The Wild World of Batwoman
|The Wild World of Batwoman|
|Directed by||Jerry Warren|
|Produced by||Jerry Warren|
|Written by||Jerry Warren|
|Cinematography||William G. Troiano|
|Edited by||Jerry Warren|
The Wild World of Batwoman is a 1966 American science fiction superhero film directed by Jerry Warren. The film stars Katherine Victor as Batwoman, George Andre as Professor G. Octavius Neon, and Steve Brodie as Jim Flanagan.
With the popularity of the Batman television series, director Jerry Warren decided to make his own bat-figured superhero film. After winning a settlement from being sued for copyright infringement, Warren re-released the film under the title She Was a Hippy Vampire.
Batwoman employs the services of several young female agents known as "Batgirls", in her pursuit of justice. Her archenemy is a masked villain named "Rat Fink". Added to the mix is the President and Vice-President of the "Ayjax" Development Corporation. The company, using plutonium as its fuel source, has created a powerful listening device called "The Atomic Hearing Aid", which allows for limitless eavesdropping. The company has been ordered to destroy the hearing aid by the US Government when the government turned down the offer to buy the listening device (due to its unstable power supply) but the President of the company has refused to do so and now is being confronted by Rat Fink about selling him the device.
The Vice President of Ayjax recruits Batwoman to protect the device but Rat Fink's minions use drugged bowls of soup to incapacitate Batwoman and her allies and steal the device. The two storm the lair and retrieve it, unmasking Rat Fink and converting one of his minions, Tiger, to the side of justice after he falls in love with one of the Batgirls.
The original idea for the film began with Jerry Warren realizing there was large popularity with the comic book superhero Batman; Warren decided to make his own Bat-like superhero character into a film. Warren offered the leading role to Katherine Victor. Having worked on Warren's previous productions such as Teenage Zombies and Curse of the Stone Hand, Victor was originally not very excited about working with Warren again. To convince her, Warren promised Victor large production values, color photography and her own bat boat in the film. None of these promises ever came to fruition. On receiving the script for the role of Seltzer, Bruno VeSota recalled that "...once again I was in for it. It would be like memorizing a telephone book with pages picked at random." Katherine Victor claimed that on set if an actor rubbed Warren the wrong way, their lines would be cut out or given to other actors. Victor claimed "the pretty brunette who was kidnapped in the beginning of the picture was supposed to be the lead girl, but for some reason Jerry thought she was getting too big for her britches and gave all her lines to the girl in the leopard tights".
For the monsters in the film, Warren used footage from the Universal Pictures film The Mole People. Several other scenes throughout the film are also taken from different films, one of which seems to have been from a Swedish film, judging by a background sign reading "Livsmedel", a Swedish word used for grocery stores.
- Katherine Victor as Batwoman
- George Andre as Professor G. Octavius Neon
- Steve Brodie as Jim Flanagan
- Richard Banks as Rat Fink
- Steve Conte as Bruno
- Mel Oshins as Tiger
- Bruno VeSota as Seltzer
- Bob Arbogast as Spirits in Séance (voice)
- Lloyd Nelson as Heathcliff
Due to the similar title, the production company Associated Distributors Productions was promptly sued for copyright infringement. Warren won this lawsuit. After the lawsuit and as the popularity of the television series Batman died down, Warren re-released the film under the title She Was a Hippy Vampire.
In 1993, The Wild World of Batwoman was released as episode #515 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where it was featured with the short Cheating. This episode was released later on DVD by Rhino Entertainment.
Modern reception of the film has been very negative. Fred Beldin of the film database AllMovie gave the film one and a half stars out of five, noting the film as "a rip-off hack job no matter how you slice it, though its innocent veneer, period charm, and forced wackiness might endear the film to fans of similar goofs like Rat Pfink a Boo-Boo or The Nasty Rabbit". Film director Fred Olen Ray noted the film has "all the earmarks of Warren's worst work, but rises above the level as something as tedious as Petrified World. It is funny in an unintentional way and sometimes is not hard to look at."
- Ray 1991, p. 16.
- Ray 1991, p. 17.
- Weaver, pg. 387
- "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Wild World of Batwoman > Overview". Sarah Sloboda. allmovie. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
- "Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The Wild World Of Batwoman - at Rhino". Rhino.com. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- "The Wild World of Batwoman > Review". Fred Beldin. allmovie. Retrieved 11 November 2008.[dead link]
- Ray, Fred Olen (1991). The New Poverty Row: Independent Filmmakers as Distributors. McFarland. ISBN 0-89950-628-3.
- Weaver, Tom (1999). Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0755-7.