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"Well, maybe IT shouldn't drink so much coffee."
It Lives by Night, also known as The Bat People, is a horror film from 1974 that's best known for its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's the story of a researcher who suffers a case of The Stupids and wanders off trail in a cave. Of course, he gets bitten by a bat, and from then on periodically turns into a sort of half-bat-half-human monster.
His symptoms are first mistaken for rabies, as the Grooviest Doctor in the World ascertains. However, this turns out to not be the case. Given the unexplained, violent deaths that tend to follow cases like this, law enforcement becomes interested. Said law enforcement is one loathsome, perverted cop whom seems to have a thing for women in vulnerable situations.
Just what would be the fate of our hapless, transforming protagonist? Can he rid the bats from his belfry and return to a normal life? Will he outwit the lecherous Sergeant? Will he lay with his pinched, ferret-y killjoy of a wife to infect her with his were-bat affliction, and then run off to kill a smelly homeless guy? Answer key: no, kinda, NOOOOOOOO! and yes.
Tropes found in It Lives by Night:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Sgt. Ward, a.k.a. Sheriff Menacing W. Pervert.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Well, your precise definition of "bad guy" may be important here, but at the end of the movie John, who you may remember murdered several people, is at large and remains a danger to all. His wife supports him and implicitly becomes a bat person herself. Sgt. Ward is killed by a bat... swarm. Bats swarm, right?
- Car Chase: Man, for a crazy guy Johnny drives like a maniac! Wait...
- Catapult Nightmare: Several times. At one point he just darts up and starts screaming.
- Corrupt Cop: Sgt. Ward.
- Fate Worse Than Death
- Hey, It's That Guy!: The three principal male actors (Johnny, Sgt. Ward, and Doctor Groovy) were all prominent Star Trek guest stars. Michael Pataki (Sgt. Ward) also played J.C. on The Sidehackers.
- Jerkass: Johnny seemed to be an asshole even before he was bitten, especially to his wife Kathy.
- Made even more cringe-inducing by the fact that the two actors who played Johnny and Kathy are real-life husband and wife.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Implied with Ward.
- Obviously Evil: John isn't evil per se, but his guilt is very apparent to Sgt. Ward and the viewer. Too bad Ward was too stupid to do anything about it when he had the chance.