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Batman’s dreadfully dull home movies

August 25, 2011

Ah, the days when home entertainment was sold by the foot. Like cloth. Or Sheetrock. “I’ll take a hogshead of Batman, please.”

It took me a sec to process what exactly was being offered in this ad, which I saw as I was scanning a story in an old Eerie magazine (stay tuned…). The Adam West/Burt Ward series? Actual Batman home movies, with Bruce and Alfred looking on approvingly as Dick opens his presents on Christmas morning? I had completely forgotten about the ancient Batman serial from 1943, the very first screen appearance of the Caped Crusader, one that contributed much to the Bat-mythos (the Batcave and thin Alfred’s pornstache).

These 8mm prints lacked sound (God, how I remember watching my grandfather’s lovingly captured and incredibly boring family movies on a couch in his basement), rendering — I can only imagine — the charmingly corny original work nigh-unwatchable. I’ll stick with my read-along records and storybooks, thank you.

Then again, seeing 1943 onscreen-Batman getting his ass kicked by cheap thugs can be enjoyable with or without aural accompaniment:

I hope I live long enough to see Blu-Rays look this archaic.

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