Sunday, September 28, 2008

Holy "Holy ____, Batman" reference, Batman

So I'm checking Amazon to see if there's a release date yet for the Dark Knight DVD, and I find...this. This thing. The chintziest, most hilariously dubious cash-in product I've ever seen. You think Asylum Productions (producers of such sterling fare as Transmorphers, Sunday School Musical, and perhaps my new favorite, The Day The Earth Stopped) are shameless? At least they hire some down-on-their-luck actors, muster some shitty CGI and squeeze out a feature film when they want to ride a big release's coattails. This is because they are not World Wide Multi Media, distributors of:

Oh yes. Note the Poser-rendered figure highly suggestive of, though legally distinct from, a certain Man of the Goddamn variety. Note also the image of Max Schreck from F.W. Murnau's Expressionist masterwork Nosferatu- classy, and public domain too! But let's take a closer look. Who is Philip Gardiner, and what has he to teach us of...the DARK NATURE of MAN?

"For centuries man has feared the bat."

I love this idea that man has feared "the bat" (which is, I suppose, distinct from mere "bats"- the Platonic ideal of the bat, perhaps, the concept of battiness, the ur-bat, if you will) for "centuries." Like man and bat coexisted peacefully for hundreds of thousands of years, then all of a sudden around the Renaissance some Borgia gets a wild hair up his ass and makes a bat Pope, and next thing you know there's a schism, and human-bat relations go all to shit. But I'm being rude- what's this about The Bat, now?

"It's [sic] seeming ability to traverse between worlds has inspired tales of terrible horror but also stories of great hope. This is the tale of the age-old Bat Man - from Bob Kane and Bill Finger's creation in 1939 to Dracula and even further back into time than most realize."

Not "terrible horror"! That's the worst kind! All kidding aside, I must commend Mr. Gardiner's even-handedness in also mentioning the lighter side of The Bat, the stories of hope and courage and one woman's will to survive in a man's world- stories such as the German folk tales of Herr Schuhe-Bat, the lovable little bat who lives in the Black Forest and makes tiny, useless shoes out of acorns, or Nabokov's boldly innovative precursor to postmodernism, The Real Life of The Dark Knight.

"The image and legacy of the bat throughout history is truly emblematic of man's dark side."
When you think of evil, remember to think of The Bat. Hitler? A pussy. Stalin? Lightweight. Pol Pot? Don't make me laugh. These guys, though? Pure, unbridled malice.

"This is a tale of more than just the incredible success of this most famous of Superhero's, but also a unique insight into the Dark Nature of man himself."

"Superhero's": Because nothing says "scholarship" like the grocer's apostrophe!

"Re-live the rise of the Bat Man era, from the very beginnings to the modern age and in so doing, understand how this creation has taken on a life of its own."

What if I don't want to?

"Written and directed by international best selling author, Philip Gardiner, the dark nature of our very selves will be explored."

Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Who is this Philip Gardiner, this mysterious masked man, this shadowy figure in the night? Has he truly cracked the eternal mystery of The Bat? From the Amazon blurb for his book, Proof: Does God Exist?

"Philip Gardiner is the best selling author of The Shining Ones, The Serpent Grail and Gnosis: The Secret of Solomon's Temple Revealed. He has a degree in Strategic Marketing and several diploma's ranging in subjects from etymology to holistic medicine. He lives in the heart of Robin Hood country in the UK and travels the world on a personal quest to uncover the truth. Although he has been asked on numerous occasions to become "a member" of several institutions, Philip has strictly refused on the grounds of independence, seeing membership of certain organizations as being overtly influential on his research and understanding of the truths of mankind. Before retiring to dedicate his time to researching and writing, Philip was a Marketing Director and owner of a company in the UK. Part of this role included giving lectures on the art and history of marketing and propaganda to various organizations including certain government bodies and companies. Philip began his writing career with a book entitled, "Proof: Does God Exist?" Published in 2002 and followed this up with his best selling "The Shining Ones: The World's Most Powerful Secret Society Revealed", which become a top seller in the UK. Reality Press is proud to offer a new edition of Mr. Gardiners first book, "Proof: Does God Exist?".

Well, I'm convinced! (Though there's that grocer's apostrophe again.) Mr. Gardiner is also the author of quite a lot of seemingly interchangeable volumes on the Knights Templar, Freemasons, Illuminati, Nazi occultists, and a "serpent cult" that seems to occupy much of his time. The Rosicrucians, sadly, are left out in the cold. True, they didn't actually exist, but that's no reason to snub them, is it? Anyway, thank goodness he's had the moral fiber to refuse "'membership'" in "institutions."

"Dark Night of the Bat includes several video's of top artists such as Freakhouse, Marcy Playground, Sybreed and ALSO includes an incredible, never before heard segment of the original BATMAN radio show."

Who could forget Marcy Playground's haunting ode to the Dark Knight, "Sex and Candy"? Anyway, that's three grocer's apostrophes, and I'm out. Check back tomorrow evening for the long-delayed and inevitably disappointing reviews!

Edit O, great is my shame! Woe betide me for mocking the darkness of The Bat! Behold, dear reader, and tremble: the chiropterapocalypse is upon us, and we are all of us doomed.

Yes sir, may I have another In my haste to make sure this urgent missive made it online, I neglected to do some basic research: turns out there's a trailer available online! It consists in its entirety of titles in the Batman Forever font, camera rotations around a logo carefully constructed to avoid any resemblance to a certain trademark (note the extra scallop in the wing), heavily obscured shots of a guy in a cape stomping in a puddle (I like to think that this is the director's brother-in-law and he is working for nachos), and public domain film clips, all set to that most Batmanly of music, hair metal. MANOWAR, BITCHES! WOO!

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