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Batman Ninja
Ninja Batman

Japan / USA 2018
produced by
Leo Chu, Eric Garcia, Tetsuro Satomi (animation producer), Benjamin Melniker (executive), Michael E. Uslan (executive) for Kamikaze Douga/DC Comics, Warner Brothers
directed by Junpei Mizusaki
screenplay by Kazuki Nakashima, based on the DC Comics comicbook characters created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, Graham Nolan, music by Yugo Kanno

Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn, Robin, Gorilla Grodd, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Deathstroke, Nightwing, Penguin, Two-Face, Bane

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Gorilla Grodd wanted to be villain supreme in Gotham City so he points his earthquake machine onto Arkham Asylum to get rid of all the other super villains - but thanks to Batman's interference, everybody gets transported back to feudal Japan. For some reason, Batman arrives two years after everybody else, and somehow his car and even his butler Alfred are already there waiting for him. Meanwhile, the Joker, Harley Quinn always by his side, has become the most powerful villain here, and of course Batman wastes no time attacking his castle, but the castle's robot arms (!) destroy his car, his plane and even his bike, and Batman only just escapes - to find his allies Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing and Catwoman, plus a gang of ninjas who wear batmasks, wanting to fight the Joker with him. And even Gorilla Grodd, who's miffed that the Joker has become all that powerful, wants to help. So Batman and associates launch an attack against the Joker, which is successful even, but then Gorilla Grodd, with the help of Two-Face, turns on Batman, and it all ends in a giant explosion.

Batman awakes only a couple of days later, and in the meantime, Gorilla Grodd has taken over the Joker's castle and plans to go against the other villains, as in Poison Ivy, Deathstroke, Two-Face and the Penguin, who of course all also reside in castles - and of course, all these castles are really giant robots in disguise (!) which eventually go against one another. Re-enter the Joker, who was thought to have lost his mind in above explosion, but who's actually as bad as ever, and now he violently reclaims his castle from Gorilla Grodd, somehow defeats all the other villains and takes all their giant robots to build an enormous robot for which Batman and friends are no match - but Robin has a flute that can summon monkeys, who gather to form a giant monkey out of their body, and when that monkey's not strong enough, enter myriads of bats who gather around the giant monkey to make it into a giant Batman, and ...

Well, ultimately Batman defeats the Joker of course and everybody's returned to the 21st century.


So ok, from reading this you might already have guessed, this makes little sense, and at times the film almost feels like a parody in throwing more and more madness at the audience while making the plot more and more far-fetched to a point where disbelief is suspended beyond breaking point. At the same time though, Batman Ninja is a visual feast, handily combining traditional Japanese art with modern animation and putting the characters of the Batman family into very unfamiliar settings in a very stylish way. Actually, the on-screen madness aside, the film has a very artsy feel to it, and the great pictures really help accept the whackiness of the plot - and the whackiness of the whole thing is at least some fun even in a delightful "what the fuck am I just seeing"-way. It's certainly not something anybody should take seriously, but if you don't you'll probably enjoy this more than you expect.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD