director Jerry Jameson
The B-side of the DVD of The Beast Within (1982) turned out to be a very odd pairing. A movie from 8 years prior, with no recognizable parallels, The Bat People is a creature feature of a very different order. It’s probably that this MGM DVD release is the only randomized way that these two films would ever share a roster.
But let me tell you something: The Bat People is a hysterically bad movie, one well-deserving in the pantheon of camp, bad acting, and enjoyable inanity. Apparently, this is not news, as it has been given the MST3K treatment years ago, but it’s really worth watching if you enjoy bad movies for bad movies’ sake. Forgo the comic commentary and develop your own.
Dr. John Beck (Stewart Moss) and his wife Cathy (Marianne McAndrew) are attacked by a bat (a regular-sized flying mouse) while on a tour of a cave somewhere in California. Cathy unthinkingly kicks the bat into a hole before they can discover if it’s rabid or not. So John has to endure rabies treatments, and worse for him, something else is going on with that bat, something more than rabies.
Moss has the most hysterical flip-outs as he starts to change. But the funny thing is, he was having weird bat nightmares in the opening credits. If he was always so freaked out by bats, what the heck is he doing going caverning?
Also truly hilarious are the actions and inactions of his doctor (who gives bad advice, but is easily swayed by the concerned Cathy) and the apparently evil sheriff, who is entirely inappropriate at the best of times.
It’s terrible. But I really enjoyed it.