The New Batman Adventures “Critters” (part 2 of 2)

Fade to a farm that I have a hard time believing is anywhere near Gotham. At least, not near enough to make this guy’s plans for revenge feasible. Although, given that Gotham tends to be modeled on New York, this could simply be upstate.

Farmer Brown is sitting on his porch, carving a bull out of wood. Not the choice I’d make if I wanted to show how menacing my villain is, but then again, I probably wouldn’t write something this goofy. Unless the price was right, of course.

He finishes his work and holds it up to reveal a two headed bull, sort of a push-me-pull-you with horns. And I shudder to think of the bathroom habits of this particular creature.

Emmylou appears with a huge bag of feed on her shoulder, which must weigh a ton. I have to say that I am appalled at this blatant use of human growth hormone in the cartoon world. She goes off to feed the chickens, as Brown enters his house, which proves to be a high tech elevator leading to the ceiling. Wait a second, the ceiling? Yes, it appears the entire farm locale is an interior. I feel like I’m watching an episode of Mister T, only there’s no giant man screaming at me to stay in drugs and not to do milk.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

Emmylou spreads out feed for the birds, which turn out to be mutated demon chickens that look like vultures possessed by Satan. Surprisingly enough, I don’t think they’re much different from regular chickens, behavior-wise. Ever try to pick up one of those little suckers? They freak out, especially if the salad tongs are too cold.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Polly wants to eat your eyeballs out and shit in the empty sockets!”

Brown gets to his lair, which overlooks Gotham (knew it had to be upstate). He looks at his watch, utters, “Okey dokey,” and next thing you know, we see a giant pink bull in the streets of Gotham. It’s accompanied by a giant demonic cow (not the one from before—this one actually looks like a cow) and they proceed to cause chaos and panic. As one might imagine.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

Batgirl and Robin drive up in the Batmobile, and are understandably shocked by the sight. Robin yells, “Holy cow!” and after Batgirl comments on that, we cut to a police blimp (now that’s traveling in style!) that gets attacked by the demon chickens.

Jesus, I think I’m losing brain cells watching this. Ah screw it, it’s fun!

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For some reason, the bird gets much larger when it crashes through the window of the blimp. I guess the animators figured a huge bird was scarier than a smaller one. They’re right, but it’s still goofy as shit.

Caption contributed by Ed

“I want my fucking cracker now!”

Batman flies around with a jetpack, surveying the rampaging livestock. He radios the Batmobile for an update, just as they’re rammed by the pink bull. After the car is trampled, Robin radios back that “We just got run over by a cow,” to which Bats raises an eyebrow (from within the headpiece, no less). Batman comes across the demon chickens, which I guess are all Godzilla-sized, and are slowly bringing the blimp down.

Batman knocks one of them off, and dodges it as it snaps at him. The blimp crash lands on the roof of a building, so either the building is absolutely gargantuan, or the Gotham PD has really tiny blimps.

Batman gets the birds to chase him, and I never thought I’d see three demonic chickens chasing a guy with a jetpack, but I am, and it’s mind-breakingly awesome and horrible at the same time.

Down on the streets, our other two heroes are on foot, because when you’re in danger of being stomped by huge demonic bulls the size of kaiju, you really want to abandon your armored and well-armed vehicle.

Caption contributed by Ed

Just another day in Pamplona.

They watch the pink bull take out a bus, and suddenly, Batgirl is chasing after the other bull, bringing it down with some bolos. Meanwhile, the pink bull is running straight for a china shop (oh lord), invoking a myth which has already been debunked on Mythbusters (They ran some bulls through a display, and the bulls seemed to be making an effort to not break anything. What more can I tell you?).

Actually, now that I think of it, the pink bull is probably supposed to be skinless. Like this wasn’t creepy and odd enough.

Robin gets the bull’s attention (proving that you can put another kid in the Robin costume, but he’ll be just as dumb as the last one), getting it to chase him by waving his cape at it, matador-style. This works, and the bull chases Robin through a building, where it gets stuck. Suddenly, Batgirl appears behind the wheel of a cement truck and rams the bull.

Robin appears in an upper floor window and gives us another lame line.

Robin: That’s a lot of bull!

Tell me about it, kid. Tell me about it.

Back in the air, Batman is still being pursued by the three demon chickens, dodging their jaws as they snap at him. He pins one to a bridge using a rocket powered net, and takes out a second one the same way, sending it crashing into the water.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

The third one is still on his tail, but Batman manages to lure it into a barbecue sauce factory, where he defeats it by drowning it in a flood of barbecue sauce.

I think my brain is broken.

Back at the police station, we find out they’re actually doing some work for themselves, as opposed to sitting back while Batman does all the heavy lifting. Detective Harvey Bullock (voiced by Robert Costanzo—all hail Robert Costanzo!) is typing away while munching on a donut. A shadow appears and snags the donut, and then vanishes into another room.

Commissioner Gordon is talking with Batman about the attacks, when a banging on the door is heard. The door opens, and a demonic goat enters. It speaks with Farmer Brown’s voice, and demands a ransom to be delivered at the docks by one person. Batman must not be present, or else the bugs will be sent back to stay.

And I bug my eyes out and look forward to having some really fucked up nightmares.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

I wish I was making all this up, believe me. It’s like David Lynch made a Batman cartoon and forced the networks to air it.

Caption contributed by Ed

I can’t think of a joke here that wouldn’t result in the ASPCA putting a contract out for my death.

After a dumb bit from Detective Bullock, we cut to the docks, where Bullock delivers the ransom money to a boat. Meanwhile, Gordon and our heroes listen in from Gordon’s office. Bullock notices Emmylou, and then gets knocked off the boat by the goat. And no, I won’t be doing the rest of this thing Dr. Seuss style. Don’t worry.

Bullock swims after the boat, and impressively enough, given he’s the size of a whale, he catches the boat and grabs a rope, and ends up getting towed away to Farmer Brown’s HQ.

Bullock ends up being held captive, of course, and Emmylou throws him into a pen with a giant demon hog. So I guess that HGH joke I made earlier would seem to be the truth. The chick has some serious strength.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

As the pig chases the other pig around the pen, Farmer Brown finds that he’s been tricked with fake money. It leads to this gem of a line. And by “gem”, I mean “turd”.

Farmer Brown: Always check the money first, honey. Check your shoes for what the cow left, and check your money. Two solid rules.

Um, yeah. I think our villain just went from slightly underwhelming to just plain crazy in 0.3 seconds. If only my car was that fast.

A tracer from Batman is also discovered, and sure enough, Batgirl swings to Bullock’s rescue, hog tying the demon pig with more bolos. Robin chips in by knocking the hog out with some darts, and our exciting finale begins.

Caption contributed by Ed

“I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass for… Oh, hell. You already know the story.”

Batgirl attacks Emmylou, but gets the shit knocked out of her (correction: Emmylou is on beef steroids), while Farmer Brown stalks around with a pitchfork. He’s jumped by Batman, and they fight for bit, until Brown reveals his pitchfork is also an electric cattle prod-type weapon.

Batman rears up with a batarang, but Emmylou is holding Robin hostage. Brown demands Batman’s belt, and soon all four of our heroes are locked inside a silo that’s actually a rocket aimed for Gotham Lake. Not only that, but the silo is full of insect eggs, so I guess the rocket is going to release mutant bugs into the lake. And you thought water bugs were trouble!

You know, I’m not sure who looks worse here: Batman and company for being one-upped by a first-timer or… Actually, forget it. It’s just the heroes who look like complete morons.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

Farmer Brown and Emmylou make a run for their escape boat, while Batman tries to escape. One of the eggs hatches, and Batman gets the bug to tear the door off as it attacks. They escape and make a run for it. Batman gets behind the wheel of the armored car Bullock drove and drives straight at the silo as it takes off. He leaps out and the truck slams into the silo, with Batman dodging the huge explosion that ensues.

Our villains watch the silo take off (to which Emmylou remarks, “It’s purty, isn’t it?”), and it explodes in mid-air, much to the anger of our villains. Their escape boat is sunk by debris, and Batgirl turns out to have supersonic hearing when she notes, “Now that’s purty.” Don’t ask me how she knew what Emmylou said seconds before the explosion. I’m afraid my brain would melt out of my ear if I tried to figure it out.

The New Batman Adventures "Critters" (part 2 of 2)

Later, Farmer Brown and Emmylou are loaded into a police van (no idea how the two of them survived the chunks of burning debris), and we get one last shot of Brown’s lair as a rooster crows.

I can see why some people hate this one with a passion. It’s goofy, bizarre, and strange on a very deep level. But it’s also a fun kind of throwback to cheesy monster movies, so I really don’t get why it’s as reviled as it is.

If nothing else, it sure beats the hell out of Batman & Robin.

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: The New Batman Adventures "Critters"
TV Show: The New Batman Adventures

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