Svengoolie presents … Batman: The Movie

This week we go all-out with camp and fun as Svengoolie showed Batman: The Movie, a film that brings fond memories to all those who remember it.  It is a little slower than the television series, has more set pieces, and uses twice as many gadgets, stunts, and goofy moments. It is fun though and I have liked this film for a long time, but it does have a few flaws, I’m sad to say. Gadzooks!


But will this repellent work on plastic sharks?

The slow introduction is the first flaw.  Svengoolie explained that as Batman and Robin were flying in their helicopter, the famous fitness guru Jack LaLane and his groupies can be seen on a rooftop.  I did not know that! All the celebs are turning out for Batman: The Movie.  All the regular villains from the TV show are in this movie too.  They team up together as a group to do away with Batman once and for all!  Yowza!

batman2This is also the first appearance of the Batboat!  Wow!  The dynamic duo zip across the water to investigate a buoy to discover where an exploding shark came from.  Of course.  Holy Long John Silver, Batman!

At the time, I didn’t find this movie very funny.   It is sure is fun though.  It’s a kind of goofy comedy with a camp delivery and dialogue.  I can’t think of any other TV show or film that went so far over the top that it was chuckle-enducing.  Chuckle-enducing, as in, I was contemplating how silly it was.  Even when I watched it in syndication, I thought it was silly, but I think that’s what it was going for.  That’s the point of this, but they don’t give a crap.  They want it to be camp and silly, in fact.  That’s the point.  Silly is fun and camp is king in this movie.  I’m not sure I agree, but it doesn’t take itself seriously because the actors know it is for laughs.  Because everyone knows what they’re doing, the comedy performances are energetic and this makes it tolerable to watch.  At least the kids like it.

batman3In case you didn’t notice, there are some things I did like in this movie over the TV show.  The small budget couldn’t afford them much, so I like the new batcycle, the batboat and the bat-helicopter!  Svengoolie tells us that they used them for this movie so the cast could utilize them in the TV show, otherwise they couldn’t have afforded any new vehicles.   I like the Riddler’s new garb, a green suit with an interesting lining, designed for him as an alternative to the form-fitting spandex suit.  He wears the spandex a little later on when the villains ride some flying umbrellas into action.  

batman4Of course, the famous bomb scene is the epitome of camp.  Batman disposes the bomb in the nick of time! Hilarious!  This scene is still remembered today for its camp.  

The real problem with this movie is that it doesn’t do anything more than what it has done before.  It does the same thing over and over.  And over.  It is long.  Holy Camp overload, Batman!

batman217The extended time is never more apparent than in the overly long fight scene on top of the villain’s submarine.  I would say that the fight itself is decently choreographed, but lacks in some places obviously, because of some missed spots.  Everyone takes a dip in the water by the end, so at least the scene confirms that people can flop into water.  Kapow! Sploosh! 

All in all, I would say that this movie is pretty fun.  I think it’s a bit too long though.  Seems I like my Batman 66 in smaller doses, though each of the gags is unique, at least.  I think this was the height of Batman 66 and it made a lot of kids happy.  I think Batman 66 still makes people happy today and gets the job done with a celebration of a Batman with a lighter tone.  Rumors abound that Batman 66 will finally come to DVD in 2014 and I’ll be buying that for sure, to get my fix of Batman camp whenever I want! Holy flashbacks!