The Bat People AKA: It lives by night

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1974

A couple are out exploring caves because I guess they don’t have lives. The wooden acting dude gets bit by a bat although given how bad his acting is he likely should have been hit by one instead you know like a Louisville Slugger kind of bat. Anywho they trouble the local doctor with their nonsense. There’s a lot droning on blah blah blah disease blah blah blah monsters and that kind of lunacy. The guy turns into a really cool looking bat guy just like the one in the poster…. no just kidding, he is a monster in the shadows grabbing women and killing them in rather boring ways and the film shows as little as possible. A local sheriff goes from semi-helpful to mean to nutbar in his pursuit of the boring bat dude. Our main couple make love which is not surprisingly dull and the woman opens her eyes to see her mate has transformed into a bat lover! Everyone gets tired of spewing out the dialog such as it is so the films races to an end. Some bats get the sheriff and some other dull, uninspired hooey goes on to and oh please roll the credits and have mercy on us.

The negatives-

The film starts out with some promise and there was potential to do something. The problem is they go for a subtle route of talk and no action or horror or suspense and the film mostly dies a quick death.

The positives-

There are some great locations and mostly they make as much use out of them as they can. The film begins alright with our lead getting bit by a bat and hints that he is becoming a monster. These parts had me thinking if they could increase the suspense this could have been a 70’s version of the classic man into monster type film that was popular in the 40’s and 50’s. Alas the makers of this fiulm just didn’t push hard enough with that angle. Trek fans will quickly notice that three of the four main characters were played by people who were guests in episodes of the original series. Long time character actors Michael Pataki (Korax from the Trouble with tribbles) and Paul Carr (Kelso from Where no man has gone before) actually try hard and help some in their supporting roles in this film.

Ultimately it’s a film that isn’t exciting enough for horror fans and it’s almost even too boring for fans of bad films to really make it through the whole thing. It’s a shame because there really was some potential here early on and some capable people in the cast.

 

 

Upcoming junk and stuff

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1970’s sci-fi week rolls on with Saturday morning shows. As a kid in the 1970’s I loved my cartoons but some of my first tastes of sci-fi on TV came through live action shows on Saturday mornings during that decade. I remember watching  The land of the lost and later that day taking  my plastic dinosaurs out to the sandbox to play out what I just saw. I think I got in trouble more than once for dumping buckets of water into the sandbox while trying to recreate the opening waterfall scene from the above show. Anyways I hope to review episodes of The land of the lost, Ark 2 and Space Academy plus Skeletor should be by.

Take care!

The Six Million Dollar Man-The return of Bigfoot

1976

 

The good-

1-Bigfoot!

2-A Bionic Woman cameo.

3-John freakin’ Saxon, baby!

4-Stefanie Powers in a tight jumpsuit.

5-A two parter, this show normally did well with those.

The bad-

1-Steve Austin’s horrible season four cheese ball mustache.

2-Sandy Duncan acting totally out of place as a ditzy alien.

3-Shiny suited alien thugs.

4-Takes a while to really  get going.

5-The show was overall better when Steve was fighting spies instead of robots, Bigfoot and aliens. Yes, this one is of course debatable.

This show lasted six years which made it the longest running American sci-fi show of the 1970’s. It changed a lot during the five seasons as it from spy thriller with light super powered action to a full out sci-fi, heavy on the super powers show. I think it’s a decent show but not for everyone. I tend to prefer space shows from the 70’s, but every once in a while I get in a phase where I’ll watch several episodes of this show.

Space:1999-The Testament of Arkadia

The moon and thus Moonbase Alpha is pulled in by this planet zooooooopppppp. Koenig and the rest say hey, there’s much else to do so let’s fly one our Eagle crafts over to yonder planet and check it out. Of course given this is Space: 1999 it takes them five minutes to say what I said in one sentence. Slightly sour Anna and slightly creepy Luke join the regulars on the trip so you know they’ll be important only to this episode. On the planet they discover a bunch of dead weeds, some icky skeletons and oh yeah signs that humans may have come from the beings on this planet. What the heck? That’s an awful quick revelation. Anyways speaking of awful back on Moonbase Alpha their power is fading fast and they have no solutions. It’s getting cold and the characters act ice and stiff…oh wait they always act like that. It’s determined that there is a chance of growing crops and such on the planet should Koenig and the rest choose to leave the troubled moonbase and take a shot trying to make a go of it on the planet. Luke and Anna are thrilled because they felt the bones call to them that they were destined to start a life on this planet (!?). Yay…but wait power has stabilized at a low but for now tolerable rate on the moonbase so the big exodus to the planet is off. Luke and Anna tell Koenig they want to go to the planet to live and he says no because it would too much of their supplies. They respond how and normal dedicated crew member would…they take supplies and  everything else they need by gunpoint or laser point or laser gun that looks like a staple gun since this is Space:1999. Koenig decided to let them go to avoid further violence and because time is running out on the episode. Plop Luke and Anna to the planet and now back to deal with the moonbase probl…wait power is back and the moon floats back aways. Luke and Anna are stuck to be Adam and Eve on a craphole planet and Moonbase Alpha is on to season two…oh dear the craphole planet doesn’t sound so bad.

The good-The idea behind the episode is slightly different for this show and although it’s uneven it is an interesting idea. The episode has more action than some of the others. I actually think although flawed this is one of my favorite episodes of the first season.

The bad-While the general idea of finding another planet where out life started has promise the episode throws away logic to some extent and makes some real leaps to get to this idea. Also it was slightly tough to buy Luke and Anna seeming to be dedicated crewmembers who suddenly go bonkers pulling weapons to get what they want.

The episode is overall pretty good for this show and I see it as one that tried to go beyond their usual ideas.

1970’s DVD list with a long name

Five 1970’s sci-fi shows that should be released as whole season DVD sets.

 

Fantastic Journey-1977

A very short lived show about people from different times and planets pulled into this weird area in the Bermuda Triangle. Never saw it and know it only from reputation and a number of stills. If this came out on DVD I’d buy it right away.

Project UFO-1978-79

The only one of these show to go more than one season although I guess it was more like two and a half seasons that ended up with 26 episodes. This was a Jack Webb show so it had that emotionless approach. This one followed two government agents looking over UFO sightings. I remember seeing a few episodes and really liking as a kid. Not sure it would hold up, but I’d love to see it again.

Cliffhangers-1979

I saw most of this when it was on. It went back and forth between three stories-a modern Dracula retelling, a suspense thriller and a remake of the Secret Empire. Unfortunately it was canceled before all the stories showed the finales however I believe the ending were filmed.

Time Express-1979

I never saw this one. It stars Vincent Price and his real life wife Coral Brown as hosts of a ghost train who let guests re-visit the best moment of their life. Sounds a little like a spookier Fantasy Island. The show lasted a mere four episodes. The big reason I want to see this is just because of Vincent Price.

Salvage 1-1979

In the 1970’s Andy Griffith was searching hard for another regular TV series. He may have been miscast as a junkman wanting to go into space. I have brief memories of this, but would love to all of the few episodes that were done. Unlike the other shows on here most of these have been released on made by on demand DVDs, but they are like $20 an episode! I would love to see the whole series for that then someone might buy it.