Las Mujer Murcielago (Mexico 1968)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: The Batwoman
Review Date: 11/16/15
Cast: Maura Monti

Italian beauty Maura Monti is Las Mujer Murcielago (aka Batwoman), a rich and multi-talented luchadora who fights crime wearing a blue bikini and little else. When prominent wrestlers start turning up dead in Acapulco, the stumped local police decide to call on Batwoman for help. She's happy and eager to lend a hand, and she soon discovers that a mad scientist named Eric Williams (and his sidekick, Igor) has been performing twisted experiments on wrestlers in an attempt to create a prehistoric amphibious man, which he intends to use to take over the world (cue evil laughter). After a brief tussle in his laboratory, Dr. Williams sends his monster and his goon squad after Batwoman to make her pay for interfering with his plans, but she's too much for them to handle. With both strength and cunning, she turns the tables on the evil doctor and blows up his operation for good.

As you might expect, this is a campy and tongue-in-cheek adventure that borrows liberally from the American "Batman" TV series starring Adam West. Maura Monti does a great job of selling her role and is remarkably confident and comfortable with the amount of bare skin that's on display. Her crime fighting outfit is laughably sexy and absurd, and she wears her cape even when she's swimming. The action scenes are woefully weak, and the requisite wrestling matches are baffling and performed by a stocky stunt double that's clearly not Ms. Monti. The visual effects are average at best, and the film ends with an exploding boat that looks nothing like where the action was taking place. The production values are decent and the film looks pretty good for the most part. While the underwater fight scenes are pretty silly, the underwater cinematography is quite lovely. Even though lots of things happen in the film, the pacing tends to be sluggish and tedious, and the lack of subtitles only makes it worse. However, the plot is so simplistic that it's not hard to figure out what's going on. It's by no means a great film, but as a guilty pleasure and a rare example of a strong female super hero in a leading role, I found it fascinating and entertaining. It's all about the psychological impact of eye candy, and Ms. Monti delivers quite a punch.