Kevin (Keempee de Leon) is the local school heartthrob. He spends most of his spare time reading comic books, to his older brother Kuya’s (Joey de Leon) dismay. When Kevin gets beat up by some bullies his older brother comes to his rescue. Kevin wants to be more like his hero Robin. Kevin’s schoolmate Jocson (Rene Requiestas) tells him that Robin is nothing without Batman. He’d rather be the Joker.

Jocson’s uncle Tiyo Paeng (Panchito Alba) has just gotten out of jail. Paeng tells Jocson that he wants to create the greatest criminal team in history and he wants Jocson to be his partner. Jocson decides that his name will be his idol the Joker. Paeng says he will be the Penguin. Jocson suggests he call himself Uncle Paenguin. Jocson’s uncle likes that name. They hire some henchmen and begin a spree of robberies. Eventually they team up with Catwoman (Almira Muhlach) and make a name for themselves as Joker and Paenguin.

Kevin convinces Kuya to help him fight the Joker and Paenguin. Knowing they are battling supervillains they need to don their own facades. He suggests Robin and Batman. Kevin hires his friend, Glasses (Chinkee Tan), to make the batman and robin costumes Kevin and Kuya will need. Kevin also tricks out the family car into a make shift batmobile using black paint, stickers and fins. In addition He turns the garage into a batcave. The duo then set out to stop Joker and Paenguin. After the completion of one of their adventures Batman meets and falls in love with a reporter named Angelique Legarda (Dawn Zulueta).

They manage to capture Paenguin and Catwoman but Joker escapes. Joker manages to break Paenguin out of jail. When Robin wants to go after the gang again Batman wants to stop crime fighting and settle down with Angelique. Robin tries to go it alone against Paenguin and Joker. When Robin gets shot Batman makes the decision to go back to crime fighting and vows to take down the evil duo.

“Alias Batman and Robin” or “Alyas Batman en Robin” was released in 1991 and was directed by Tony Y. Reyes. It is a Filipino musical-comedy superhero film produced by Regal Films. Although the film was released to capitalize on the 1989 Batman film starring Michael Keaton, the movie is based on the 1960’s television series starring Adam West, camp and all. It is another entry in the world of Batsploitation. This unauthorized film was made in 1989 but threatened legal action by Warner Brothers delayed the release for two years.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Like Mexico or Istanbul, the Philippines have had their share of American film rip-offs and like other countries they are fully aware that they cannot match the budget or production values that America possesses. To compensate they turn to either comedy or their own brand of uniqueness in their plots. Anyone who watches these films and expects to see something relatively similar to the American films is in for a big surprise. These films must be looked at through the lens of the homage and not the cold hard view of the rip-off. To that extent “Alias Batman and Robin” is fun. Yes, it’s a bad movie but nonetheless a lot of fun. It’s full of slapstick, sight gags and ridiculous songs.

The villains featured are the Joker, played by Rene Requiestas, the Penguin played by Filipino comedian Panchito Alba and a very tall yet ineffectual Catwoman played by Almira Muhlach. The musical interludes are silly lyrics sung to various 60’s American rock and roll songs. The “R” on Robin's costume is actually the logo of Regal Films studio instead of the Robin logo.

Panchito's main character is Tiyo Paeng. When deciding to be a supervillain he takes on the moniker of Tiyo Paenguin which is a combination of Paeng and Penguin and literally means "Uncle Paenguin". Reportedly it is also a play on words and a double entendre in the Tagalog language and slang for blow job.

The film is a combination of English and Tagalog with English subtitles. Tagalog is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines. It is an Austronesia language spoken as a first language by the ethnic Tagalog people. They make up about a quarter of the population of the Philippines. Tagalog is also spoken as a second language by the majority of the remaining population. The effect of the two languages with subtitles adds to the lightheartedness of the movie. Even the songs are in both languages.

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User