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Wild Wild Batwoman (Katherin Victor in She Was a Hippy Vampire)

Batwoman

(Wild World of Batwoman version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Wild World of Batwoman (a.k.a. She Was A Hippie Vampire or Wild Wild World of Batwoman) is a catastrophically bad 1966 film. By far its greatest accomplishment is to have survived the obvious copyright infringement trial. Somehow.

This writeup contains some S P O I L E R S for this horrible, horrible movie. If you want to watch it, don’t. Read a summary online instead (agonybooth.com  has a good recap). If you insist, go for the MST3k version. Watching it straight up might give you nightmares.


Background

  • Real Name: “Batwoman”, for all intents and purposes.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Batgirls of America.
  • Base Of Operations: Uncertain (Los Angeles?).
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 165lbs.
  • Eyes: Obscured by mask, presumably blue. Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Batwoman is probably the smartest person in Wild Wild World of Batwoman. Which isn’t saying much. She’s a good scientist and gadgeteer  (although her devices tend to be a bit…odd).

Furthermore, she is apparently charismatic enough to have a virtual cult of young women devoted to gathering information and fighting crime alongside her. She seems to be pretty popular and well-regarded by the world at large.

She’s also in pretty good shape for a fortyish woman. She once throws a punch that knocks out a typical thug.

Through uncertain means, she knows a somewhat glitchy magical ritual. It can summon spirits in order to speak with them. However, the one time she tried using it, she accidentally contacted two spirits at once. One of whom spoke…well, something that was probably intended to be Chinese, but was really just an excuse for a “ching-chong” bit. Charming.


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Batgirls of America

One of Batwoman’s greatest assets is the fact that she has a small army at her command. At her mansion alone, she has at least 15, and more likely 20 or 30 young women who serve her loyally. These “Batgirls of America”:

  • Are in good physical shape.
  • Are trained in firearms use.
  • Provide a network of observers and informants that spread across the city.

They follow Batwoman’s orders to the letter. If ordered to observe and report on crime in the area but not to intervene, well, they won’t intervene. Even if a man is killed in front of them. They seem a bit like a cult, actually. They are generally somewhat mistrustful and reserved around outsiders and bound together by Batwoman’s strange charisma.

It’s possible that the “Batgirls of America” really are a national organization, extending across the country, and that the girls we see in the mansion are elite Batgirls. This could explain why a few Batgirls (such as the ones in the opening sequence) are only seen once and never again.

Batgirl #14 appears to be the deputy leader.

Batgirls are usually deployed in small groups of three to five, although of course more may be dispatched for particularly important missions. During their downtime they mostly hang around Batwoman’s pool, dance, train and get into little catfights with each other.

Our game stats are for a “typical” Batgirl. It seems likely, given that they seem to come from all walks of life, that some of them may be more skilled in some areas than others, or possess more skills than shown here. Some of them may come from questionable pasts, as well, and may have Advantages or Drawbacks related to said pasts.

Was She a Hippy Vampire ?

After a successful lawsuit from DC Comics, Jerry Warren was forced to retitle Wild World of Batwoman to She Was a Hippy Vampire. He then tacked on a scene at the beginning where a few of the Batgirls hold an initiation ceremony for another by giving her a drink that made her a “Synthetic Vampire”. Whatever that means.

This scene is never referenced again within the movie (only serving to make it even more incoherent). And vampires are never mentioned at all. Ever.

However, for completists, or those who find that angle interesting, I suppose it provides a good explanation for her ability to speak to spirits. And she did knock a guy out with a single punch, so very low superstrength (3 or 4 APs in DC Heroes RPG terms) may be a possibility.


History

There is absolutely no explanation given whatsoever for why Batwoman is Batwoman, and why she is Batwoman 24 hours a day. None. No explanation of where the Batgirls come from, either, or where she learned to perform seances.

During the course of the movie, she’s contacted by Jim Flanagan, vice-president of the Ayjax Development Corporation. He asks her to defend a prototype hearing aid (which inadvertantly allows the listener to hear phone conversations), from someone who appears to be her old archfoe Rat Fink.

But turns out that the culprit is the president of the Ayjax company. He has a fetish for listening to people’s phone conversations (really), and wanted to steal the hearing aid for himself.

Along the way, some of her idiot Batgirls get captured by Rat Fink’s idiot henchmen. Batwoman rescues them from becoming mates for the monstrous creations of Rat Fink’s idiot scientist henchman.

Finally, the idiot scientist’s idiot assistant causes the atomic hearing aid to set off a huge explosion, but don’t worry, everyone lives to party another day. Hooray.


Rat Fink

During the movie, Batwoman supposedly unmasked and defeated her mortal foe, Rat Fink. She found him to be J.B. Christians, head of the Ayjax Development Corporation.

This is, however, unlikely, given that Rat Fink is implied to have been her nemesis for years, with long-ranging villainous plans. Whereas Christians appears to have only assumed the identity in order to steal the “Hearing Aid” his company had been ordered to destroy.

Hence, the real Rat Fink may still be on the loose, or more sinisterly, “Rat Fink” may be a spirit that, Mabuse-like, possesses weak-willed victims and forces them to commit crimes. The only reason I mention this is because having an arch-foe adds something to Batwoman’s sparse character and history.


Description

Liz Kingsley of And You Call Yourself a Scientist  describes her best:
“So. Our heroine. Picture a woman of the proverbial Certain Age wearing a strapless leotard, black tights, black ankle boots with little pointy heels, and black wrist gloves. On the pinky finger of her left hand sits a “diamond” ring roughly the size of Rhode Island.

“Covering her right arm is some kind of fur piece, held in place with a faux-diamond clasp, from which extends a studded sash that passes over her right shoulder, then turns itself into a belt, and is further decorated with dangling diamante chains.

“On her face, she wears a black mask with diamante “eyebrows”, and her hair—- Well, I gotta be honest: I can’t figure out whether the feathery concoction on her head is meant to be her hair, or some kind of hat. Either way, it looks like she was caught in a rare convergence of four separate gale-force winds.

“And let’s not forget the crowning touch : this darling little outfit is topped off by a black bat “tattoo” that sits just above the lady’s breasts.”

(It seems Jerry Warren wouldn’t pay for a costume, so Katherin Victor had to make it herself, with whatever she could get her hands on.)

Her eye color is difficult to determine because of the mask, but is probably the traditional Bat-Family blue.


Personality

Aside from being in costume 24/7, Batwoman seems to be a fairly normal, upright, upper-class citizen. Enough so to be pretty boring, actually. See those quotes down there ? That’s about as exciting as Batwoman gets. A steady rock of dullness in a wild wild world.

She tends to roll her eyes and sigh in exasperation at some of the “comedic” antics that her Batgirls get up to.

She’s somewhat oblivious, at least when the plot demands it. She KNOWS Professor Neon has a pill that makes people jump up and dance, yet on her date with Flanagan, when she sees someone at another table stand up and dance for no reason, she just shrugs it off and eats a bowl of soup (that she hadn’t ordered) given to her by a strangely familiar-looking waiter with a bad fake moustache. Sheesh !

She takes her duty as Batwoman, and the leader of the Batgirls of America very seriously. And she could give a few lessons to Adam West’s Batman when it comes to saying allegedly wacky dialogue in a dignified, formal manner while keeping a straight face. She never uses one word when five (preferably big ones) will do.

She also seems to have integrated her superheroic life quite normally into the life of a socialite. She goes around in public, and even dates, all without shedding her crimefighting persona. Nobody even “bats” an eye at her odd appearance.


Quotes

(Two thugs have kidnapped one of her Batgirls and are using her wristwatch radio to taunt Batwoman)
Thug #1: “Testing 1, 2, 3…Can you hear me, Batwoman ? Wahahaha ! (Batgirl bites his hand) Aaaagh !”
Batwoman: “This is Batwoman speaking to you, whoever you are. I have a simple warning, that you’ve taken on much more than you’ll be able to handle.”

“Transmission to all girls, 0077. We will hold special meeting of code 331, according to articles in Manual A Attendance by entire membership highly essential. Don’t be late, any of you. Batwoman, over and out.”

Rat Fink: “Are you surprised, Batwoman ? Do you know whose voice you’re listening to ?”
Batwoman: “I’m afraid that I do, and the surprise is not a pleasant one. I might have known you were behind this !”

“I can’t recall ever being placed in a position where I would perpetuate your evil plans.”

“Calling all girls in the north and middle sectors. The beach you’re searching is the least likely to be the correct one, because that laboratory uses high voltage and there isn’t any on North Beach. It was very dark when I went there, but I did see a small reef just offshore.”

“Free the other girls ! Use your Magnetic Electron Device !”

“You will carry out the work of evil no longer ! I’ll find a satisfaction I’ve waited for much too long ! Your true identity ! Remove his mask, Fourteen !”


DC Universe History

Seriously ? Um, okay…

The wealthy heiress and recent widow had had little use for Batman. She wasn’t entirely certain if he existed at all, and if he did, he was likely insane. He was certainly no “hero”, that was for certain. In her opinion, Gotham City was better off without dangerous people like him.

That changed, though, when, one night, she was kidnapped by two of her husband’s old “business associates”. It seemed he had been living a double life for years and had made an enormous amount of money, thanks to his criminal activities. However, he had hidden it away and took the location to his grave, keeping it secret even from his wife.

Not that his old partners believed her. They tortured her, demanding that she give them the location of the money, ignoring her entreaties and pleas for mercy.

She had nearly given up all hope, when, like a dark and powerful monster, Batman swept into the building, and thrashed the thugs before her amazed eyes. Yet, he was quite gentle and polite as he untied her, carried her to his fantastic Batmobile, and drove her to the hospital.

She made a full recovery, and came out of the hospital with a coincidentally bat-shaped scar on her chest, and new purpose. To rid Gotham’s streets of crime, and aid the downtrodden.

Wait, I’m not done yet

But how ? In her youth, she had been a wild child, active in all the physical and mental pursuits an idle rich kid could afford. And was still in fine shape even on the other side of 40, but she was certainly no superhero. She had an engineering degree, and had invented several useful gadgets, but she was only one woman against a thousand criminals. What could she do?

Pondering these questions, the heiress accidentally found herself wandering into the one of the seedier parts of Gotham. She was accosted by a junkie who begged for money. She did the poor starving girl one better, and took her home, giving her a good meal and a warm bed to sleep in.

It was difficult to tell how old the girl was, as life on the streets had taken its toll on her. The heiress didn’t think she could be more than 15.

In her old life, the heiress realized that she would have ignored this girl, pretending she didn’t exist, no matter how she pleaded. She wondered how many girls just like this one were wandering the streets even now. How many died each day? She knew she couldn’t allow it to go on…and she began to realize a way to spread her influence all over Gotham City.

When the girl awakened the next morning, the heiress made her an offer. If she got as many friends as she could find and brought them back to the heiress’ mansion. The heiress would pay for their rehab and medical bills and provide them with money, training, and the chance to live the straight life. All they would have to do was work for her…

The heiress completely abandoned her old name and her old life, choosing a new one in honor of the hero who had saved her, and enabled her to save others.

Thus, Batwoman and the Batgirls of America were born.

Yeah, let’s continue with this

A private person before, indeed so private that she had by and large managed to escape the prying eyes of the press, Batwoman decided that embracing publicity would help her cause. She soon became every bit the media darling the Pre-Crisis Batman was, even managing to get along remarkably well with the police.

She used her fame to improve the city in whatever ways she could. She started a beautification campaign, and encouraged people to take a stand against crime and criminals. She became a rather inspiring public figure, again much like Pre-Crisis Batman.

She also managed to recruit about 50 women into the Batgirls. She kept their identities secret they worked all over the city, gathering information for Batwoman, and fighting criminals and (very low-level) costumed villains alongside her.

Of course, Batman couldn’t allow this new “Batwoman” to exist. He easily surmised her true identity, and the identities of many of the Batgirls of America. But he found himself facing a dilemma.

Batwoman was doing a great deal of good for Gotham, even if she was undermining his own image. Also, even though the idea of asking ordinary (if fairly well-trained) people to endanger themselves by directly fighting crime rankled, before meeting Batwoman many of the Batgirls of America had led painful, even horrific lives, and now they were healthy and happy.

Ultimately, he came to a decision. He snuck into her heavily-guarded and well-defended mansion one night under cover of darkness. Finding her awake and giving commands to her field agents, he made a simple offer. There wasn’t room in Gotham for both of them. Their methods were too different, and they would keep getting in each other’s way.

See where this is going?

However, there were other cities, some worse off than even Gotham, who needed heroes like Batwoman and her Batgirls. So saying, he handed her a list of said cities. The implication was clear, and the alternative was to have her organization shut down completely.

Thus Batwoman and most of her agents left Gotham. Surprisingly, a few female GCPD officers quit the department to join them. As she travelled the US looking for a suitable city from the list to make her home base, Batwoman found herself solving crimes and rescuing people, especially young women, in nearly every city she travelled to. She expanded her network of Batgirls and other allies greatly.

It was also during this time that Batwoman encountered the dangerous entity known as Rat Fink. At first he seemed an ally, alerting her to the existence of the spirit world, and showing her what a valuable tool it could be in her criminal investigations.

However, one of her loyal agents (#14) discovered that he was attempting to use Batwoman and her Batgirls as a mass sacrifice to open the gates of Hell. With his scheme thwarted, Rat Fink swore eternal vengeance upon Batwoman. He occasionally possesses weak-willed mortals in order to strike at his foe.

Finally, Batwoman settled in Los Angeles, the last city on the list. At this point, thanks to her efforts and the efforts of her Batgirls, she has nearly 5,000 agents, spread all over the country. Sometimes she wonders if this wasn’t Batman’s intent all along…

…or maybe she’s the Tangent version of Batwoman. Or the current Batwoman in about 15 years. Hey, whatever.


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Batwoman

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Upholding the Good/Psycho(?)
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Batwoman
Inf: 07 Aur: 07 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 016
Init: 015 HP: 035

Skills:
Artist (Musician): 05, Charisma: 08, Detective: 05, Gadgetry: 06, Martial Artist (EV): 04, Military Science (Field Command): 05, Occultist (Ritual Magic): 05, Scientist: 05, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 04, Weaponry (Firearms, Exotic): 04

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Expansive HQ (Mansion and grounds), Leadership, Popularity, Ritual (Speak with Spirits).

Connections:
Batgirls of America (High).

Drawbacks:
CIA (Being Batwoman 24/7), Dependents (Batgirls), Enemy (Rat Fink), Oblivious, Public ID (Batwoman is her only identity, and is VERY well-known. She’s even in the phonebook.)

Genre:
Wild Wild World of Batwoman, being a desperate attempt to cash in on the Batman TV series, technically takes place in the Humor genre. However it is not humorous in the slightest. In fact, by simply existing, this movie somehow makes the world less funny.

Equipment:

  • “Oscillator” [BODY: 04, Detect (Wristwatch Radios): 10, Sonic Beam: 07, R#02] . This device (which is totally not a cheap toy ray gun) has several… remarkably convenient functions, from detecting the Batgirl’s radios, to breaking handcuffs, to, well, it looked like she was trying to use it to gain control of one of Rat Fink’s devices (via Radio Communication?), but she really just made it blow up.
  • Smoke Pellets [BODY: 01, Fog: 05].
  • Wristwatch Radio [BODY: 02, Radio Communication: 10, R#02].
  • SPEEDBOAT [STR 03 BODY 05, Swimming: 05, R#03]. There’s nothing particularly “Bat-” about this speedboat, which is a bit of a disappointment.
  • She probably has other ways of getting around, and likely some means of mass transit for her Batgirls, but we never see them.
  • It’s not totally inconceivable that she carries at least two or three 5-7 AP ABC Omni-Gadgets, not because she’s sensible or anything, but because “WWoBW” is fairly ill-written and incoherent and needs things like Omni-Gadgets to get out of the holes it digs for itself.

Ritual:

  • Speak with Spirits
    Effect:
    Speak with Spirits: 06
    Bonus: All participants in the Ritual may hear the spirit’s voice.
    Casting Time: 08 (15 Minutes).
    Special Restrictions: This Ritual has an R# of 06. If this number is blown, Batwoman will accidentally contact a spirit that cannot help, or might accidentally contact two spirits at once, which may hinder each others attempts to communicate.

Typical Batgirl

“We, the girls who are dedicated to Batwoman, take our oath with all sincerity. We, the girls who are dedicated to Batwoman, take our pride with all sincerity. We, the girls who are dedicated to Batwoman, fight against evil with all sincerity.”

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Batgirl
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 011 HP: 015

Skills:
Artist (Dancer): 05, Detective: 03, Martial Artist: 03, Thief: 03, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 03, Weaponry: 03

Advantages:
Rich Friend (Batwoman).

Connections:
Batgirls (High), Batwoman (High).

Drawbacks:
CIA (Loyalty to Batwoman), MIA (Partying), SIA (Following Batwoman’s Orders to the Letter).

Equipment:

  • Wristwatch Radio [BOD: 01, Radio Communication: 10, R#02].
  • “Magnetic Electron Device” [BOD: 01, Thief (Locks and Safes): 08, R#02]. This device is only mentioned in passing, but seems to be able to unlock handcuffs, presumably via magnetism. It may have other functions, as well, given the fancy name.
  • When expecting a fight the Batgirls are issued one or two ordinary firearms, apparently according to their particular tastes.

Note that Resouces is N/A because Batwoman will likely provide them with any amount of money they might reasonably need. In a real-world note, most of the women hired to play the Batgirls were recruited by the casting director when the strip club they were working at was raided by the police.


Design Notes

There was little information given during the movie about Batwoman and the Batgirls, so quite a bit of this is speculation. Resources is high because Batwoman supports at least 15 girls (and more likely 20 or more) in a high-tech mansion with a lot of land in what seems to be Los Angeles.


By Civanfan.

Source of Character: Wild world of Batwoman aka She was a Hippy (sic) Vampire (1966), Directed by Jerry Warren. Character played by Katherin (no “e”) Victor.

Helper(s): imdb.com for miscellaneous information about the movie, Liz Kingsley of “And You Call Yourself a Scientist” for Description. Most quotes taken from agonybooth.com .

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