The Horror Honeys: The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin...and The Slasher Honey

The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin...and The Slasher Honey

A Slasher Honey Holiday Horror Review by Chassity 

Batman Returns (1992)

Here’s a little secret about me. I abhor action movies/superhero movies. And I don’t just mean that I don’t like them, or that they’re just not my favorite thing. I mean that I absolutely, categorically, unshakably can’t stand them and refuse to watch them. 

That said, one batch of movies is the exception to this personal boycott, and that would be the Batman movies of the 90s; in particular, Batman Returns

Having officially gone on vacation from work, I planned to do nothing but lay in bed and have my annual weekend-before-Christmas movie marathon. I’ve mentioned before that I love watching horror during the holidays. This year, Batman Returns was at the top of that list. 

Because, let’s face it. Not only is this a Christmas movie, it also definitely has its horror elements. 

Pictured: The only man that should be Batman.
The Story: Christopher Walken is an evil jerk who tries to commit murder. He serves as the equivalent of the popular high school kids who pick on someone innocent until a tragedy occurs. Danny Devito is Penguin, an ugly villain who is all depressed and misunderstood. (And, I gotta say, he totally owned it.) And Michelle Pfeiffer is out for blood because she is a woman scorned. She is this movie’s Carrie. And Batman appears relatively normal compared to this lot.

Let’s start with the fact that this movie is very dark. And I don’t just mean aesthetically, although that is a part of it. Go ahead, compare it with any other superhero movie you’ve ever seen. It doesn’t even look like one. Everything is, at minimum, circus-freak creepy, and simultaneously very noir.  

EW - dirty birdie
Penguin is like no other action/superhero movie villain I’ve ever seen. In fact, even thinking of him as such seems almost insulting. He is something straight out of a slasher film. Seriously; the lonely kid abandoned by his parents who grows up to be the deformed, misunderstood maniac everyone’s afraid of? Tell me that isn’t exactly like the serial killer’s past in…well….90% of all slashers from the 80s to early 2000s. 

I adore Selina Kyle so damn much. I love her vixen-style spin on the innocent victim of attempted murder, who comes back, out for vengeance. When I saw this movie as a little girl, her transformation into Catwoman was absolutely eerie for its time and I cannot say enough about how intrigued I was by her. The way she tricks Batman with that “I’m a woman” line, and gets him to actually apologize? I am always here for that kind of thing.

Batman himself has got his own dark history, and from a horror perspective he’s not all that different from a lot of Final Girls (I’m looking at you, Sidney Prescott and Laurie Strode). 

The only issue I have with this movie is the few stereotypes of Michelle Pfeiffer’s character. The pink. The cats. Whining about not being married. Letting everyone walk all over her. Getting calls about buying perfume that will make all the men want her. And the nagging mother on her answering machine who is most likely only calling to nag her daughter about why she isn’t married. But, hey, I can overlook this because it’s where she needed to start out so she can end up the way she does. 

Having said that, I absolutely love this movie. It’s enjoyable as a Christmas choice, and as a superhero film so far ahead of its time, it surpasses what it was meant to be and ends up as a horror thriller instead. In fact, I like this one so much I forgot that I don’t like the people who made it. 

Watching Batman Returns at Christmas may end up being a new holiday tradition for me.