Saturday, June 01, 2019

Honourable Mentions: Like a Bat Outta Hell

If you do a search for this film, the hits you get actually relate to the classic rock anthem by Meatloaf – and probably just as well really. However, this 2013 Australian flick has nothing to do with that slice of rock history – not even using it on the soundtrack. Rather the film, originally named Nowhere Else and directed by Danial Donai, is a film about a man-shaped bat.

Not really a vampire film, by any stretch, it is really the connection between the manbat and the vampire that caused me to mention it here – a film of genre interest rather than a genre film. However, the film recognises the connection itself by quoting Bram Stoker at the head, taking “Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great whirling circles” from Dracula and using it as an intertitle just after one that suggests the film is based on actual events (ahem).

in the graveyard
A brief moment of a woman, Bianca (Rachael Murphy), running (video camera in hand) through a graveyard. Fear not, however, this is not a Found Footage film… well it is, in that a reporter (Di Lesson) ends up looking at the footage but it is not in the style and is shot in third person. The main kids in the film are filmmakers – making surfing documentaries. They are Bianca, Randy (Marco Dapper), Jack (Dan Balcaban) and Chris (William Wensley). They are contacted by a producer and his man Boris (John Reynolds) to make something a little different. Now this made little sense to me – they are asked to do something different to normal (but not what), resist the suggestion (bar Chris who is in favour), eventually agree to take on the project, and yet only Chris seems to know that they are really looking to film a cryptid.

meeting Simpson
Why only Chris knows and, indeed, why they send the crew, with a tracking device in the camera, and have agents (unknown to the crew) using bait to draw the cryptid bats out made little sense as well. Be that as it may – they are directed to Nowhere Else – population 2, where grizzled Simpson (Vernon Wells, The Dead Undead & Revamped), keeps vigil (looking, we hear towards the end, for the creatures who killed his wife). They are soon being attacked by the cryptid bats – four foot tall, humanoid bats – with a suspicion of something reptilian about them!

bat creature
Though not necessarily bloodsuckers, they are certainly carnivores and the male bats like to take faces to present to the Queen bat (apparently). Not a lot else to say for our purpose except that the film isn’t brilliant. The plot makes little sense (why they aren’t told what they are after, why bait the bats as I said, or even why the group is together at all given how aggro Chris is) and the horror tropes are by the number and not very thrilling. There is a new cut of the film due in 2019, it would seem, with new footage if the trailer is anything to go by, and going by the name Chiroptera.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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