After ridding Gotham City of all crime and villainy, the Caped Crusader Batmon has gained a little weight and lost muscle mass, while enjoying frequent pizza dinners. His current bout with sloth allows an aging Catwoman to steal the Batcopter and hide it in an undisclosed location on the Marshall Islands.
While watching Batmon vs Majuro, you realize this is a piece of fan filmmaking from a community of enthusiastic filmmakers from the Marshall Islands. Thanks to screenings at the Guam-USA International Film Festival, this homage to the 60’s television show has made its way stateside.
“…anyone can make a movie. You just need simple cameras, something that resembles a script, and a bunch of friends who want to help.”
Batmon vs Majuro is a rather silly story of Batmon, played by writer/director/producer Ben DeBrum Wakefield, who comes to the Marshall Islands in search of the Batcopter. Batmon is placed at a severe disadvantage when his luggage is lost by the airline. Lost are his wallet, utility belt, and assorted Batweapons. How Bat-fortunate he was to be wearing his cowl and cape on the flight from Gotham City.
Left on his own, Batmon must rely on the Marshallese locals for transportation, shelter, and information. The infamous Batmon’s arrival is either with passive indifference to a guy in a costume or the disapproving disgust at how Batmon has “let himself go.” While in a random cab, Batmon meets Mook (Lyle Yamane), who wants to help Batmon. Mook eventually becomes his sidekick wearing a palm tree leaf as a mask to hide his identity.
“[Batmon’s] current bout with sloth allows an aging Catwoman to steal the Batcopter and hide it in an undisclosed location on the Marshall Islands.”
Everygood Batmon film needs a good Bat-villain. That brings us to Catwoman (Karen Ernshaw) and her power to talk in an evil tone and then let her gang do the dirty work. Catwoman’s is the ferocious Ghurlpower with its members: LiLinder (Lucus Niedenthal), LiMocha (Jollie Batlok), LiRicky (Arelong Simon) and BingoNella (Jack Niedenthal). Midway through the film, the Ghurlpower gang steps out of danger for an afternoon mani-pedi and an evening of Bingo and karaoke.
Most of the film consists of Batmon looking for Ghurlpower, while Ghurlpower looks for Batmon. By “looking” I mean riding in cars shooting the breeze. Batmon vs Majuro does employ the infamous onomatopoeia visuals of the 60’s superimposed on the screen. During the second act running chase scene, the word “Smoosh” is flashed as Batmon runs past the camera.
Let’s face it. Batmon vs Majuro shows that anyone can make a movie. You just need simple cameras, something that resembles a script, and a bunch of friends who want to help. On the positive side, this film is a great introduction to the Marshall Islands and its people. For a homemade film, its production values are better than average. It even boasts an original soundtrack from local Marshallese musicians. That said, Batmon vs Majuro is nothing more than a fan film.
Batmon vs Majuro (2017) Written and Directed by Jack Niedenthal and Ben DeBrum Wakefield. Starring: Ben DeBrum Wakefield, Karen Ernshaw, Lyle Yamane, Lucus Niedenthal, Jollie Batlok, Arelong Simon, Jack Niedenthal.
1.5 out of 5