Documentary Dynamite is a new series I will be putting some focus on in the future on this website. I've only just realized that we watch a lot of documentaries, most related to films and movies, but rarely do I ever discuss or spotlight them, so this will be a new and regular series (maybe weekly?) on robotGEEK'S Cult Cinema.
Directed by: Eric Dow
I had actually never heard of this documentary until I stumbled upon it while browsing on Hulu Plus recently. I had just finished the TMNT doc, Turtle Power, when Hulu suggested this as something I would also be interested in. And they were right. Much like most of you I nearly lost my shit when I saw the short film Batman: Dead End for the very first time years ago. It was such an adrenaline rush of awesome in something that was just a few short minutes long. Here was the very first (and only!) time I saw a real spot-on interpretation of Batman. No padded suit. No weird character design that looked nothing like Batman from the comics. This was as if Batman had literally jumped off the pages. The guy who played him was such an inspired choice because he literally wore tights, and pulled it off amazingly well. Every inch of the Batman costume design was flawless. And oh yea, seeing Predator and a Xenomorph battle it out with him was also cool.
Little did I know there was a story behind that remarkable little short film. And that story revolves around a guy by the name of Sandy Collora, an effects artist and commercial director who set out to put his stamp in the film world in hopes of landing a real directing gig. This would be his calling card if you will, and if all worked according to plan, he would move onto bigger and better things.
This was a really interesting and engaging documentary. In fact, it was pretty amazing. The fact that they were able to spread it out to a full hour and a half running time shows you just how much material they had to work with. And trust me, there's a lot. This documentary exhaustively details every little aspect of getting that short film made, from it's inception all the way to it's thunderous reception at Comic Con and the years that followed, including it's endlessly bootlegged legacy.
This doc digs so far deep into so may areas that I'm surprised they were able to fit it all into just an hour and a half, but that's the power of good editing. Writer/Director Eric Dow not only gives you insight into the entire production of that monumental short film, but also of the guy responsible for it, Sandy Collora, who quite frankly, is a character all on his own.
|Clark Bartram as Batman (center) and writer/director Sandy Collora (right)|
There is so much information to this documentary that it's impossible to fit it all in in this post. Like, did you know Sly Stallone was actually in talks to star as Batman? He was literally having lengthy conversations with Sandy Collora about it and even said YES at one point, only to literally back out in the last second. It's things like that that make this documentary so engaging. There's so much to the story we don't know and so much revealed that kind of leave you floored.
|Andrew Koenig as The Joker|
Much like a lot of you too, the first several times viewing Batman: Dead End was on a badly bootlegged DVD. It wasn't until years later that it started popping up on the internet more frequently, and in much better digital quality. Today it's regarded as one of the first fan-films that really took that fan-film concept to the mainstream, and showed people what you could do with some vision, creativity and passion.
It seems that this has been taken off Hulu Plus since the last time I checked. However, you can still stream it on Amazon.
Behind the Mask: The Batman Dead End Story is currently available to stream on Hulu Plus and Amazon.