Morneau’s cult horror opens with a suitably shocking scene, as a young couple making out on a warm summer night are killed by a swarm of bats. Surprisingly swiftly, the government take notice and put together a task force. Dr Sheila Kasper (Dina Meyer) is joined by the town’s sheriff Emmet Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips), and together they realise their colleague Dr Alexander McCabe (Bob Gunton) is to blame for the deaths, having developed a virus that increases the mammal’s intelligence and aggressiveness..
The bats’ attacks intensify, and it becomes obvious that if left unchecked, the new species will eventually overrun the planet. The military consider a carpet bombing campaign, but when Kasper claims this will never work she is given a few hours to activate her own plan: locate the bats’ lair, force the animals into hibernation and save humanity…
It was a summer for beasts gone bad, with the glorious Lake Placid and the dubious Deep Blue Sea debuting. Morneau’s low-budget curiosity checks all the genre’s boxes – inept cops, eccentric heroes, mad scientist – but it works because there’s no grasp for profundity. It’s an unapologetic shocker built on the tension delivered by a decent script. Motivation and back story are expertly managed, leaving the solid Meyer and Phillips to compensate for the noticeable lack of digital sorcery. A tasty tribute to Hitchcock (trapping his heroine in a phone box a la Tippi Hedren) illustrates a sophisticated humour, and we’ll always have room for rubber bats purloined, presumably, from a prop room marked ‘House of Hammer’.
USA | 91 minutes | 1999
Director: Louis Morneau
Script: John Logan,
Lou Diamond Phillips as Sheriff Emmett Kimsey
Dina Meyer as Dr. Sheila Casper
Bob Gunton as Dr. Alexander McCabe
Leon as Jimmy Sands
Carlos Jacott as Dr. Tobe Hodge
David McConnell as Deputy Wesley Munn
Marcia Dangerfield as Mayor Amanda Branson
Oscar Rowland as Dr. Swanbeck
Juliana Johnson as Emma
Ned Bellamy as Major Reid
George Gerdes as Chaswick
James Sie as Sergeant James
and this just in
The Jack Benny Program: The Bobby Darin Show (CBS 28 Jan 1964)
The Bobby Darin Show: With the movie studio still working on the Jack Benny biography movie, Jack insists on playing...
Father Knows Best: Big Sister (S4EP14 NBC 8 Jan 1958)
Big Sister: Betty is assigned to be Kitten’s counselor at summer camp, but after she throws her authoritative weight around...
McHale’s Navy: Carpenter in Command (S2EP33 ABC 28 Apr 1964)
Carpenter in Command: In temporary command of the base, while Binghamton recovers from a broken leg, and drunk with power,...
Hunter: Girl On the Beach (S4EP16 NBC 16 Feb 2018)
Girl On the Beach: Hunter looks after Captain Devane to make sure he doesn’t do anything extreme after his ex-wife...
Hunter: Naked Justice Part 2 (S4EP15 NBC 9 Feb 1988)
Naked Justice (2): In his investigation of the death of a famous movie actress, Hunter follows a contract killer into...
The Rockford Files: The Man Who Saw the Alligators (S5EP17 Cozi TV Sat 22 Dec 2018)
The Man Who Saw the Alligators: A former hitman, who was captured and sentenced to prison by Rockford’s efforts, will...
Hunter: Naked Justice Part One (S4EP14 NBC 2 Feb 1988)
Naked Justice (1): Detectives Hunter and McCall are assigned to investigate the mysterious death of a famous movie star; they...
The Division: Keep Hope Alive (S2EP11 Start TV Sun 16 Dec 2018)
Keep Hope Alive: C.D. and Nate investigate a kidnapping. Raina tries to convince a young boy who witnessed a gang...
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018, KiKi Layne, Stephan James)
Following his Best Picture Academy Award® winner Moonlight, writer/director Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s acclaimed novel in IF BEALE STREET...
Backtrace (2018, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew Modine)
In dodgy action thriller Backtrace, the lone surviving thief of a violent armored car robbery, having lost his memory during...
Prestige, The (2006, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale)
In the Christopher Nolan directed The Prestige, a mysterious story of two magicians whose intense rivalry leads them on a...