“The Wild World of Batwoman”, in case you couldn’t have guessed, has no relation to The Dark Knight or DC Comics. That said, the movie is a clear attempt to capitalize off of the popularity of the Adam West “Batman” television show (enough so to get sued): yet the hammy style and the bat aesthetic was about as far as the similarities went content-wise, however. The majority of the film consists of dancing sequences, clips from unrelated movies, and inexplicable vampirism (yeah, Batwoman is a vampire). Who needs crime-fighting and bat-related gadgets/shenanigans when you have vampires who occasionally dance?
The plot centers around a near-magical piece of spying equipment: a newly-developed listening device that can hear anything that is spoken (or something to that effect). A mysterious villain named Ratfink is dedicated to stealing the device, and through kidnapping and blackmail attempts to have Batwoman (an apparently famous vigilante leader) do the deed for him. It all gets needlessly complex and nonsensical from there, with a few shots of mole people pulled from a different movie, but ultimately Ratfink is defeated and unmasked. He then confesses that he only wanted the device because he is a voyeur, which means that the sinister plan and super-villainy was all way overboard.
The acting is “Batwoman”, if you can call it that, is very bad. It wouldn’t have made much of a difference considering the writing, but it is very clear throughout the movie that the majority of the cast was not there for their acting abilities. The villain characters, as you would expect from the time, are either buffoons, racist stereotypes, or mustache-twirlers. Again, no actor could have made the characters passable, but that doesn’t change the end result on the screen. Outside of Batwoman herself, there isn’t an adequate performance in the movie.
I can’t think of any reason to recommend this movie. There is a lot of dancing, the plot is old-school silly, but the pacing and editing is so abysmal that the movie is nearly unwatchable. You can check out the MST3k version of the film, because there are a few laughs to be had in there, but outside of that frame the movie is absolutely skippable. The movie could have actually been a fun “Batman” rip-off with better writing beneath it, but that just isn’t the case here. It reminded me a lot of “Horrors of Spider Island”: there is a large cast of non-actors who are essentially there to dance, and the writing is a step below amateurish. “Spider Island” at least had some effects in it though, whereas “Batwoman” doesn’t really go anywhere or do much of anything. This was a movie designed to make a trailer out of, and trick audiences into a theater.
Here are the MST3k highlights of “Batwoman”, which is going to be more worth your time to watch than sitting through the whole damned movie.