The setting is Bacchum City. Diabolically oversexed villain The Jerker (Robert Mandara) breaks into a warehouse with his clown fops and begins to steal all the pornography gathering dust in there (including nice product placement of a few After Hours and Seduction DVD titles).
Enter Batbabe (Darian Caine), in skimpy costume and black leather mask. She scuffles with the clowns as they try to make their getaway with their stash of wank fodder. The Jerker manages to outwit the buxom heroine when he tosses a fake phallus in her direction. He makes his escape in a conspicuous cock-shaped helicopter, which handily shoots "spunk missiles" when pursued by a police helicopter - effectively covering the lawmen's vehicle in jizz and sending it crashing to the ground.
Later that day, hotshot District Attorney Henrietta Bent (Molly Heartbreaker) interrogates a prisoner for The Jerker's whereabouts. The prisoner's not talking though, so bisexual Henrietta shows commitment to her job and, tossing a coin, decides to shag her quarry senseless.
Back to the story, and we're introduced to Bacchum City's ring of leading porn thieves - among which are Crackwoman, Mr Sleaze and King Slut (a badly disguised 42nd Street Pete). They are gathered in an office adorned with Alternative Cinema posters, to discuss The Jerker, who's been busying himself stealing all of the city's filth. The Jerker turns up and tells them he intends to keep the city's porn hidden for a month, in an effort to drive the rest of Bacchum City as sex-mad as he is (whenever we see him, he's invariably masturbating).
So it's left to Batbabe, who by day is a go-go dancer at the club she owns, to stop The Jerker in his tracks. Once Commissioner Bordeom (Clancy Fitzsimmons) summons Batbabe with his booby-shaped bat-logo torch, she's at his and Henrietta's side, ready to track the devious tosser down.
Their first plan goes awry when they try setting up a lesbian tryst for The Jerker to stumble across, and attempt to catch him mid-voyeuristic masty. He manages to flee Batbabe's advances, only for her to give up pursuit to shag one of his clown henchmen.
The battle becomes more serious the following day though when The Jerker addresses the city on a huge video screen (wanking, of course) claiming to have hidden all the porn in the local hospital. One explosion later, and Batbabe's really determined to get to grips with her slippery adversary …
Opening with stylish comic strip credits that recall the best of the DC films (or even CREEPSHOW), BATBABE instantly presents itself as a colourful and energetic offering, promising a leap forward in director John Bacchus' abilities.
It stays true to this promise, by unfurling as a lean, brisk exercise in quick-fire gags punctuated by attractive, well-shot softcore sex scenes. The humour is better tempered than in previous Seduction efforts, with many punchlines actually hitting their mark.
No small amount of the comedy's success is down to the cast, all of whom are up for it in terms of spirit and energy. Caine is as striking on screen as ever, while Mandara clearly relishes the naughtiness of his role as The Jerker. Meanwhile, other acting honours must go to Fitzsimmons (resembling Jason Lee above Gary Oldman) and Stevens, if only for her curves. The FX are brilliantly bad, making the deliberate awfulness of TEAM AMERICA's special effects work look positively sophisticated in comparison. But it's all part of BATBABE's vibe - to make you laugh and occasionally stir your loins in the meantime.
Scriptwise, Bacchus has fashioned Michael Raso's enjoyably silly storyline into a rapid succession of ideas and vulgarities that previous outings such as KINKY KONG never managed. It's also not as dumb as it appears at surface level, with some wry swipes at THE DARK KNIGHT and US politics in general thrown in for the more observant viewers.
With better production values and more emphasis on comedy than sex (though still offering lots of flesh), BATBABE is a step up for the Seduction gang. It's not a masterpiece - in fact, it's quite the opposite. But it never pretends to be anything else, and that's why it leaves you with a smile on your face.
The film looks very attractive in a colourful, bright and sharp anamorphic 1.78:1 presentation that retains an accurate feel while showing off the vivid colour schemes of the comic book stylings it's aimed for. English audio is provided in 2.0 and does a consistent, balanced job throughout. No concerns to speak of in this department.
Static menu pages are striking on the eye and, while there's no scene-selection menu, the film can be navigated through with your remote control by way of 16 chapters.
Extras kick in with an interesting and fairly informative commentary track from film historian Ed Grant in conversation with the film's prolific producer, Michael Raso.
Four deleted scenes are presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 and run for a total of 10 minutes. Within this time, we get an alternative ending, extended comedy chaos including a joke about buggering, and a lengthy lesbian sex episode.
A spoof trailer vault celebrates Seduction's line in titles such as SPIDERBABE, KINKY KONG and CLOAK AND SHAG HER. There are seven trailers in total.
Finally, the screener disc advertised "erotic short films" on the back cover but they were not present on the review disc. Perhaps they were available as Easter Eggs? (I did search, I promise).
BATBABE is crude, juvenile and raucous. It's filled with knob gags and softcore sex shenanigans, and ultimately is nigh-on possible not to enjoy. Go with the flow and allow yourself to enjoy the profanity, banality and occasional hilarity that is THE DARK NIGHTIE.
Review by Stu Willis
|Released by Retro-Seduction Cinema|
|Region 1 - NTSC|
|see main review|