Bats (1999)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Lou Diamond Phillips, Dina Meyer, Leon Carlos Jacott
Extras: Commentary track, featurettes, Isolated score, Photo galleries and more

A few genetically manipulated bats escape a laboratory and quickly infect an exponentially growing number of other bats. The result – blood-thirsty and overly intelligent killers that cloak the sky and begin feasting on everything human.

Quite frankly, “Bats” must rank as the worst and most ineptly done movie in the last years. The acting is a joke, the story is implausible and illogical and has more holes than chicken-wire. As a free add-on you get image compositions and editing that are erratic at best, and not even the poor special effects can drag this baby further down as it already is.

Despite the film’s obvious insufficiencies, Columbia’s presentation of the film on this DVD easily eclipses the movie itself. With a perfectly clean anamorphic widescreen transfer, the disc is a showcase disc. The transfer is highly detailed and exhibits a very colorful presentation of the film without even the slightest signs of compression. The level of detail is staggering and the black level is also astounding, while the highlights remain balanced and natural. Given the movie’s eccentric coloring, this disc is perfect to show off DVD’s video qualities.

The same is essentially true for the audio track. Powerful, aggressive and engaging with a wide frequency response, the audio track engulfs the viewer and pounds the speakers. Split surrounds are used very aggressively throughout the film, even adding a center rear channel to the mix through the use of THX EX encoding.

The horror genre has a bad reputation for bringing forth a lot of poor movies, but it was traditionally limited to independent films. With more and more majors putting their feet in the waters of the horror genre we have seen a dramatic increase in brainless major movies, and “Bats” beats them all hands-down. I guess you could use the disc as a DVD to show off your system, but then again, there’s a bunch of other disc’s that do the same thing, but at least they are tolerable to experience the showcase. I had to opt out of this one after 25 minutes – that’s how bad it is.