The Bat People is a 1974 American horror film directed by Jerry Jameson from a screenplay by producer Lou Shaw. It was distributed by American International Pictures (AIP) and was reissued as It Lives By Night.
The film was “riffed” (mocked) in the tenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Stewart Moss (Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls), Marianne McAndrew, Michael Pataki (Zoltan… Hound of Dracula), Paul Carr (Ben; Blood: The Last Vampire) and Arthur Space (The Swarm; Mansion of the Doomed; Terror at Red Wolf Inn).
Dr. John Beck, recently married, decides to take his wife, Cathy, on a tour guide of Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico. While there, Dr. Beck, who specializes in bats, is bitten by a fruit bat. He is then, inexplicably, transformed into a vampire bat.
While he escapes and seeks help from another doctor, it is clear the treatments are not working. In fact, they are aggravating his condition. Dr. Beck unwittingly goes on a killing spree, catching the attention of Sergeant Ward…
“Two scenes stand out in this Jerry Jameson-directed horror: The way-cool murder of the slimy sheriff in a small car by hundreds of bats is very bloody and fitting. More memorable, and totally hilarious, is the sex scene between Moss and McAndrew. In the throes of passion, she looks up to the squeaking, hideously hairy and ugly face of a bat. She screams and gets hysterical as Moss flees like a bat outta hell. How could you NOT love this movie?” And Then I Watched
” … it’s stupid, cheap, and takes a while getting to the bat-action (though some would count that as a strength, leaving viewers to ponder whether John is actually transforming or just rabid and hallucinating). But as a fan of all things cheap and cheesy, I thought it was great. If you feel the same, Bat People is a fun time.” Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies
“The acting here is rather stiff, with the only likeable characters being killed off as quickly as they are introduced. John’s transformation into a Bat-like creature is slow and other than being able to roll his eyes WAY back into his forehead, Stewart Moss does little to portray the inner conflict and confusion of his transformation from man to man-bat.” Jason McElreath, DVD Drive-In
“A grisly climax is the only payoff to producer Lou Shaw’s screenplay, set in a desert community. Sluggishly directed by Jerry Jameson.” John Stanley, Creature Features
Pressbook at Zombos’ Closet
Cast and characters:
- Stewart Moss as Dr. John Beck
- Marianne McAndrew as Cathy Beck
- Michael Pataki as Sgt. Ward
- Paul Carr as Dr. Kipling
- Arthur Space as the Tramp
- Robert Berk as the Motel Owner
- Pat Delaney as Ms. Jax
- George Paulsin as Boy in Pickup
- Bonnie Van Dyke as Girl in Pickup
- Jennifer Kulik as Nurse/Victim (credited as Jeni Kulik)
- Laurie Brooks Jefferson as Nurse
- Herb Pierce as Park Ranger [uncredited]