The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Sunday Cinema Presents: The Batman Vs. Dick Cheney!

Chapter Five: The Living Corpse!
Last week, The Batman was in the cab of a speeding armored car, violently attempting to get to second base with the driver as the car swerved off a treacherous mountain road. When last seen, the runaway vehicle was plunging hundreds of feet to the valley floor, delivering all inside to a certain doom. How could our hero have possibly escaped thistime?!
The answer: He couldn’t. And he didn’t. He perished in a fiery crash, and you’re all witnesses.
But it turns out that The Batman was rescued in the nick of time by the dedicated archivists at Eastman Kodak House, who apparently discovered a previously unknown director’s cut in the basement of a Slovakian tannery. This week, as the same sequence unspools, you will note that the Eastman technicians restored a brief, but crucial shot of The Batman leaping to safety. I think the lesson here is pretty clear: if you’re the kind of person who falls to his death on a weekly basis, try not to piss off film preservationists.
So anyway, thanks to Batman: The Special Edition, our hero jumps off the truck a split second before it turns into a collectible miniature and falls off a paper-mache mountain. The Batman lies facedown in the dirt for awhile, allowing us to observe that the seams in his cape are as thick as French braids. (Probably all the real cape-making material was needed at the front, so The Batman’s was sewn together out of recycled superhero costumes collected in a Cape Drive by patriotic newsies.)
Robin pulls up in the Cadillac and shouts, “Are you alright, Bruce?” Oh great. Thanks. The Batman goes to all the trouble of putting on this asinine get-up just to protect his identity and you have to go and blow it! Why don’t you take out a personal ad in the Village Voice? “Saw you fighting gangsters. I was bare-legged, with short-shorts and opera gloves. You were dressed as a bat. Call me.”
Back at the lair, Dr. Daka gets a call from a Japanese submarine that has just returned from a secret mission to Staples, where they bought lots of impractical office furniture for the conning tower. The captain reports that he has also brought Daka “a package from Japan,” but can’t deliver it to him directly, because it contains used schoolgirl panties and tentacle rape anime, and he’s kind of embarrassed. Instead, with typical Oriental cunning, the captain plans to smuggle the package into the country by taking it to “Smuggler’s Cove,” which is apparently the last place the authorities would ever think to look for smugglers.
Meanwhile, the government sends Bruce a message written with invisible ink, ordering him to get a job at the “Lockwood Aeronautics Company,” because they think The Batman would look funny in bib overalls and carrying a lunch pail.
That night, a group of professional Mr. Mooney impersonators deliver the package — a huge, black lacquered, silver-trimmed coffin — to Dr. Daka. Inside, along with copies of Upskirt! Magazine and the completeOverfiend collection is a dead Japanese soldier. Daka appears to revive the corpse by accessorizing it with a pair of Hercules Power Wristbands, but it’s hard to tell, since the whole sequence is shot out of focus. The resurrected soldier rises from the coffin, tells Daka to steal a plane with a super-secret new engine from Lockwood, then lays down again and re-dies.
How can the Japanese spy ring possibly evade the tight wartime security and break into Lockwood Aeronautics? It seems impossible, but Daka has a plan. It involves two mechanics from Lockwood happening by sheer random chance to wander down to the abandoned Little Tokyo section of town before their shift, and deciding to hang around until a carnie offers them free tickets to the Japanese Cave of Horrors so they can take the ride and get kidnapped. So yeah, it was impossible. (Look closely, and you’ll see that one of the mechanics is played by future Ed Wood regular Kenne Duncan. But don’t look too closely, because his nickname amongst the Wood stock company was “horsecock,” and you’ll poke your eye out!)
Hey, I just realized, except for the instant replay from last week’s cliffhanger, we haven’t even seen The Batman this episode. And we didn’t actually see much of him in the last one, either. Is he pregnant? Is it like when Gillian Anderson got knocked up during the second season of The X-Files, and The Batman’s going to start wearing big overcoats all the time and carrying file folders and briefcases to hide the bump?
Anyway, the mechanics’ car gets stuck in the middle of the Japanese Cave of Horrors.
“Good thing we got in free,” the first one quips.
“This thing is strictly from hunger,” agrees Kenne. Then Dr. Daka appears in a kimono, and for some reason they’re instantly charmed (I assume Daka enticed the two mechanics by performing “I Enjoy Being a Girl” from Flower Drum Song for them, and they just didn’t have the budget to show it). They follow him into the lair like a couple of horny sailors, where they are immediately overpowered by two middle-aged zombies. Cut to the lab, where Daka has placed the captured men under his mind-control hair dryers, and is giving their brains a rinse and some highlights.
The next day, Bruce and Dick, disguised as war workers, infiltrate the Lockwood plant. Meanwhile, Daka sends the zombified mechanics to steal the experimental plane, which Bruce is hiding in for reasons which are apparent to nobody. Dick follows the zombies into a shed near the airstrip, arriving just in time to see them knock out the genuine flight crew. Instantly, Dick changes into an older, chubby stunt double, but it doesn’t seem to help, and the the zombies beat him up.
With Dick cold-cocked, the mechanics instantly hop to it and change clothes with the flight crew, moving swiftly and efficiently, their eyes keen and alert as they constantly scan their surroundings. Then they suddenly remember they’re zombies, and shamble slowly out of the room.
The plane takes off, with Bruce hiding in the rear compartment. Since a flight was scheduled, he has no reason to assume that anything is amiss, but can’t resist changing into his Batman costume anyway. So now the nature of our hero’s motivation becomes a bit more clear. It’s not a thirst to avenge the murder of his parents that drives him, but more the sort of compulsion that drives a crossdresser to wear boy shorts under his coveralls at Aamco.
Suddenly, Dick radios Bruce that the two men flying the plane are imposters. The Batman replies, “Call it into headquarters!” and whispers that he’s going to remain hidden for the duration of the flight so he can discover where their base is located. A second later, however, he bursts from hiding and announces his presence. Why? Well, according to Glen or Glenda?, most transvestites have a secret urge to be discovered, and Bruce simply couldn’t overcome his desire to swan around in baggy tights and be gawked at by zombies.
The two mind-controlled minions forget about flying the plane and go into the rear of the fuselage so they can wrestle with their guest. Meanwhile, an Army officer orders the plane shot down, and immediately, stock footage of heavy artillery from World War I snaps into action. Bursts of flak set the stolen ship on fire, and it plummets to earth and crashes onto some unlucky bastard’s workbench in the Special Effects Department at Columbia Studios. Great. This always happens at 4:45 on a Friday.
So. Again. The Batman ends a chapter by falling – this time in a crippled aircraft. Any guesses how he cheated death (and the audience) this time? Tune in next week for Chapter 6: The Poison Peril!
Posted by scott on February 4th, 2008

8 Responses to “Sunday Cinema Presents: The Batman Vs. Dick Cheney!”

Let me be the first to say “that there was funny, I don’t care who you are”
Wait – what does poison have to do with falling to your not really doom?
Can’t wait to find out!
I’ve seen this serial, and Batman escapes in the lamest way possible.
Have you seen the recent Korean movie Dragon Wars? The hero (and I use the term loosely) is shot in the heart at point-blank range, and he avoids dying by not dying. That’s it; he just bounces up like a shooting gallery tin duck. He escapes in the lamest way possible.
I’ve seen this, too. And Bill is right. The “escape” is very lame. But, lots of fun!
Thanks for linking to me, Scott and S.Z. As a longtime fan, what can I say except you actually inspired me to watch all the BatMan movies, and they were terrible! Luckily I had your Handy Guide To Teh BatMan printed out and close by.
- It was just a dream?
- He had a parachute? (that didn’t show up in the film of the airplane crash)
- It was his twin brother?
- The Army shot down the wrong plane?
- “How did you escape Batman?” “It’s a secret. Loose lips sink ships.”?
Come on, give us a hint.
Sorry to interrupt the thread but there’s urgent news from Colo Springs:
This dude needs a Dr Phil intervention pronto.

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