What would happen if Indiana Jones teamed up with … Batman? That’s the intriguing premise behind the Indiana Jones and the Relic of Gotham independent production.
The story begins in 1939, when Bob Kane (Scott Harrell) and the niece (Tara Jenkins) of an important U.S. Senator examine some ruins in the San Marco Valley in California when the writer comes across a mysterious object. When he touches it, the screen turns white, then black.
Meanwhile, adventurous archaeologist Indiana Jones (Ryan Schile) is fortunate to get out of a relic hunt alive before coming back to California and returning to teaching classes.
At the same time, a man in a trench coat (Gary Broughman) enlists the aid of two agents (Rick Uskert and Thaddeus Callahan) to recover an object he describes as “a key that opens a pathway not meant for man.”
The villain adds that they won’t be able to find the relic, but another man will do that, and then they’re to take the object from him. However, they should not underestimate the man, since “he has a knack for interfering.”
That man concludes teaching a class on archeology when his friend Thomas (Matt Muller) tells him that the niece of Senator Johnson, one of the school museum’s biggest supporters, has vanished, and the man she was with claims a relic he found is responsible for her disappearance.
When Jones speaks to Kane at the police station, the writer claims that the object “takes you to hell on Earth where a winged demon and a laughing jackal torment the living damned.”
Indy then asks how Kane escaped, and he replies that “the demon, he told me to tell others about him, spread his name. He let me go, and I used that thing to come back here.”
The archaeologist then tells the writer that they’re both going to investigate the situation, and Jones changes from his teacher suit and tie to that of an adventurer with a hat and a whip.
Before long, Indy determines that they’re being followed, so he waits in a tree for the agents to walk under him, then jumps on them and is able to subdue one before the other points a gun in the adventurer’s face.
Just when it looks bleak, Kane grows enough of a backbone to use a large tree branch and take out the other man.
Before long, Jones and Kane find the location they’d been searching for, but Kane’s fear overcomes him, and he runs away.
Indy finds the relic, but when he picks it up, he too experiences a flash of white and streams of images before regaining consciousness to the sound of someone laughing in Gotham City.
“What do we have here?” the colorful figure asks. “I’ve been looking for this,” he adds as he takes the relic.
When Indy recovers enough to stand up, he asks “What the hell kind of place is this?” as Batman appears behind him.
Jones follows the sound of the Joker’s laughter until the villain discovers that he’s not being tracked by the Dark Knight.
The archaeologist tells the Clown Prince of Crime that he has something Jones wants back, and surprisingly, the villain says he’ll give him the object after a handshake. Indy is obviously wary, but he shakes the Joker’s hand without any nasty tricks happening.
However, the Joker gets close enough to use the flower on his label to spray a toxin into Jones’ face.
But before the villain can escape, Batman appears and lifts the Joker off his feet before throwing him to the floor.
“It ends tonight,” the detective states grimly.
“Wait,” Indy states as he stands up. “He’s mine.”
When the Joker then tries to escape and Batman follows, Jones finds the relic on a nearby table and turns around to find himself confronted by the Dark Knight.
“You’re out of your league,” Batman says. “Hand it over.”
“Your costume doesn’t scare me, pal,” Jones replies. “I’ve seen a man live with the heart ripped out of his chest, another man age to dust in seconds. I’ve had a conversation with a 700-year-old knight from the Crusades.
“I think I’ll be OK,” he adds.
Batman pulls out his grapple gun, which fires a cable that wraps around the relic and yanks it from Indy’s hand. But just as quickly, Jones brings out his whip and uses it to grab the object.
For a few long moments, the heroes stare at each other in their tug-of-war until Batman begins pulling the artifact toward him.
While Indy is unable to resist the Dark Knight’s efforts, he snaps his whip and sends the relic flying until it lands on the floor just above them.
Jones hurries to retrieve the object, but Batman catches up with him first, resulting in the two heroes becoming engaged in a furious fistfight until the detective manages to knock Indy to the floor.
Before the costumed hero can press his advantage, he hears the Joker laughing again and immediately sets out to capture the clownish villain.
When Indy manages to get up, he’s able to retrieve the relic, but he too hears the Joker’s maniacal laugh and decides to watch the battle between Batman and the Clown Prince of Crime.
When the Dark Knight again lifts the Joker off the floor, he says: “No tricks this time. Only justice.”
But the Joker thanks the hero’s “friend” for giving him a chance to “refill the roses” and sprays the Caped Crusader with a burst of toxin from the flower on his lapel.
When Batman falls to the floor, the villain finds a large knife and prepares to finish his foe.
Spoiler Alert: If you’d rather watch the fan film’s ending yourself, skip down to the link at the end of this article. If not, just continue reading.
However, Indy uses his whip to knock the knife out of the Joker’s hand before engaging in another fistfight that leaves his colorful opponent unconscious on the floor.
Before long, the Dark Knight recovers and finds that his adversary has been bound with a whip.
Just then, Indiana Jones returns to the world he knows, but one of the agents gets away with the relic.
Indy is awakened by his friend Thomas, who tells him that when Kane “came back alone again, I got worried, so I went looking for you.”
“I wasn’t dreaming, Thomas,” the archaeologist tells him later.
“You must admit,” his friend replies, “your story is pretty fantastic, even as far as your experiences go.”
Indy then visits Kane, who’s again in the interrogation room of the local police precinct, to apologize for not believing the writer and to express his sympathy for the loss of his friend.
While stating that he saw what Kane told him he’d see, the doubting archaeologist tells him the experience “makes a hell of a story, that’s for sure.”
“What do you write, anyway?” Indy asks.
“Detective stories,” Kane replies just before Jones leaves the room.
After thinking for a minute, Kane begins to write on a yellow tablet on the table. His first words are:
When Jones finally reaches home, he realizes the whip he used to tie up the Joker is gone, proving that the experience really happened. At the same time, the relic at the heart of the adventure is placed in a warehouse where such items are stored in secret.
And with that, it’s time to put on my Clint Eastwood hat and get reviewing.
The Good: The story gives its “alpha males” enough action for fans of both to come away happy. The inclusion of Batman creator Bob Kane is a nice touch, and I think the actors do a good job portraying the characters when the worlds of Indiana Jones and the Dark Knight clash.
The Bad: Poor Indy! He spends the first 10 minutes of the film being betrayed by someone he considered a friend, and both times he went relic hunting, he came back with nothing to show for his efforts. Sigh.
The Ugly: The only point in the production that made me cringe a bit was when Indy changes from his suit and tie to his adventurer’s garb. He started out being clean shaven, but by the time he was ready for action, his beard had grown in so the character had his usual “five o’clock shadow.” Talk about time flying!
If you want to watch Indiana Jones and the Relic of Gotham, just click on this link.