In my opinion, City of Scars is one of the best fan films ever made to date. I didn’t say the best one, but it’s probably in the top 10. It’s well shot, well edited and well acted. It looks like something that would have come out of a major Hollywood studio.
Creator, writer and director Aaron Schoenke handles the character of Batman as his own while not stepping on the existing “Bat” mythos. Aaron respects the source material.
Equally as impressive is the Joker played by Paul Molnar who also makes that character his own. There are so many fan films out there that just want to copy what has already been done. How many more Batman fan films can we have where the Joker is just a Heath Ledger impression? There’s dozens of them out there. Molnar’s Joker is fresh and probably the closest interpretation to the actual character’s comic book portrayal than any other live action offering.
When the Joker escapes from Arkham and murders the parents of a young boy, Batman recalls the pain of losing his own parents as a child. He is pushed past his limits to the point where his focus becomes revenge on all who stand in his way, including many of Gotham’s underworld. Finally, Batman is forced to look at the psychological profile of his own mind and except the consequences of his life to find resolve.
It’s funny. When I interviewed Aaron many moons ago he indicated Patient J would be his last fan film. But he came along and made City of Scars and then Seeds of Arkham. So perhaps there’s hope in the future that he revisits that Batman universe. I mean, he does in a way with his Super Power Beat Down, but it’s not really the same thing.
And speaking of Super Power Beat Down, make sure you check it out using the link before. The entire catalog of beat downs are awesome, but probably the best to date is the epic battle between Batman and Darth Vader.
Batman Beyond: Year One interview.
Patient J interview.
Our interview with Aaron on the Fan Film Podcast.
Aaron’s Fan Films
UPDATED MAY 2017