Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Awfully Good: Batman: The Movie

06.27.2012by:

In preparation for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Awfully Good will be featuring a different Batman-related movie each week until the film's release. Perhaps a little Schumacher will help you appreciate Christopher Nolan that much more.

Batman: The Movie (1966)

Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether


When The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman join forces, the Dynamic Duo must battle exploding animals, semi-powerful magnets, and dry skin in order to protect the world from certain doom.


It's hard to fault something like BATMAN: THE MOVIE, because it's clearly aiming for pure camp and aspiring for the utmost ridiculousness. You'll roll your eyes so much you might have to register them as licensed motor vehicles, but I'm pretty sure that was the intention of everyone involved. I mean, this is a film that opens with a title card dedicating it to the real-life "enemies of crime throughout the world for their inspirational example"—and then five minutes later the title character is using a can of shark repellant on a giant exploding fish. This is Awfully Good on purpose. I hope.


And just like that, Batman was free to be with Robin forever.

Coming at the end of the TV series' wildly popular first season, BATMAN: THE MOVIE is essentially a longer, more epic episode of the show. It pits Gotham's Dynamic Duo against all four of their biggest arch-nemeses—The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin and Catwoman. Here's the dastardly plan that brings these supervillains together: they've designed a trap to lure Batman to their lair, whereby they will use a Jack-in-the-Box to fling him out an open window and get eaten by an exploding octopus. No, really. That's what they came up with. (I guess it's better than the first aforementioned plot involving exploding sharks and nautical mirages.)


That's What She Said #1

When Bruce Wayne easily foils that plan, the fearsome foursome move on to their bigger goal—using a handheld dehydrator that turns people in to piles of dust to take over the world. And how exactly does one conquer Planet Earth with an anti-moisture device? By dehydrating the U.N. Security Council and taking their remains hostage for money, of course! Except the United Nations is made up of representatives from each country, not actual world leaders. I don't foresee the U.S. paying a trillion dollars to get their ambassador back.


In hindsight, both men should've known that no good would come from Joker yelling out, "It's electric, boogie woogie woogie!"

If that "plot" sounds like a blast, it's because it is. The 1966 BATMAN is just nonstop in terms of entertainment value. Pretty much every second of the movie there's something going on, be it a dreadful line, hammy acting, cheesy slapstick or nonsensical story development. Everything that works (or doesn't work) about the show is present in the film adaptation. There's the cartoon POW!s and ZONK!s during fights. Characters speak in alliteration and wordplay, even when it doesn't make sense. And the acting…my God, the acting.


That's What She Said #2

Adam West deserves some kind of Anti-Oscar for his bizarrely-tempoed performance that makes William Shatner and Christopher Walken sound like they have rhythm. Ironically, he's at his best in BATMAN when he's playing an oversexed version of Bruce Wayne, who can barely contain himself or form coherent sentences when around Catwoman's Russian alter ego Kitka. Burt Ward's Robin, on the other hand, pales in comparison as a character solely defined by his brightly colored tights and patented "Holy _____, Batman!" line. He's not bad; he's just not given much to do besides respond to the main superhero. The villains each get their time to shine, though Burgess Meredith is the most fun as the constantly squawking Penguin. And although Julie Newmar doesn't appear as Catwoman due to scheduling conflicts, former Miss America Lee Meriwether fills out the leather suit quite nicely.


Little known fact: Sharks also stand up to pee

Wonder what else this movie has to offer? Exploding shark attacks are just the beginning!

- An unhealthy obsession with blowing up sea creatures. First there's the shark, then the octopus, and then out of nowhere, a random porpoise hurls itself in the path of a deadly torpedo, saving the Dynamic Duo. This all happens offscreen so we only get to hear Robin describe it and attribute the heroic act to the fish's "almost-human nobility."

- Ridiculous riddles. The crazy connection and logic Batman uses to solve the Riddler's criminal conundrums is absolutely insane. It makes Jeff Goldblum's "virus" solution in INDEPENDENCE DAY seem Sherlock Holmesian. An example: "It happened at sea…C for Catwoman!"

- Use of technology. The primitive room-sized computers that magically know everything are pretty bad, but the movie takes it at least three steps further. The bad guys fly around on vacuum-torpedoes that might as well be flying broomsticks. Batman is able to look up the frequency of a missile while it's flying at them and then jam the signal so it falls in to the sea. Then he uses his transmitter to "reverse the polarity and send out waves of super energy" to blow up a torpedo. (Impressively, The Penguin immediately recognizes his use of a "Super Energy Reverse Polarizer.")


That's What She Said #3

- How Batman leaned to stop worrying and love the bomb. There is an extended sequence where The Dark Knight runs around carrying a lit explosive device, comically looking around for a safe place to dispose it and only finding innocent people, baby ducklings and a marching band. He actually says, "Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb."

- Divine Intervention. The Batcopter crashes in what should be instant death for our heroes. Except it manages to make a safe, pillowy landing at a "Foam Rubber Manufacturers Convention."

- Creativity. Everything in the movie has to have the word "bat" precede it. And not just the Batmobile, Batcopter, Batboat and Batcycle, but everything from a Batscanner to Super Blinding Batpellets to a speedometer that reads "Full Batspeed." I mean, can't you just call it a ladder? Why does it have to be a Batladder?

- The end. Of course Batman and Robin save the day, but all the ashes from the U.N. ambassadors get mixed together. This leads to a commentary on the human condition as Batman considers NOT using a Super Molecular Dust Separator and instead mixing their DNA to make them more understanding and tolerant of each other. Needless to say, they screw everything up, leaving Batman instructing Robin to leave "inconspicuously." The film then ends as two grown men in brightly colored costumes awkwardly sneak out of the room and attempt to climb out the window of the United Nations using everyday rope. It is a perfect denouement to a ridiculous movie.


That's what, um, nobody says…


No words can describe such golden dialogue as, "Salt and corrosion…the infamous old enemies of the crimefighter!"


1) Some of the more ridiculous riddles and illogical connections made by Batman and Robin.


2) The famous scene where Batman jumps the shark…er, hovers over the shark with shark repellent. BONUS: An exploding octopus!


3) The also famous scene where Batman attempts to get rid of the bomb.


Lee Meriwether in a leather catsuit for the guys, Burt Ward in tights for the ladies.



Get more POW! In your life! Buy this movie here!


Take a shot or drink every time:

  • - An animal explodes
  • - Robin says "Holy" something
  • - Adam West hits on a lady
  • - There's unintentional homoeroticism
  • - Someone gets dehydrated or rehydrated
  • - Sound effects are written onscreen


Double shot if:

  • - Someone reverses the polarity

Tune in next week—same Bat-time, same Bat-channel—for more Batman Awfully Goodness!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: awfully good

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

12:34AM on 07/11/2012
Ha ha! What a great set of captions. Great job on this article. I loved it.
Ha ha! What a great set of captions. Great job on this article. I loved it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:02PM on 06/27/2012

What has yellow skin and writes?

A BALLPOINT BANANA lol what? One of the funniest movies ever!
A BALLPOINT BANANA lol what? One of the funniest movies ever!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
11:05AM on 06/27/2012
hahaha... awesome Jason! If there's ever a golden throne of awfully good articles, this one has to be in the VIP section!
hahaha... awesome Jason! If there's ever a golden throne of awfully good articles, this one has to be in the VIP section!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:12AM on 06/27/2012
"They may be drinkers Robin, but their also human beings!" --- Fucking Priceless!!!!!
"They may be drinkers Robin, but their also human beings!" --- Fucking Priceless!!!!!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:04AM on 06/27/2012
"They may be drinkers Robin, but their also human beings!" --- Fucking Priceless!!!!!
"They may be drinkers Robin, but their also human beings!" --- Fucking Priceless!!!!!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:27AM on 06/27/2012

Does This Qualify As "Awfully Good"?

This film, like the television series, was intentionally corny and therefore tried to make the audience laugh with a silly sense of humor. Never at one moment did I think this movie was meant to be taken seriously, and it seemed clear that the filmmaker's tongue was firmly in cheek throughout. Therefore, since it was intentionally bad and attempted to be funny through this style, how does it qualify as "awfully good"? You even admit that it is "awfully good on purpose," yet your summary says
This film, like the television series, was intentionally corny and therefore tried to make the audience laugh with a silly sense of humor. Never at one moment did I think this movie was meant to be taken seriously, and it seemed clear that the filmmaker's tongue was firmly in cheek throughout. Therefore, since it was intentionally bad and attempted to be funny through this style, how does it qualify as "awfully good"? You even admit that it is "awfully good on purpose," yet your summary says "Holy unintentional hilarity, Batman." Anyone who has seen the television series knows the humor was intentional, and if you laughed at it, the film accomplished its goal. If a film tries to make you laugh with corny humor (and, let's face it, it features graphics that say "bam" and "pow", which makes it clear the intent), then it is merely good, not awful.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:50AM on 06/27/2012

YAY, the new layout (that I hate) and the death of Digital Dorm didn't kill my favorite column!

I'm so glad this column was rescued from the Digital Dorm. I was really worried when joblo killed that part of the site. I was never a fan of 60's Batman as the 1989 Tim Burton classic came out when I was 7 and like many people in my generation it obliterated the idea of never taking Batman seriously. However, I did watch this movie over and over again in loops on the Disney channel as a youngster and was moderately impressed by how many villains they got together. To this day Frank Gorshen's
I'm so glad this column was rescued from the Digital Dorm. I was really worried when joblo killed that part of the site. I was never a fan of 60's Batman as the 1989 Tim Burton classic came out when I was 7 and like many people in my generation it obliterated the idea of never taking Batman seriously. However, I did watch this movie over and over again in loops on the Disney channel as a youngster and was moderately impressed by how many villains they got together. To this day Frank Gorshen's Riddler and his lines do make me laugh in a completely non-ironic way.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:38AM on 06/27/2012
Watching this as a kid I remember Batman trying to get rid of the bomb and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Now its just funny as hell.
(still have it on VHS too)
Watching this as a kid I remember Batman trying to get rid of the bomb and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Now its just funny as hell.
(still have it on VHS too)
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:32AM on 06/27/2012
I remember enjoyed this a lot when I was a kid watching it on VHS. I just got the new released DVD last year and I laughed a lot. Holy Salt Corrosion and Shark Repellent, Batman! This is really Awfully Good!
I remember enjoyed this a lot when I was a kid watching it on VHS. I just got the new released DVD last year and I laughed a lot. Holy Salt Corrosion and Shark Repellent, Batman! This is really Awfully Good!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+10
1:31AM on 06/27/2012
Out of all the Batman films out there, this is the one I've probably seen the most. I'm not kidding. Owned this bad boy on VHS, and when I was a wee lad...this shit was the bees knees. Batman versus a shark?! Game over, man.
Out of all the Batman films out there, this is the one I've probably seen the most. I'm not kidding. Owned this bad boy on VHS, and when I was a wee lad...this shit was the bees knees. Batman versus a shark?! Game over, man.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!