The ’90s are often abused by horror fans. After many successful films about editing and the creative effects of the 80’s, the 90’s offered a variety of opportunities for horror travel. Although there have been many successes, hidden gems and little-known classics, the 1990s have generally been less marked by the love of horror than other decades. It’s time to change that.
Bats, released in 1999, is a film that almost everyone laughs at as soon as they hear the title. Fill in the images of SYFY’s premiere raw films immediately and directly in video, causing him to lose his mind. It’s understandable. A film about a swarm of genetically mutated killer bats, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, resembles exactly the characteristic laziness and softness of the creature that drowned video stores in the late 1990s and 2000s. There’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t look at the bats and think they’re as disposable and badly constructed as an ooh-oh-oh, as a garbage can of bad movies.
Here’s the problem: The bats know that’s how you feel. It says so right here: Let’s be the best version of what we can be. And, damn it, it works.
John Logan’s scenario – his feature debut – has no original bones in his body and decides to walk with this knowledge. Bats, which cover all the clichés of their subgenus, can indulge in simple pleasures. The story hits the ground and never ends. Does that mean you have time to build complex characters from Sheriff Emmett Kimsey or Dr. Sheila Casper? No, but that’s why you play pillars of the genre like Lou Diamond Phillips and Deena Meyer, to give these characters charm and endurance.
There’s also Bob Gunton in the role of the evil scientist, Dr. Alexander McCabe. Most viewers recognise GUNTON in Shawshank’s The Penitence, so you know he’s an actor with real acting skills. GUNTON has the chance to play the comic book culprit on Saturday morning and gets carried away in what is probably one of the most empty explanations for the experiments of a mad scientist. It’s strangely simple, but Logan’s scenario understands it perfectly. So if GUNTON gets the chance to play evil, he plays with a capital E.
What surprises me is the fact that bats are most often forgotten by most horror fanatics, including those who love special effects. If bats are not brought to life by a failed CG animation, then these are practical samples created by the legendary special effects company KNB EFX. Practical bats are always a pleasure when they appear and they appear often. You have plenty of pictures where the bat doll crawls towards the unsuspecting victim – one of these moments contains a surprisingly scary image of a bat in a crib – or even extreme close-ups of bat faces. Director Louis Morno doesn’t hesitate to show the work the KNB has done with these creatures, and it’s all a blast.
And there are even a few moments when CG snowshoes are used creatively. The first is when our heroes catch one of the infected bats and implant a tracking device under the skin. As soon as they release him into the air, the other two bats come to cut him in half. How can you not like him? But the best time for synthetic bats is at the height of the film. When Emmett and Sheila try to escape from the Bat Cave, they look up and see a sea of sleeping bats on the ceiling of the cave. And suddenly each bat opens his eyes and the darkness is illuminated by his terrifying glances. This is a moment you should definitely read about on the page.
And that’s the real reason to control the bats: John Logan’s scenario. This shows that being naked doesn’t mean you lack creativity or fun. It is sometimes normal for a B-movie to rely on all parts of its B-compatibility, without having the sense of irony or self-confidence to make satire. Bats are: a proud piece of training that rolls with the beat and is only there to make you smile. For some films, it’s the only goal they have to achieve. The bats are smiling in your face. And who can’t use one of them?