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The Batwoman [La mujer murcielago]
(1968 Film)


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About This Film
Cast
Photos




Cast:

Maura Monti (Batwoman/Gloria)
Hector Godoy (Captain Mario Robles)
Armando Silvestre (Inspector Tony Rocca)
Roberto Canedo (Dr. Eric Williams)
Jorge Mondragon (Igor) [uncredited]

Director- Rene Cardona
Writer- Alfredo Salazar

The Batwoman (1968)
:  This is a Mexican film, based on an American fictional character (Batman), whose star is Italian!  Maura Monti played the sex-sational Batwoman in this superheroine feature.  At one point in the movie, she wears a bikini outfit.

    Of all the various "Batwoman" films made in the late 1960s-early 1970s, none of them were based on the DC Comics Batwoman & Batgirl team from the late 1950s-early 1960s.  Instead, they were all sexy female versions of the Batman character.

    I was curious about this movie, so I decided to watch it.  I read a lot of bad reviews about it so I almost thought it was going to be a turkey.  It's actually a very fun, sexy, and harmless movie.  I don't know what all the nay-sayers are talking about.  I even had to read English subtitles, which is something I NEVER like to do, and I still enjoyed it.  Batwoman is a mysterious person never seen in public without her mask; like a female version of Mexico's real-life wrestler celebrity Santo, who was never seen without his silver mask.

    The only similarity to Batman in this movie is the name of the character and, to some extent, the image.  I don't think, however, Batman ever wore a bikini.  So Batwoman really is her own character, loosely inspired by the DC Comics property.  No lawsuit was ever brought up against this film; probably because it was never really released in the United States.

    This movie has no origin for Batwoman.  We know little about her.  It just jumps right into the story, which is nice.  I don't think every superhero film needs to be an origin story, because origins can be boring.  We do hear, only once, that her first name is Gloria.

    Batwoman lives in Mexico City.  She's very wealthy, and picks and chooses which cases she works on.  Police departments all over Mexico welcome her help, because she is known to get results.  Batwoman is a "queen of all sports" and excels in marksmanship, scuba diving, and especially wrestling.  She has no super powers, and no high-tech gadgets.  Batwoman is simply an eccentric adventuress.

    Besides being a crimefighter, Batwoman is best known as a wrestler.  Wrestling fame may be the source of her great fortune, or she may have inherited her money...we're not told.  When she's fighting crime, she wears a bikini; when she wrestles, she wears a gray bodysuit.  In the ring, an actual woman wrestler is used, so Batwoman looks about fifty pounds heavier!  THAT could have been done better.

    Only two people know of Batwoman's true identity.  One is Captain Mario Robles, the other is Inspector Tony Rocca from Mexico City.  Mario is more Batwoman's boyfriend than Tony, but there is definitely a love triangle going on.  Surprisingly, everything is friendly between Mario and Tony.

    Batwoman is called to the beautiful city of Acapulco to solve a most puzzling mystery.  Dead wrestlers are being found all over the city.  The evidence piles up against Dr. Eric Williams, a brilliant, but misguided neurologist whose hobby is fish.  He is obsessed with creating a human-fish hybrid he calls "the gillman".  Williams desires male wrestlers because he thinks they are the strongest, most physically perfect specimens for creating such beasts.  He actually succeeds in creating one gillman, whom he names Pisces.  This giant fish-man terrorizes Batwoman and her partners.  When Batwoman throws acid at Dr. Williams' face, he vows to capture her and create a gillwoman.  Of course he doesn't get the job done, all the bad guys are killed, and Batwoman and friends live happily ever after.

How "The Batwoman" Could Have Been Better:

    The idea of "The Batwoman" is cool.  I liked the movie, but I do agree it's missing some things.  One thing about superheroine movies: You've GOT to have a rival woman character.  There are no other significant woman characters in this movie; only a few brief moments with wrestler Esmerelda.  Batwoman could have used a female nemesis.  Every superwoman has a woman arch-rival.  It's sexy, and an opportunity lost on this movie.  A shame, too, because they were trying for the sexy vote.

    And since they were going for sexy, Batwoman could have been filmed in more sexy poses.  They didn't do close-ups or anything!  Batwoman fainted once, out-of-costume, so that didn't do much.  The filmmakers could have done more with a bikini-clad Batwoman than just have her walk around.

    The overall story idea was good, but they could have filled in some of the blanks.  There was no real personal connection for Batwoman in this case, and the obvious potential reason was overlooked completely.  The murdered men are wrestlers, she's a wrestler.  Couldn't one or some of the murdered men have been friends of hers?  And she was looking to avenge their deaths?  What exactly was Batwoman's motivation?

    A little more background information on Batwoman would have been nice.  They could have explained how she came into her money.  Or how she and Mario and Tony met.  Or maybe they could have referred to some of her past adventures.  Something!

Plusses for "The Batwoman" Film:

    Maura Monti is gorgeous and was a good choice for this film.

    The character of Batwoman was a sexy, female version of Batman and Santo.  That, alone, makes this appealing.

    Acapulco was a good setting, with a lot of pretty scenery to film.

    Batwoman was always pretty active and NEVER boring.  She was always fighting, swimming, or doing something that was a spectacle.

    The story moved quickly.  Not always properly explained, but never dry.  And it was a great story concept.

    The characters are cool.  Mario and Tony are likable guys, and Dr. Williams and Igor are entertaining.

    The limited special effects are still fairly well done.  That's better than a movie that tries to show a lot of special effects that all come out bad.

    This was made to be a light-hearted, yet legitimate superhero movie.  It wasn't made crappy on purpose like the 1966 "Batman" TV series and it wasn't a spoof.  I would have liked to have seen Batwoman made into a series of movies, and she certainly could have carried a string of films.  I do think further installments would have been even better.  The Batwoman saga just needed a chance to be developed.

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