The Internet Movie Database reports that actress Lucy Lawless narrowly escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina while shooting the CBS TV movie VAMPIRE BATS in New Orleans. The actress was part of the mandatory evacuation of the city, and tells the site, “The traffic was going one mile per hour sometimes, then it was two miles per hour, then five. It took nine hours for what should have taken 50-55 minutes.” The actress adds that she was more concerned for those who couldn’t flee the city in time—“I just realized all those people in incredibly low-lying areas are in such threat. I just worry about them”—and that she was enjoying the New Orleans experience. “I love this town, I love the heat. I was afraid of coming, working in sweltering heat and swamps, but it’s just been pure joy. I would move here if I could work here all of the time.” The site notes that Hilary Swank also had to briefly depart the nearby Baton Rouge location of her currently shooting Dark Castle chiller THE REAPING.
In VAMPIRE BATS, scheduled to air this Halloween, Lawless reprises her role from this past spring’s CBS flick LOCUSTS as “former voracious insect specialist” Dr. Maddy Rierdon. Now working as a college professor, she assists in the investigation of what appears to be a student’s murder. When the victim turns out to have been killed by bats, she realizes that the flying rodents have become mutated by tainted water and has to stop them from threatening the entire community. Also returning from LOCUSTS are co-star Dylan Neal, writer Doug Prochilo and producers Frank von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner and Jill Tanner; Eric (STRANGER THAN FICTION) Bross directs, and the supporting cast includes Brett Butler, Timothy Bottoms and Craig Ferguson.