The Bat People starts as a scientist researching Bat immunology Dr. John Beck (Stewart Moss) & his wife Cathy (Marianne McAndrew) take a public tour of an underground cave system, like a typical woman Cathy gets into trouble & ends up at the bottom of a crevice. John follows her down & he is bitten by a Bat, eventually they are missed & rescued. Better safe than sorry John checks in with Dr. Kipling (Paul Carr) who starts him on a course of rabies antibiotics, unfortunately John as changed & periodically transforms into a half-man half-bat type creature which has the antisocial habit of murdering anyone it meets & eating rats. Sergeant Ward (Michael Pataki) likes a quiet life & all these murders are upsetting him, he sets about tracking John down & putting an end to his murderous reign...
Directed by Jerry Jameson & despite it's bad reputation I rather liked The Bat People, it certainly isn't any sort of masterpiece but as monster on the loose type thing I though it was watchable if nothing else. The script by producer Lou Shaw is hard to defend, if I'm honest its a bit slow, it can get dull at times, it's silly & never explains why John turns into the Bat creature he does & when all said & done not that much happens. But I still like it, for all it's bad points I liked it. I found the story quite cool & reminded of those monster films from the 50's & 60's, everything is played with deadly seriousness which I also thought gave the proceedings a certain silliness & there were a couple of effective scenes in here. The Bat People is one of those films I can't recommend as if I think about it with my head it's total crap but there's something in my heart which made me enjoy it, I'm sure monster film fans would like it to some extent although more casual viewers may want to skip it.
Director Jameson does OK & I just love the 70's atmosphere, the clothes the fashions & the way it's shot. I thought the scene when John escapes from the hospital was funny, if your trying to escape from somewhere maybe stealing an ambulance with screeching sirens & flashing lights while dressed in a night gown isn't the best idea for not attracting attention. This was Stan Winston's second film as a make-up artist & he probably did the best he could on a low budget but if John turns into a Bat creature where are his wings? He looks more like a Werewolf to be honest. The murders are tame, there's no blood & the film doesn't linger on them.
Technically the film is alright, it certainly looks better than a lot of low budget horror films that have been made within the last few years, the special effects are decent & the New Mexican location shooting adds a lot to the film. The acting is alright with Pataki as the sleazy police officer standing out.
The Bat People is crap if I'm completely honest, having said that I liked it despite it's faults however I think many won't. Impossible for me to recommend but at least I've put a different & honest point of view across compared to most people who slate it.
Review by Paul Andrews from the Internet Movie Database.