Contact Us

‘The Dark Knight XXX’ Is The Craziest Damn Thing I’ve Ever Seen

One of the weirder aspects of being a comic book fan these days is that in addition to the major motion pictures based on your favorite super-heroes, you also have the inevitable porn parody to look forward to — and I’ll admit that with Vivid’s The Dark Knight XXX, I really was doing just that. After all, I thought Axel Braun’s take on Batman ’66 was a hoot, and while few of the subsequent parodies have lived up to that standard, I was pretty interested in seeing where he’d end up when his starting point was Christopher Nolan’s version. No matter what, I knew it was going to be weird. I just didn’t think it would be weird like this.

Seriously, I don’t know whose bright idea it was for the first sex scene to be based on The Killing Joke, but that was probably not the best choice.And when I say that it’s based on The Killing Joke, I mean that it’s a full-on homage, right down to the Joker’s goons locking a naked Commissioner Gordon (Tom Byron) in a cage in a creepy funhouse. The only thing it doesn’t have is a musical number about the benefits of insanity.

Instead, viewers are given a scene where Batgirl (Penny Pax) is forced to have sex with the Joker (Brendon Miller) to save her father’s life, which she does, looking absolutely (and understandably) miserable the entire time. And then he shoots her in the spine — with an actual gun, I mean. The whole thing’s so weird and wrong-headed that I had to double-check to make sure it wasn’t written by Judd Winick.

Far be it from me to tell anyone else what they should and shouldn’t find arousing, which I guess is the actual point here, and to be fair, the DVD box does promise “a Joker that’s creepier than the late screen legend,” which they certainly delivered. I don’t know, maybe there are people out there who came away from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s original story and thought “you know, that could’ve used a little more rape,” and if so, this is most definitely the movie for them. But it’s just not fun, and I was sort of under the impression that “fun” was at least one of the goals they were shooting for.

To paraphrase Achewood, I ain’t Frederick H. Vividvideo or anything, but I do have a pretty solid understanding of how parody works. When you promise “geekgasmic film spoofing,” that sort of implies that there’s going to be a level of lightheartedness and comedy that’s just completely absent when your movie opens with a woman being raped and paralyzed in front of her father by a psychopath in clown makeup. You can’t really come back from that.

I was so put off by it that I almost tapped out after the first few minutes, but I ended up watching the whole thing out of curiosity over what direction Braun was going to try to go with. And the answer is that he went insanely dark with his story, to the point where it’s kind of fascinatingly non-erotic despite the presence of attractive people shtupping each other.

The plot (which can be experienced as a 21-minute “Non-Sex” cut that’s included) is particularly interesting, because it’s very obvious from the start that Braun was trying to piece together something that would mirror The Dark Knight Rises, based on information gleaned from trailers and early reports. With the effort of trying to get Dark Knight XXX released at the same time as its big-budget Hollywood counterpart, Braun is making a parody of a movie he hasn’t actually seen, which is seriously intriguing, despite the fact that it’s about as far from my taste as it possibly could be.

Case in point: The whole Batgirl/Joker fiasco is presented in a flashback as one of the reasons that Batman (Giovanni Francesco) has put away his costume and retired from crime-fighting, instead opting to spend his time on a mountain wearing what may in fact be the best fur coat ever seen on film:

The other reason, far less reprehensible but somehow even more mystifying, is presented in another flashback, where we find out that Poison Ivy (Dani Jensen) has apparently seduced Nightwing (Brian Street Team), while also developing a plant-based cure for “all diseases.” For some reason, Batman’s really mad about this, which leads him to confront Nightwing…

…and then zap him with a tazer and carry him off. To his credit, Batman waits until after Nightwing has gotten it on with Ivy, so at least he’s observing proper bro code, even if he does follow it up by throwing a batarang that makes Ivy’s panacea explode for some reason, taking Ivy with it in a fireball after she announces that she prefers death to going back to Arkham.

This. Is. Crazytown.

Even giving Batman the benefit of the doubt that the Ivy’s cure is actually some dastardly plot — something that we’re never actually given a reason to do beyond “he’s Batman,” which I guess is as good as anything else — this is still a movie where Poison Ivy dies in an explosion thirty seconds after her sex scene is over. This thing’s Eros to Thanatos ratio is jacked up all to hell, for real.

After that, Catwoman (Aiden Ashley) shows up to tell Bruce about Bane and convince him to come back and fight him — you can guess how she does the convincing — which he does, but only after stopping off to see John Constantine and Zatanna first.

If you’re wondering what John Constantine and Zatanna are doing in a parody of The Dark Knight Rises, your guess is as good as mine, as they have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the plot. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe we’ll find out in the sequel, but that’s pure conjecture. Maybe Axel Braun was just a big fan of Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing in addition to The Killing Joke, although he missed that “Constantine” is meant to rhyme with “wine” instead of “teen.”

Either way, their scene is easily the best of the movie, if only because nobody actually suffers horrible trauma or death during that one. Instead, we see Zatanna (Christy Mack) performing for a bored, mostly-empty bar full of Gothamites, which I actually kind of like. Of course these dudes wouldn’t be impressed by seeing actual magic performed on-stage. They live in Gotham City. They’ve seen it all.

Constantine (Clarke Kent) (yes, really) is also a highlight, possibly because he’s one of the few characters that you can believe beyond a shadow of a doubt would show up in a porn version of the DC Universe. Kent honestly looks like he just stepped off a page of Hellblazer, and I’m going to go ahead and say it: This is the single best performance of John Constantine that has ever made it to film. Maybe he’ll get a spin-off movie with the rest of the Vertigo characters.
Hell, Braun might even be able to get Alan Moore to sign off on that one.

Anyway, Batman eventually confronts Bane (Derrick Pierce), who has kidnapped Kathy Kane (Andy San Dimas, who is here as “Bruce Wayne’s ex-fiancee,” rather than as the original Batwoman). Quick side-note, Bane’s opening line is “Welcome back to Gotham, hope you like what I’ve done with the place,” and Batman responds with “I’ll send you a picture in Arkham,” which makes absolutely no sense and thus becomes the only truly fun line in the entire movie. But alas, Batman is betrayed by Kathy and Catwoman, gets his ass kicked, and is then left for dead while Bane and the ladies go off to enjoy themselves at length. That’s how the movie ends.

I will say, the actual Knightfall-style backbreaker that Bane drops on him during the climax (no pun intended) actually does look more convincing than its big-screen counterpart, but I’m not kidding: The Dark Knight XXX ends with Batman being paralyzed and left for dead, twitching once before we cut to credits. What is even happening in this movie?!

The whole thing is just unbelievably grim, which is even more bizarre given how cheery and likable everyone is in the Behind The Scenes feature, in which Francesco talks about collecting action figures. It’s at this level where it’s just impossible to figure out just what they were going for.

At this point, it’s not a surprise that there’s a porn parody of Nolan’s Dark Knight films. But the fact that it’s even more dark, depressing and utterly hopeless than the source material? That boggles the mind.

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://comicsalliance.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Comics Alliance quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on Comics Alliance quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!