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Bats 2, Audience 0

Bats 2Even to this day the experience of sitting in a theater watching the 1999 nature gone amok flick Bats remains a profound disappointment fresh in my mind. Swarms of deadly mutant bats lurking in the shadows waiting for the right moment to attack victims Piranha-style: this should have been a no-brainer. And still they found a way to muck it up! Seriously, how do you screw up a concept so simple? This movie broke my heart.

And I know I’m not alone in my disdain for Bats since I’ve never heard a single human being in my life say anything about this film that didn’t involve a sense of disdain. I even remember reading something on Ain’t It Cool News about the film’s premiere where everyone was so glum afterwards because they realized just how lousy the movie was. The only people I’ve ever heard say anything positive about Bats were star Lou Diamond Philips and the film’s director, talking about how great it turned out on the DVD commentary track. That hardly counts in my book because they were both clearly delusional at the time. You ought to check it out if you ever want to hear one of the most insufferable commentary tracks of all time.

But just because Bats was a box office flop, is universally scorned by fans far and wide, and only scored a whopping 4% on the Tomatometer, does that mean there can’t be a sequel? Just look at the crappola that’s been getting direct-to-DVD sequels of late. Did we really need a Hollow Man 2? Was there really an audience clamoring for name-only sequels to The Mangler? House of the Dead 2 anyone?

Now the same deal that gave the world Lake Placid 2 earlier this year is gifting us with Bats: Human Harvest. Yep, we’re talking Sci-Fi Channel premiere, baby! Bats: Human Harvest is scheduled to premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel on November 10th. It’s the usual Saturday night deal with a replay four hours later and the following Thursday in primetime. But will it be the usual Sci-Fi Channel quality we’ve come to expect? On the plus side, Bats: Human Harvest is directed by Jamie Dixon, a visual effects guy who’s only other directing gig was a decent little 1998 horror flick called Shadowbuilder.

I also don’t think I have to tell you that neither Lou Diamond Philips nor Dina Meyer will be back. Even Leon found better things to do. The sequel instead stars “Baywatch” trunks-filler David Chokachi, Michael Jace of “The Shield”, and a bunch of people you’ve probably never heard of, many of which have Russian sounding names. You don’t suppose they filmed the movie in Bulgaria, do ya?

This time the genetically-engineered, flesh-eating, super bats find themselves waging their own personal war on terror; though whose side their on remains to be seen. The sequel nobody was clamoring for finds a squad of soldiers in pursuit of a fanatical fictional terrorist named Fazul who has escaped into the maze of mountainside cave systems. In addition to Islamic terrorist masterminds on the run, further trouble arises when the spelunking commandos encounter genetically engineered vampire bats. That’s gotta suck! Insert rimshot here.

Alright, I’ll give them points for at least not just doing a complete recycling of the first film like a lot of these made-for-DVD sequels have done. I’m even willing to give the Bats franchise one more chance, but so help me if they break my heart again…

The Foywonder

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Jon Condit

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