Home Movies/Out on Digital: Oct. 15
■ Devil Bat
With a smile that casts deep shadows and a courtly Old World demeanor barely masking the madness in his eyes, Bela Lugosi plays a country doctor with dark secrets in this 1940 low-budget horror picture (out on Blu-ray). In a laboratory stocked with foaming beakers and arcing electricity, the doctor conducts horrifying animal experiments—just the thing PETA would protest nowadays. Speaking in rich Balkan tones, Lugosi transformed even the most leaden screenwriting into gold.
■ Java Heat
It’s an intriguing premise despite its paint-by-numbers execution: an American agent improbably disguised as an art history instructor (Kellan Lutz) is caught up in an Indonesian terror attack. He must navigate amidst honest cops, bad cops and a mysterious mastermind behind the apparent Jihadist plot. Mickey Rourke, channeling Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando, plays the shadowy mastermind (and the best reason for seeing the movie).
■ “The Halloween Stories Collection”
Skeletons play guitars and maracas as they stroll through forests of sugar skulls and tombstones in the party-colored animated short, “The Day of the Dead.” The meaning of the holiday is explained, opening a window onto Mexican food and culture. Although the recommended ages for this three-disc children’s collection is 3-9, it could teach adults a few things, too. The animation is delightfully old school; Joan Allen and Rita Moreno are among the star narrators.
TAGS: Devil Bat, Bela Lugosi, Java Heat, Kellan Lutz, Mickey Rourke, The Halloween Stories Collection, The Day of the Dead, Joan Allen, Rita Moreno, David Luhrssen