User Reviews (49)

  • Lucien Lessard31 January 2009
    Watchable but the filmmakers could had more fun with this premise.
    Dr. John Beck (Stewart Moss) and his lovely wife Cathy (Marranne McAndrew) fell into an underground cave. When his wife was attacked by a bat, he tried to help her but he ended up getting bitten instead. Beck thought the scratch was nothing until he found himself having horrible nightmares. He slowly turned into a bat creature! Beck began attacking innocent people for blood. The only one who could talk some sense to him was his wife.

    Directed by Jerry Jameson (Airport '77, Raise the Titanic) made a watchable but disjointed horror film that attempts to be truly scary but fails. Moss gives a good performance and there's early make-up effects work by the late five time Oscar-Winner,Stan Winston (Jurassic Park Trilogy, Aliens, Interview with an Vampire).

    The DVD is a double feature with "The Beast Within" from MGM. Although i think "The Beast Within" is a much better movie in my opinion.The DVD has a good anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and a decent Dolby Stereo 2.0 Surround Sound. "The Bat People" is a truly forgotten horror film. It is probably only notable for make-up effects for fans to see Winston's early f/x work. Michael Pataki has some fun as a slightly sleazy sheriff. Badly written and produced by Lou Shaw. (** 1/2 out of *****).
  • Coventry17 February 2008
    Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah BATMAN!!!!
    "The Bat People" is a proud resident of the IMDb Bottom 100. Every once and a while the movie suddenly vanishes from the infamous list, depending on whether there are new movies with Paris Hilton in the lead or documentaries about American Idol stars, but it always reliably returns sooner or later. And why? Because, unlike the majority of crap in that list, "The Bat People" is a legitimate bad film and it deserves to be on there regardless of any media influences or internet buzz! This nearly isn't the worst film ever made, since the basic concept definitely has a certain charm and ingenuity, but it's still indescribably difficult to sit through the whole thing. The script is incredibly boring, with absolutely unnecessary padding footage and gigantic gaps in continuity, and yet the main characters still remain total strangers throughout the entire film. Other than a sensible screenplay, the film also lacks spectacular killing sequences and the make-up effects – although courtesy of a young Stan Winston – are ludicrously inept and remain largely unseen until the end of the film. The film's title is inaccurate, as "people" refers to a number in plural whereas the story actually just revolves on one Bat Person. Much more than Bruce Wayne, the real Batman plays in this movie and he as well has a genuine Bat-cave and a Bat-mobile (a stolen ambulance)! The plot introduces a young couple on their honeymoon-weekend exploring caves. They wander off from a guided tour group and he gets bitten by a bat whilst trying to protect his wife from the animal's vicious attack. Worried that he might be infected with rabies, he undergoes an intense treatment at the local hospital, but still this doesn't prevent him from slowly transforming into a bloodthirsty bat creature. He kills random people at night and toys around with the suspicious police sergeant whilst his loving wife is still vastly convinced the awkward behavior is exclusively due to allergic reactions to the rabies treatment. Sure, honey! The script never explains why a bat would attack people and how come John always changes back into a normal human being at the dawn of a new day instead of gradually turning into a permanent state of bat-guano. So basically, "The Bat People" is a variation on the good old werewolf-theme, but obviously not a very interesting one. The concept showed a lot of potential, but somehow the sub plots center on whiny drunks and perverted Sheriffs instead of on ghastly monsters. Some of the settings and exterior filming locations look impressive, the misfit song playing during the credits is strangely catchy, there's a nice bit of gore during the climax (finally!) and main actress Marianne McAndrew is ravishing to look at (though not to listen to). This truly bad and boring film's current listing in the bottom 100 is spot number 80, and personally I hope it sticks somewhere in that region. The list simply wouldn't feel and traditional without "The Bat People".
  • slowtraincoming-126 September 2013
    Intriguing 70s Drive-in Movie, and a great DVD release!
    A ten star review may be reaching a bit, but notwithstanding some of the insipid and exaggeratedly low reviews here, this film DOES have a plot, takes it time getting there, and features good acting and a satisfying conclusion. If you purchase the MGM Midnite Movies DVD edition, you'll also be in for a visual treat as the movie is given a stellar transfer which serves as an effective time capsule of 70s drive- ins staples. Add in visual effects by Stan Winston (working on his FIRST feature (he would later go on to Terminator and Jurassic Park fame), and this stands as an interesting artifact, indeed. If you appreciate B films with merit, and if you also like bats, check out The Chosen Survivors, also available from MGM Midnite Movies, and also a 1974 release, which makes a terrific companion piece to this film.
  • HumanoidOfFlesh15 June 2005
    Terrible horror film.
    After being bitten by a bat in a cave,a doctor named John Beck undergoes an accelerating transformation into a man-bat creature.His wife assures him that there's nothing wrong with him,it's all just due to rabies or the anti-rabies drugs he's taking.The local cop thinks that John is responsible for several gruesome murders."The Bat People" by Jerry Jameson is one hell of a horrible film.The script is deadly dull and there is no gore nor nudity.This pointless piece of crap is so mind-numbingly boring that you'll scratch your head in a total disbelief after suffering through it.Even the design of a man-bat creature by a young Stan Winston is completely pathetic and unmemorable.Avoid this stinker like the plague.2 out of 10.
  • Mike Sh.31 July 2000
    Groovy, man.... far out!
    This movie may not be classic material (to put it charitably), but it does have a couple of things going for it. Not the plot, dialogue, production values, or anything else meaningless like that. But it does have a sense of time and place (a chic Colorado ski resort in the midst of the swingin' Seventies), and it does have Paul Carr as Dr. Kipling, the very archetype of the hip, swingin' Seventies dude. With the blow-dried coif (reminiscent of those old "Dry Look" ads), the bushy moustache, the deep, mellow voice and manner, and overall air of grooviness, Dr. Kipling is the ultimate in Seventies cool! Confident without being smug or arrogant, cool without being aloof, this man is a suitable role model for anyone to emulate.

    As for the movie itself, well, it bites.
  • Paul Andrews5 April 2007
    I actually thought it was OK.
    Warning: Spoilers
    The Bat People starts as a scientist researching Bat immunology Dr. John Beck (Stewart Moss) & his wife Cathy (Marianne McAndrew) take a public tour of an underground cave system, like a typical woman Cathy gets into trouble & ends up at the bottom of a crevice. John follows her down & he is bitten by a Bat, eventually they are missed & rescued. Better safe than sorry John checks in with Dr. Kipling (Paul Carr) who starts him on a course of rabies antibiotics, unfortunately John as changed & periodically transforms into a half-man half-bat type creature which has the antisocial habit of murdering anyone it meets & eating rats. Sergeant Ward (Michael Pataki) likes a quiet life & all these murders are upsetting him, he sets about tracking John down & putting an end to his murderous reign...

    Directed by Jerry Jameson & despite it's bad reputation I rather liked The Bat People, it certainly isn't any sort of masterpiece but as monster on the loose type thing I though it was watchable if nothing else. The script by producer Lou Shaw is hard to defend, if I'm honest its a bit slow, it can get dull at times, it's silly & never explains why John turns into the Bat creature he does & when all said & done not that much happens. But I still like it, for all it's bad points I liked it. I found the story quite cool & reminded of those monster films from the 50's & 60's, everything is played with deadly seriousness which I also thought gave the proceedings a certain silliness & there were a couple of effective scenes in here. The Bat People is one of those films I can't recommend as if I think about it with my head it's total crap but there's something in my heart which made me enjoy it, I'm sure monster film fans would like it to some extent although more casual viewers may want to skip it.

    Director Jameson does OK & I just love the 70's atmosphere, the clothes the fashions & the way it's shot. I thought the scene when John escapes from the hospital was funny, if your trying to escape from somewhere maybe stealing an ambulance with screeching sirens & flashing lights while dressed in a night gown isn't the best idea for not attracting attention. This was Stan Winston's second film as a make-up artist & he probably did the best he could on a low budget but if John turns into a Bat creature where are his wings? He looks more like a Werewolf to be honest. The murders are tame, there's no blood & the film doesn't linger on them.

    Technically the film is alright, it certainly looks better than a lot of low budget horror films that have been made within the last few years, the special effects are decent & the New Mexican location shooting adds a lot to the film. The acting is alright with Pataki as the sleazy police officer standing out.

    The Bat People is crap if I'm completely honest, having said that I liked it despite it's faults however I think many won't. Impossible for me to recommend but at least I've put a different & honest point of view across compared to most people who slate it.
  • NateW12 August 1999
    False Advertising!
    This movie promised bat people. It didn't deliver. There was a guy who got bit by a bat, but what was with the seizures? And the stupid transformation? Where was the plot? Where was the acting? Who came up with the idea to make this? Why was it allowed to be made? Why? Why? I guess we'll never know.
  • Mister-616 September 2000
    This movie causes rabies...
    Or maybe that's what it feels like. Anyway, "The Bat People" is about as flat as a rug, bland as a sack of flour and as exciting as a rock...and as intelligent as all three combined.

    Okay, plot in a nutshell (fitting vessel, that...): a doctor (Moss) gets bitten by a bat while checking out a cave with his wife (McAndrew) and subsequently turns into a bat - well, not exactly a bat but a bat-like creature that looks more like a werewolf who kills his victims in a first-person camera viewpoint....

    But then there's the business of the sheriff (Pataki), who is about the WORST kind of sheriff: the hick kind. He hassles people, he leers at married women, he steals handkerchiefs from haberdasheries (the FIEND!), he smokes with one of those cigarette holders in his mouth and talks at the same time, making him look and sound like Buford T. Justice in "Smokey and the Bandit" and (this is the worst part)... HE'S THE MOST LIKEABLE CHARACTER IN THE WHOLE FILM!

    The whole film, though, is just TV movie-of-the-week-like crapola (guano, in this case). It's an AIP, for crying out loud! What did you expect, Oscar caliber stuff?

    And what else can you say about a film that not even MST3K can save?

    How stars for "The Bat People", full version OR MST3K version!

    By the way, if there's ever a sequel for this movie, I'm burying my TV.
  • BloodTheTelepathicDog10 May 2011
    Attack of the Planet of the Apes Reject
    Sure, this isn't a good movie but I've seen a heckuva lot worse. The prosthetic hand Stewart Moss wears looks good but his face makeup after his transformation makes him look less like a bat and more like the ugliest extra in the PLANET OF THE APES. The "Bat Man" doesn't even have wings. This movie would have been much better had they used a monster that looked something like those creepy bat people on the Marc Singer BEASTMASTER film.

    This movie centers on married couple Stewart Moss and Marianne McAndrew, who are married in real life. Stewart is a scientist who plans on taking a side trip to a cave before he and the wife hit the slopes. When the old carnal desires strike a chord in Marianne, she sneaks her hubby off in the cavern for a little Neanderthal necking, but she slips down a hole and her hubby has to rescue her. In the midst of his rescue, he is bitten by a bat. The good scientist spends the rest of the film writhing about in hospital beds and motel rooms, and killing an occasional person here and there.

    THE STORY: $$ (The story is far too formulaic and fails to give us any sympathetic characters. Marriane McAndrew is the closest thing to a sympathetic character we have in this film but she is brash at times, referring to her husband and a doctor she hardly knows as "children" to their faces. Also, she complains to Dr. Kipling (Paul Carr) about her husband's new violent streak after his bat attack but the script fails to deliver in that regard. His "violent streak" consists of him telling his wife, in a rather laid-back fashion, to stay away from him while he suffers throes of agony in a hot tub).

    ACTING: $$ (Michael Pataki is the standout as the slimy Sgt. Ward who takes a great interest in the case. He is always on Stewart Moss' heels but is he more interesting in stopping a killer or bedding a distraught Miss McAndrew? Arthur Space as the drunk gives a very good performance and had me laughing. Marianne McAndrew does a fine job as the wife of a monster but Stewart Moss isn't all that convincing in his role as the main character).

    NUDITY: $ (Marianne McAndrew is naked under the sheets but you don't see anything from her. The sex scene is one the strangest in cinema history. Near the end of the film, Marianne is getting busy with her man when he changes into his bat form midway through the Barry White ballad).
  • Aaron137520 September 2001
    Title is kinda misleading
    Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this film on the television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000 under the title, It Lives By Night. That title is a lot better than the main one, The Bat People. The problem is that there is only really one person in this film to turn into a bat on screen, thus making the people part of The Bat People null and void. I guess Bat People does sound better than Bat Person. Granted, the wife was obviously becoming one, but she is never shown transforming in anyway. Heck, even the husband is shown one time in the film in full bat form. So, yeah, I would say they should go with It Lives By Night as the official title as the title Bat People suggests to me a whole race of people living in caves and terrorizing a small community which would have probably been a better film than this one. About the best things to be said about this one is the fact you get to see one of Stan Winston's earlier films which is not really a big deal seeing as how you only get to see the full makeup once and the mustache of the doctor! Seriously, it is not a horrible film, just kind of dull and annoying.

    The story has a pair of newlyweds going on an overdue honeymoon which apparently includes them going on a very boring cave tour. He is either a doctor of preventive medicine or a bat specialist, not sure which as the movie implies both. All I do know is that he wants to go on this tour to study the bats which makes me wonder why he could not get in and have a private tour? He is studying rabies, you'd think he could get in without having to deal with the boring tour guide droning on. Well, his wife feels frisky and they get stranded in a cave and he is bitten by a bat. Of course, this really does not cause the problems as he is shown suffering from nightmares before this even happens. I think it was his little secret that he wanted to turn into a bat. Well, at a crummy ski resort he starts showing signs of rabies and soon he and doctor mustache try to combat the condition, but seems it is more than rabies! He is turning into a bat person and killing and a sheriff that seems to have plenty of evidence to take the guy in, but would rather just hound the good doctor instead. The sheriff is an idiot, but I am still more inclined to root for him to take the good doctor in considering the good doctor is killing people for their blood while his wife says he has done nothing wrong despite the growing evidence and body count!

    As an episode of MST3K, it was rather good as there is a lot of fodder offered to them thanks to the film. From cave tours that happen days apart, but feature the same people, to a guy turning into a bat and a hobo who is very proud of his stink...this episode has it all! The bumps in this one are good too as they poke fun of the fact the wife looks vaguely like Mary Tyler Moore, they have a rabies shot bump and one featuring the guys on the satellite of love sporting a mustache like the doctor. An all around good episode and one of the episodes that just really brings it home that I prefer Mike episodes to Joel. They just always seem to hit on all cylinders in Mike's episodes. I do like Joel too, just seems he had more episodes that had dead spots and were a bit more clunky.

    So, this film was not great, but not completely terrible. I could easily name ten films or more that were not even done by MST3K that were worse, that being said I could easily name thousands of films better too. The effects are okay, Stan Winston did not really get to showcase his work in this one much as the full beast is only shown once and it seems to be only a simple makeup job. I usually associate Rick Baker with makeup and Stan Lee with mechanized props more. Perhaps the film could have bee a bit better had they had some nudity in it and some more kills as horror films in this time were beginning to skew more into that formula, instead it plays out more like a late 60's horror film that is less horror and more other things like drama and such.
  • FieCrier4 March 2005
    not so good, but not awful; some good locations
    A man wakes from a nightmare about bats. He and his wife go out into the desert for a picnic on their honeymoon. He seems to hear a strange noise, and she is disturbed by the sight of a bat crawling across their picnic blanket. He wants to go on a tour of a cave, which has something to do with some kind of work he is doing, but she wants to enjoy their honeymoon. She relents. They go on the tour, but leave the group to make out. She falls down a slope, where she is disturbed by insects. He follows her. He hears the strange noise again, and seems to know a bat is approaching; one does, and gets in her hair. He fights it off her, and it attacks him, biting his forehead.

    They get out of the cave, but when they are in a gondola at a ski resort, he starts having seizures in which he has hallucinations or visions of bats attacking people. He becomes angry when this happens. He's unable to drink alcohol without spitting it out. His wife worries about rabies, and he starts a Pasteur treatment for that, but reacts violently to the injection.

    And then some people are killed. We see parts of the man's transformation into a bat person. It seems it is not just in his mind. Whether the bat bite causes these transformations is not clear, since he already was having some symptoms prior to the bite.

    While the title seems inappropriate, the implication at the end is that the same thing is happening to another person. Not a very good movie, but I liked the variety of the desert, cave, and ski-slope locations, and some of the weirder scenes. I didn't think this was as bad as other people do, and I didn't think the 1999 movie Bats was as bad as others think either (I rated that one a 5/10).
  • bat-59 May 2000
    Really horrible
    Watching It Lives By Night makes you wonder, just who in the world greenlit this crap. A newlywed couple go spelunking on their honeymoon, get attacked by bats and the husband starts to run around in his pajamas attacking various people. And where exactly are they? They're in the desert, then they're skiing, then they're in a small town that looks like it has mountains nearby. The town is run by a sheriff who likes to watch and has a personal vendetta against whiny doctor boy. The ski hospital is run by a really groovy guy with a nice thick mustache and the wife looks like Mary Tyler Moore or Marilyn Quayle. There's no dramatic tension and the ending will leave you filled with anger. Special effects and makeup guru Stan Winston did the effects for this movie. I guess you have to start somewhere.
  • rickm-425 July 1999
    Wonder who thought this one up?
    Ok,so.....guy gets bitten by a bat and then turns into a bat (well,sorta). I can only assume this made sense to SOMEONE at the time! Aren't bats supposed to fly, use radar, and eat bugs instead of attacking humans tho?
  • skorzeny26 July 1999
    Not the *worst* MST3K movie ever, but...'s still a load of crap.

    As far as I am concerned, this movie is only notable as an early effort in the career of master make-up king Stan Winston (back when he was still listed in credits as "Stanley Winston". His huge talent is wasted on one halfway decent prosthetic hand, since the rest of the film's "horror makeup" consists of one bruised face and a lot of greasy sweaty faces. I mean, this is a movie about a guy turning into a bat, and aside from the above-mentioned hand, the only time he actually turns into a bat, it looks like they borrowed an ape mask from a bad 1950's werewolf movie.

    The acting is horrid, the plot paper-thin, the script awful, the music painfully bad, the ending lame, the effects laughable (except, as always, for the hand), and the directing is atrocious. Heck, even the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring this movie is mediocre.

    Okay, okay, to be fair, the scene with the hospital wristband is not THAT bad, but any movie that features a woman who turns into a bat after having sex with a man who was bitten by a me, avoid this movie at all costs. About the only thing I can say in its defense is that it isn't quite bad enough to be too bad even for an MST3K episode.
  • Rainey Dawn9 May 2016
    Better Than I Guessed It Would Be - Pretty Cool Film
    While this may not be the greatest B-film out there - it's certainly better than I guessed it would be. I found this one interesting, it's a pretty cool film.

    This really is your classic werewolf story - kinda like The Wolf Man but replacing wolves with bats. This becomes the story of The Bat Man. It's sorta Wolf Man meets Dracula merged together in one film in a roundabout way. So this film intrigued me.

    Naturally our character, Dr. John Beck, is told it's "all in his head" - he's not really or literally transforming. And there is a police sergeant (Sgt. Ward) that is suspicious of him for flat out murderer - medication or not he's a murderer. And our Bat Man goes on the run. There is a nice story to between Bat Man (Dr. Beck) and his wife Cathy.

    If you like the Wolf Man type of films and Dracula/Bats then give this film a chance. It's a B-film but a pretty good story. BTW I think this film is underrated.

  • AaronCapenBanner4 September 2013
    Dreary Horror Tale.
    Stewart Moss & Marianne McAndrew play a newlywed couple(married in real life as well) who go exploring Carlsbad Cavern, where Moss(Dr. John Beck)is bitten by a fruit bat after he falls into a hidden crevice. After he frees himself and goes home, he finds to his horror that he now transforms into a killer Man-Bat, who must drink blood in order to survive. He is helped by his sympathetic wife, but pursued by the local sheriff, who has designs on Mrs. Beck...

    Film has a distinct aura of melancholy about it, and isn't badly acted at all, but is awfully slow-paced, with inadequate make up F/X by future Oscar Winner Stan Winston. Has some distinct atmosphere at times, but ultimately fails, despite a haunting final scene.
  • Chase_Witherspoon30 April 2011
    Beware the bat ape
    Real life husband and wife team (Moss & McAndrew) are enjoying a delayed honeymoon on the ski slopes, when Dr Beck (Moss) is bitten by a rabid bat during a cave tour, transforming him into a murderous bat freak. Sleazy local sheriff (played by the reliable and underrated Pataki) suspects Dr Beck might be involved, but his efforts to catch him in the act are constantly thwarted. The metamorphosis scenes are pretty lacklustre to say the least; each time Moss' eyes roll back into his head, the grainy stock footage of bats appears amid psychedelic hallucinations, while he goes into convulsions on the floor.

    The doctor's lovely wife becomes completely deranged, impregnated with the bat freak chromosome after an intimate, 70's loop-style embrace. A spine-tingling score belies the tepid chills felt throughout the film, which struggles to build suspense and often seems like it's run out of road. Moss' conviction is admirable, but ultimately misguided, such is the over-the-top intensity with which he executes his characterization. McAndrew is a dark, brooding beauty, but with precious little to do except look neglected or supportive dependent on Moss' mood, and former 20th Century Fox studio player Paul Carr is also on hand to offer medical support.

    If perchance you're wondering what would a bat manimal look like, it's not dissimilar to one of John Chambers' primate creations from the Apes movies. Evidently, make-up man Stanley Winston was inspired by Chamber's creations, despite the fact these are bats, not apes. But that's a trivial detail.
  • dootuss8 November 2002
    This one stinks more than Bat Guano.
    This movie sucks so bad! It's about this guy who gets bitten by a Bat while he, and his wife are in a cave. He then goes through these symptoms, and then becomes a human bat like creature himself killing other people. The worst character has to be the sherrif (played by the guy who did the voice of George Liquor on "Ren and Stimpy"). He's a redneck, who leers at married women, steals hankies, hassles others, and he smokes with a cigarette holder in his mouth while he's TALKING!!! (I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this about that character) Sadly I think he's the best character on this movie too (which is bad).

    This movie overall is bad. The MST3K episode is the only way to watch this, just like with "Manos: The Hands of Fate", and "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank". You'll feel better in that position.

    This piece of trash gets a big, fat 0/10!!
  • wink_man0124 March 2000
    Not the worst movie
    OK, don't let my summary fool you. This movie SUCKS HARD. But the worst movie ever? This movie was terrible in ways people shouldn't have to rack their brains to describe. But it is in no way worse than Manos: the hands of fate, hobgobblins, horrors of spider island, or a small handful of movies. As a review the movie sucks, it's terrible. Don't see it with out MST or you may develop health problems. But there are worse movies.
  • PsuedoBlood20 April 2009
    Warning this movie may give you Rabies.
    The movie is just as fun as staring at the sun.Sheriff Pataki is a total retard that loves nothing better to do than sit on his fat rear making a smoke ring from his puffy cigars and drinking booze while the doctor acts like a zombie version of Nicholas Cage sucking up all that so called "Blood" which in reality seemed like Fruit Punch.

    Most of all the plotting seemed very horrid to even call this piece of crap a movie.The rest of the characters in this movie are total wastes of time, the ending was awful, the outlines were cheesy, and the scenes were terrible. What else more should I say to you viewers out there? My advice would be to get your Rabies shot if you've already watched the movie. This movie may give you the foam in the mouth if you didn't get your up-to-date shots.
  • Seb18 February 2009
    Boring bat yarn
    I didn't think I'd ever find a worse bat movie than "bats" with Lou Diamond Phillips but this is even more tedious. Dr Boring falls down a hole with Mrs Boring, after a tussle with a fruit bat he begins to have flashbacks to some stock footage you've already seen.

    A doctor tries to cure him of his painfully wooden acting with some injections but they don't work. In the course of Dr Borings transformation into a guy with a cheap monkey mask on the viewer is treated to the slowest car chase since OJ Simpson and a chat with a philosophical tramp.

    The ending's not bad though it's pretty obvious what's going to happen.
  • AngryChair13 October 2005
    A bat brand upon the brain.
    While exploring some caves with his wife, a doctor is bitten by a bat which causes some alarming side effects...

    Occasionally creepy atmosphere and some decent (though under used) makeup effects don't save this B horror flick from being a sub-par tale of man-becomes-creature. The Bat People aka It Lives By Night suffers from its senseless story that's awkwardly plotted and lackluster in pacing. The plot never seems to go anywhere much and the movie never offers an explanation for what happens, or even a satisfying conclusion for it all. The cast is fairly mediocre in their performances.

    Still I give the film some points for its haunting theme song and nice filming locations. The makeup work of the late Stan Winston is pretty good too, but it doesn't get much of a showcase here. A missed opportunity for sure.

    Definitely one of the lesser man-creature flicks out there.

    * 1/2 out of ****
  • lemon_magic22 May 2005
    Features the most blatant "Dennis Weaver as McCloud" impersonation in the history of cinema
    Warning: Spoilers
    I dunno try and try and try to be charitable towards all the B thru Z grade movies out there, but once in a while a particular movie just tests your patience until you want to slap everyone involved. "Bat People" (which I saw under the title "It Lives By Night") is just such a movie. You can't watch this without thinking that it really should have been an episode on "Night Gallery", and not one of the better ones, either.

    The movie has something to do with a doctor who gets bitten by a bat and consequently starts to morph into a Were-Bat who drinks human blood. (Actually, you'd think if he was turning into a real bat, he'd be eating mosquitoes by the gallon bucket, but because this is a cheap, lurid horror movie, blood's the word.) In spite of the fact that he has grand-mal seizures at the drop of a hat, and black-out episodes almost every night, his friend and fellow physician, Dr. Mustache Aspen-Extreme, insists that he's just having an 'allergic reaction' to the rabies shots. Meanwhile, the world's most obnoxious and stereotyped county sheriff suspects the doc of being responsible for the brutal murder and exsanguination of several local girls (and one wino). Also meanwhile, the doctor's wife decides that denial IS a river in Egypt and alternately patronizes him and nags him to distraction.

    It's not so much that the acting is bad - you can tell that the actors are making professional level choices, and are trying to bring some juice and life to the script, even the guy who plays the sheriff. (Okay, it IS pretty bad, but it's bad in a clichéd, wooden, professional way). It's just that everything about the acting, the way the scenes are paced, the costumes, the dialog, the script and the story line in general sets your teeth on edge and makes you want to, well, slap everyone involved.

    I think the movie had an outside chance at being a spooky, unsettling little cult favorite, BUT:

    1)The director needed to beat Michael Pataki, an experienced character actor, with a chair until Pataki agreed to ACT, and not just channel Dennis Weaver.

    2)He also needed to find a script that made a little more sense with regard to the whole "Bat Bites Human, Who Then Turns Into A Bat" scenario.

    3) He also needed the actor who played the doctor to find a little more physically believable bit of stage business for his 'episodes', instead of resorting to "Man Has A Seizure" page from the Little Golden Book of Clichéd Acting Mannerisms.

    4) He needed to rework the whole 'wife' character, make her both more intelligent, less shrill and waaaaay more observant.

    I would never voluntarily watch this film again, except with the help of Mike and the Bots. It's bad, but it isn't bad in a silly, humorous or interesting way. Still better than "Battlefield Earth" or "Waterworld", though.
  • gavin694224 October 2012
    Why All the Hate?
    After being bitten by a bat in a cave, a doctor (Stewart Moss) undergoes an accelerating transformation into a man-bat creature, which ruins his vacation and causes considerable distress for his wife (Marianne McAndrew, Moss' real-life spouse).

    So, yeah, there is a lot of unnecessary fluff, such as scene of skiing and sentimental music playing. But why the hate? We still have a cool transformation scene, not unlike a werewolf film... only into a much more awesome animal. Did the creators of this film read Detective Comics #400 (June 1970) and get inspired by Man-Bat? Maybe...

    Best of all, this was the first film for makeup legend Stan Winston. Say what you will about this film, but the effects are cool and Winston went on to some of the greatest projects in film history.
  • sddavis6316 March 2009
    A Lot Of This Just Doesn't Make Sense
    I didn't think this was as absolutely horrible as some people apparently do. It passes as one of those cheesy horror movies you might waste time with in the middle of the night when you can't sleep, although admittedly it's no better quality than that. It's true that the acting isn't great - I thought Marianne McAndrew as Cathy Beck, for example, came across as completely passionless - but the main problem is that several aspects of the plot didn't really make sense to me. The Becks are on a trip described by John (Stewart Moss) as part work and partly the honeymoon they never had (now that's romantic!) The work part has something to do with touring caves, which in itself sounds strange (how does being part of a tour group through a cave relate to anyone's work?) but it gets stranger when we find out that he's a doctor doing research in the area of preventative medicine (huh? That connection completely lost me.) Bitten by a bat while he's in the cave, he begins to transform into what I guess was supposed to be a human-bat hybrid (although when we finally see him in makeup he looks a lot more like an ape-man of some sort) and a killing spree starts. Here's another problem. The first killing is a nurse in a hospital. At first, everyone thinks her death was an accident. The second murder is of a young girl, who is described as having her throat ripped out. The sheriff (Michael Pataki) then tells us that her death was similar to the nurse's (meaning throat ripped out? - How could anyone think that was an accident?) And what's with the sheriff? He seems pretty no-nonsense until the scene in Cathy's hotel room when he takes a swig of liquor and then almost rapes her, after which everything seems to go back to normal. It's saddled with an ending that left almost everything unresolved, and also with one of the most irritating theme songs I've ever heard in a movie. Even for all that, there was something here that kept me watching. Sometimes pure cheesiness can get you through an hour and a half. Pretty bad, yeah - but not as awful as some people say.
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