Comics on Film #4: Batman (1943 serial)

batman1943

Holy Low Budget, Batman- Where Do I start?

So, in this serial (15 long parts) Batman and Robin are secret US agents working to uncover a Japanese spy amongst us; this is in the heart of World War II; his name was Dr. Daka and he employed a huge gang of American thugs to do his dirty work.

positives

Positives:

  • Well, it is the first film to feature Batman and Robin; they are wearing their original costumes even if they look so, so, so, so, so, so , so bad.
  • batsandrobs
  • Alfred is in it too!  And there’s a Batcave.  That’s about all most Bat-fans will recognize but it is cool to see in a movie so old.
  • There’s some pretty gnarly almost real-looking fight scenes in this
  • I’m struggling to find a lot of good here- If this film had used maybe the first 2 episodes then wrapped it up with a much better finish than this actually had, you would have an okay movie.

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Negatives:

  • (cue broken record) This is way too damn long!!!!!!!   So much pointless filler just to keep this boring story going.
  • Our villain, Dr. Daka, is one giant insulting stereotype; in fact ,much of the plot is one giant insulting stereotype and I know, I know, it was with the times, but it doesn’t make it okay even today.   There’s a mobster who stands up to Daka at one point and goes completely patriotic on him, even Batman himself calls him a “Jap menace” at one point.   And Daka’s accent, so bad.
  • Daka’s plan to zombify people with his special helmet is ridonkulous.  Especially since the only way he can control these zombified henchmen is to speak orders to them through a microphone.  One of the major plot lines is our damsel in distress, Linda Page (there’s been an identical character like this in every serial so far), is looking for her uncle who’s gone missing; he’s like a 50 year old dude with no muscle development and Daka mind -bends him into being a stooge, what a recruit!
  • A lot of elements of these long serials feel recycled; There’s a pair of heroes: We had Billy Batson and Captain Marvel, the two Spy Smasher brothers and now Batman & Robin; there’s a damsel in distress who gets kidnapped over and over again, and a really bad villain with long overly complicated plans to take over the US.
  • Those outfits……(hangs head)

 

I’m giving this a 36 out of 100- these serials are getting so tedious, and they made so many of them based off comic material.

 

 

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