The making of a
Not too long ago my brother Cliff
attended the Comic Con in San
Francisco. The Comic Con is a great
place to go to get all of the latest
in the comic/sci fi fan boy
culture…They have comics, videos, the
commercial, the mainstream,
and…bootlegs. Every year, Cliff gets
something cool like the never released
Fantastic Four movie* made long before
the Hollywood version or a long lost
Paul Naschy horror flick. One year
though he purchased a bag full of 'fan
movies'. “You gotta see these!”, he
told me. I was skeptical at first but
I was soon saying “HOLY BATSHIT!” as I
watched the “Grayson” trailer by John
Fiorella and the “Batman: Dead End”
short by Sandy Collora. They were made
by fans** on limited budgets but with
ingenuity and imagination these folks
made some damn impressive stuff.
Now there is a proliferation of Batman
fan movies on Youtube and the like.
So, not wanting to be a total
follower, I’ve decided to toss my hat
in the ring and make a “Batgirl” fan
When I was a kid, nothing topped
the Batman re-runs of the 1960s.
The show was straight up CORNBALL
but always ended in a cliff hanger
which kept my third grade self
waiting in anticipation for the
next episode. In doing a little
research I was surprised to find
out that the show only lasted
three seasons…However, there were
over 120 shows produced during
that time so the show endured long
after in syndication.
Needless to say, I loved the show
and I remember having the action
figures and the little toy
Batmobile (wonder how much this
goes for on e-bay now??).
My maternal grandfather was a wood
and metal craftsman and made a
miniature version of the “Bat
Cave” for me (although I was never
allowed to take it from his house,
I did devour the Batman comics as
well. My favorite comic book
artist was Neal Adams who gave
Batman the blue and gray look
which I thought suited him best.
My friends and I would go to the
corner liquor store and buy the
latest comics. These purchases
would be coupled with a package of
Red Vines, white powdered donuts
and Hawaiian Punch. Then we’d kick
it on my porch and read among
others; Batman, the X-Men, Silver
Surfer and Moon Knight***.
Weekends were spent going to the
flea market so we could get even
By the time Hollywood discovered
the gold mine that existed in
comic book heroes I had long
matured past appreciation of
people running around in leotards
trying to save the world. I
thought the Batman version with
Michael Keaton was “okay”. I
really didn’t bother watching the
abysmal Joel Schumacher versions
of Batman. But now the Batman
series has obviously been revived
by the talented Christopher Nolan.
The script we’ve come up with is
similar to “The Dark Knight”****.
About two years ago, Daniel J.W.
Hughes wrote a “Batgirl vs.
Catwoman” script for me and I’ve
merged that storyline with a
classic Batman comic made in the
late 1980s called “The Killing
Joke”. “The Killing Joke” was the
primary thematic influence for
“The Dark Knight” and I can see
why. It gets behind the dark
motivations of the Joker character
and evidently Heath Ledger read
the book as a primer for preparing
for his role.
Granted, these are comic book
characters and you can only take
drama with them so far. I won’t be
able to match the aforementioned
fan movies with their budget or
man power. But I hope you like
what we came up with anyway.
*Roger Corman produced the first
Fantastic Four movie in 1994 which
was never meant for release.
**Collora is evidently in the
industry already as a special f/x
supervisor but it looks like he
spent a hefty chunk of change out
of his own pocket to put that
***Only a true comic fan would
remember Moon Knight who some
contend was meant to be Marvel
Comics’ ersatz version of Batman.
****On a budget of a $10 bucks :)