"Bats" is a typical science-fiction horror-thriller which has very little to recommend it, and a great deal to dissuade you from stepping into the theater. A crazy scientist [Bob Gunton as Dr. Alexander McCabe] tries to alter the natural balance of things by artificially creating almost-human intelligence in bats. Normally peaceful fruit- and nectar-sipping creatures, the result of this genetic tampering creates a new breed of intelligent, savage bats with an uncomfortable penchant for human blood...and the peaceful town of Gallup, Texas will never be the same again.
Naturally, if there's a mad scientist, there should also be a good guy - and in "Bats", he takes the shape of the local Sheriff, Emmett Kimsey; he's ably assisted in his task by the beautiful Dina Meyer, who plays Dr. Sheila Casper, an expert on bats. Together, the intrepid duo face all kinds of danger in their attempt to save the town and its people, and prevent the winged menaces from escaping the confines of Gallup and wreaking havoc on the rest of the country. Naturally, the military is also involved, giving the whole situation an even more unreal feel.
As a movie, "Bats" somehow fails to hit the sweet spot - at times, it reminds you of "Jurassic Park", and at others, of the truly terrible "X Files" flick. The problem is not so much with the cast, but with the story - it's simply too improbable, even for a sci-fi/horror flick, and even the clever touches of humour fail to make a difference. Our suggestion: watch this one only if you're really stuck for entertainment...This article was first published on 22 Mar 2000.