Clark Bartram, Andrew Koenig, Kurt Carley, Jake McKinnon, Dragon Dronet, Patrick Magee
Written & Directed by: Sandy Collora
Batman – “Criminal scum like you, made me.”
The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and as always the Dark Knight is there to track him down, but in this eight minute fan film he also has to contend with Aliens and Predators and the Joker - Oh my!
The beauty of the fan film is that anything a fan wants to see can be made reality, where budget allows, meaning situations not usually possible due to copyright restrictions are not a problem.With Batman Dead End the Caped Crusader broke the confines of his endless battle with the Joker and squared off against the Xenomorphs from Alien and Predators from, well Predator and in doing so writer/director Collora created a Bat-film like no other.Technically this was more an extended scene than an actual fully fledged film, but upon its release in 2003 it showed a Batman like no other committed to celluloid by Warner Bros.
As Batman prepared to suit-up at the beginning of the film his costume wasn’t an anatomically correct rubber suit, but instead a cloth outfit shaped by his physique.His hands were wrapped in bandages before he put on his gloves, and his general appearance was ripped from an Alex Ross painting.This was a bare-knuckle brawling Batman who foght an endless war in the rain drenched streets of Gotham and as the narrative unfolded it was clear this Caped Crusader was inspired by the works of writer Frank Miller and subsequent others who shared that view of Batman.With every shot Batman increasingly became the character played out in imaginations world-wide, and as he took on the Joker he appeared to be at the top of his game, that was until a Xenomorph pinned him to the floor about to feast on him.The shot was surprising, but worked thanks to the authenticity of the creature costumes, and when almost instantly the alien was blasted to pieces by a Predator the situation became so much more intense.
With the Predator now thrown into the mix Batman was face to face with an opponent as resourceful as he was and suddenly all bets were off as they duked it out, Batman beating the Predator with a lead pipe and the Predator oozing green blood.To say it was a fan-boy’s dream come true would be obvious, but, it really was and as Batman proved he was more than a match for the Predator, the film drew to a close with more Predators and Xenomorphs waiting in the wings to take him on.
It’s pretty much a safe bet to say this type of film would never make it to the big-screen, and transformed into a full narrative it would fall flat, but as it was it was the essence of how imaginative a fans mind could be.It was a testament to the passion and commitment of fans such as Collora that something of this standard could be produced and it deserved to stand tall amongst the works officially commissioned about the Dark Knight.
HOMEMADE HEROES: *Writer/director Sandy Collora worked for Stan Winston Studios as a creature designer and sculptor.
*Batman Dead End may have been a fan film but it was still 100 times better than when Aliens and Predator went head-to-head in the awful Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem!
*During the opening scene describing the Joker’s escape from Arkham, Harley Quinn received a name check.
*Collora has also produced a pretty impressive fan film 'trailer' starring Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and Two-Face, called World's Finest.