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Halloween 1999

In this issue:    Bats   Blair Witch   Costume Tips   The Best and Worst of Horror   Hollywood's History of Horror   and   What is Halloween?

Bats is a taut psychological thriller that provides a terrifying insight into the burgeoning field of genetic engineering. In this powerfully moving piece, we see the devastating effects of playing God and what happens when we mess with forces we don’t truly understand, altering DNA to serve those slavering, inexorably growing masters we call ‘science’ and ‘progress’. Bats tells the story of a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong in which fruit bats are altered and bred in the interests of ‘science’ into insatiable eating machines, causing an infestation of millions of the creatures, who proceed to eat all the oranges in southern Florida, precipitating a global economic crisis in which the world teeters on the brink of financial ruin. The rest of the movie is a tense John Grisham-style courtroom drama in which the leaders of the experiment are confronted with the effects of their studies and the interests of science are put on trial. The film stars Robert DeNiro as tough-but-fair lawyer Robbie Brinks, who takes the side of the scientists in the legal battle, as well as Al Pacino as the prosecuting attorney who must take on the modern scientific paradigm in order to save the world as we know it, all the while juggling a tempestuous relationship with a young, drug-addicted prostitute, played by Austin Power’s Heather Graham. As some of you may have guessed by now, I haven’t actually seen the movie, and am making all of this up, but based upon the fact the commercials don’t really reveal too much about the plot, I think my guess is as good as any. I’m actually kind of leery about going to see it, partly because Lou Diamond Phillips is in it and he has a tendancy to make me kind of nervous ever since I saw him naked in The Big Hit, but mostly because I don’t really trust horror movies that are rated PG-13. If it’s accessible to Backstreet Boys fans, it ain’t a good movie. But on the plus side, it does contain giant bats, which is a big check in the ‘pro’ column. Honestly, there’s no such thing as a bad movie that contains giant animals. King Kong? A classic! Jaws? I defy anyone not to like it. Lake Placid? Uh, well the alligator was pretty cool I guess. Mighty Joe Monkey? A giant gorilla! Need I say more? Deep Blue Giant Shark? The title says it all! I think I’ve proved my point.


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