I’d always loved films growing up., James Bond, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, any action adventure film amazed me and captured not only my attention but my imagination, I still have vivid memories of sitting in front of the television reading the end credits to Clash of The Titans.
However, my life truly changed in the summer of 1989, or as I like to call it, the year of the Bat! As you may or may not know, Batman ruled the world in 1989 and it blew my mind. Shortly before the release of the film my father brought home a Batman comic – the first I ever owned (the first of many). Even now I remember the catch line on the cover “If he can just get past the F.B.I”. It was Batman in full costume fighting a group of gentlemen in suits and aviator sunglasses within a burning building. As far as I can remember, Batman didn’t appear in costume until the final page, yet I was amazed by the story, the art – the genius of comic books.
I can’t recall if I was even aware that Tim Burton‘s Batman was coming out that summer, I might have been, how could I not be? However I do remember coming down stairs on a Saturday morning and my dad saying to me “wait ‘til you see what I taped”. I waited, it was the trailer to Batman and my life changed forever (Batman forever?!). I watched it, I rewatched it and I became fascinated by it. I couldn’t wait to see it. There was just one problem. I lived in the UK, Batman was 12 certificate, and I was 9 years old. How would I get to see it?
I became fascinated by Batman, and as the hype for the film progressed so did my anticipation. I bought the DC comics adaptation, the T-shirts and the toys (or to be more accurate, my parents did) I watched the Prince video on the television. News reports discussed how the film had broken box office records, I had never seen anything like it. I had to see this film!
Luckily I lived in Northern Ireland, and the border to the Irish Republic was only a stones throw away. The good news – Batman was a PG! I could see it!! After much persuasion I was able to talk my parents into driving me to see the film. My summer was saved. I remember the anticipation as my family went on the trip to see the film. It was a family event by now, a drive, dinner, the cinema- the works. As the day drew on my anticipation reached fever pitch. Finally it was time. We arrived at the cinema, we sat in our seats, the lights went down.
The Warner Brothers logo appeared on screen, Danny Elfman’s theme began, the credits started and my life my life would never be the same again. I’d never seen anything like it. Batman looked like no other film I’d ever seen, gone were the bright colours of Star Wars or Indiana Jones, this was something totally different. On the way home I was speechless, I remember thinking about the film for the entire trip, looking out into the darkness as we rode home.
Batman could be out there.