20 years ago on this very day, Tim Burton's Batman was released into theaters. Think back, stretch your creaking bones, and let's go on a trip down memory lane.

I was all of seven years old when Batman came out (I know, a lady never reveals her age, but when have I ever acted like a lady?), which means I have only vague recollections of the pre-release period. I remember we were buzzing about it at my school, and that it was looming on our radar long before we were out for the summer. But while I remember that shadowy poster of the Bat symbol decorating my multiplex, I can't recall the casting of Michael Keaton, the eager whispers of Jack Nicholson and his hidden make-up, or the trailers. Event movies were so different in my childhood. They just seemed to happen overnight, and were probably the better for it. Movies will always be magical to me, but I really long for those days before the Internet and its marketing mania. (Yes, I realize the irony inherent in my saying that, but at least I make it fun, right? No, don't answer that.)

Because I was all of seven, and thus too young for Frank Miller, my exposure to Batman was purely through Adam West reruns. I knew Gotham City as a place of goofy villains and BAM! and POW!, so to say that Burton's version terrified me was an understatement. I don't remember what I went in expecting (I know it wasn't Adam West), but I do remember being absolutely horrified by Nicholson's Joker. Maybe I was still reeling from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? the year before, but his acid-soaked origin left me faintly ill, as was every shot of him sans whiteface and lipstick.
categories Cinematical