Christ. What is there to say about Batman v Superman, at this point, that hasn’t already gotten thinkpiece’d beyond oblivion somewhere else? Zack Snyder made a big, grossly overcomplicated nightmare of cinema that is so loosely connected to itself it borders on the experimental. It takes itself way too seriously and tries to cobble together a whole bunch of lore and call it “a story”, and that’s not how narrative filmmaking works. But worse — it doesn’t have an ounce of heart. With that in mind, we turned our eyes to the world of fan film, where everything is soaked in pure intentions, to find the best examples of passion for this property.
We were not disappointed.
Take a look at some of the great fan films we found that offset the bleakness of a summer tentpole blockbuster that really misses the mark. These aren’t all masterpieces, but at least they try.
Superman III: The Wrath of Braniac
This feature length film (!!!) features The Dark Knight and Batman teaming up to take down a human-form Braniac, who has conveniently partnered with the Joker and given him alien technology. Everything else on this YouTube channel is local car commercials made by the same director, so it’s a real delight to see his dream project come to life.
There’s also a sequel to this called Lex’s Revenge which is also a feature length film (!!!) which is more unintentionally hilarious but still a delight.
Holy Musical, B@tman!
The team over at StarKid are best known for their A Very Potter musicals, but when they aren’t singing about The Boy Who Lived, they’re also producing a number of other very sincere parodies of works like Star Wars and The Oregon Trail. (Yes, before you ask, that one begins with the audience assigning names to all the characters, just like the game.) Holy Musical, B@tman! brings that same level of quality you might expect from the real life Glee kids.
Batman Vs Everyone
This is…. I mean. C’mon. This is great. Humanity is great and I am proud of everything that we have made, especially this.
Justice League: Trinity Force
Lots of CGI flying and falling and movement. Like, a lot of movement for fan film. Consider me impressed.
A full length motion picture that spends a lot of time dealing with Clark Kent’s feelings and less time on fighting monsters. You know, Indie Superman is a helluva thing to explore and I’d like to see more people dabble in big superheroes this way. Maybe not exactly this way.
City of Scars
Clocking in at just over thirty minutes, this is a real visual feast. For being a 2011 fan film, this holds its own against anything DC has officially released.
This brand new fan film sets itself between the events of Man of Steel and BvS and while it doesn’t have a world of information to convey, it’s at least not a total bummer from start to finish. Cough Snyder Cough.
What if, instead of an alien that landed in Kansas, Batman had to take down Jack The Ripper? This isn’t the first time The Dark Knight has been setup against the original serial killer. The Gotham By Gaslight one-off comic dropped Bats in a steampunk Victorian London. It was so good they tried to make it into a video game. This shows why this narrative is so ripe for unpacking.
Gotham City Sirens
Finally, we’ve one of them there lady villain movies. Harley, Ivy, and The Cat have an uneasy arrangement between them for running Gotham. It’s less Batty than other items on this list, but oh boy does it nail the style and tone. I could watch a lot more of this.
That said, we cannot leave without taking a look at this version of Harley. Why can’t I blend these two films?