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Movie Review - The Bat People, Part I of II (due to length)

This review has no DVD cover scan - it was watched on Hulu.



(1974)

Starring: Stewart Moss, Marianne McAndrew, Michael Pataki, Paul Carr

DIR: Jerry Jameson



Scene 01: We start out hearing a man in distress over images of bats with large, needle like teeth (I'd assume they're vampire bats, but I don't know enough to recognize individual species). We inter-cut with the man tossing in his sleep, until his Cathy finally awakens. She notices he's in a nightmare and wakes him up.


Scene 02: We cut away over this hideous title song and our POV drifts over some rocky mountains (Presumably the mountain which contains a bat-cave).

We then see a car driving along a desolate stretch of sun-scorched desert road. If you guessed that the couple in the car are our opening couple in bed, you'd be correct. They've driven out to the cave under the opening credits.



The wife plays around with a cactus fruit, while Johnny - the hubbie - is checking out a dried piece of wood. We don't know why they're out there, but it doesn't look like they're up to much. He starts to hear a very odd noise off in the distance and tries to find the source. On a nearby picnic blanket, they take note of a bat crawling. We're given a musical sting to assure us that this is dreadful, even though the little thing is kind of a cutey.



Cathy reacts with mild revulsion as they sneak up on it. She dramatically announces that it's horrible, even though it's just a little bat.

She wants to just 'get out of there', because of one, tiny bat on the blanket. He is fascinated and requires prodding by her to snap him out of it. Finally he tosses a rock in its general direction and sends it flitting off. There is some discussion of 'skipping the cave tour and going directly to the slopes' and that this trip was supposedly combining his work and a honeymoon. After he relents about his working tour of the caves, she changes her mind and says they should go afterall.


Commentary: It is at this point, that I had to actually look for some information on the film. I hadn't heard of it before I saw it sitting there to be watched for free on HULU. I looked it up because I was wondering if this was a made for TV movie. It doesn't appear to have been - but it is filmed very much like a 70's horror movie of the week (and don't knock 'em, there were some fine horror TV movies in the 70's). Everything is presented with little attempt at taking advantage of the desert scenery and it all looks... 'flat'... I guess is the first word that comes to mind. Even the music strikes me as more TV-movie than cinematic.


Scene 03: Shot of car driving in desert is followed by a shot of a large hill, or small mountain. There are people on a trail headed up toward the cave - the tour, presumably.


Commentary: This shot is actually not too badly set up. We have a nice shot of the beautiful blue of the sunlit sky, before we're about (I have to assume at this point - I haven't pre-watched this one) to be cut off from it in the darkness of the caves....


Scene 04: We enter the cave with the touristy tour and listen to a guide describe how these formations were created. Cathy and Johnny hang far back from the tour and he jots down notes. As she watches the tour go on without them, she tells him that they're where no one can see them.

He tells her she doesn't have the nerve, but she counters with a 'try me'....

He tells her that she is on, and they quickly take an unused passage so they can get in some sex. Naturally Cathy doesn't watch where she's going, and because we haven't gotten a glut of desperate litigious lawyers yet, every conceivable passageway hasn't been barred off.

Cathy doesn't watch where she's going and falls into a crevasse in the floor.


Commentary: How wrong is it that the very first thing that came into my mind was Nelson's "HAH-hah!"?


Cathy isn't seriously injured, but the beetles (actually husband calls them 'mites') in the hole with her upset her. In the meantime, Johnny keeps annoyingly repeating her name. Johnny joins his wife in her imprisonment, and then finds that they can't climb out.

Johnny tells Cathy they're going to have to wait for their tour to realize they're missing. Except, that they came in so late onto the tour, I'm not even sure anyone would realize they were there....

Another shot of creepy crawlies (which look to be harmless mealworms - and the 'mites' crawling all over Cathy apparently learned from their brisk brushing off by Johnny because Cathy stops acting like they're crawling up her legs). She has a minor freak over being trapped, but he calms her down. She apologizes, but he makes a little joke about livening up their honeymoon.

Suddenly, he jerks his head and stares off into the distance, claiming he hears the odd noise from Scene 02. The noise is bat squeaks, but they're almost drowned out by what I think is supposed to be the sounds of their wings beating the air and echoing in the cave... or it's just a distracting sound effect to create tension. I can't tell if Johnny hears the whirring sound or if he's reacting to the vocal noise because Cathy can't hear either one.

MUSIC STING - BAT ON STRING!!


Commentary: I will say here that Cathy and Johnny, or rather, Marianne and Stewart do have a nice chemistry between them and their dialog scenes of the flirty newlywedded are nicely acted. But honestly, why would this bat make an immediate dive right into Cathy's hair? Other than that bat-on-strings make an unexplained habit of this sort of behavior.


So Cathy is screaming to get the little mammal out of her hair. With Johnny struggling to get the critter off of his wife, it makes a sudden leap onto his forehead as he does that thing where the actor has to hold a prop to his body and shift back and forth as if it suddenly had the strength of a professional wrestler putting a choke hold on him.

He finally gets the animal off of him and smashes it against the floor underfoot. But, the critter bit him on the head!



Commentary: Cathy is a dolt. Not only does she ask if her husband is hurt, while blood is streaming from his bite mark, but then when they hear voices off in the distance calling for them (apparently the tour did notice them) she's all hanging on him with a "Please, no!" wail of doom. Because bats sound exactly like the human voice yelling, "Hey!"

I bet you didn't know that. Of course, it could just be this species of cave-bat. I don't recall ever seeing a documentary in which bats mimic the human voice calling for their intended victims....

Johnny is able to call out for the guide's attention and as they wait, Cathy disgustedly kicks the bat off of another ledge. Johnny tells her not to, but he's too late. Belatedly, Cathy realizes that he wanted the carcass so they could check for rabies. He tells her not to worry about it.


Scene 05: More driving - and we're above the snow line now, so presumably we're on our way to their ski trip.


Commentary: We never found out why Johnny was in the caves, what he was jotting notes on or why he'd pick such a public site in order to study what ever he's studying.


In a nice touch, the prior scene is brought over by Cathy's dialog, in which she berates herself for acting stupidly and rashly in getting rid of the bat.


Commentary: I don't know - wouldn't the CDC or the state health department send a spelunker down to retrieve the carcass? Maybe not - but rabies is sort of a big deal and it seems like they'd take the necessary precautions to examine that bat.


Johnny jokes with her about her having gotten rid of a perfectly good dinner to lighten the mood and they have some sweet talk. The camera does a weird 70's zoom in onto Johnny as he's driving and we think he might be about to have some sort of fit or episode - but then we jump cut suddenly to a cable tram going up the ski mountain. Weird, 70's-mysterious music plays over the scene.


Scene 06: Aboard the suspended cable car, Johnny remarks on the beauty of the view. Cathy agrees and looks forward to their run.

But, suddenly Johnny does have the episode that was hinted at in the car - his eyes roll up in his head and we get a sound effect very much like Jaime Summers had when she was dealing with her bionic rejection in her introduction episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man. Anyway, he suffers some sort of hallucination where Cathy is running in the dark while chased by bats, a colony of bats hanging from a cave ceiling, bats swarming out into the dusk, bat on a string swooping toward her fleeing figure, close up of vampire bat face, Cathy still running and trying to swat it from her face, and Cathy with a bat attack to her face and her screaming.


Commentary: This hallucination may go on a bit long, especially since it is his first one, and they could have made it a plot point for the episodes getting longer as we go. But a nice touch is that the weird brain-episode musical sting merges into the swooping bat noise within the hallucination. One real misstep though is in the sound design. Clearly, part of the bat's repetoire (and it is very plain) is not only mimicking a human yelling 'Hey!' to trapped cavers, but also hawk cries.


Back on the cablecar, Johnny comes out of his fit, nearly falling over and scaring Cathy. As everyone else in the car looks either bored or very mildly sympathetic, we discover that Johnny has no idea that anything weird even happened. He insists to his worried wife that he's fine.


Commentary: We now get a really beautiful scene from the top of the mountain the cable car is going over - but it is really irrelevent. I thought for sure, we'd cut to later that night or something.


Scene 07: Slow mo skiing down fresh powder on the slopes with a piano tune playing over it. It's all domestic bliss and sunshine and snow skiing mana....

Then it's a ride up on a ski-lift and pans of the beautiful mountains.


Commentary: Alas, we don't see a hoard of bats swooping in on the horizon to give an ugly, if improbable, death to everyone on the slopes. This all may have been better as a killer bat flick. Right now? I'm ready to move on.


However, no one cares how I feel: We get another downhill jaunt. They take a deliberate tumble in the snow and laugh and laugh and are being all sweet-coupley.


Scene 08: Sometime later, we hit the hot springs.


Commentary: You'd think I'd be happier because we're going to get shirtless guys in swim trunks. But, the first one we see leave the water has a hairy back/shoulder thing... eww - that is not my thing.


We spend so much time following the guy as he rolls in the snow and then gets back in the water, I feared it was our protaganist (it was hard to see who the guy was through the steam), but thankfully no. We pull onto another hot tub/spring where Johnny and Cathy are relaxing. He warns her that they're next to go into the snow - and she laughingly tells him there is no way.


Commentary: Yes, yes, they're romantic and holiday-ing ... can we have another fit and a near drowning? Or an ambulance trip to the hospital, I could live with that - let's just get away from the cutesy-couple thing and get on with the monster story!

I will say again here though, since I'm complaining, that Marianne and Stewart do a very good job of relating on screen to one another. Their chemistry is definitely of "The Good".

However, this scene isn't necessary - we've already established that they're in love and newly wedded and that they've been doing honeymoon-type things. And also? The other couple in the pool behind them can't stop looking in the director's direction to see when the scene has ended - here's a hint: The director usually shouts, "And... cut!" when he's ready to stop filming.


My prayers are partially answered, as Johnny does have another fit in the hot tub. Alas, he doesn't go under nor does Cathy call for an ambulance nor do bats swarm out of the night air to attack the bathers. What we get instead is Cathy making a scene, but being completely ignored by the other couple in the hot tub ... seriously, who sees a woman panicking in a hot tub and doesn't even call over to see if she needs some help?


Scene 09: Anyway, Johnny keeps his promise to go to an aid station the following day (the glass he was holding broke) - rather than, you know, to wonder if he might have rabies and is currently dying because of the bat bite. And isn't standard protocol (even in the 70's) to get the anti rabies vaccine administered in cases of wild bat bites if you can't test the brain of the bat for the disease? They never even mention it, which would have seemed a logical and sensible thing to include in the script somewhere prior to this point.

Oops, spoke to soon! We have the medic (in indecently tight pants) bring up the rabies treatment, here. Johnny insists that there is a minimum 30-day incubation period, so there is no need to interrupt the vacation to start the rabies-vaccination protocol. This, despite the fact that he's had two 'fits', already.

Cathy is worried and annoyed by both the medic's and her husband's lackadaisacal attitude toward starting rabies treatment. She points out that he's a doctor working on his thesis in preventative medicine and he won't take it himself (the first we hear about Johnny's job - and surprise - it has nothing to do with caves or bats in the wild).


Commentary: Johnny doesn't mention it to her, but unfortunately his wife's judgement is suspect as she's chosen to wear a sweater inspired by the Charlie Brown collection.



Cathy's arguments hold sway, despite everyone's distraction by her sweater, and Johnny is taken to a hospital a few miles away to start his rabies treatment.



Scene 10: Apparently, the local hospital doesn't have dedicated medical staff, because it falls to Dr. Ski Clinic to give the injections. Cathy's taken aback by the size of the needle. She's sent out of the room, but the injections occur. They're awful - but better than rabies.

Shortly after the injection is given, Johnny (who I keep wanting to call 'David' - I have no explanation) suffers a violent seizure. With Johnny reporting that he can't breathe, the doctor begins treating for an acute allergic reaction.

He is admitted to the hospital - and we find out that Johnny is actually an immunologist. He is involved in bat research (by visiting tourist caves, where the likelihood of actually seeing a bat, let alone being able to actually study anything of relevance would be extremely small).


Scene 11: On the ski slopes, later, Cathy and the Ski Medic/Doctor talk about Johnny's reaction to the first treatment.


Commentary: There is so much wrong with this scene... first, apparently no one wanted to tell Cathy after the seizure what had happened, second - she didn't ask why Johnny was admitted, third - her response to her newlywed husband being admitted to the hospital is to ski, fourth - Cathy has been really judgemental about the doctor going skiing, as if he is never allowed actual time off for a personal life which annoys me, fifth - apparently a nurse told her about what had happened to her husband, and now that she's confronting the doctor she evinces no outrage whatsoever about not being informed that he was admitted because he'd had a life threatening allergic reaction and finally, she also is apparently not at all angered by her husband choosing to tell her whatever he told her to excuse his being admitted to hospital without worrying her and did not feel the need to cancel her plan to ski in order to confront him on his dishonesty.

Why the hell wasn't the bulk of this scene filmed at the hospital and then have Cathy put on a brave face for her husband, only to then later confront the doctor here about the actual dangers of further vaccine treatments...?


So, Cathy and the Doctor discuss her husband's case, and the known side effects that can come with rabies treatments - which you'd think somebody would have discussed before now, but since Cathy is a woman, I guess she just didn't need to worry her pretty, little head over it. She rightly points out to the doctor now that her husband displayed the symptoms he's talking about BEFORE his treatment began....


Commentary: Take THAT, Dr. Patronizing. Except, of course, Cathy is largely lying or conflating his symptoms in her own mind. The only thing we've seen Johnny suffer is an epileptic-like seizure - something that apparently she felt no need to mention to her husband's medical care professional before now! I really did like Cathy, but now she's starting to irritate me - stupid script.

And, oh, my God, Cathy! Your husband did not suffer "sudden fits of anger, like a madman". He had some short-lived seizures. In the jacuzzi, he did push her away, but he'd just shattered a glass in his hand and was more than likely reacting with shock. He immediately apologized to her and asked what happened - he wasn't "like a madman".


Anyway - Cathy continues exaggerating what she actually saw occurring with her husband during his two episodes. The doctor tries to calm Cathy down by assuring her that whatever she saw in her husband during his fits, it was not rabies. The incubation period wasn't nearly long enough for him to be suffering symptoms.


Commentary: Of course, he also doesn't bother with any concern over her reports of wild bouts of anger and being out of control (which he can't know she's exaggerating about) despite having assumed responsibility for Johnny's primary care until the rabies treatments are finished (which is a long process involving 30 shots at the time of the movie). I really hate this scene for both the characters' reactions to Johnny's health problems and the location of the scene. I can only think that the ski resort gave money or free facilities toward the production of the movie, and they wanted to use the available scenery as much as possible.


Scene 12: We get a completely out-of-place, but welcome bat swarm attack on some random woman. Naturally, instead of retreating to her trailer and closing the door, she retreats screamingly to a corner of it outside, where she can't escape. The bats land on her exposed throat and feed on her. Naturally, once a few bats land on her and begin biting, she moans helplessly, rather than grabbing the little shits and smashing them or getting up off of her ass and running into her trailer where she should have headed in the first place.

Thankfully, this may not have happened, though. Johnny is tossing and turning in his hospital bed - so if he's only dreaming all of this, then it is entirely acceptable for the daffy woman to get kacked.

As he suffers his nightmare of bat attack-i-tude, we see his hand transforming. He grows webbing between his fingers and his nails get thick, while his hand grows hairier. He wakes up and notices with confused horror his hands and rushes out of bed to a mirror. At first, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the rest of him (which is strange - what sort of transformative virus would only affect the hands?), but then he suffers another one of the epileptic-type seizures.

Before we see if the rest of him is transforming...


Scene 13: ... we cut to the nurses' station where a young nurse is talking on the phone.


Commentary: Personal calls at work? Oh, you deserve to DIE!


When she hears a door click shut, she calls out for who it is (in a really pissy tone) and then hilariously seems to slam the phone down on its cradle without even saying goodbye to whoever she had been talking to. We get a close up of Johnny's eye, and then the nurse backs away in a panic of screams.

She falls and is apparently killed by slashing her throat open on broken glass in a clumsy jump cut.


Scene 14: The next morning, she's discovered and her death is seen as a tragic, freak accident (which is hard to argue with since she wasn't actually attacked).


Commentary: As we all know, there is never more than one person per floor on duty in a hospital overnight. We also know that the patient rooms are sound proofed so that they can never hear screams, equipment smashing or breaking glass.


As the nurse on duty (she handled the oxygen mask too during his allergic reaction and is a good actress) leaves the room upset, Cathy comes in. Johnny is struggling to get his wedding ring on, as it apparently slipped off and onto the floor when his fingers elongated and grew thinner during the transformation.

Johnny immediately suspects (or knows?) that the nurse didn't have an accident. He insists to Cathy (and for some reason I want to rename her Nancy - I have no explanation) that she find him a psychiatrist and to her bubbly, "everything is fine" attitude, asks her how she can not see that he's in trouble.

Cathy has come to sign him out of the hospital, but is taken aback when he insists on staying for a while longer. She tries to tell him there is no reason, but he tells her the fact that he wants it should be reason enough.

She goes to leave, disappointed and hurt, but he stops her and tells her he's coming home with her (or at least to the hotel), after all. He still insists on her finding him a psychiatrist.


Scene 15: Johnny buys his wife a new dress to make up for snapping at her.

As the store clerk goes to gift wrap, he suffers another seizure and immediately looks at his hands in a panic. Meanwhile outside, Sgt. Ward - member of the Sheriff's department - just happens to be looking in the shop window and sees his odd behavior. As the Sergeant
comes into the store to check on him (and he knows just who Johnny is, apparently), Johnny quickly throws a random dress on the counter over the offending hand, but we don't see any changes of it anyway.


Commentary: I still find the fact that one hand starts transforming to be a weird-ass choice. Not really over the practical choice - I can understand why they'd want to start with an appendage that can be easily hidden in order to hide Johnny's bat-person transformation - but why did they have the bat bite his head? Wouldn't it have made more sense to just have him bitten in the hand and that would justify why the transformation always starts there? In addition to making more sense story-wise, it also would have no impact on the seizures, the rabies scare, the monster-itis... there was just no purpose in having him bitten in the head, if such emphasis was going to be on his hand as being the warning sign that he's becoming a monsterous bat-person. I just don't understand how this wouldn't have leapt out to somebody during the pre-production/script revision phase.


They have a vague and vaguely antagonistic conversation. The Sergeant appears suspicious of something about Johnny and Johnny responds with attitude that seems inappropriate to the circumstances at hand.

Sgt. Ward proves to be a victim of asshole-itis by grabbing a piece of merchandise from the counter to clean off his sunglasses right in front of the clerk. The woman snatches the other piece of merchandise, suspiciously resting over Johnny's hand, from the counter giving a false scare for John. His hand is completely normal. The Sergeant does however, notice his weird behavior when the hand is uncovered.

John leaves the store and Sergeant Ward follows him out. Finally, he gets to the point of his chasing the doctor down, and it IS because of the nurse's accident. He just wants to know if Johnny might have heard anything since his room was close by to where it happened (making his entire scene in the store where he's acting like he's suspicious for some reason, and Johnny's immediate attitude problem toward him all a big, pointless exercise - stupid script). Johnny claims sleep kept him from hearing anything that might have happened.

From his pocket, the Sergeant pulls out a hospital wrist band that was found near the body. Johnny claims ignorance in how it arrived there.


Commentary: Unfortunately, the Sergeant spotlights a problem with the 'mystery evidence'... everyone wonders how the ID bracelet appeared at the nurse's accident site, when it is still intact and he isn't able to slip it back on when he tries to for the officer. If the band wasn't broken or cut off, how did it get off of his wrist?

The explanation is that it couldn't. We saw Johnny's hand transforming (which, by the way did not have a wedding band, nor a hospital bracelet around it) and there is no way one of those ID cuffs slipped over the width of his hand. No fricking way.


Scene 16: That evening, Johnny and Cathy are enjoying a romantic dinner, or at least Cathy did. In the roving shot over the scene, it looks like Johnny didn't even touch his food. We pan over to the bed where our couple is asleep (leaving the candle lit on the table).

Johnny is in the throes of another nightmare. He snaps awake and quietly slips out of bed to look out of the motel window. He slips out of the window to go for a stroll.


Scene 17: In a very bizarre scene, he has broken out a shop window and is beating a mannikin against the ground. Finally, he pulls a jacket off of the dummy to put on over his pajama top, but he's still running around in his PJ bottoms and his slippers, so what was the point of this?



Commentary: It's possible that he's out of his head, if we judge by the way he is wildly mugging for the camera. By the way, we're 34 minutes in and we've had one, accidental death by clumsy feet and freak breaking glass.


He goes stumbling off down an alley.


Scene 18: A ... disturbed ... Johnny arrives at a trailer park, where a young couple hot to trot make out in his truck. In a rather nice directorial choice, we get a brief close up of Johnny's eye and can see blood leaking from it. Our young couple stop kissing long enough to share a joint.

Shot of bloody, watching eye. Back in the truck, neither of the couple feels particularly high, and girl suggests that she's fallen for the ol' oregano-switcheroo. Meanwhile, we see that the Sergeant has found the broken store window and mannikin.

Back at the truck, our couple has gone back to necking, with his wandering hand getting up her top. The guy suddenly stops with a look of embarassment. Apparently, things were a bit too heated and he's reached the finish line before the clothes came off. He, naturally, in no way suggests that he can continue with her satisfaction using other means.

Instead he looks at his watch as he sits back behind the wheel and states how late it is (he avoids coming off as a user though - it is obvious he is just really humiliated over his early completion). Actually, I guess it was her truck after all, because he exits the vehicle then, and starts to walk home. He tells her first that he had a nice time, which she gives an appropriately sarcastic response to.

As this occurs, we get more quick shots of the bloody Johnny eye checking them out. Alas, he is kept in heavy shadow, so I can't get a good screen cap.

The girl finally gets out of her truck, too. Suddenly, though, monster-man is right there. She screams, quickly slams the door shut and slides across to exit from the driver's side (Hey, a smart chick!). Alas - her survival skills aren't all that well developed. Rather than running to the trailer, right there, or calling for help (all of the trailers are basically within spitting distance) she takes off at a mild jog toward a trailer several doors down, where she also doesn't bang on the door or scream for help.

Fortunately for her, the Bat-Person is also limited to a moderate jogging speed and plus has trouble with the yard gate. Her escape doesn't last long, of course, but that is because he is somehow able to know exactly where she went to hide, even though he couldn't have seen her dash under a trailer and behind some barrels. In a scene echoing his dream about the bat attack on random-woman (it even looks like the exact same set location), she cowers in a corner screaming (which no one comes out to investigate, so I guess she was smart to just run after all. She must have already known her neighbors would be worth jack-all).


Scene 19: Back in the hotel room, Johnny wakes up yelling at the top of his lungs in horror. Cathy comforts and settles him.


Scene 20: Shortly thereafter, the only lawman in town shows up at their door. Cathy answers the door and the Ward sleazily and uncomfortably runs his gaze down her nightgown. He asks after her husband and Johnny sends her back to bed. He goes outside to speak to the lawman. The Sergeant tells Johnny about the latest victim - this one clearly no accident - with her throat torn, like the nurse.

He also brings out another piece of evidence found at a scene from his pocket, this time a piece of bandage torn from the girl's attacker by her. Johnny asks if the Sergeant is trying to imply that it is his.


Commentary: You know, everytime I've typed out some logical objection to Ward, he then addresses it and I have to edit my review to take out my objection. However, let me say how effing annoying this lawman is... he takes longer than necessary to speak, he offers the most obscure reasoning for asking anyone anything, he beats around the bush until directly confronted, and he just carries this untrustworthy, sleazy vibe with him into every scene. I have no idea whether it is Michael Pataki or some sort of character-specific reason for this man's whole demeanor, but I'm hating every scene he shows up in.


Ward makes his exit without any point, other than to let Johnny know he is clearly a suspect, so that he can simply pack up his wife and leave (he's not even given the typical "stick around for a while" order). Johnny returns to a worried Cathy, but assures her everything is alright, though he looks a bit doubtful about that.


Scene 21: The following day, Johnny is seeing the Ski Resort Doctor, who prescribes some heavy knock out pills for him to relieve the nightmares. When Johnny admits he isn't sure he's having nightmares, Ski Resort Doctor assures him that what happened was that he was raging with a high fever, saw the nurse dead, and panicked. When he returned to his room, he re-ordered the events in his distorted memory to actually being there when she died.

Johnny isn't comforted. He reports remembering beating a man's brains out (the mannikin memory) and shows the ring that slipped off his finger that he can't get back on (explained away as heavy sweats caused by his high fever). The doctor tells him that he's confusing nightmares and hallucinations caused by his high fever (and this is the first we've heard that he's been having any high fever, and yet he isn't admitted for any tests to explain it - I'm assuming that the Ski Resort Doctor is thinking that it is caused by the injections that he's still, presumably again, receiving).


Scene 22: In the hallway a bit later, Ski Resort Doctor is talking to Cathy. She tells him that Johnny wants to stay in the hospital until the treatments are through and he thinks it's a good idea. He tells her that he thinks he'll stop having the problems once the treatment has been completed (confirming by previous paragraph).


Scene 23: Cathy visits with her husband and they share banter about his mother and the expectation of grandchildren. Their affectionate repartee is interrupted by another violent seizure.

Cathy runs for medical help, while Johnny struggles not to change.


Scene 24: Going through the connecting door into a shared bathroom, he exits via the next door, empty patient room while Cathy and the nurses with her pointlessly bang on the door.

He makes his escape from the hospital through a ground floor window.


Scene 25: Johnny ends up stealing an ambulance, still in his bathrobe with the siren going full tilt... 'cause that won't draw attention.

Sergeant Ward hears the radio dispatch give an A.P.B. on the ambulance and gets John's name. He turns on his siren and heads in the general direction of the hospital. In the meanwhile, Johnny can also hear the dispatch through the ambulance radio, so knows that they're actively seeking him out.

The Sergeant calls for all units when he gets behind the speeding, stolen ambulance, which is a bit amusing since he's still the only officer we see. He gives chase.

As the two vehicles make it out of town, and out into the country (mountains majestically in every shot), Johnny suffers another seizure. It is short lived, and has zero impact on his driving.

Now, you'd think that this would mean that he's changing into a bat-person and by now he should be transformed (remember this started minutes ago in his hospital room), but you'd be wrong. Other than heavy sweat, there doesn't seem to be anything going on with him physically.

He's able to run the Ward off the road, causing the patrol car to be stuck in the sand. Johnny quickly speeds away, leaving the lawman to spin his wheels ineffectively.


Scene 26: Alas for Johnny, he tries to pass a car who doesn't yield to the right side margin, despite an ambulance with its lights and siren trying to get by. When Johnny goes to pass him, there is a car coming the other way and he goes off the road, flipping the ambulance down an embankment.

He extracts himself and rushes off into the desert. I notice that no one from the road above has bothered to look over the embankment or to call down to see if he's alright.


Scene 27: Out in the desert, Johnny runs and runs, still wearing that heavy, terryclothed robe. He finally finds himself at a farm off of a rural highway, and seeks shelter in the barn. He still has no evidence of any monster transformations.


Scene 28: In the hospital, the Sergeant has made his way back to town and is confronting Cathy about her alibi for her husband's whereabouts the night the trailer-park girl was killed. He points out both that her death is close in detail to the nurse's death, casting suspicion on that 'accident' and that the blue sweater reported to be worn (by what witnesses? No one seemed all that curious about her screams) by the trailer-park assailant was found in a dumpster very near her motel. She reinterates to the Sergeant that her husband was in bed with her the entire night when the second girl was killed.


Scene 29: Back in the barn, Johnny had fallen asleep, but now awakens. He hears a strange sound close by and skulks around with an old baseball bat lying around. He's startled by a tramp, also seeking sleep in the barn, but manages not to brain him one. Naturally, he's an old wino so no one will believe his monster tale, assuming he doesn't end up with his throat torn out soon.

The drunk vagabond rambles on, making me wish for a monster transformation RIGHT NOW.





Through the course of talking to the old drunk, Johnny finds out his hand is broken and sets about wrapping it up tightly (after he keeps flexing it, despite knowing that it is broken).


Commentary: And, I think we're going to suffer a bonding scene, similar to Frankenstein's Monster and the Old Blind Hermit, except with excruciating, slurred dialog from the drunken bum that is boring and goes on way, way too long... oh the joy.


We get a bit of confusion here: the weird whooping bat noises return after an absence and we get a flash of the colony on the cave roof again. I can't tell if this is something that Johnny is actually hearing, or if it is just a delusion suggesting that he's about to change. He does go into yet another seizure on the heels of the bat-cave insert.


Scene 30: As John is having his latest seizure, Ward is calling for an A.P.B. on the doctor, which is unnecessary, since there is already an A.P.B. because he stole and wrecked an ambulance and fled on foot. Further driving up the emptiness of the scene is that he feels the need to tell dispatch that all units should be informed... a) Duh, dumb-ass, they're already looking for him and b) we already know the only two people on the whole force are you and the female dispatch woman.

Go Onto Part II of the Review....

Tags: review bat people
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