Thursday, February 05, 2009


I haven't done a movie review in a while, even though I have partaken of such delights as Roger Corman's 'The Big Doll House' and the evocatively titled 'Blood Orgy of the She-Devils'. This is a poor state of affairs, so let me take you on a little journey through last night's MST3K, 'It Lives By Night'.

IT lives by night? Well yeah, I suppose that makes sense, what with all the ICQ chattering and LAN parties.

It's 1974, and ill-defined "doctor" Johnny Beck is honeymooning with his new wife in the mountains of New Mexico. While picnicking on an arid hillside he hears a weird throbbing sound that's only apparent to him. He suggests that they go and explore the nearby caves. She suggests that they go back to the motel and try this new "sex" thing that all the kids are talking about. In the end, they decide to combine their ideas and get jiggy with it in the caves.

Sadly for their respective libidos, they fall down a small crevasse in the caves, where she gets bitten by mites and he gets bitten by a bat... but not before he hears the weird throbbing sound again. Perhaps it's coming from his pants; if they'd just gone back to their motel like normal newlyweds none of this would have happened.

Beck is concerned about rabies, but as it turns out rabies is the least of his problems. He begins having wild dreams about nubile young women being attacked, and it turns out that this has nothing to do with any weird throbbing. Nubile young women really are being attacked by a mysterious killer, and the sleazy local sheriff thinks that Beck has something to do with it. It could be because his hospital bracelet was found next to the first body, and the bandages from his bat bite next to the second body. As you can see the sheriff isn't a great one for detectivizing, which is I suspect why we've never seen 'CSI: Carlsbad' come up in our TV listings.

Beck thinks that he's turning into some kind of man-bat, but maybe he's just crazy from the anti-rabies injections he's been receiving. He goes on a few non-murderous rampages, but not in any bat form. It's only when he finally gets around to having sex with his wife, and she catches a momentary glimpse of something that's either bat features or really shoddy special effects make-up, that we begin to realise that he might well be joining the ranks of the guano-producing, mosquito-eating, sonar-shrieking masses.

Beck turns into a were-bat. Or an extra from 'Planet of the Apes'. It's a little hard to tell.

Beck decides to off himself, but his mind is changed by a drunken hobo he meets in an old barn. The hobo is intended to be comic relief, but he ends up as lunch. Beck then flees back to the caves where he first got bitten. Sheriff Sleaze is already there, and despite being armed with a rifle and a maglite Beck beats the guano out of him then scuttles off into the darkness.

The sheriff retreats to the police station, to let Mrs Beck know that her husband is as crazy as a fruit bat, and offers to drive her back to her motel. However she too starts to hear the weird throbbing sound, and when bats attack the car on the way to the motel she opens the door and gets out. Sheriff Sleaze is devoured by bats (which is pretty impressive, given that they're all of four inches long and have teeth the size of sesame seeds), and Mrs Beck goes off to join her batty husband and presumably become a crazy bat lady herself.

This is problematic: Beck heard the weird throbbing before he got bitten by the bat, but she only heard it after she did the nasty with him. Cause and effect don't appear to have any correlation. True, this is all happening in 1974, when correlation was just a conspiracy by The Man to keep a brother down, but even so it's rather bewildering.

I had a nightmare that we were stuck in a terrible movie! IT JUST DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!

Thank goodness that 1975 was only just around the corner, and with it 'The Giant Spider Invasion', 'One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing' and... er... 'Mitchell'.

Well, it was only three more years till 'Star Wars', anyway.


Post a Comment

<< Home