June 21, 2005
In 1967, Hal Seegar created ‘Batfink’ – a campy animated series, which no one cared about, not surprising since its competition was the likes of ‘The Flintstones’, ‘Scooby Doo’ and more similarly ‘Roger Ramjet’. Yet some how it was still being shown in the 1980’s and became a staple of children’s television broadcasts. Now nearly forty years after the initial lull, all 100 episodes of 5 minutes long are presented to us over 4 DVDs.
Batfink is a heroic radioactive bat, the size of a normal man who somehow possesses wings made from impenetrable steel. All superheroes need a sidekick and for some reason Batfink has lumbered himself with an oriental buffoon know as ‘Karate’, whose oversized hands are ideal for breaking doors down. Although why he takes the inept Karate along with him is baffling, because as his catchphrase “Sorry about that Batfink” suggests, his martial arts are about as ineffective as the tongue in cheek humour of the show.
Designed to spoof the 1960’s Batman series, the scripts and plots are hardly genius and would be doing well to mentally challenge the youngest of viewers. The structure never changes from each 5 minutes to the next – A crime is committed, the police chief seemingly does nothing except call Batfink on the hotline, who then jumps into his preferred method of transport, a pink Cadillac with wings, inventively titled ‘The Batillac’ and leaps into action against rascals such as Manhole Manny, Skinnie Minnie, Glouie Louie and even Ebenezer the Freezer. No matter how many times the main baddie, The Mad Scientist Hugo-A-Go-Go gets sent behind bars, he always seems to back in time for the next episode. Even though Batfink says in every episode “you can not harm me, my wings are like a shield of steel”, they never seemed to be able to get it into their heads – stop shooting at him.
The animation is nothing special and sometimes over 50% of an episode can be repeated footage from a previous one. You really would have to be a fan of the ‘Valiant Vanquisher of Vile Violence and Villainous Villains’ and his ‘Persistent Assistant’ to be able to tolerate 100 episodes of Batfink. You could consider yourself a fan if you managed more than 10 in one sitting.