Fan Film, Fan Films

Batman Fan Film Stuntman Blows Out Knee

Fan filmmakers are a certain breed: They work hard and they play hard, and sometimes the two things are one and same. So it’s good to be reminded every so often that it’s easy to get carried away, and your intensity can backfire on you if you’re not careful. Just take the unfinished flick, Batman Darkness, created by Bakersfield, CA-based Hectic Films and Dark Knight Productions.

As caught on tape by a local ABC-TV affiliate earlier this year—and posted on YouTube soon after—their . And to show it can happen to anyone, the actor in question was Jeff Smolek, a retired stuntman who’d worked in movies for 26 years, including a stint as the title character in the 1995 feature film, Batman Forever.

The plot of Batman Darkness finds the Dark Knight fighting off vampires who want to turn him into one of their own. Famously, Andy Warhol made a fan film in 1964 called Batman Dracula, which has never been screened publicly and which may no longer even exist; it’s unknown if it had Dracula trying to turn the venerable DC Comics character into a vampire, but it did reportedly include bad guys running around clad only in tin foil jockstraps. One suspects that was not the case with the cast of Batman Darkness.

Brothers Bird and Jason Sanders comprise Hectic Films, and have made a slew of short films and webisodes, including their Daddy 911 series, in which a foul-mouthed mobster gets bratty kids in line. Meanwhile, Dark Knight Productions is the production slate of Rod Reed. Bird met Smolek, the stunt man, while bartending at a local establishment, Ethel’s Corral. Smolek also has stunt credits for Glory, The ‘Burbs, Leaving Las Vegas, Star Trek: Insurrection and Drowning Mona. He has also worked on television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Walker, Texas Ranger.

While Smolek has hopefully recovered since the incident, there’s no recent mention of Batman Darkness on the Hectic Films website, which leads one to surmise that it’s been shelved indefinitely. Even so, the flick’s still a strong reminder to all fan filmmakers—if you’re going to get violent in your movie, be careful!

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2 Responses to “Batman Fan Film Stuntman Blows Out Knee”

  1. Thanks for the article on our film…although there is one small mistake…it was me who blew out his knee and not Jeff smoleck…but thanks again for the article. Rod Reed

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