1993 Directed by Tony Y. Reyes
Written by Joey de Leon and Tony Y. Reyes
The Philippines returns to prove nobody does Batman like they do! Batman continues to be a campy caped crusader, and all the familiar elements are here – the classic villains, evil doing, and saving the day. The stakes may be lower, but there is still wrongs to be righted. And Alyas Batman en Robin showed everymen becoming superheroes long before Mark Millar stole it for Kick-Ass. I’m on to you, Millar!
If you remember the overview of the Filipino Batman films I did at the beginning of the James Batman review, then you’ll remember Alyas Batman en Robin from 1993 is the most recent. So here it is! Part musical, part campy, part guys beating up people, and part a love story, Alyas Batman en Robin tries to be a lot of things. Let’s find out if it succeeds…
But first, the Roll Call!
Kuya (Joey de Leon) – Kuya is the closest I could figure for a name for his character, though that’s just the way they sound like they’re saying the word for big brother in Tagalog (which is Kuya) Kuya defends Kevin from his tormentors, but also doesn’t really want to get involved in crime fighting. Kevin forces his hand, so he reluctantly joins Kevin and becomes…
Batman (Joey de Leon) – Batman fights the villains and hits on the hot journalism chicks. Because that’s what Superma– I mean, Batman does! Joey de Leon started his career as a radio dj, which evolved to a comedy career with the trio Tito, Vic and Joey, getting parts in television and movies. By the 1980s, he was a solo star in comedies and headlining sitcoms. He continues to do host work on television, and has reignited his singing career in recent years.
Kevin (Keempee de Leon) – Kevin is the hottest guy at school that the girls all mob over, but he has his eyes on justice! Thus, he cons his older brother into joining him as dressing up as a superhero and fighting evil, becoming…
Robin (Keempee de Leon) – It’s good Kevin became Robin, because he was obsessed with him! Joseph Joakim “Keempee” de Leon is the son of Joey de Leon and was the one-time teen idol of the Philippines. He got into drugs and sought treatment in 1993 as this film was tearing up the Filipino box office. That’s also where he became very involved in missionary work. He returned to acting in 1994, and appears in movies and television. His haircut during the 1990s was called the Keempee and has become a sign of the era much as big feathered hair lets us Americans know it’s the 1980s.
Jocson (Rene Requiestas) – Jocson is Kevin’s bitter friend, who when he’s forced to join his Uncle Paeng’s gang, decides to be the best villain ever and becomes…..
Joker (Rene Requiestas) – Renato “Rene” Requiestas was a comedian noted for his emaciated look, specialized in sidekick roles. He was Cheetae in the three Starzan films, and was also in Sheman: Mistress of the Universe. He sadly died of tuberculosis shortly after this film was finished in 1993 at the age of 36.
Uncle Paeng (Panchito) – After recruiting his nephew into his criminal organization, Uncle Paeng then follows his nephew’s lead and becomes a super villain himself, the…
Paenguin (Panchito) – Paenguin is the pun name for Penguin, who dresses as Penguin and leads the gang on their various bank robbing activities. As there are practically no police in the city, this gang is free to run wild unless Batman and Robin stop them. Born Alfonso D. Tagle, Sr., Panchito was best friends with fellow comedian Dolphy, meeting him when they were both starting out their careers as traveling entertainers in the Japanese-occupied Philippines during World War 2. By the 1960s, they were constantly paired in a string of comedy films. Panchito suffered a stroke in 1995, and he passed on a month later.
Angelique Legarda (Dawn Zulueta) – Gotham Daily Star reporter who is assigned to the crime beat, gets involved in the Batman and Robin story, and even becomes Batman’s love interest.
Vina (Vina Morales) – Vina is a schoolgirl who crushes on Kevin, to the dismay of Jocson. At one point actress Vina Morales dated Keempee, it might have been during this movie being made.
Catwoman (Almira Muhlach) – The Catwoman leads an all-girl gang and is recruited by Paenguin and Joker to add some muscle to their group after all their crew quits due to low pay. She changes costumes often, but is captured by Batman halfway through the film and is never seen again. Almira Muhlach married basketball star Bong Alvarez and has had a rocky relationship due to his rage issues. Her half-brother is actor Aga Muhlach.