THE BAT PEOPLE (1974) aka It Lives By Night
“After the sun has set and the night wind has died comes the hour of the bat people!”
Directed by Jerry Jameson (The Mod Squad 1968-1972, The Over-The Hill-Gang 1969, The Six Million Dollar Man 1974, Mayberry R.F.D 1968-1970, Airport ’77) and Cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti who was director of photography on Poltergeist 1982, Breaking Away 1979 and more- check out his impressive IMDb page. With make up by Stan Winston.
This is an obscure 70s low budget horror film, the likes which were cropping up all over drive ins and little art house movie theatres in the mid 1970s.
The Bat People stars Michael Pataki as Sgt.Ward who begins to investigate and hunt down the vampire bat people. Stewart Moss (who did a lot of television from 1960s-1990s) plays Dr. John Beck who studies bats and Marianne McAndrew (again, lots of tv series and tv films) is Cathy Beck, John’s new bride.
Dr. Beck is bitten by a bat while exploring Carlsbad Cavern (location used on many sci-fi films of the 50s-70s) , and then begins his transform into a hybrid man/bat, who doesn’t want to bite innocent people for their blood. Will his wife be able to help or will she become infected too!?
The Bat People has the perfect stylistic look of a great obscure made for television 70s treat though it had it’s own theatrical release. It’s a guilty pleasure for those of us that enjoy rare looks at 70s drive in oddities!