Friday, October 8, 2010

Movie Review - The Batman Vs. Dracula

"I thank you for keeping my legend alive in my absence, but now there's only room for one BAT MAN in Gotham."

Pop quiz: Who remembers the 2004-2008 series "The Batman"? I do. And I liked it.

The Batman is an often forgotten Batman cartoon series. Sure, it wasn't as good as Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, or arguably (I haven't seen many episodes of this one) The New Batman Adventures, but it was different, instead of focusing on Batman after he's an established hero, focusing on his first few years of being "The Batman". The show, focusing on a younger audience than TAS or Beyond were, had a very different tone to it. A brighter tone. And while I personally prefer the darker tone of Batman, such as the films, or TAS/TNBA/BB captured, The Batman was still really good, in my opinion, and I'd rate it up there as one of the best cartoons of the past ten years. The first two seasons focused solely on him as several villains began to surface. The third season broke the traditional Batman lore by introducing Batgirl before Robin was introduced. In the fourth season, Robin was introduced. I only caught a few episodes of the fifth and final season, but it was still pretty good featuring the forming of The Justice League. The cartoon featured a different art style from DC Animated Universe series, and overall a different tone. The cartoon was still quite popular though, popular enough to warrant a feature length Direct to DVD film set between the second and third seasons, "The Batman Vs. Dracula".

The Batman Vs. Dracula had a much darker, creepier tone than the TV series did, much more similar to TAS's tone.

The film opens with Penguin and Joker escaping from Arkham Asylum. Forced to only follow one, Batman pursues Joker to the top of a building overlooking the river. The Joker tries to escape by jumping into the river, but the joy buzzer (Of doom) he had in his hand malfunctions and apparently kills him.

Upset by this Batman returns to the batcave, and tells Alfred of Joker's untimely demise. When asked where Penguin is, he replies he doesn't know, but he's going to find him.

Cut to Penguin in a Gotham graveyard. He finds a tomb which he thinks contains a treasure and opens it to find a chained up coffin. Being an utter moron, he cuts the GIANT RED CHAINS OF DEATH, and opens the coffin. And cuts himself. And bleeds on Dracula's skeleton, bringing him back to (un)life.

And that's where things get awesome. Why do things get awesome? Well, let me put it this way...


Seriously. Just the title alone is so awesome I think I go partly blind every time I read it. I heard someone once said the title of this movie once, and spontaneously turned into Chuck Norris. And exploded. And it was awesome.

This isn't the first time Batman's run in with vampires either, heck he's even run in with Dracula before. But this is the first official movie where he's met Dracula. (Note that I say official.)

So, does the film live up to this title of pure nerd joy? Well... Yes and no. Let me start by saying it's a very different movie. For one thing, the Vampire's in the movie are actually more similar to fast zombies than traditional Vampires. That's not to say they aren't scary though, in fact, they really are scary. Whenever it cuts to the Vampire's point of view, there's this cool vein effect on the other characters, where the Vampire can see the heart and blood of the person they look at. Plus, and this is a bit of a spoiler... Vampire Joker.

Vampire Joker is creepy and crazy. And I love him for it. Plus there's a downright heartwarming scene (in a strange way) where Batman... Well, I won't spoil it.

Speaking of Batman, he's pretty awesome in this movie. He's, again, not as good as Batman in TAS, but he's still a pretty good version of the character.

But, with that said, there are a few continuity holes. For example, in one scene it's very important to note that Vampires don't have reflections... Until a scene later in the movie where you see a Vampire's reflection. That's not the only plot hole sadly, but it is the most blatant in my opinion.

But darn it, the movie promised Batman Vs. Dracula. So how is Dracula in this movie?

Freaking. Awesome. He's just about the perfect Dracula, he's suave, smooth, smart, and evil. Plus he has some of the best lines in the whole movie like the aforementioned
"I thank you for keeping my legend alive in my absence, but now there's only room for one BAT MAN in Gotham."

"(Responding to a solar energy storing device Bruce is showing off at a party) About time the sun was used for something positive."

He's strong, he's fast, and more importantly, he's an awesome villain. Everything Dracula should be.

So Batman and Dracula are both awesome, but it promised Batman VERSUS Dracula. Does it deliver? In a word, yes. Yes it does. The fight scenes between the two of them are very fun, and they give you a sense of just how out of his league Batman is. Dracula is, for all intents and purposes, superpowered. A foe more befitting a hero with superpowers, like Superman or the Green Lantern. And so Batman has to rely on his brain, and his ability to outwit Dracula. And boy is it fun.

And so there you have it. The Batman Versus Dracula. It's not a perfect movie... But c'mon, it's BATMAN. VERSUS. DRACULA. It may not be the best movie in the world, but it is FREAKING AWESOME. It's just a LOT of FUN! It's not quite as good as say, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, or Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and it's certainly not in the same league with The Dark Knight, but any Batman fan who sees this movie will not regret it. You will get to see Batman fight Dracula. And it will be awesome. Really, really awesome.


  1. I loved that movie. Real, scary, creepy vampires for the win!

    Have you seen Batman: Mask of the Phantasm? It's a little mature, but it's one of my favorite animated Batman movies. Very deep. It shoulllddd still be on the Netflix instant queue. And then there's one with Mr. Freeze, but I forget the name of it...

  2. Yeah Mask of the Phantasm is fantastic. Haven't seen the one with Mr. Freeze though.