Batman: Dead End

Certificate: Unrated
Running time: 8 mins
Director: Sandy Collora
Starring: Clark Bartram, Andrew Koenig, Kurt Carley
Genre: Comic book, Action, Adventure, Short
Country: USA

It’s now 2003.  The Batsuit has been inactive (in live action cinema) for six years.  Several attempts to reboot and repair the damage of Batman and Robin have failed…Gotham is quiet.  Until the release of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins many critics called Batman: Dead End the best live action incarnation committed to film.  A remarkable compliment and feat, even more remarkable when you consider the film is only 8 minutes long.

The Joker (Koenig) has escaped Arkham Asylum and is on the loose on the rain soaked streets of Gotham City.  Hot on his trail is the Dark Knight (Clark Bartram) who is about to discover he’s got more things in the shadows to worry about than the “Clown Prince of Terror”.  To explain anymore would be to spoil a first encounter with this film.  Collora’s use of lighting, shadows and the camera is remarkable.  Somewhere between Film Noir and Horror, living in the corners of imagination and fear, truly exceptional work.  Bartram as Batman is great.  He has an intensity that had never been portrayed on film before, a dark, menacing gravel spitting tone.  He fills every inch of the Batman: The Animated Series inspired suit.  Koenig makes a strong Joker, again a nod to the great work of Cesar Romero with a mix of The Killing Joke or Arkham Asylum and he looks remarkable.

The score and sound editing are critical to the film, a short film has little time to develop an atmosphere.  The film’s aesthetic does this immediately.  A truly phenomenal film and if you don’t believe this review watch it for yourself below.


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