghastly faces of the hundreds of people leaving the theater, they all had the same expression. They were frightened. The show ended at about midnight and we were all anxious to get into our cars because we were afraid those cunning bats were waiting to get us, right outside the theater. Now that is good film making. Jaws made me afraid of the ocean, I think Bats is going to make me afraid of the night sky. I have never seen bats that look this real in a movie. Those fangs were so real looking that most of the budget must have gone into the production of those intricately designed bats. Fangs, eyes, and even their hissing sounds were realistic. What a fantastic film. If this isn't nominated at Oscar time for best picture and director, then I would say that something is up with the academy. I am still in awe and utter fear as I sit here and write this review of Bats. This is one of the scariest films that I have ever seen. WOW!!!

Okay, I just had to do it. I had to.

Bats is really one of the worst films to come out this year. But this is a film that is so easy to rip on that I thought it would be fun to do the exact opposite and just confuse the hell out of the readers for a minute or so. The only award this may be winning this year is the Raspberry awards. But you know what? Going into this film, I was expecting a really, really, really bad film. I only got a bad one, so that was unexpected and a nice surprise. I think I, like most other horror movie nuts enjoy a good "bad" horror flick at times. There is just something about cheese that is fun at times. And for that reason, Bats delivers. Everything you have heard about the film is true. It is all bad. The bats are laughable, the story is a joke and the writing is awful, even the commercials looked pretty bad. But there is one good thing going for it, and that is that it had a subtle homage to Jaws in it. The guy that first gets killed at the beginning is named "Quint" and when they do an autopsy on him, it wreaked of Hoopers little angry deposition in Jaws when he tells them that it wasn't a boating accident. And if you can pick up on little subtleties like that then the film is more fun. Really, this isn't all that bad, I mean it is bad, but there are really worse out there. Have you ever seen Truth Or Dare? I mean the movie where mental patients get a hold of a grenade and blow their own heads off? Well that is really bad, I mean really, really bad. And as I said, this is just bad. But I saw it in an empty theater during the day. Seriously, there was just me and a friend. And at AMC in Toronto, they have retractable arm rests so that you can put them back and use the seats as a couch, which is what we did. It was very comfortable and we enjoyed the movie quite a bit more that way.

Bats will probably be gone by the time this review gets to IMDb so you may not have a chance to see it at the theater, but if you are in a campy horror movie mood, then rent this when it comes out on video. You may enjoy it. I hope you didn't take my accolades too seriously at the beginning of the film, it was all in good fun. And remember, sometimes bad movies can be fun to see. You don't have to think, you don't really have to feel either. And you get to laugh at stupid people doing stupid things. Bats is a great example of that. If Bats is even ever mentioned in the same sentence as American Beauty come Oscar time, there will be a federal inquiry and Mr. Logan and the backers of this movie may go to a maximum state prison and his punishment would be to watch this movie every day of his sentence. Now that would be funny.
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It will probably get an Oscar or something...
djjoed13 June 2000
Wow, what an amazing movie. The computer that was able to locate bats coming through some kind of radar really impressed me. I need that program for my computer. Too bad it only exists in the wonderful world of "Bats". I am really happy to have spent $4.50 on this movie... because I realized just how one can waste millions of dollars on plastic bats that are of lower realistic quality than a Pizza Hut "Land Before Time" puppet. I mean seriously, this was a completely ridiculous journey through suck land. I have made better movies by accidentally hitting the record button on my camera while the lens cap was on... at Lame-Fest '98. Anyway, run away from this movie at all costs... even your life. Because you'll probably end up snapping your own neck to relieve yourself from the eyeball torture that "Bats" induces. If someone gives you this movie as a gift, do the following; cry and tell the person you have never been so insulted in your life; then slap/punch them; burn the movie and spend $25,000 to have the ashes sent to into space; move 2000 miles away and never talk to that person again. Yes, it is that bad.
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Bad title, bad movie.
Li-126 March 2003
* 1/2 out of ****

Prior to Bats, I'd never seen a horror film centered around the winged rodents before, so it's easy to be curious and skeptical about this film. But just as the previews proved, this is a pretty bad movie, not quite as terrible as I'd expected, but still quite the lackluster picture. The story is typical for any killer animal movie, meaning we get a few specialists (led by Dina Meyer) and the town sheriff (Lou Diamond Phillips) out to stop the mutated bats before they spread their chaos over the entire continent.

Easily Bats' weakest aspect is the dialogue and Leon's performance. Hell, the two even go hand-in-hand as it's Leon delivering most of the pathetic one-liners. Every time the guy opens his mouth, it's all it takes to keep from covering my ears, that's how embarrassing his stereotypical black man role is. Bob Gunton is almost as annoying as the mad scientist who caused the whole mess, playing the same role he always does in the same manner. Phillips is usually a fine actor, but he should stray from attempting a southern drawl. Dina Meyer is both talented and pretty, and fares the best here as the chiroptologist and heroine.

Director Louis Morneau has all of one good film under his belt (the underrated sci-fi/action thriller Retroactive), and a whole lotta crap beside it. Bats is an improvement over, say, Carnosaur 2, but it simply doesn't gel as the fun thriller it aspires to be. Aside from the small town massacre (an admittedly fun setpiece, the only thing keeping this above * star), the rest of the film lacks thrills, suspense, and a good sense of humor. While the movie does have a very slick, polished look, most of the visual effects are cheesy and the individual bat attacks are made into big blurs with Morneau's quick-cut editing and shaky camerawork. Hard to believe this is the same man who gave us all that thrilling action in Retroactive.

Bats concludes with the expected prolonged segment of our heroes entering the creatures' lair. But Aliens, this is not. The climax is just one long drag that ends in a predictable fashion. But the final scene, which breaks a standard horror movie cliche, delivers a good belly laugh that made me wonder why the whole film wasn't packed with this kind of humor.
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Holy bat poop, Sheriff!
Michael O'Keefe26 August 2000
The sleepy desert town of Gallup, Texas is terrorized by a large swarm of mutant bats. Sheriff Emmett Kinsey, played by Lou Diamond Phillips, needs help protecting his township from the large bats that not only are carrying a virus, but also are feeding on the towns people. A zoologist that is an expert on bat behavior, Dr. Sheila Casper comes to the rescue. Dr. Casper is played by Dina Meyer and not only is she smart, but she is top of the line eye candy. The bats are discovered roosting in an old mine shaft and the sheriff and bat doctor find themselves knee deep in bat poop.

This really is not that bad of a movie for a low budget thriller. The bat attacks do look pretty gruesome. The camera angles and lighting make the attacks seems very realistic. I mean for big ass bats coming out of the big West Texas sky.

Also in the cast are: Bob Gunton, Carlos Jacott and Leon, whose previous claim to fame is appearing in Madonna music videos. Creepier as the night grows darker. Give this one a try.
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This was a nice surprise and for a low budget film this was actually Good.
Sci-FiHorrorFan11 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I Liked this Film and I don't get the hate for the film I found it very entertaining and engaging and I thought the special effects were good. People say the film is not scary well what do you expect from a film about killer bats?. The film may not be scary but it was entertaining which is the whole reason we watch movies isn't it?. This film had a lot of exciting scenes in it. The film was well directed and well made and I liked the main three characters played by Lou diamond Phillips Dina Meyer and Leon. That's another thing I liked about this film there were actually (likeable characters) and most horror films don't have those but this did. I actually cared about what happened to these characters and I wanted them to Live. I found Leon funny and he gave good lines of dialogue and he was fun to watch. That's another thing that makes this film work,the cast was good. Lou diamond Phillips was also fun to watch and I found him to be a cool character and he played his role of the sheriff well. I also thought the acting from the three main people was Okay. I thought there were a lot of well done attack sequences especially the one at the start of the film which I thought was very bloody and brutal,I also thought the scene was shot well and the bats looked cool.

There were some well shot scenes in the film one that I liked is when two of our main characters are trapped inside a car and a swarm of bats completely cover the car,they cover it so much you can barely see it anymore and I thought that was a bizarre but interesting scene. There were scenes where dozens of people were getting attacked in the street and there were bats flying around everywhere in and out of shops,people were getting attacked in restaurants and things were getting blown up and there was non stop Action. I'm surprised most people don't like this film because I thought it was Action packed!. I also liked how our main three characters worked together to try and stop the bats and they set traps for the bats. I especially liked the scene were Leon burns a bunch of bats with a flamethrower I thought that was a very Fun scene. That's why I'm giving praise to this film because it was low budget and they used the budget well and they were still able to create a lot of exciting action scenes and Fun moments. This has a lot of Action for a low budget film,and I found the story interesting. The film also has a very exciting and intense Finale that had me on the edge of my seat. This film was fun and fast paced and I recommend the film.
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