Everyone have always said that “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” are the definitive films about Batman. Nolan’s works were undoubtedly works of excellence. I would be a fool to say that the two films didn’t impress me--because they did immensely, for mainstream Hollywood that is. Let me tell you a story though, sometime ago in Wondercon 2004, I ran across a fan film on dvd about Batman. The film was a fan film made by Sandy Collora that premiered in the Comicon. Made with a measly budget of less than $ 30,000, Collora set up what he wanted to do, make the definitive, most faithful film about the Dark Knight. It premiered in San Diego comic con and has captured the hearts of fans worldwide because it was the Batman Hollywood was afraid to bring out to the fans, it was Batman at his truest form.
Night in Gotham, a dark figure listens to the police band and dons a figure of the Bat--an image meant to terrify Gotham City’s criminal underworld. The Joker (Andrew Koenig) has escaped from Arkham Asylum and the Batman (Clark Bartram) must capture him and return him back to the confines of Arkham. However, unknown to Batman, something else hunts in the streets of Gotham; something alien and something predatory--and the Dark Knight is caught in the crossfire….
Sandy Collora’s intentions were simple, not to make a huge profit but to make the definitive Batman movie however short it may be. The film clocks in at a mere 9 minutes but there was a lot Collora achieved in such a short time. Collora is a visual effects supervisor whose work can be seen in “Predator 2”, “The Arrival” and “The Crow”. He is a Batman fan and intended this film as his demonstration reel, little did he know that the short fan film would garner a huge following and that he has proven to mainstream H-Wood that a Batman movie doesn’t need alterations made by big shot directors and studios. He borrows the soundtrack from "Batman Mask of the Phantasm" and the Predator films. He also uses his own rubber suits and may have borrowed some props form the Predator movies. Collora makes a statement; Batman is a character best in his purest form; he doesn't need any re-imagining by studios.
The encounter between Joker and The Batman says a lot about the raw intensity, conflicts and similarities between the two nemeses. They are both birthed by tragedy and none more so expressed as when Joker says “…you made me” and the Dark Knight replies “…you made me first”. Collora’s script has very limited dialogue but you feel the pain and raw anguish in the struggle between Batman and his arch-nemesis. Clark Bartram makes an excellent Batman, wearing the traditional grey and black tight suit with white contact lenses, the man looks like BATMAN ripped from the pages of the comic book drawn by Alex Ross. I liked the fact that he doesn't wear a ton of rubber and that he actually has muscles; better than simulated ones in Keaton's Batman. The man stays within the shadows and is such an intimidating presence that he is utterly convincing as a figure of fear. Andrew Koenig rivals the raw intensity of Heath Ledger’s portrayal, and arguably he is a little more creepy.
The film also channels the events of the Dark Horse/DC collaboration “Batman vs. Predator” (which won an Eisner award) and “Batman Vs. Aliens”. Batman becomes caught in the middle of the struggle between the two predators, (the xenon-morph and the predator) relying on his experience and skills for survival. The fights are incredibly intense and nicely choreographed, with realistic simplicity. I loved the weapons used in the film as it also establishes the order that Bats himself is a hunter. One minor complaint I may have is the fact that Bats was fighting like a brawler than a disciplined martial artist, but hey, I guess kung fu won't do any good to a Predator. This Batman is scary and intimidating, he keeps to the shadows and he maintains as a figure of the night. I loved the mantle of the bat in this film, whoever, said that comic book designs cannot be portrayed in a feature film? Collora proves that it can be done!!
Thankfully this film is available for viewing in the internet. This movie has been hailed by Kevin Smith as “Possibly the truest, best Batman film ever made”.
I have attached the film itself, enjoy!
Here's another link to the short film in HD:
Here’s another trailer for World’s Finest by Collora. (only meant as a trailer)
So what say you? Do you want the bulky suit in the Batman H-wood films or you want this rendition?
Made as a resume for visual effects supervisor Sandy Collora, this short movie immediately became an underground sensation. I still see this as the best look Batman had ever had on film. He looked exactly like the way he looked in the comic books. This short film takes certain elements from the "Killing Joke", "AVP" comic books and Batman vs. Predator. Yet it has that inherent darkness that defines the dark knight. Now why can't Hollywood with deeper … more