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What to watch this weekend

For schlock-horror, the third time's the charm at CBS.

USA Today

28 October 2005

The network's first attempt, Spring Break Shark Attack, had too much soap and too little shark. The second, Locusts, suffered from some buggy monsters that would only be terrifying to an amber wave of grain.

But homicidal, mutant vampire bats? I am so there.

Clearly, with Vampire Bats (* * * out of four, Sunday, 9 p.m. ET/PT), CBS has learned one of the essential rules of camp: You have to commit. This Locust sequel throws itself wholeheartedly into the form, with three bat-kills in the first 20 minutes. Yes, the mass attacks are too obviously computer generated and the bats themselves are alarmingly inefficient. But when they do bite, they do so with a gruesome Night of the Living Dead flair.

As in Locusts, our hero is Lucy Lawless' Dr. Maddy Rierdon, who has moved to a small Southern college to reconnect with her husband (a returning Dan Dryer). When student bodies start popping up around campus, Dr. Maddy thinks she knows the reason why: Super-fanged bats!

No one listens, of course, because in this kind of movie, the folks in charge always make the worst possible decision at every possible turn. Still, it all adds up to silly pre-Halloween fun, particularly on a night when Desperate Housewives is a repeat.

Bats all, folks.