The Golden Bat (1966)
aka Ogon batto
Article 5565 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Hajime Sato
Featuring Shin’ichi Chiba, Osamu Kobayashi, Wataru Yamagawa
What it is: Japanese superhero vs bad guys
A warrior known as the Golden Bat is resurrected and helps a group of scientists battle the evil Nazo, who had directed a planet to collide with the Earth.
I initially thought this one was going to be weirder than it was, but it fits rather neatly into the Starman/Prince of Space Japanese superhero mold. This is not to say that the Golden Bat isn’t rather bizarre; as a skull-masked baton-wielding cackling superhero, he seems more cut out for the villain role than the hero role. He’s certainly more charismatic than Nazo, who looks like a claw-armed four-eyed pantomime pooh bear and lives in a palace that drills up from the ground. The Golden Bat spends most of the movie batting around evil space ninjas with his baton and cackling maniacally. Yes, it’s silly, but it is on the fun side, and I rather enjoyed this one.