America's Cheesiest Super-Hero
by Dave Goode
One of the strangest things to come out of the era of Batmania (1966-1968) was the movie Rat Pfink a Boo Boo. This psychotronic classic is one of those ultra low-budget flick that seems like it was being written as they were going along. And that just may have been the case. It starts out as a rock & roll/juvenile delinquency flick hybrid and, about 40 minutes into the movie, it morphs into a parody of the Batman television show starring the great Adam West. It even has an obviously tacked on prologue to lead you to believe it was intended as a spoof to begin with. But I don't think anyone was ever fooled.
Ron Haydock stars as Lonnie Lord, R&R star turned masked mystery man. And if anyone ever deserved his status as a cult star it was Haydock (1940-1977). Haydock was a recording artist, editor and writer for monster movie magazines and author of several pornographic novels under the name Vin Saxon. Oddly enough Haydock is billed as Vin Saxon in the credits for this movie.
Carolyn Brandt, a cult star in her own right, plays damsel in distress Cee Cee Beumont, and Titus Moody plays the hero's sidekick. The movie was directed by Ray Dennis Steckler, who along with
Haydock,wrote the story. At the time Steckler and leading lady Brandt were man and wife.
I first learned about this flick from an article in Castle of Frankenstein. I instantly fell in love with the total cheesiness of the whole thing starting with the hero's costume. However, I didn't see the movie until I bought a VHS copy two decades later. I wasn't disappointed. But then again, my sites weren't set that high.
Good cheesy fun.
And speaking of fun....Bob Burns as Kogar, the Swinging Ape was an added plus. It makes you wonder why none of the villains on the Batman TV series never had a "pet gorilla" to be unleashed on the Caped Crusader. Gorillas in comics were all the rage during this era.Of course in the alternate universe that runs through my head, there was a comic book adaptation of the movie and a series of comic books that ran for an additional 24 issues starring the ersatz Dynamic Duo.
Retro style comic art by Vance Capley