THE WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN (1966)
Article #1629 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-30-2005
Posting Date: 1-27-2006
Directed by Jerry Warren
Featuring Katherine Victor, George Mitchell, Steve Brodie
Batwoman tries to prevent the evil Rat Fink from stealing an atomic-powered hearing aid.
Given the comments I’ve made heretofore about Jerry Warren’s directorial style, one would think that the man’s work was of a piece, with no marked difference to distinguish one of his movies from another. That’s not strictly true; Jerry Warren did on occasion learn from his mistakes, and not all of his movies are snoozefests. That isn’t to say that his work evolved (which implies a step up, a deceptive statement if ever there was one); nor did it devolve (which implies a step down, which was impossible). Rather, let’s say it mutated, and not into something pretty.
Let’s take this movie. It manages to accomplish something that none of his other movies to date (with the possible exception of MAN BEAST) have achieved —it maintains a rudimentary interest level throughout; in short, it doesn’t put you right to sleep. But how did he accomplish this? I’m guessing that he realized that the only original footage he shot for ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY (in opposition to the footage he took from THE AZTEC MUMMY) that held any sort of interest level was the scene in the malt shop, where the distracting sight of a girl’s wiggling derriere provided the only reason not to nod off during a tedious dialogue sequence. What did he learn from this? He learned that if you want to keep people awake, throw in distracting action during the dialogue sequences. As a result, every time this movie hits an expositional scene or one where important information is imparted, he throws in background distractions such as mugging comic relief characters, wiggling derrieres (of course) and horseshoe tugs-of-war (huh?). Yes, it manages to hold your interest, but just try to keep track of the story. Granted, the story is such a mess that trying to follow it was probably a lost cause anyway, and the fact that this was Warren’s attempt to make a really sixties movie (designed to recall, among other thing, spy movies, horror movies, beach party movies and TV’s “Batman”) that is fun-filled and campy only magnifies the confusion. As a result, Warren does manage to avoid a snoozefest here, but at a price; instead of a refreshing sleep, you’ll have migraines.
So what was Jerry Warren’s reward for this undertaking? A lawsuit for his use of the Batwoman name. This, with the exception of an early eighties movie called FRANKENSTEIN ISLAND, brought Warren’s directorial career to an end.