If you enter the world of fan films, then you would be surprised by the length and breadth that it covers. What is more surprising at times is the quality of the final product. Fan films are either made by genuine die-hard fans of a certain franchise or movie character, or by those who want to display their directing skills so as to bag a bigger project later on. I recently came across a fan film from 2003, which as it turns out, is quite a popular one as far as fan films go. Called Batman: Dead End, it features our beloved caped crusader protecting Gotham from some deadly monsters this time.
I viewed it with some skepticism, as quite a few actors & film-makers have drawn the character of Batman terribly wrong in the past. It was however a pleasant surprise to see the Batman in Batman: Dead End nail the depiction of the famous superhero. Remember that this movie came out in 2003, before the Christopher Nolan directed trilogy hit the big screens. The previous fellows to portray Batman were George Clooney and Val Kilmer in two of the most terrible superhero films you will ever see. But Batman of Batman: Dead End, played by actor Clark Bartram, is fantastic with his husky voice and his angry mood, something that Christian Bale made popular in the subsequent big budget The Dark Knight trilogy.
Batman: Dead End is a 8-minute or so long film, directed by Sandy Collora who wanted to put his directing skills on display through this movie. The movie premiered at the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con and on the internet thereafter. It achieved quite a following, with Clerks director Kevin Smith calling it “possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made”.
The short film was made on a reported budget of $30,000, which is short change as compared to the Hollywood studio backed Batman films. This 8-minute of quality work would however gave you so much more enjoyment and satisfaction than if you were to end up watching something like Batman & Robin. Sandy Collora has created a dark and dangerous looking Gotham, and in a short exchange between Joker and Batman, he brings out the essence of both the characters. The movie then breaks into interesting fight scenes which would have been more to display Collora’s ability to handle such sequences. Collora did in fact state in interviews that the movie was made to bring attention to his directing skills. He went on to direct an indie feature-length film in 2010 called Hunter Prey.
Now just enjoy this nice piece of movie making by Collora as Batman puts on his cape once more!