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Chapter Three: Mark of the Zombies!

I was hoping the title referred to an actual person — like Lawrence of Arabia, or Sgt. Preston of the Yukon — named Mark, who hobnobs with the Undead, because frankly I’m kind of sick of The Batman and Robin, and could really go for a new character right about now. Alas, it’s not to be, so let’s suck it up and review: so far, the two big cliffhangers have both involved The Batman falling off a building (Click here and here for the tedious details). This time, however, the filmmakers spice it by having our frequently plummeting hero drag Linda to her death along with him, as the two free-falling lovers unite to squish Robin.

How does The Batman survive this time? Honestly, I haven’t a clue. It appears that Robin throws The Batman a line as he plunges 32 feet per second per second, he catches it, performs the Indian Rope Trick in mid-air, then shins safely down to the ground with his unconscious girlfriend still draped around his shoulders like a mink stoll. Of course, due to the Ritalin-deprived editing, I can’t be entirely certain this is what happened, but I’m pretty sure I saw Hadji do a similar thing once on Jonny Quest.

As you recall, in the previous episode, Daka’s Chief Thug Foster also performed a bit of legerdemain, grabbing a live wire barehanded and magically using it to turn an ordinary steel cable into that fuse from the opening credits of Mission: Impossible! But having failed to kill the Caped Crusader by electrocuting himself, Foster suddenly remembers that he has a gun, and – feeling a little sheepish, I’m guessing – pulls it out and starts shooting. But it’s too little, too late.

The other thugs predict that Daka won’t be pleased, but Foster hotly retorts, “I’m not afraid of him or any other squint eye!” (Meaning, I presume, that he is also not afraid of Robert Newton’s Long John Silver from Treasure Island.) So while Foster is a traitor, a saboteur, and a murderer, at least he isn’t sporting a pair of epicanthic folds.

True to the thugs’ premonitions, Daka is irked at this latest in their unbroken string of blunders, and acts out by putting Uncle Martin under a hair dryer festooned with spark plugs and a rearview mirror. The doctor turns on a bunch of non-UL approved appliances he got at the Castle Frankenstein yard sale, and Uncle Martin’s salon-style dryer hood fills up with thick, roiling smoke that looks less like a special effect and more like an industrial accent, but either way it probably explains why we never see this actor in another movie.

Having zombified Uncle Martin and given him a Marcel finger wave, the thugs fit him with his own electronic non-thinking cap fashioned from a vibrator and a Salad Spinner. Then Daka picks up a Mr. Microphone and tells his newly made slave to stand. Uncle Martin stands. He tells him to turn to the left, and he turns to the left. He orders Uncle Martin to follow him, and he does, thus demonstrating Daka’s total and irresistible control, and the zombies’ basic need to be micromanaged. But then the Japanese spymaster promptly ruins the effect of his sinister mind-control transmitter by singing karaoke through it and shouting at passing girls, “Hey good-lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later!”

Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor, we learn that Bruce has placed an ad saying that he’s found a radium gun and asking the owner to contact him, in the hope that Dr. Daka will see it while checking Craig’s List for local Full Body Sensual Massage therapists.

Cut to an office, where Alfred is donning a false beard. Not to disguise his identity – none of the thugs have ever seen him – but because, well, beards and Batman just go together, much the way that Shakeys has managed to unify the normally discrete elements of Food, Folks, and Fun. The thugs show up, threaten Alfred, then The Batman and Robin burst through a window and it’s on, bitch! To be honest, the action that ensues is less of a fistfight and more of a heavily clothed orgy, with the heroes and the thugs all rolling around together on the floor like a Wesson oil party at Plato’s Retreat, except without John Bolton or Florence Henderson.

The Batman and Robin manage to get Foster out of his jacket and are working on his pants, but it’s slow going (foreplay was a more involved process back when criminals wore suspenders and a belt, not to mention the gentleman’s hosiery garters). Suddenly, Alfred finds a gun on the floor, closes his eyes, and starts randomly shooting. Since his boss is directly in the line of fire, this may constitute history’s first example of a disgruntled employee.

After Alfred clears the room, the heroes go through Foster’s jacket and find a map showing the exact time and place where the bad guys plan to blow up a troop train. Now, this document would no doubt baffle the average citizen, but the World’s Greatest Detective is able to deduce from it that Daka’s men are planning to blow up a troop train at a particular time and place. Take that, Superman!

Cut to a trestle, where Foster is setting the bomb. The Batman sneaks up behind him and tries to get frisky with the terrorist, but he’s distracted by the constant need to fling his cape back over his shoulder. By this point, I suspect it’s not a design flaw, but an affectation, like Ann Coulter’s habit of flipping her mane back whenever she’s fumbling for a misogynistic ad hominem. When The Batman isn’t busy fussing with his wardrobe, however, he and The Robin manage to smack around a couple of the day players, while a rear projection of some hobbyist’s Lionel train set bears down on them. The thugs scatter, and The Batman frantically tries to disarm the bomb, but he can’t figure out if he should cut the red or the blue wire, because they’re both in black and white. Just then, a fleeing crook flings a wrench and coldcocks the Caped Crusader, who collapses onto the tracks, right in the path of an approaching HO scale locomotive! As suspense goes, it’s not exactly the climax of Stand By Me, but at least they didn’t end the episode with him falling off the trestle. I mean, too much of a good thing…

How will The Batman escape being crushed beneath the wheels of a grainy 16mm loop of a model train set? Join us next Sunday for Chapter Four: Slaves of The Rising Sun!

14 Responses to “Sunday Cinema Presents The Batman in: When Zombies Attack!”

is ALfred gay?

Zombies. Don’t fucking talk to me about zombies, okay? There was one in the goddamned kitchen again last night, fer Chrissakes. We’ve been over this, time and again: zombies stay out of the fucking kitchen and in the fucking closet. It is just so unhygienic. I mean, those bastards *drip*, you know? They *peel*. *Bits* fall *off*. Nobody wants that in the kitchen. And really, the closet is just a compromise, because sending them to stand on the balcony was freaking me out because they’d just stand there looking in and you don’t, in fact, *know* that there isn’t someone standing outside your patio door, you know? Granted, it’s not very likely there’s a zombie out there, but it takes a few moments to remember that what you’re seeing you probably really aren’t.

Man, I know how Daka feels. Sure, there’s some appeal in being able to yell “Zombie Guards, seize him!” but they just. Will not. Remember the *rules*.

No, really. I’ve been off the damned Inderal for several months now, and I’ve still got the zombies. I’m afraid to mention it to my doctor, because her solution to this sort of thing is generally “supervised medication adjustment” and who the hell will supervise my cat’s medication while that happens? Not the zombies, I’m guessing. That cat bites back.

I’ll stop ranting, sorry to ruin your review. I’m undermedicated and the usually reliable crappy movies on the SFC Insomniac Theater all night turned out to be… zombies.

still draped around his shoulders like a mink stoll.

damn,now that’s forward thinking, since she wasn’t even born for another 5 years and didn’t start acting until the mid to late 60s

“Squint eye?” I thought the proper term was “slopes” – coincidentally the name of a real estate development in my town.

Methinks they needed a wee bit more research before choosing a name.

D. Sidhe -

Try Pam: I use it to keep them off the furniture. I know, sounds weird, but it really works! Not the “Butter Flavoured” stuff, though; you have to use original. Butter flavoured just gets your zombies eaten by cats, and then you have hair all over the place.

By calling the ‘Japs’ “squint-eyes’, he demonstrates that bigotry is the next-best thing to patriotism! Or maybe they go hand-in-hand. Hand-in-glove?

Or maybe they go hand-in-hand. Hand-in-glove?

Foot-in-mouth, I think.

Oh yeah, that’s what I needed, some vintage Batman.
Just recently watched
The Magic Serpent; a lot of fun if you like that sort of thing.

Well, okay. Turns out I’m not *completely* detached from reality. The dripping noise was my kitchen sink. You know the phrase about how to a hammer the whole world looks like nails? The folks who constructed our home were apparently the living embodiment of that. My kitchen sink in particular is proof that a set of tools are useless in the hands of a set of useless tools.


I, on the other hand, am married to a combo of Macgyver, Martha Stewart, and Xaviera Hollander.

Go ahead, eat your heart out. I’ll wait.

Though I suppose you could get the zombies to do that.

Fine, brag. My partner once brought home a plastic tape measure. And spackle rather than wood putty. We’re not going to discuss it anymore.

Hey, *I* do the plumbing around here. At least when I don’t have, you know, a fractured ulna. Then I just sort of put off rebuilding the whole set of pipes and rely on a series of stopgap measures until I can actually use a wrench.

I realized the other week when I requested you do your thing to The Hatchet Man(1932) that it wasn’t available commercially, and probably never would be. The length of the apology and assurances that they would never, ever, ever do such a thing again (“It was wrong then and it’s wrong now” yada, yada, yada. Have you seen those mealy-mouthed disclaimers? Why don’t the just say, “Hey, we were so racist in those days, the black actors couldn’t even eat in the studio cafeteria, so whaddya you expect, respectfulness?”), it would be longer than the movie itself. I got it off TCM and they probably won’t be showing it again for years, the knowledge of which makes me cackle with greedy delight as I look lovingly at the disk. Too bad, J. Carroll Naish is in it as well, something I forgot to mention.

…with the heroes and the thugs all rolling around together on the floor like a Wesson oil party at Plato’s Retreat, except without John Bolton or Florence Henderson.

Right. Wesson oil party with Florence Henderson and John Bolton. Can I, um, borrow a sharp object? Because I need to gouge my eyes out now.

…with the heroes and the thugs all rolling around together on the floor like a Wesson oil party at Plato’s Retreat, except without John Bolton or Florence Henderson.

Right. Wesson oil party with Florence Henderson and John Bolton. Can I, um, borrow a sharp object? Because I need to gouge my eyes out now.

I looked into The Hatchet Man as soon as you suggested it, and saw that it was something of a lost film. But I’ve programmed Tivo to snag it, just in case TCM ever slips up and airs it again.

Something to say?