Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: The Bat People (1974)

Monster Crap Inductee: The Bat People
You Might Want To Get Your Eyes Checked For Rabies

Bats…..a very misunderstood animal. So much has been said about the bat that scares people so much that people don’t seem to the abuse of these animals. They have been called blood suckers, vampires, or as my mom calls them, rats with wings. As you might have guessed, my mom is not thrilled with bats. In fact, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that she hates them. Now, while most movies deal with bats as vampires, there are not too many movies that call bats as other monsters. Now there is a reason for that. One of those reasons as you know would be because most of those movies…..well, suck. This time, we review such a movie……The Bat People.

Now while normally, I have a description of what was going on before this movie. I only have a few prior knowledge of this movie. You remember when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez worked together in two movies and they both flopped. I remember that there was a lot of talk that said actors in a relationship should not work together. Well, that wouldn’t be the first time this had happened as a lot of movies have dealt with this issue. This is one of those moves. Stars Stewart Moss and Marianne McAndrews had been married for four years before doing this movie together. They were in fact the main characters in this movie. But that is all I have so let’s get on with this movie.

We start this movie with bat noises. Those noises then direct us to single human eye looking around. We transition this eye with scenes of well…..bats squeaking. We then hear the voice of our main character, Dr. John Beck softly asking for help. But don’t despair, it was all a nightmare. This of course wakes up his wife, Cathy……

She wakes up her husband, with whom she calls “Johnny”. We come to find out that John has had this dream before. After that, she tells him to try and go back to sleep as if she were his mom. John goes back to sleep as we begin the opening credits with Sally Stevens singing an eerily crappy theme song. We also see caves and cliffs. From a far distance, a car is driving on a dirt road. Inside the car, John is driving while Cathy tries to play the guitar. They park near a bunch of rocks in the desert. In the desert, Cathy finds a cactus fruit and asks her husband what it is. He tells her and she goes….oh. Suddenly, John starts hearing strange noises from the cave, but only he can hear them. Cathy can’t hear it, but can see a bat out in the middle of daylight on their picnic area. John gets rid of it of course by throwing a rock at it. Of course because this bat is out in the middle of daylight, I am wondering if it is sick at all.

Cathy then tries to convince John to skip the caves and just go on the slopes. John says he wants to see the cave tour because of course, its part of his work. He asks if that is why they are out here and she reminds him that this is part of their long overdue honeymoon. After that, John thinks about missing the cave tour for her, but she changes her mind and allows for them to go on the cave tour. We then get more car driving on a dirt road and…..zzzzzzzzzzz.

Sorry….I must have dozed off since this movie seems so boring to me. We then see a group of people going into a cave. And several of those people are senior citizens who are hoping to find a Country Kitchen Buffet.

Old People Need Their Country Kitchen Buffet

The park ranger is telling the group about staying together while in the cave and of course because he says this, John and Cathy decide to separate from the group and do their own sightseeing on areas off the path. The plan is of course to have sex in the cave….how romantic?

Cathy starts running around the cave with John playfully chasing her until they find out why people stay on the path in caves. She falls down into a part of the cavern that is not part of the tour and meets a bunch of mites. John goes down to help her, but when they are down there, they find out that there is no way to get back up. They of course decide to wait because they are sure that the park rangers will realize they are gone and look for them. Cathy of course wants to leave, but John convinces her to stay.

Suddenly, John starts hearing the noise again and a bat flies directly at him. John is able to get the bat off of him and kicks him away, but the bat has already bitten him. After a few seconds, more noise can be heard, but Cathy wants you to think its more bats. However, last I checked, bats don’t have voices saying “Hey, you down here”. John finally hears it and yells for help. While saying this, Cathy gets the sudden urge to kick the bat away which doesn’t thrill John too much. After trying to figure out why, she realizes that John wanted to check the bat for rabies.

Now in a car, Cathy is still apologizing for kicking the bat away. John of course makes a joke that they could have had bat stew, which disgusts her. John then says he hears that it tastes like white meat of tuna.

Charlie Has Paid For This Time To Tell You That Bat Stew Does Not Taste Like Tune

Cathy says that he is disgusting and John asks her if she wonders what they look like to a bat. Cathy says she doesn’t care about bats and only cares about John. He responds that he only cares about her……….and bats.

This of course doesn’t thrill her but she gets the joke. He then of course gets strange noises in his head, but we move on to a scene where they are on a ski lift. They are looking at the slopes and are smiling at how great this slope is going to be. Suddenly, John starts having an attack and with montages of bats and his wife running in his head, he goes into a seizure fit. When his wife screams in the dream, he wakes up to see that Cathy and all of the other people in the lift with them worried.

Now skiing, they go down several slopes with some of the most boring music imaginable. We move then to the couple in the Jacuzzi, where they are drinking alcohol when John gets another attack in the Jacuzzi. During this seizure attack, he burns his hand and with that, Cathy forces him to go to the doctor.
At the doctor, Dr. Kipling is convinced he has rabies and wants to get a Pasteur treatment on him immediately. John is reluctant about getting the treatment, but Cathy insists so he agrees to do the treatment. Dr. Kipling also originally doesn’t mind waiting a week, but because of Cathy’s complaining, he agrees to take him to the hospital for treatment. John receives the first injection of the Pasteur treatment and goes into shock.

Even though Dr, Kipling believes that John has an allergic reaction, he forces John to stay at the hospital for the night. John talks about how ironic the whole situation is and with that, we know something bad is going to happen.

At the slopes now, Cathy is seen talking to Dr. Kipling. She has heard about what happened at the hospital and Dr. Kipling tries to calm her down by saying this is normal. However, Cathy says that he had all of these reactions before he took the serum. Dr. Kipling is convinced that he does not have rabies, but Cathy is still being negative, thinking only the worst.

Back in the hospital bed, John is having another nightmare, but this time with a lady from a trailer getting attacked by bats. We find out that it is night at the hospital and while he is sleeping, we see that his hands are becoming hairy and webbed. We go back from his head to his hand and this time, sweat is forming on his hand and his nails are getting longer. John wakes up and sees his hand completely morphed into the hand of a monster. He gets up and looks at the mirror. While looking in the mirror, he suffers another attack. Outside of his room, in the nurses’ station, a nurse is talking to her boyfriend over the phone. Suddenly, she is attacked by someone and killed immediately.

The next day, a different nurse finds John’s wedding ring on the floor and wonders how it got there. She gives it back to John and leaves the room while Cathy comes in with a bouquet of flowers for him. She wonders about how the ring came off, but John is more concerned about seeing s psychiatrist. She tries to talk him out of it, but he is convinced something is wrong with him. Cathy has already signed him out and is convinced that he should not be in the hospital anymore, but John believes otherwise. Seeing that this isn’t an argument she will win, she agrees to let him stay at the hospital. Feeling guilty, John once again agrees to come home with Cathy.

John is buying some nightgowns for his wife and has another attack when Sergeant Ward of the city’s police department comes in. The sergeant comes in concerned in the beginning, but begins asking questions about where the doctor was at the time of the murder of a nurse near his room. John seems concerned about his hand and hides it originally, but sees that his hand is fine. He shows him a hospital brace that was near the body and tells John that it is his bracelet.

We move to a romantic dinner between John and Cathy. However, they are not at the table eating the food as they are in bed. John gets up and looks out the window. He opens the window and leaves the motel room. We go to a store where he has broken the window and is beating up a mannequin, before stealing the sweater on it. He goes towards a trailer park and sees a woman getting out of her truck. It is the same woman from his dreams and he attacks her immediately. She gives him a decent chase, but is cornered and killed.

We originally believe this was all a dream because John wakes up screaming. Cathy wakes up and tries to calm him down. It works and John goes back to sleep. Outside, Ward has parked and is knocking on the door. John and Cathy answer the door and are told about what happened at a trailer park. So it wasn’t a dream. He starts asking John questions again and shows him a piece of a sleeve. Ward leaves with no new information as John goes back into his motel room.

We move to Dr, Kipling’s office, where Dr. Kipling gives John some sleeping medicine that would “knock out an elephant” for his nightmares. John isn’t sure if they are nightmares, which gives Dr. Kipling a speech in which he believes John is feeling unnecessary guilt over the nurse’s death. He thinks that John was sick and stumbled upon a dead nurse and believed he did it. We move to the hallway where Cathy is speaking with Dr. Kipling. Cathy is not happy that John wants back into the hospital, but Dr. Kipling says that she should allow her husband to do this one.

Back at the hospital room, Cathy brings John a basket of fruit to cheer him up. She says that she talked to John’s mother, which John was not happy about. She lied to his mother and told her that John is okay. After a conversation, John goes into another attack and asks to be left alone. When Cathy leaves, John goes to the mirror and tries to convince himself to stay at the hospital. He goes to another room, locks the door behind him, and while the nurses and Cathy are trying to talk to John, John leaves through a window while stealing an ambulance car.

Sergeant Ward receives a message that there was a stolen ambulance and after finding out who it is, goes after the ambulance. He is now convinced that John has committed the murders. This of course begins a boring car chase. While the car chase continues in the desert, John gets another attack. Ward tries to convince John to pull over, but John is not listening and forces Ward off the road. John speeds away in the stolen ambulance as the sergeant tries to create a road block. John however doesn’t go very far as he crashes the ambulance. After escaping the totaled ambulance car, he runs off into the field. He stops off at an abandoned farm to hide.

Back at the hospital, Sergeant Ward is telling Cathy that he is convinced that John is behind the murders. Cathy still does not believe him, even when he shows evidence otherwise. When he talks about why he left the hospital in a stolen ambulance car, she gives the excuse of him hallucinating on the medicine. Oh great, blame medicine for your husband’s criminal deeds.

Back to the abandoned farm, John meets an old drunk. He has a brief conversation with the drunk while in hospital pajamas. The conversation topics these two share are broken arms, being “free”, and depression. John is offered a drink from the drunk and takes a swig before spitting it out. He starts transforming and attacks the old guy, killing him.

After killing the drunk, John steals his clothes and goes to the cave where the bat bit him. In that cave, there is another tour going on. Before the tour group leaves, there is a camera flash so we know that someone has a camera. It is from a female photographer who is straying away from the group to take pictures. We go to another part of the cave where the group disappears again and the female photographer is way behind still taking pictures. Her decision to go behind proves to be her undoing as while she is taking pictures, she is grabbed from behind and taken by John. Since she was very much behind the group, no one hears her scream. We go back to the group and we find out that one of the women from the first group is in this group as well. Talk about a cave-aholic.

We go outside the cave where John has the keys to the female photographer’s car. This can only mean that he probably killed the photographer and is now using her car to getaway. He goes to a hospital blood bank and just so happens to have a doctor suit on. In the storage room, he bumps into a nurse. He asks her for the anti-rabies vaccine and of course thinking he is a doctor, she shows him that they are in the cabinet. When he finds the vaccine, he suffers from another transformation attack. He attacks her and asks for the blood containers. She gives it to him and he sucks the blood out of one of them. It seems that he is going to kill her, but she escapes and runs right into Sergeant Ward. She tells Ward that John is in the room and Ward goes in after him. When he gets to the room, John is gone. He sees only the empty blood containers and the discarded doctor’s outfit.

Sgt. Ward heads back to the police station and is informed that John left an audio confession nearby. We hear the tape of John talking about how he turned into a man-bat. During this, we see John stealing the tape recorder from the car, sucking the blood out of a bat, and hiding in the caverns. We move to Dr. Kipling’s office where Cathy can no longer hear the tape and turns it off. She is still convinced that he is hallucinating, but Sgt. Ward sees it as a confession and that’s all that matters. Dr. Kipling is also convinced that John is the killer now. Sgt. Wards turns back on the tape and we hear more from John. During this part of the tape, we see John in the cave looking at all the bats. With all of this, Cathy can no longer hear the confession and leaves the room to head back to her motel room. We then see the scenes of Dr. Kipling and Sgt. Ward changes to a scene where Cathy is now back in her motel room. John is however in the room and says hi. He wishes not to be seen as he believes he is hideous. We can of course only see one of his eyes during this scene, but it still comes off as extremely boring. But this whole eye thing would be scarier a lot later.

That was of course a scene from the original Black Christmas. Not from the remake that really sucked. Anyway, back to the movie. The conversation between Cathy and John is interrupted when Sgt. Ward comes knocking. He asks if she has seen John anywhere, to which she says no. He asks to come in, but she refuses once again. Ward gives up by saying good night to her. After he is gone, Cathy turns on the light and sees that he is not a Man-Bat. He wishes to say goodbye to her, but she is able to coax him into having sex with her.

John: I Must Leave Now
Cathy: Let's Have Sex
John: Okay.
Of course, Sgt. Ward is still in the motel parking lot, and finally decides to leave. After the sex, John starts his transformation again. Cathy sees this and screams at the transformed monster who was her husband. The motel keeper hears all of this and goes to check on her. She does say that she is okay and she replies that she is fine. After her reply, he leaves the room as she sees that John has left through the window. She sees that he left her his cross and cries.

At a cavern entrance, we see Sgt. Ward prepared with his shotgun when he gets a call that Cathy has told the park ranger that she killed John. He still goes in the cavern to make sure, but bumps into John who is very much alive.
A chase starts, but John is cornered by Sgt. Ward. Ward starts taking liberties with his authority by beating up John while having a gun. Unfortunately, Ward’s cheap shots cause John to transform and the newly transformed John attacks Ward.

Might I add that his new look looks like the wolfman. Maybe I could recommend a better Were Bat look from a movie about a werewolf. You might say it is called Werewolf.
The Man-bat beats the crap out of Ward and runs away. After getting his ass kicked by a monster, Ward decides it is best to get back to the station before the monster decides to kill him. Don’t worry Ward; retreat is not always a bad thing.

At the police station, Cathy sees the damage done by her husband and agrees to help Ward find John. Suddenly she starts hearing that strange noises her husband heard earlier and I can only basically guess how this movie is going to end. She leads Ward to a cave at night where a thousand bats fly out of the cave and start pooping on the car.

Cathy smiles and leaves the police car, leaving the door open. And because of the door being left open, the bats attack Ward, killing him. Cathy then goes to the cave and is joined by her husband. We can only assume that she was bitten by John during their night of sex and now she is a man-bat as well. And now I am glad to say, this movie is over.

Well, there isn’t much to go on after this disastrous movie was made. The only thing I can tell you is, Stewart Moss and Marianne McAndrew are still married. And seeing as how many bad movies between couples have been known to kill relationships, I congratulate the two for continuing on with their marriage.
After reviewing this movie, I must say that I was suffering from extreme boredom. I saw no interesting scenes in this movie whatsoever. In fact, I might say that I would rather watch Monster A Go instead of this crap.
On Second Thought, Bat People Aint As Bad.

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