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The Wild World of Batwoman is an American science fiction superhero film directed by Jerry Warren (not to be confused with another incompetent director named "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-focused 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. Like Warren's other films, it's seen by modern critics and filmmakers as almost watchable. Almost.
The film's Cold Open features two so-called "Bat Girls" initiating a third by giving her a Dick Tracy-esque wrist radio and making her drink a red concoction which turns out to be a smoothie (because they're only "synthetic" vampires). Note that this prologue was filmed and added to the movie only after the aforementioned lawsuit; therefore, the three girls vanish from the rest of the movie.
Meanwhile, other Bat Girls are busily
watching crimes happen patroling the city, and one particular Bat Girl is kidnapped from a nightclub filled with her dancing colleagues. This Bat Girl, it turns out, is to be used as a bargaining chip by Mexican wrestler cum supervillain Rat Fink, to coerce Batwoman into helping him steal an atomic listening device. But Batwoman insists on personally verifying the girl's safety first, and Rat Fink complies, allowing Batwoman to rescue her and not have to commit the crime.
Whew. That wasn't so bad, now was it? Oh, wait; it's not over yet.
Now aware of Rat Fink's designs on the Atomic Hearing Aid, Batwoman alerts the device's manufacturer and arranges for her Bat Girls to guard the device until such time as it can be disposed of. But Rat Fink's goons infiltrate the company using Paper Thin Disguises and drug everyone, allowing them to steal the device and kidnap that same Bat Girl again by the young Mook who has fallen in love with her.
Batwoman follows up her failed guard duty with a failed seance, then with a failed search of the nearby beaches -- during which all her Bat Girls are kidnapped and taken to Rat Fink's Elaborate Underground Base (where he keeps his Mole People). But Batwoman had anticipated this (somehow) and has followed him here.
The film doesn't end here, but this summary does. Because words simply cannot describe the sheer goofiness of that climactic fight scene. Or the Denouement afterwards. But, if you're brave, you can read for yourself, here.
Tropes used in Wild World of Batwoman:
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Chinese spirit during the seance scene speaks random combinations of "ching", "chang", and "chong".
- Captain Ersatz/Distaff Counterpart: Batwoman, for Adam West's Batman; deadpan Comically Serious delivery and all.
- Cat Fight: Over a horseshoe or something.
- Cold Open: This being Wild World Of Batwoman, it has nothing to do with the plot whatsoever.
- Elaborate Underground Base: see Stock Footage, below.
- Everyone Calls Her Batgirl: Only one Bat Girl is even afforded the dignity of her own number to differentiate her. And it isn't the one who gets the most attention in the story, either.
- Funny Background Event: Tons, most notably the "horseshoe fight".
- To the point where when this trope actually doesn't happen (like in the seance scene), you're kind of disappointed.
- G-Rated Drug: The happy pills.
- Idiot Ball: Batwoman knows that Professor Neon has a pill that gives people uncontrolled euphoria, but during her dinner with Flanagan, when she sees someone at another table dancing, she shrugs it off and eats a bowl of soup she didn't order given to her by a suspicious waiter. "Hilarity" is too strong a word for anything in this movie, but something ensues.
- Male Gaze: There are lots of scenes of the Bat Girls dancing, during which the camera usually lingers on them shaking what their mammas gave 'em.
- Mockbuster: A surprisingly early example.
- Mook Face Turn: "This boy... has fallen in love!"
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Eventually the characters end up practically at ground zero of a nuclear explosion, which they get out of with nary a scratch.
- No Smoking: The Batgirls shoot Flanagan some seriously nasty looks when he offers them a cigarette.
- Playing Against Type: The Batgirls, IRL, were apparently strippers who the casting director found after their club was raided by the police. They play, essentially, an army of superheroines in the film.
- Though they are every bit as effective as you'd expect. Stripperella they ain't.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Katherine Victor made her own costume.
- Scare Chord: Done unintentionally with a ringing phone.
- Secret Identity: Averted. Batwoman is apparently Batwoman 24/7 and is even listed so in the phone book.
- Stock Footage: Warren used footage from the Universal Pictures film The Mole People (itself not great, though miles ahead of this thing) for Professor Neon's monsters and Elaborate Underground Base.
- Some of Rat Fink's footage is taken from an old Mexican wrestling movie.
- The mugging murder scene is almost certainly stock footage as well, since the three Batgirls who watch it are never in the same shot (and don't do anything about it, and the guys involved in the robbery never show up again).
- ...not to mention the "Dwight D. Eisenhower the Weird-Accented Nightwatchman Scene"...or the shot in the club with the band when Mike goes "Oh no! Just when I thought this movie couldn't get any worse...Ringo's in it!". Heck! Any part or shot in the movie that looks good is stock footage.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The Mook and the Batgirl. (Sounds like a sitcom title.)
- Vegetarian Vampire: The prologue explains away the "vampires" this way.
- What Happened To The Girls In The Prologue?
- Writing Around Trademarks