So before the night closes out (in the 11th hour), I have to just say this is kinda cool (to me, anyways!) This past Saturday I decided to, on a random whim, show a good friend of mine the 1989 version of Batman that she had never seen before. After watching the movie, I did the mental math (which yeah, I started to smell smoke up there…) and deduced that this film was just about 25 years old. 

Little did I know I’d wake up 2 days later seeing a thousand posts on Facebook about the 25th Anniversary of when Tim Burton’s “magnum opus” premiered in theaters. 

The Image that Forged Me

The poster in this picture holds some significance in my life. You see, I’m 27 years old. I was born in 1987. 

My mother, bless her heart, took me to see this film. In theaters. When it first came out. 

I was like, 21 months old. 

At some point, among all the toys, clothes, coffee mugs and other paraphernalia associated with the movie, we also got this poster. You really can’t get more classic than a full-lit, character one-sheet, but here it is. We hung it on the wall in my play room. It was hanging around our house til I was 10 and we moved. Then I think it went away, somewhere hidden, never to be seen again.

Basically, when I was a kid, I looked at this thing every day for at least 10 years. 

It wasn’t until college that I actually read a Batman comic (Killing Joke/Knight Fall) or read the novelization of No Man’s Land (which actually doesn’t suck!). I had only watched Timm’s animated series and the other counter parts it had in the animated DC universe. And of course the other live action films. So basically, this Batman was the Batman I grew up with, and held as the standard for all other Batman’s to apply. 

So everyone’s posting stuff on Facebook about this movie that literally changed the world in terms of movie marketing, and summer block busters, and merchandising, and set design, etc etc, and I’m sitting here thinking…wait a minute. Didn’t I used to have a poster or something? Man…I wonder what ever happened to it?

Cause I was watching this movie yesterday, and all I could think was…holy crap. This movie is why I do what I do. I know every line, every shot, every sound cue, every moment. And then I watch it a couple of days ago and I see all the stunt work, and almost NO computer generated effects, and all this wonderful, classic, PHYSICAL stuff happening. 

And all I can think is…damn. This is what did it to me. This is what made me who I am. For better or for worse (the worse part being my over-the-top Joker way of presenting myself to groups of strangers through college…heh.)

So yeah, I call my mom up, and I say “hey! It’s the 25th anniversary of that movie you took me to see that would later go on to make me want to make movies forever and ever in one capacity or another” (paraphrasing, here). “Do you remember what we ever did with that poster?

“Ummmm…” she thinks. “I don’t think we have it anymore.” I start getting kinda down trodden…drats! I was hoping to have this piece of my childhood to restore to it’s rightful place somewhere.

“Oh wait! WAIT. Yeah, I think it’s still under my bed. By the phone. Go check.” 

So yeah, I do. And it’s there. And holy crap, it’s in the exact (battered – I think I used to shoot those orange suction-cup darts at it) shape we left it in. 

I, almost immediately, ran to K-mart, grabbed a frame, and forever (until I get a better one) it shall stay. I don’t really have any space to hang it, and it’s in crappy condition, but this 25 year old relic is probably one of the most meaningful pieces of my childhood I still have.

I am so excited to have found it, framed it, and hope to keep it safe. All so that one day I can explain to my kids exactly what turned me into a crazy, platform jumping, ground-pounding, fist-fighting, suddenly-appearing, way-to-fast-jet-engine-car-driving, ziplining, wannabe-caped crusader stunt guy/actor/film maker/film critic I turned out to be.

It was this poster. And the fearless lady who took a 2 year old to the movie theater and bought him a poster. Thanks, Zana Hintz! In the words of the Joker “YOU MADE ME!”