Did I ever tell you about the time I got beat up by Batman and Robin in a movie?
It was about 30 years ago and my circle of geek friends included Mark Racop, a Ball State University student from Logansport, Indiana, who was a fan of all things Batman. Racop did more with his fandom, however, than read comic books or sit around watching reruns of the 1960s “Batman” TV series, however.
Racop made Batman movies. And a Batcave. And, most impressive of all, Batmobiles.
My friends and I had flirted with movie-making a few times, writing and shooting a short thriller masterminded by my pal Brian McFadden. But Mark was serious as a heart attack about his desire to make Batman movies.
Now mind you this was before the 1989 Tim Burton “Batman” movie starring Michael Keaton. Nobody had put Batman on film since the 1960s and then it was the campy “Blam!” “Kee-runch” Batman.
Mark enlisted a bunch of us to appear in “Eyes of the Cat,” a 45-minute Batman movie featuring himself as Batman — in costume quite like Adam West’s outfit from the TV series — and various other friends as Robin, Catwoman and assorted henchmen.
That’s where I came in.
Because Racop shot his movie over the course of months (maybe years), I was only in a few moments of the movie. I played Figgy Pudding, a thug rousted and roughed up by Batman and Robin. My friend Brian played Harry Beefmelons.
We spent a couple of days roughing each other up, throwing punches and working out our own fight choreography. It was a blast.
Mark went on to a number of enterprises, including his latest. His company, Fiberglass Freaks, is officially licensed by Warner Bros. and DC Comics to make and sell replicas of the 1960s Batmobile.
The Batmobile he had back in the day was one that he had cobbled together from a 1974 Monte Carlo and it was cool for a fan effort. The vehicles he makes today are gorgeous.
You can check out a webpage about “Eyes of the Cat” here. Sorry, no pics of me as Figgy Pudding.
And you can check out Mark’s custom superhero vehicle website here.
If you buy a Batmobile and decide to make a movie, I’d love to have a part. Maybe a speaking role this time.