"The Batman Revision" (2023) [Another Hole in the Head Film Festival]

by Joseph Perry and Mike Imboden

In our “The Good, the Bad, and the Verdict” film reviews, Joseph and Mike give their thoughts on a slice of cinema. For this installment, it’s fan-film The Batman Revision, from the guy who brought us other “revisions” such as Rocky, Death Wish, and Phantasm, Jorge Torres Torres.

(for the source material, The Batman) When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city's hidden corruption and question his family's involvement.

The Good
Joseph: Pardon me in advance for gushing. The Batman Revision is a marvel. The basic set-up, edited slightly here from Another Hole in the Head Film Festival’s website, is that revisionist  Jorge Torres Torres “uses the audio from Matt Reeves’ 2022 The Batman and re-visualizes the entire film using decades of the Dark Knight’s animated history into a slick, 90-minute bat-tale [the original film is just shy of three hours long]. TBR is stitched up from the many DC animated films released as well as the classic Batman: The Animated Series, all of them perfectly married to Matt Reeve’s The Batman, creating a ONE-OF-A-KIND fan film!” The result is mesmerizing. I watched The Batman the night before watching this animation revision so that it would be fresh in my mind for comparisons and contrasts, none of which I want to specifically discuss because the magic that Torres unfolds should be gone into as spoiler-free as possible. 

With that in mind, watching The Batman before seeing The Batman Revision is not required, but if you have seen, or can see, the original first, you’re going to truly appreciate the effort that Torres has put into editing his vision — I can’t imagine how much time alone it took to watch and select everything before editing began — how much is close to the original, and what he changed. If you really don’t feel like investing three hours into The Batman, you should still get a kick out of Torres’ revision and find it well worth your time. 

Mike and I have reviewed two of Jorge Torres Torres’s previous revisions — Mike covered Rocky Revision and Revision of the Planet of the Apes for our Uphill Both Ways Podcast website, and I covered the latter for When It Was Cool — and this is my favorite effort of his so far. Whereas he took some liberties with humor in earlier efforts, here he keeps the grim, serious tone of his source material.

Mike: Back during our podcast days with the Uphill Both Ways show, I got a chance to watch and review two of Torres Torres’ earlier efforts - Rocky Revision and Revision of the Planet of the Apes - and while neither was perfect, both were quite entertaining.  Being a fan of Batman, I knew I’d want to check out his The Batman Revision.  Taking a three hour movie and whittling it down to a 90 minute film sounds daunting, but Torres Torres manages to maintain all of the important parts of the original film without sacrificing much of the story.  The fact that he then had to scour hours of animated footage to find scenes he could marry to the shortened story only adds to the level of impressiveness.  The man certainly knows how to follow through on a vision, to say the least.

The Bad
Joseph: I had too great of a time with The Batman Revision to field any complaints or even quibbles. 

Mike: The only real complaint I have here with Torres Tores’ The Batman Revision is the juxtaposition of the different art styles.  While I am quite aware of the grand scope of adapting a three hour movie into a 90 minute film and combing numerous animated films to locate scenes to match the action, I can’t get past this and it made it difficult for me to immerse myself in what was otherwise a fantastic undertaking.  If only he had found a way to limit the changes to different scenes, it wouldn’t have been as jarring.  

The Verdict
Joseph: Whether you are in for a viewing of The Batman Revision out of an interest in the Dark Knight, in superheroes in general, in animation, out of sheer curiosity, or to check out Torres’ editing wizardry, you’re bound to come away highly impressed. Strongly recommended.

Mike: There’s two groups of people who should check out The Batman Revision. If you’re a fan of Batman you’ll enjoy how well Torres Torres manages to take The Batman and cut its runtime in half all while eliminating elements that you honestly don’t miss all that much. The other group are people with an interest in film editing.  What you get here is almost a master class on how to determine which shots and scenes are integral to the plot, both in visual and audio importance.

The Batman Revision
, from Jorge Torres Torres, is currently playing as part of the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival which runs from December 1st - 25th.  For more information visit https://www.ahith.com/

The Batman Revision
Directed By: Jorge Torres Torres
Written By: Jorge Torres Torres
Starring: DC animated characters
Run Time: 1h 30m
Rating: NR
Release Date:  December 7th, 2023

There was no trailer available at the time of this review