Thursday, 23 June 2011
Bats: Human Harvest
BATS: HUMAN HARVEST (2007)
Directed by: Jaimie Dixon
Written by: Brett Merryman & Chris Denk
Starring: David Chokachi, Michael Jace, Pollyanna McIntosh
A name in only sequel to the 1999 Lou Diamond Phillips starring original Bats (remember that?), Human Harvest (awesome title) is chock full of cliche, annoying douche bag characters, insane plot contrivances, rickety CGI, giant carnivorous bats and was obviously shot on the cheap (very cheap) somewhere in Eastern Europe: so, of course, I loved it. I love creature features whether it's rampaging sharks, killer bugs or even, well, man eating bats and the lower of budget the better. Bats: Human Harvest has it all: those murderous bats, a former Baywatch star, shonky accents and CGI and a team of inept military dudes thrust deep into a spooky forest (to capture/rescue some important doctor type: who's been messing with the aforementioned bats) meaning there is plenty of opportunity for people to get picked off and engage in automatic fire with hordes of killer bats. Sweet.
The original Bats was a fun fright flick that benefited from the modest budget, the sexy Dina Meyer and Louis Morneau's sparky direction (he also made the quite awesome Retroactive). Its sequel has none of these things but any low budget genre flick that features a platoon of soldiers (Delta Force in this case, as the characters like to remind us all the freaking time) fighting a swarm of animals gone amok gets this doesn't-have-very-high-film-viewing-standards reviewer's vote. Yup, the CGI is distinctly ropey (but its a low budget sequel: that comes as standard), including some CGI helicopters (awesome!), meaning the bats are never really terrifying and the attacks mainly consist of the actors just flapping their arms around wildly or firing randomly into the sky. But there is a bit of gore to spice things up and lots of low rent shoot-outs (and a few surprising kabooms) to keep the flying rodent action ticking along nicely.
There are no likeable characters, everyone seemingly trying to out-douche one another (what is it with modern screenwriting where the people we are supposed to root for are bigger dickheads than the actual villains?) but then most of them get what they deserve and the whole forest setting makes for a cheap but visually appealing setting. So, for a flick about flesh devouring bats causing chaos in some random forest that is a shoe-string sequel to a Lou Diamond Phillips vehicle from the late nineties, Bats: Human Harvest provides of a decent amount of army-guys-fighting-off-rampaging-animals fun.