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Committed: Batman XXX Movie Review

by  in Comic News Comment
Committed: Batman XXX Movie Review

This week I prove how committed I am to comic books. I am going above and beyond for you and reviewing the Batman porn parody film Batman XXX with the critical eye of a comic book reader.

Not the sexiest incarnation of Batman, this is a pornographic version of the 1960’s TV Batman TV series, not the Christian Bale/Heath Ledger/Gary Oldman/Aaron Eckhart man-totty fest of a Batman movie (which would make a far more logical, if less amusing, candidate for some of that hardcore action.) No one I know has ever watched the Batman TV series and said “This TV show is really missing some graphic sex scenes.” What are we missing? Maybe there some strange childhood imprinting techniques that would allow us to find the camp, wacky antics of Adam West sexually provocative, I couldn’t say… The camp Batman of the ’60’s TV show was a very peculiar incarnation of the character, and one that only lasted for a short time before he was reinvented as the dark, ominous (and much more potentially sexy) figure we know today.

Having acknowledged that I’m not really into this sort of thing, I can tell you that as a bit of a Batman worshiper and fan of 1960’s fashions, there was no question that my friends and I had to check out this film, no matter how potentially awkward it was going to be.  As it turns out, Batman XXX is a lovingly crafted, faithful reproduction of the original Batman TV series, with the addition of some very contemporary looking sex scenes.

There is a lot about the original TV series that Vivid have got right, all those crazy little details that were so important. Remember the animated scenes and the text overlays that said “BIFF!” and “POW!”? How about Cesar Romero’s mustache, painted over with his white Joker face make-up? And Catwoman’s sparkly suit? The glowing red Batphone and the gold bust which they flipped up to push a button and open the secret entrance to the Batcave? It is all there! Every detail is there, and the delivery is suitably deadpan too.

Costumes, acting, delivery, lighting, writing, sets, music… The movie is incredibly authentic, and faithful to the original TV series. Someone (or everyone) working on this film must have deeply loved that TV series, enough to recreate it pretty damn well. A part of me wonders if they wouldn’t have preferred simply making a new season of the TV series instead of a porn version. Or was this actually the culmination of some burning, childhood desire to see those characters have sex? The third option is that they specifically targeted the growing superhero audience. With all the “geek chic” nonsense being talked, was this movie specifically targeted at a geek audience, to lure in people like us, who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in watching a porn movie? Whatever the motivation, this movie is so close to the original TV series that it seems essential that the participants cared enough to be true to the original.

Those are the first impressions which did a great job reminding me how much I loved the TV series, which made me want to rewatch the old TV series. What it didn’t do, was make me want to watch strangers having sex. There are some things that are sacred, and Batman’s shaven testicles are only two of them in amongst a whole slew of weirdly wrong things going on in Batman XXX. Maybe it could have worked if the men hadn’t kept their costumes on (they never removed anything from the waist up), or if the women had kept their costumes on (naturally they got naked pretty quickly.) It’s difficult to say if clothing would have helped, but to be honest, I don’t think costumes are the problem here.

In my opinion the incongruous nature of the kind of sex they were having was the most jarring part of it all. I’ve seen some late ’60’s porn and it is always pretty soft, almost coquettish in its silliness. There’s a kind of adorable, sweet, rubbish unprofessionalism to the porn of that era, as if no one was really sure what they were doing. The lighting is terrible and the camera angles are bad. In general, there is a lack of seriousness and a kind of naive joy, which is true to the spirit of the original Batman TV series. However, the porn in Batman XXX is very much typical of contemporary porn, where everyone takes sex very seriously and the actors often perform the sex like experienced robots, aware of their angles, and careful about hitting the light in the right way for maximum exposure, pruned and buffed to within an inch of their lives. Within Batman XXX, if they really wanted to create a perfect expression of the kind of sex that the TV series would have had in the ’60’s (if it had overt sex, which it didn’t, of course), they needed to make it a lot less modern.

One of my friends told me that the same production company is looking at doing a porn version of Star Wars next, and it’s entirely possible that it’ll be a similar premise. Here’s the thing, I understand that porn versions of popular films and TV shows aren’t about recreating the era in its entirety, but are instead about taking a popular motif and inserting the modern porn scenes into it. However, I’d be much more interested in a film maker that was willing to be faithful to the original in every aspect. My attitude has a lot to do with the fact that I’m not really the target market for this kind of film, but still, as a geek, I’d like to see  sex depicted as faithfully as the rest of the movie. It would be interesting at least.

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