Shitty Movie Files #2: Batman (1966)

Shitty Movie Sunday (and sometimes Saturday) is a weekly hangout consisting of an ever-changing cast of characters. The consistent is this–we track down shitty movies and drink to the absurd and ridiculous. Join Virtual Napkins each week (ish) as we recount the events of Shitty Movie Sunday. The names have been changed for some reason.

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Okay–so I’m bad at keeping up with these, but here is to trying harder! It’s hard to carve out time to write these while working on the new novel, but we will give it a go.

Shitty Movie Sundays feel a little different these days–the gypsies have gone west and north for the summer and Uncle Brunkle is headed north to take up his watch at the north wall. Life keeps on churning and change is a welcome beast, but I won’t get into too much of that. Instead, this week’s Shitty Movie Sunday (on a Saturday) pays tribute to the late and great Adam West with the 1966 Batman movie. Which is great for a number of reasons–the most important of which may be how easy it is to drink to.

I knew this movie was campy and bad in all of the best ways, but I forgot just how hilariously awful it is. I mean Holy Sheesh, Batman–the caped crusader gets into what amounts to a fist fight with a rubber shark in the first 15 minutes. Not to mention, later, when he discovers a bomb set to explode, this happens (note – the “Yakety Sax” is not in the original, but it makes this scene so fantastic):

As far as plot goes, four of Gotham City’s biggest names–Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, and Riddler) all team up to try to take over the world by stealing something called a Dehydrator that they can use to turn people into different colored powders. They use this Dehydrator on the movie’s version of the United Nations. When all of the leaders/ diplomats representing the major nations of the world are dehydrated, they look like that colored sand you used to put in bottles at fairs.

In order to try to get Batman out of the way, they decide to kidnap Bruce Wayne. They are going to use Wayne as bait for Batman–I mean…Batman would definitely want to save a millionaire, right? The logic holds. So Catwoman gets dolled up and poses as the sexy Miss Kitka–a reporter for some Russian newspaper. She purrrfects at him a bunch, but he doesn’t catch on. He’s just smitten, and who could blame him? There was also an interesting Cold War era politics running through the script–just under the surface.

“Indeed, Alfred! I’ve rarely met a girl who’s such a potent argument in favor of international ‘relations.'”

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I love this movie. I love it in spite of its campy qualities. Batman is my favorite character in all of pop culture, and in many ways, I feel like I grew up with him. When I was a child, I remember watching reruns of the old Adam West Batman series with my folks. When I was super young, this was the version of Batman I needed–all cartoony dancing and onomatopoeia and Catwoman.

When I was a little older, I found the Tim Burton Batman, and Batman Returns is one of the first movies I saw in theaters. It was darker and violent and little scary. Batman: The Animated Series introduced me to the deeper canon even before I really got into the comic book lore.

I won’t talk about what Joel Schumacher did to my favorite character, but Chris Nolan brought it the rest of the way home for me.

Adam West, though, will always have a special place in my heart. Rest in peace, dark knight.

THE DRINKING GAME!

Take a drink for
1. Any “Bat” tool (Batcopter, Batmobile, etc.)
2. Any time Robin says his trademark “Holy ______!”
3. Any kind of pun or play on words (purrrrrfect)
4. Fight scenes
5. Any time any character says “Yo ho!”

Bonus (SHOTS!)
1. “Drinkers are people, too.”
2. Batman dances (watch carefully and be liberal in your interpretation)

 

 

 

I’ll be back soon with a special family edition of Shitty Movie Sunday!

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