“It’s only after the extended (six minute) credit sequence that we are introduced to Bo Hopkins’s Joker. A street thug with an oddness that can not be denied, his performance here is mostly done sans dialog. Hopkins’s malice is mostly implied, and when he does talk (as the IMDb states, he only has sixteen lines of dialog), I – for one – get chills. There’s something about Bo that says “yeah, I’d rape your sister if only she was a little younger” and never has his just unpleasant demeanor been put to better use. And his laugh is perfect. It rings like a death rattle around his throat, gurgling and slurping to the surface. There is an implied sense of back-story, but the film is about constant motion. In his first scene Hopkins says one line “Get Him. Get the Bat… Man,” And it defuses whatever sense of arch or camp might be expected.”
That there is an excerpt from a wonderfully written blog written over three years ago by Damon Houx (aka Andre Dellamorte) who turned many a phrase for CHUD.com over the years, and remains a chewer to this day. He pioneered and perfected the box office column here at CHUD and wrote some amazing list entries, reviews, and film critiques, but many would agree that he hit some kind of sublime high with his hypothetical review of an alternate universe Batman film.
Directed by Sam Peckinpah, the Eastwood-starring vigilante film from 1976 apparently would have been “something akin to a fetish show,” as well as a “fusion of [Peckinpah’s] macho aesthetics with – what amounts to – a car movie.” The blog is a lot of fun, and immediately inspired some asshole (in his shittier photoshopping days) to pay tribute to the blog with an accompanying poster that you can see above.
In any event, now many years later the blog has been pointed out for the gem it is by New York Times writer Alex Pappademas, who has a new piece about the superhero genre— where it’s at and what it needs. He includes a special mention of Damon’s piece, and apparently a portion of it will be included in the Sunday Print Edition. That’s just plain fucking awesome.
So congrats to Dellamorte, and cross your fingers that even if time-travel has been deemed impossible, perhaps one day we’ll figure out how to access whichever of those infinite alternate timelines includes the existence of a Batman (1976) blu-ray.