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batman-the-killing-joke

This animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s 1988 graphic novel presents a much darker universe than the nineties TV show Batman: The Animated Series that this reviewer remembers watching at the tail end of his childhood. Batman: The Killing Joke is by no means a juvenile outing, and contains some decidedly adult content, themes, and insinuations. The story concerns the origins of the Joker, but Joker enthusiasts may be disappointed that the Clown Prince of Crime does not appear until half an hour or so into the program. Before that, the screenplay is preoccupied with the complex relationship between Batman and his protégée Batgirl. One of the most bizarre of the Batman storylines, The Killing Joke gives viewers a sensitive Caped Crusader who worries about the nature of his “relationship” with the Joker and even offers to “rehabilitate” him and maybe collaborate – even after Joker has shot and possibly even raped Batgirl! The ending, too, is a bit of a head-scratcher, and likely to be a conversation-starter after viewing. The idea of the Joker and Batman having a laugh together might seem too insane to consider until one begins to understand the characters as a pair of Judaic archetypes.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Batman: The Killing Joke is:

6. Anti-bankster, literally depicting a banker as an organized crime figure.

5. Anti-nuke, referencing the danger of nuclear holocaust, which, as one character puts it, could be ignited by a flock of geese appearing as a blip on a computer screen.

4. Family-ambivalent. Viewers are treated to a touching father-daughter relationship with Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon, but the Joker’s origin story, in which the financial and psychological strain caused by his wife’s pregnancy and death precipitates his downfall and transformative madness, is arguably antinatalist in character.

3. Pro-gay, perpetuating the homos-are-a-girl’s-best-friend convention.

2. Pro-miscegenation. “I don’t understand why you’re having fishing troubles when we are in the middle of a lake,” Batgirl’s gay friend tells her as he gestures toward a table full of young men including a bespectacled, intellectual-looking congoid. “What do these guys have to do to get your attention?” A white man and black woman are shown studying together in a library – marking race-mixing as the preference of the sophisticated – and a black floozy is also shown caressing the face of a white bad guy.

1. Sexist! The first act of Batman: The Killing Joke is concerned with young heroine Batgirl’s frustration with the limitations placed upon her by her mentor. She aspires to take more active part in Batman’s crime-fighting, but Batman views her as a rookie whose inexperience represents a dangerous liability. A burgeoning feminist, Batgirl objects to him “getting protective and sitting in judgment”, and confronts him with her previous understanding that they were supposed to be partners. “We are – but not equal,” Batman tells her, laying the bat-smack down on that uppity ho.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

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Outpost Black Sun

In the opening scene of Outpost: B.S., an elderly gentleman (Michael Byrne) in a nursing home receives a visit from a young woman, Lena (Catherine Steadman), claiming to be his long-lost niece. Rather than embracing him, however, she turns insolent, grasps his hand, breaks his fingers, and even pilfers the old man’s ring. This, one assumes, is intended to endear her to the audience when the man is revealed to have been a Nazi, and social justice demands that, lest the Fourth Reich rise up and six zillion more Jews suffer another Holohoax, wheelchair-bound geezers must be physically abused.

Whereas this film’s predecessor, Outpost (2008), was an impressive exercise in modestly budgeted horror-action that benefited in macho economy from focusing on a gruff, totally male ensemble of seasoned mercenaries, this 2012 sequel shoots itself in the boot from the beginning by featuring a Jewish Nazi huntress as the heroine, thus injecting a dose of sanctimonious and emotional motivation into the franchise where none was needed. Something of the sense of suspense that drove the first film remains in evidence, however, as the bothersome Nazi zombies are on the loose again and conquering a constantly broadening swath of already war-torn Eastern Europe. It also becomes more entertaining once a British commando unit enters the story, contributing a brusque, confrontational snottiness.

The cast is fine and does what it can with the preposterous material. Catherine Steadman is pretty and hardly to be faulted for her annoying character’s uselessness to the franchise; however, the teaser ending, which suggests that she will also play the lead in the expected third installment, is somewhat disappointing for that reason.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Outpost: B.S. is:

9. Pro-family. Lena carries on a family tradition of Nazi-hunting and hopes to avenge relatives who died in the Holohoax.

8. Anti-military/anti-nuke. The term “military intelligence” is used sarcastically. Hovering over the whole mission, meanwhile, is the threat of a nuclear option that would probably not be efficacious in any event.

7. Anti-slavery (i.e., pro-yawn). A black soldier (Gary McDonald) winces at the sight of a chain and shackle.

6. Anti-state. The American spokesman for a “UN-backed task force” claims to be looking for chemical weapons, but actually wants to secure the Nazi superweaponry for his government. “Any government will pay any price” for the technology.

5. Anti-Slav. Scientist Wallace (Richard Coyle) claims to have been betrayed by Russian partners. “Don’t do time in one of their prisons. They’re cold,” he says, presumably with reference not just to their penal system, but to the Russian people themselves. Eastern Europeans are depicted as shady, sleazy, and suspicious.

4. Feminist. Self-reliant Steadman succeeds in throwing a monkey wrench into the Nazis’ plans.

3. Anti-Christian. One Nazi is named Christian Gotz, and a house with a crucifix conspicuously displayed on one of its walls turns out to have a Nazi zombie hiding in it. A map shows the concentric spread of the undead’s conquered territory in crosshairs, i.e., with a cross at its center.

2. Paranoiacally Zionist and Holohoax-alarmist. The movie industry, prescient of the day when the passage of time would render too ridiculous the idea of a geriatric Fourth Reich rising from the ashes to conquer the globe, has over the decades foisted on filmgoers such interesting (or not) innovations as the conventional Nazi zombie army in films like The Frozen Dead (1966) and Shock Waves (1977); cloned Hitlers in The Boys from Brazil (1978); vengeful and pitilessly boring Nazi ghost sailors in Death Ship (1980); the National Socialist moon colony in Iron Sky (2012); and now, most outlandish of all, the immortal runic unified field Nazi zombie army of the Outpost franchise. “Two days ago I still thought this was all about what these people [i.e., Germans and gentiles generally] had done,” Lena reflects. “But it’s not. It’s only ever been about what they were going to do.” “There’ll always be somebody else,” Wallace warns. Ironically, treacherous gentile Wallace turns out to have been working against Lena the whole time, hoping to acquire the Holy Grail of Nazi zombie-generating unified field technology not to destroy it, but to sell it back to the Nazis. Hilariously, once the deception comes out, Wallace’s black hair changes to blonde, revealing his truly evil nature.

1. Anti-German. Outpost: B.S. reduces the Teuton to what, in the paranoid and condescending anti-white progressive’s view, is his essence: a dead-eyed, lumbering, growling, killing machine bent on stabbing or cudgeling to death anybody unlike himself.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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