Film Review: The Bat People (1974)

Also known as: It Lives By Night, It’s Alive
Release Date: January 30th, 1974
Directed by: Jerry Jameson
Written by: Lou Shaw
Cast: Stewart Moss, Marianne McAndrew, Michael Pataki, Paul Carr, Arthur Space

American International Pictures, 95 Minutes


This is one of the many awful creature features put out by American International Pictures, as they were working their way towards eventual bankruptcy. It isn’t clever, it isn’t unique, it isn’t cool, it isn’t scary and it certainly isn’t a good picture by any stretch of the imagination.

The story sees a newly married couple, played by a real married couple, go spelunking in Colorado. The man, a doctor who specializes in bats, is bit by a fruit bat. Somehow, being bit by this fruit bat causes the man to act like a vampire bat.

As the film progresses, he kills people, raises the ire of a dickhead sheriff and slowly starts to turn into a man-bat creature. After having sex with his wife, who is trying to protect him, she turns into a vampire. So a fruit bat bite creates a vampire werebat whose penis turns a woman into a vampire.

My drunk church lady aunt used to come up with wild stories like this to keep us kids from venturing off into doing dangerous stuff.

But seriously, I have come across some really bad movie plots in my day but this is on a new level of stupid. Maybe the fruit bat having mystical powers was explained but I could have missed it, as I was slamming my head into the coffee table throughout most of this movie.

It should go without saying that this film boasts atrocious acting, heinous cinematography, horrible effects, awful stunts and it is painfully long at 95 minutes. It would have been painfully long just watching a 2 minute trailer.

I can’t recommend this film to anyone. It isn’t so bad that it’s good, it is so bad that playing it will cause the Earth to open up and spit demons out to murder anyone within the vicinity of this movie. Luckily, I have some Demon-Away spray repellent and was able to avoid the wrath of Hell. Although, they still tried to throw their poop at me for 95 minutes.

If you feel compelled to suffer through this and to summon the forces of Hell, there is a version of it featured in the final season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The episode is titled It Lives By Night because they hoped by using the alternate title, it might not raise armies of killer demons.

Rating: 1.25/10