The old Adam West show is still pure fuckin’ gold. I have to wonder if Frank Gorshin wasn’t Mark Hamill’s real paternal daddy or something, though, because there sure is a remarkable resemblance.
Goin’ Batty #4: Not a huge fan of Batman Returns. The Penguin doesn’t need to be living in a toilet—he’s supposed to be dapper, in fact—and the mass child abduction sequence is a bit much for me in a Bat-Film. Also, I love the sheer amount of gratuitous Christopher Walken, but where the hell is Batman? He’s barely in this movie for 20 minutes; it should have been called “Edward Scissorhands For Sociopaths, with Special Occasional Guest Appearances by Batman.” The only thing I wouldn’t change is Michelle Pfeifer’s Catwoman.
FUCK YEAH you should watch these movies!! Many of these flicks, especially those included in the Shaw Brothers filmography, have women characters who defy anything seen in Western cinema at the time. They’re usually fully clothed for one thing, and they can break men in half with their pinky fingers, and they play important roles in the stories that wouldn’t be fulfilled without them. Hong Kong has always been light years ahead of Hollywood in this respect, which continued casting the women in their action movies as helpless eye candy for decades after these so-called “B-movies” were made. (Americans were a little quicker on the draw when it came to horror, which started giving us more heroic women protagonists in the 1970s; but horror is not “socially acceptable” like action movies are supposed to be, and the action genre is still mostly about men’s men being men from what I can see. Even when they make the heroes women, they gotta be dressed like sexy cosplayers instead of Laurie Strode or Ellen Ripley or Nancy Thompson or Clarice Starling or Dana Scully or other tough-as nails horror heroes who look like real women I actually know in real life. Just a few of many reasons I prefer good ol’-fashioned Hong Kong kung-fu and post-1960s horror to most of the entire Hollywood action genre.)
I know you’re gonna hate me, but screw it. I prefer Tim Burton’s Batman (just the first one) over any of the Christopher Nolan movies. Michael Keaton is still the best live-action Batman, Jack Nicholson’s still the best live-action Joker, the Prince songs are great, and I prefer my Batman Art Deco, with plenty of fedoras and tommyguns. Plus, it was a huge deal when it came out in 1989. On opening day, the only Batman I knew about was Adam West, and I was only 7 or so, and I will never forget being really REALLY terrified (by Batman AND the Joker both) and having nightmares for weeks that entire summer.
The Animated Series is still the best version. In fact, it pretty much wins all categories. Best Batman (Kevin Conroy), Joker (Mark Hamill), Catwoman (Adrienne Barbeau), as well as best writing, best adaptation of the comics, etc.