The Curator of Schlock #243 by Jeff Shuster
Batman vs. Two-Face
West and Shatner, together again for the first time.
There’s a new insult making its way throughout cyberspace. It’s all the rage right now to label people who may be the teensiest bit out of touch with modern culture and technology, boomers. If like listening to AC/DC or playing Quake on your Nintendo 64, you’d better watch out. Yeah, well, Quake was a good game and AC/DC is great to blast in the early hours of the morning! And, yes, I watched the series premier of the original Magnum P.I. and I liked it! That doesn’t make me a boomer! So shut up and read this review of a Batman cartoon featuring Adam West and Burt Ward.
Yes, tonight’s movie is Batman vs. Two-Face from director Rick Morales, an animated feature that’s a tribute to the 1960s Batman series John King is so fond of. It features the voices of Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, Julie Newmar as Catwoman, and William Shatner as the sinister Two-Face. For some reason, Two-Face had never made an appearance on the 1960s Batman series. Attempts were made at a script, one penned by the late Harlan Ellison, but the episode was never produced. Kudos to Warner Bros. Animation for finally getting this project off the ground and casting Shatner as Two-Face, the other leading man of 1960s prime time television with that Star Trek show he was on (which I’ve never watched).
The movie begins with Professor Hugo Strange conducting an experiment at the Gotham State Penitentiary with Batman, Robin, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and a host of other law enforcement officials present. He’s created a machine called the Evil Extractor. By hooking the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, and Egghead to the machine, he will extract the evil out of their bodies, turning them into righteous citizens. Unfortunately, there’s no machine on Earth that can handle the evil of this group of super criminals. The evil turns into a noxious green gas, but the machine can’t contain it! An explosions releases the evil gas onto District Attorney Harvey Dent who is now transformed into the villainous Two-Face, half of his face scarred into a monstrous visage.
What follows is a title sequence showing Two-Face on various crime sprees with Batman and Robin in hot pursuit. It’s kind of like we’re seeing scenes from episodes that never got produced. Cool. Batman and Robin finally capture him, sending Two-Face to the slammer, but he makes a full recovery back to his old self with therapy and plastic surgery. They even offer him the job of Assistant to the Assistant District Attorney, a bit of demotion, but Harvey Dent is eager to regain the public’s trust. Who are we kidding? That’s embarrassing! Assistant to the Assistant District Attorney? Haha!
Batman and Robin tango with other super criminals such as King Tut and the Bookworm all while a shadowy figure lurks in the background, a man that looks and acts just like Two-Face, but how is this possible? Harvey Dent is cured! Or is he?
You know what, this movie is a worth a look just to hear Adam West and William Shatner hamming it up. Unfortunately, Adam West passed away shortly after the production of this feature, but this is a fitting end to his career. Rest in peace, Caped Crusader.
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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