The kind of film where the lead character attends an autopsy wearing a bikini: glamorous, camp, a bit low rent. In the podcast we discuss how the film is influenced by the James Bond craze, the Batman TV series, the wrestling phenomenon then at its height in Mexico, and a history of horror cinema. There’s a mad scientist who laughs an evil laugh, his assistant is called Igor, there’s a Promethean attempt at creating people à la Frankenstein except this time it’s a fish, Pisces, presumably to make the most out of the Alcapulco setting, a bit like The Creature from the Black Lagoon but in a prettier setting (and this seems to have in turn influenced Del Toro’s creature in The Shape of Water). It’s an aspirational film: there are fancy cars and apartments, great clothes, speedboats, the latest in consumer items (the record player is to die for). It’s also a curious mixture of feminist aspiration (the wealthiest woman in the world, sisterly, super-smart and able to fight) with misogynistic realities (The Batwoman’s function is predominantly to wear a bikini and be looked at whilst solving crime). We end by noting that the film is credited to Rene Cardona as director but it’s ‘a film by’ producer Guillermo Calderon Stell and we discuss how it fits in to the extended Batman universe. The last of our podcasts on the wonderful MUBI programme: Spectacle Every Day: The Many Seasons of Mexican Cinema.
The podcast may be listened to here:
The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT
The Trailer for “The Wild World of Batwoman” (1966) that Richard mentions may be seen here:
According to Richard: ‘there’s a great (and profusely illustrated!) piece on gay coded Batman and Robin / Frederick Wertham / original Batwoman in the answer from Ben Skirvin here: https://www.quora.com/Why-did-DC-create-a-Batwoman-when-there-was-already-a-Batgirl
You may also be interested in the following screen grabs: