Welcome to this week’s installment of “It Came from the Bargain Bin!”
Once upon a time there was a television show about a millionaire by the name of Bruce Wayne, who along with his protégé Dick Grayson, would play the roles of everyday citizens of the city of Gotham but when a call was received on the Bat-phone from Commissioner Gordon to report another crime the two would transform into the masked crime fighting super duo known as “Batman and Robin”. Wearing masks to conceal their identity, along with capes and tights, Batman and Robin would protect Gotham City by thwarting the villainous attempts of nefarious criminals the likes of “The Joker”, “The Riddler”, “The Penguin”, and “Catwoman”, amongst others. The Batman television show was hugely popular when it first aired in 1966 but it soon lost its luster and was canceled in 1968 after 120 episodes. Luckily, this gem was filmed before the end of the Batman television show’s run or it may not have ever been made after its cancellation. So, without further ado, TO THE BAT-REVIEW!!
Batman (The Movie)
Starring: Adam West, Burt Ward, and Alan Napier
Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Director: Leslie H. Martinson
A yacht carrying ” a revolutionary scientific invention” is on its way to Gotham City, but not so fast, there seems to be a problem. Millionaire, Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and his protégé Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) are summoned back to Wayne Manor by an urgent but anonymous call for their help. Apparently, the inventor and the invention are both in grave danger aboard the yacht. Without delay, Bruce and Dick race to the Bat cave and transform into the dynamic duo known as Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward). From the Bat mobile to the Bat copter the crime-fighting duo eventually reach the yacht in peril. In an attempt to board the yacht that mysteriously disappears when Batman is only a few feet away from boarding, ”HOLY SARDINE!” Batman is attacked by an exploding shark that he is finally able to shed after many blows delivered to the shark’s head and body and the use of “shark repellant bat spray.” Who could be responsible for this act of pure evil, not only on Batman but the poor shark that exploded when it hit the water, and how did the yacht suddenly just disappear? Who could be responsible for such devilish trickery?
Enter the villains: “The Penguin! (Burgess Meredith) That pompous, wanting, master of foul (fowl) play, maestro of criminal umbrellas!” “The Joker! (Cesar Romero) That devilish clown prince of crime!” “The Riddler!” (Frank Gorshin) Who is loose again and “loose to play us with his criminal conundrums!” Last, but certainly not least, we have .”Catwoman!” (Lee Meriweather) who did not receive a colorful description so I’ll have to make up my own for her, how about, Catwoman! The devilishly demented princess of purrrrr! Okay, so I’m not exactly Lorenzo Semple Jr. but that was my best shot. Yes! That’s right! The Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler, and Catwoman are all together and they’ve joined evil forces to create the “United Underworld” whose sole purpose is to take over the world, beginning with Gotham City, and this goal will be made possible with the assistance of “The Total Dehydrator” which is the invention created by Commodore Schmidlapp (Reginald Denny) who the devious geniuses happen to be holding hostage along with the dehydrator. The Total Dehydrator is powerful enough to turn any human being into a pile of dehydrated rubble and this clan of criminals is willing to use it.
I think that it’s well known by now that fans of the Batman comic book were not exactly superfans of this movie nor the Batman television series. I can understand why they might not have cared for the campiness and lack of attention paid to the actual storyline of the comic book by the creators of the series and the film. I, on the other hand, loved watching the repeats of the Batman series as a child so it does have some sentimental value to me and this movie is basically just the television show but 105 minutes long which is just fine by me. I enjoyed the campiness and colorful characters this time around as much as I enjoyed the show when I was too young to recognize how ridiculous it was. If anything this is yet another movie from The Bin that is a sign of how things have changed because lets be honest, the sixties TV show Batman and this particular movie is a worlds difference if you compare it to the most recent Batman films but than again, that may be one of the things that I love about it. I give 1966′ Batman 2 out of 3 superheroes in tights. See you next week, same Bat-site, same Bat-segment!