Here’s an interesting idea, what if Batman, the darkest and most Gothic of superheroes, had been around in Victorian London the de-facto space and time capital of dark and Gothic cities? Taking inspiration from Brian Augustyn’s Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, John Campbell’s short does just that and pits the caped crusader against the London Gothic’s most infamous real-life criminal, Jack the Ripper, perhaps the only genuine Victorian serial killer to enter the Gothic pantheon with the same impact as Dracula or Jekyll.
Ripper: A Batman Film certainly looks the part, with the Hartlepool Maritime Experience standing in for Whitechapel, complete with the world’s oldest warship still afloat, the 28 gun frigate HMS Trincomalee (launched 1817 spot the editor’s geekage), that is docked there serving as Bruce Wayne’s lair. Wardrobe design is excellent, cinematography is suitably dark and menacing and there are nice performances from Bill Fellows as Inspector Abbeline, Donald Standen as Bruce Wayne and Bruce Payne as the Ripper. The only thing that jars with me is the electronic soundtrack by Metal Machine Music which is a bit too 70s TV SciFi for my taste.
That aside this is a great little movie with a further possible crossover revealed towards the conclusion. Watch and discover.
So what’s the score? 555/666 would have been a 666 with a more suitable score.