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Bats

Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

They will suck you dry.
Where do you hide when the dark is alive?

Doctor Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer) is summoned to the sleepy desert town of Gallup, Texas USA, where unexplained bat attacks have caused several grisly deaths. When night creeps in, swarming hordes of bats fill the darkening sky and invade the town. The bats swoop down and attack every living thing in their path, turning the town into living nightmare where everyone is a target and there is nowhere to hide.

Sheila and her assistant, Jimmy (Leon), team up with the local Sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips) to try to find a way to stop the bats. They discover that Doctor Alexander McCabe (Bob Gunton) has tampered with nature and infected the bats with a genetic virus, causing the usually harmless mammals to become vicious killers. They catch and tag one of the bats, hoping it will lead them to their lair. However, these bats are too cunning. Seeking shelter from the dark, the team holes up in an abandoned high school when the bats unleash an unrelenting and vicious assault, seemingly in a co-ordinated attack.

When the sun gives them safety, Sheila and Kimsey locate the bats' roost inside an abandoned mine. With no way to defeat the bats' sheer numbers and power of flight, Sheila and Kimsey must bravely descend into the mine, where the bats hang from the mine ceiling asleep. If they can't stop the bats, night will fall, the bat colony will grow, the virus will spread, and the bats will take flight in search of more and more prey.

Also starring Carlos Jacott as Doctor Tobe Hodge, David McConnell as Deputy Munn, Marcia Dangerfield as Mayor Branson and Oscar Rowland as Doctor Swanbeck. Written by John Logan, directed by Louis Morneau.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Check image Teen couple make out in remote location and get done in by monsters.
Check image Sexy scientist wears tight clothing.
Check image African-American assistant makes frequent wisecracks.
Check image Well-meaning government agency calls sexy scientist to help with problem.
Check image Sinister scientist does unethical things with animals.
Check image Sinister scientist goes insane.
Check image Monsters kill sinister scientist.
Check image Sinister scientist turns peace-loving animals into psycho monsters.
Check image Hard-ass Sheriff protects his town.
Check image Hard-ass Sheriff chews cigar.
Check image Hard-ass military guy wants to blow things up.
Check image Hard-ass military calls in air strike.
Check image Secret government agency reveals responsibility.
Check image Heroes build a fort for the monsters to throw themselves against over night.
Check image Heroes go to the monsters' den in dark, icky place to kill them.
Check image Monsters find heroes in den and attack them.
Check image Heroes kill monsters despite the overwhelming odds against them.
Check image A new day dawns.
Check image But wait... the monsters aren't yet defeated!
Check image Oh, yes they are.

Check out some Bat myths, some Bat facts and the Bat glossary.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio commentary with director and cast
  • Isolated music score
  • Special effects and storyboard comparison
  • Photo galleries
  • "Making of" featurette Bats abound
  • Talent profiles
  • Languages: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hindi, Hebrew, Dutch, Croatian, German, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Arabic, Bulgarian
  • Picture: Widescreen (16:9 enhanced)
  • Movie trailer
  • Picture disc

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

88 minutes (1:28 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 6 December 2000

Cinema surveillance images

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Bat myths - true or false?
  • Bats are blind. False. Bats generally have good eyesight, especially the larger bats, although they mostly rely on echolocation to navigate and hunt.
  • Bats drink blood. True, but only three types of bats are vampires and are found exclusively in Central and South America. They use fangs to puncture the skin of large mammals (mostly horses and cows but humans on occasion) and then lap up the blood (they don't suck). Vampire bats actually have fewer teeth than other types of bats.
  • Bats carry diseases. False. Bats may have ticks and mites, but they do not transmit diseases to humans.
  • Bats will get tangled in your hair. False. Bats are skilful flyers even in confined spaces and complete darkness and can easily avoid humans.
  • Bats carry rabies. True, but only as much as other wild animals. Rabid bats die quickly and do not become overly aggressive.
  • Bats are flying rodents. False. Bats are not closely related to mice at all. Recent evidence shows that they are more closely related to primates. Bats are the only mammal to master true flight. The bones in a bat's wing are similar to those in a human hand. Every type of bat flies through the night sky and hangs upside-down in caves or trees during day. Bats can also swim, climb and crawl, and even some can run.
  • Bats are important to our ecosystem. True. One bat can eat as much as 1000 mosquitoes in an hour, and they play an important role in controlling insect populations as well as pollinating flowers. Seeds dropped by bats account for up to 98% of rain forest re-growth.
  • Bats are perceived as frightening creatures. True. Bats pose almost no threat to humans and actually co-exist very nicely, but they have managed to infect the darkest regions of our imaginations.

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Bat facts
  • Bats is set in Texas, which is naturally home to a large population of bats, mostly brown bats and free-tailed bats. A cave system outside of San Antonio is thought to house 100 million bats, and Austin's Congress Avenue bridge is home to one and a half million bats, the largest urban population.
  • Only two live bats were used on set, the rest were either mechanical (250) or CGI - thousands of CGI bats were created for about 180 scenes.
  • Bats are found in nearly every part of the world except in colder regions.
  • There are about 1000 types of bats from the gigantic flying fox bats to the tiny bumblebee bat.
  • Bats are the only mammals to master true flight.
  • The bones in a bat's wing are similar to those in a human hand.
  • Their diets consist of insects, fish, frogs, fruit, nectar and blood.
  • Of their few enemies, owls are the deadliest.
  • One bat can eat as much as 1000 mosquitoes in an hour, playing an important role in controlling insect populations as well as pollinating flowers.
  • During flight, all bats use echolocation, similar to a dolphin's sonar, emitting ultrasonic sounds that bounce back, giving information about their environment.
  • Bats meet the standards to be considered mammals - they are warm-blooded and suckle their young.
  • Every type of bat flies through the night sky and hangs upside-down in caves or trees during day.
  • Bats can also swim, climb and crawl, and even some can run.
  • Unlike the smaller bats, flying foxes roost outside in the sun rather than in caves.
  • Flying foxes are highly sought after as a food delicacy in some parts of the world.

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Bat glossary
  • Chiroptera - meaning hand-wing, chiroptera is the scientific name for the bat family. There are about 1000 types of bats from the gigantic flying fox bats to the tiny bumblebee bat. In Bats, Doctor Sheila Casper is a wildlife zoologist with a specialty in chiroptera.
  • Echolocation - the use of ultrasonic sounds that reflect or echo back. Bats emit between 20 and 200 pulsing signals per second that bounce back to them, giving them information about their environment and potential prey. In Bats, Doctor Sheila Casper uses a bat-detector to pick up the ultrasonic echolocation calls of the bats.
  • Frugivores - animals whose primary diet consists of fruit. the flying fox is a frugivore, but in Bats, two were genetically tampered to become omnivores and began to infect other bats and terrorise Gallup.
  • Gguano - bat faeces. Guano is used as fertiliser, and during the USA civil war was used to make gunpowder. Guano emanates ammonia fumes. Doctor Sheila Casper and Sheriff Kimsey Don kevlar body armour and sophisticated breathing helmets and air tanks to protect themselves from the lethal levels of guano as they prepare to enter the bats' roost.
  • Macrobats - are larger, fruit-eating bats found in tropical regions. In Bats, two ferocious flying fox bats lead the colony. Flying foxes are a species of fruit bats found chiefly on the islands of the Malay-Indonesia archipelago and throughout the South Pacific. There are 60 types of flying foxes, the largest has a wingspan of 1.8 metres and is as large as a small child. High above the rainforest floor, camps of flying foxes hang upside down together, sometimes in groups as large as a million. These camps can be loud with bickering shrieks. Flying foxes uses their excellent eyesight and smell more than echolocation to locate food at night. Flying foxes are highly sought-after as a food delicacy in some parts of the world.
  • Microbats - are smaller bats such as the brown bat. They mostly eat insects and are common to the Americas and Europe. The smallest microbat weighs less than a coin. The flying foxes in Bats infect the microbats in Texas and cause them to react aggressively.

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