A review by Robert Long II ©2010
Batman/Bruce Wayne – Dale DaBone (originally portrayed by Adam West)
Robin/Dick Grayson – James Deen (originally portrayed by Burt Ward)
Catwoman – Tori Black (originally portrayed by Julie Newmar)
Batgirl/Barbara Gordon – Lexi Belle (originally portrayed by Yvonne Craig)
Riddler – Evan Stone (originally portrayed by Frank Gorshin)
Joker – Randy Spears (originally portrayed by Cesar Romero)
Molly – Alexis Texas (originally played by Jill St. John)
Lisa Carson – Kimberly Kane (originally played by Lee Meriwether)
Ron Jeremy – Himself (window cameo)
Written, Produced and Directed by Axel Braun
Why am I reviewing an adult film put out by Vivid Entertainment? Because I am a huge 1966 Batman fan, and besides – it’s my site. I do promise that this will be a very “clean” review, and no – there will be no adult pictures posted here.
The Plot: Heiress Lisa Carson (Kimberly Kane) gets kidnapped away from stately Wayne Manor by none other than the Prince of Puzzles himself, the Riddler (Evan Stone). The Riddler alerts Commissioner Gordon of this, who in turns calls the Dynamic Duo on the Batphone Hotline. Apprised of the situation, they waste no time in changing into Batman and Robin and racing towards Gotham City in the Batmobile.
Batman (Dale DaBone) surmises that the Riddler wants to use Lisa as bait to trap them, so he and Robin (James Deen) take a Bat-Climb up the wall of a fashionable nightclub. Within this establishment he hopes to find someone associated with the Riddler, and in turn follow them back to his hideout. At the bar he meets Molly (Alexis Texas) who is in cahoots with the Riddler. She spikes the Caped Crusader’s drink and then drags him back to the Riddler’s pad.
Robin, fearing that Batman has been kidnapped, holds a meeting with Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara. Batgirl (Lexi Belle) overhears this and offers to help the Boy Wonder. They sneak into the Joker’s lair in time to learn that the Joker, the Riddler, and the Catwoman plan to do away with the trio of heroes, and that Batman has already fallen into their clutches.
Unfortunately, Batgirl and Robin get captured by the Catwoman’s minions, and are dragged out into the main criminal lair to be executed along with Batman. Will our three heroes escape their dire fate and defeat the Joker, the Riddler, and Catwoman? Stay tuned… Same Bat XXX Time! Same Bat XXX Channel!
Overview of the Actors playing the Heroes:
Dale DaBone as Batman – He doesn’t look a lot like Adam West, but overall Dale does a credible performance, and has the spirit of the 1966 Batman. There are times that he has the voice and the mannerisms down perfectly. As to the adult scenes – he has two. His solo with Alexis Texas is probably better than the double teamed scene he and James Deen share with Tori Black. Dale does have a pretty good sense of comedic and dramatic timing.
James Deen as Robin – James is the real standout of the cast. He acts and sounds just like Burt Ward’s Robin. He also has a resemblance to Ward, though it would have been nice if his hair part was on the correct side of his head, and if he had shaved off his sideburns. He does a great job with the acting parts, and has two adult scenes: a solo with Lexi Belle, and a double teamed scene with Tori Black and Dale DaBone. My one remark with the Robin/Batgirl solo scene is that I wish the editor had edited out the few times the actors broke character, or when something awkward (like a cape) got in the way.
Lexi Belle as Batgirl – I wasn’t really impressed with her acting, and felt her appearance did not come close to the sexiness that Yvonne Craig portrayed in the role. Lexi comes off as Goldi Hawn mixed with Bugs Bunny and was just too goofy for the part (her voice sounds like she has been sucking on balloons filled with helium). Plus the fact that as Batgirl she was not sporting the red fall, but rather had long blonde harlet hair took away from the illusion as well. The irony of it all is that she turns out to have the best body of all the women featured, and also (in my opinion) has the best adult scene.
Overview of the Actors playing the Villains:
Evan Stone as the Riddler – Evan took his role very seriously and does a pretty good job as the Frank Gorshin style Riddler. His pregnant pauses were a little bit too often, and there were times he seemed to be channeling the Ted Knight Riddler (Knight did the Riddler voice for the late 1960s Filmation Batman cartoons). His manic-ness was spot on and he is a good actor. He shares a solo adult scene with Kimberly Kane. While it is a good scene and is shot well, it does seem to run a bit long. I give Evan an extra point by not breaking character in this scene.
Tori Black as the Catwoman – Tori is a fine actress and she does a great job mimicking Julie Newmar’s Catwoman style. With or without the 60s cat mask on, she looks quite a bit like Newmar. Her body is not quite as curvaceous, and she has a huge pelvic tattoo; it would have been better if she had body makeup covering it up (it proved to be very distracting). As mentioned, Tori does a superb job of acting, and shares one adult scene with actors DaBone and Deen. It is rather humorous that she is supposed to be in love/lust with Batman, but on screen the actress appears to be more interested in Robin than Batman. She did commit one Cardinal sin in a production like this; by the end of her scene she had removed all traces of her costume, which basically left Tori Black playing Tori Black.
Randy Spears as the Joker – there is an internet image of an early makeup test with Spears where his Cesar Romero Joker makeup is dead on. For some strange reason this look was not used for the actual production. The wig used in the promo shot is not the same as the one used in the show – and it is a shame. Spears comes off looking fairly close to the Romero Joker (the great costuming enhances this quite a bit) but he does not seem to be able to pull off Cesar’s mannerisms or voice. Romero always played it well over the top, while Spears has chosen to keep it more subdued. Also, the lighting is kept rather dark on the actor, keeping his face from truly looking like clown white makeup. Bonus points to Spears for growing a mustache just to have makeup cover it (ala Cesar Romero).
The Production: I have no idea what the budget was, but for the money there is a lot of loving attention to detail present in this parody. The sets are smaller versions of their bigger budgeted counterparts, but they were well researched and really capture the look and feel of the show. The villain’s lair is crazy and funky and lit wild – just like those on the series. The lighting, sound, and camera work were well done (though I don’t remember too many Dutch angles during the criminal segments). Unfortunately the music is not that of Neil Hefti and Nelson Riddle. However, after listening to it a few times I came to appreciate that the score pays a close homage to both of those composers.
I was surprised to see a Barris-style Batmobile in this production coming out of the Bronson Canyon caves (just like in the original series). I have it on sound authority that this footage was probably licensed to Vivid Entertainment by a Batmobile enthusiast. This person probably took their replica car up to the cave and drove it out of the entrance, while wearing a Batman costume. You will note in this segment that there are not “bats” on the doors, and Robin is not riding shotgun. All in all this was great production value and added to the feel of the show immensely.
Kimberly Kane (Lisa Carson) and Alexis Texas (Molly) are both pretty good actresses as well as performers and equate themselves well with the rest of the cast. Like a mentioned with Tori Black, the two other actresses that portray the Joker’s molls sport tattoos. Something for the production to keep in mind is that when doing a period piece (such as the 1960s) such modern markings can be distracting and can destroy a lot of the good will that has been garnered by everything else that was done right. A little body makeup would go a long way into keeping the illusion in place. The secondary actors that played such characters as Commissioner Gordon, Chief O’Hara, and Alfred the butler for the most part did their jobs very well.
The costumes and makeup has already been touched upon, but here are a few more observations. Most of the costumes – while not perfect – are close enough to pass for those used in the series. The exception being the Robin costume James Deen wears. It is a good thing he is a decent actor, because his costume is ill-fitting. The red vest goes to high up his neck and too short around his waist. He green trunks were very baggy, and his yellow cape was cut weird at the bottom. Also the throat collar was all screwed up; it looked like he had slept in it. One thing that the tv series had, that the makers of this might want to consider (should they do a sequel) is the fact that the performers on the series had snaps on their capes that kept them squared on the actor’s shoulder (and out of the way). Several times during the Batman XXX adult scenes the capes got in the way, or looked like they were going to choke the performers. On the plus side I will say that the materials used to make both Catwoman’s and Batgirl’s outfits looked great – better than many fan made costumes I have seen.
The Bat-Fight: In the behind-the-scenes we learn that Evan Stone was the fight coordinator for the Bat Fight. He does a good job, but the whole thing is just too short. Apparently he was supposed to have around 6 extra “goons” to take on Batman, Robin, and Batgirl – but only one showed up. Therefore there is not a lot of action, nor is there a lot of coverage on the fight. Robin doesn’t even get to participate (he gets kicked in the face by the Joker and is knocked out). The shots are medium to a wide overhead, so this scene is unfortunately lacking a bit. However, they do make fantastic use of the superimposed fight words.
Extras: The DVD comes with a few interesting bonuses. The best being the “non-sex version” of the episode. It plays like a PG-13 version of the feature and runs 30 minutes. This is good if you want to show it to a large crowd of people and would feel awkward about having the group sit through the lengthly adult scenes. Next is a behind-the-scenes featurette that talks to the cast and crew of the parody. This is well done and the viewer can tell that everyone involved was having a good time on the show. After that there is a smoking hot photo gallery of stills set to the Batman XXX theme. Last on the bonuses is an audition reel of the various male performers trying out for the various hero and villain roles. Sadly the one thing lacking is a blooper reel; I think on a production such as this there must have been some hilarious outtakes. A special shout out needs to be made for the design of the DVD menus. These are very slickly done and are a lot of fun.
The Bottom Line: Personally I think this is a great send up to the popular 1960s TV series. Axel Braun is a true fan of the show and this is his adult love letter to those that produced it four decades ago. He honestly gets much of it correct, and it is a blast to watch. I must admit that considering the costumes and crazy sets – for the most part I found the adult scenes to be quite tame. Anyway, I hope Braun considers doing a sequel to this, perhaps bringing back the Catwoman and having the Penguin and his lovely molls brought into the fold. Maybe also a diabolical death trap, as well as some villain on Batgirl action as well. If they can work a bit more of the Batmobile in, that won’t hurt anyone’s feelings either.
My Rating: 9/10 Batarangs. Axel Braun and his cast and crew did a fantastic job on this parody. I hope they do another one.
Are you interested in picking up a copy of this well produced Adult parody? Then click on the image below to go to Vivid’s site. You must be over 18 years of age to purchase it:
(Note: all images used in this review are the property of their respected owners – including Vivid Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Greenway Productions, etc. Smash or Trash Independent Film-making does not claim any rights or ownership to these images.)