Adam West and Burt Ward in Attendance
Alamo Drafthouse Theatre
Jan. 9th, 2004
There was quite a scene out on Colorado Street Friday night, as
Batman enthusiasts of all ages lined up and down the block in front
of The Alamo Drafthouse awaiting the arrival of Adam West (Batman),
Burt Ward (Robin), and The Batmobile. Everything was a bit delayed,
due to an overrun at a comic book convention, but the crowd waited
patiently. Eventually, the two stars showed up much to the delight
of the older patrons, along with a swarm of super heroes and villains
in costume who were a big hit with young and old alike. (Incidentally,
there was also a guy there who really thinks he is batman and has
the business card to prove it. Also, there was a guy in the crowd
who kept buying excess tickets to the sold out show and then trying
to scalp them to Batman enthusiasts and their families.) In all,
it was one of the oddest, if not wildest crowds I’ve immersed
myself in lately. The lowlight of the night was when The Batmobile
never showed up. There were plenty of “Batmobile lost it’s
wheel and Joker got away” snickers, I assure you. Overall,
it wasn’t that bad, I only counted about fifty to one hundred
heartbroken children, including my own. The subsequent screening
of the movie itself and the Q and A that preceded it was met with
typical Alamo Drafthouse hysteria, as the raucous audience hooted
and hollered more and more as the evening went on.
from Adam West and Burt Ward Q and A:
walking up on stage and waving to audience.
“Let me stand here for a moment, and let you admire my incredible
crime fighting physique.”
the movie itself.
“One of the great lines from the movie kind of describes the
movie occasionally; Some days you just can’t get rid of a
his favorite villain.
“It would have to be Cat Woman. You probably understand why.
You know, I had three Cat Women. That’s 27 lives, very tough
to deal with.”
his favorite Cat Woman.
“Favorite Cat Woman? Now, would a Super Hero answer that?”
involvement in the New Batman movies.
“You know, they’ve made overtures to me, they’ve
asked me about it. Not to play Batman. To do maybe the mayor, or
Batman’s father or something. And I keep telling them no,
I don’t want to do that. I just want to be Uncle Batman.”
some of his other works, namely Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
“Is she here tonight? I’ve done a lot of turkeys. Lady
Chatterley, yeah. Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. The Outlaws is Coming
with The Three Stooges. Oh, I’m proud of that. But you know,
I’ve done Soldier in the Rain and Marriage of aYoung Stockbroker,
The New Age, a lot of good things too. So most careers are really
kind of up and down and all around. And I just want to work. That’s
why I continue to work. I think it’s important for an actor
to keep working. And, I have no taste.”
“You know, our Batman feature, the one you’re going
to see tonight premiered its world premiere here in Austin in 1966.
Adam was here for that, unfortunately I was ill, I wasn’t
able to come. So, it took me 34 years to finally come back to be
at the movie and it’s nice to be here.”
whether or not people got the cheesiness of Batman back in the ‘60’s
as much as they do now.
“Absolutely. Absolutely. In fact we used to say at the time
that we put on our tights to put on the world. In fact, Adam used
to say that we were the only Super Heroes that wore our underwear
on the outside of our clothes.”
what he’s doing now.
“Right now my wife and I have the largest Great Dane and Mastiff
rescue in the United States, we save animals. I’m actually
happy to say that in the last ten years we’ve rescued and
saved more than four thousand Great Danes. I tell you something,
if I’ve learned anything in all these years, it’s the
fact that life is the most precious commodity we have and every
day and every way live your life to the best you can because you
only got one.”
Alamo Drafthouse Theatre
Conan The Barbarian
is one of my five (probably three) favorite movies of all times.
My excitement upon learning that The Alamo Downtown was going to
be running the film at midnight on the first thursday-friday-saturday
of 2004 was indescribable. There may be some of you in the dark
or just dead wrong about Conan The Barbarian, so let me get a few
things straight. First of all, until the recent Lord Of The Rings
trilogy, there wasn’t another swords and sorcery movie that
even came close to the first Conan, not even remotely. Not Excalibur,
not Krull, not The Beastmaster, nothing. These were all great, but
they were no Conan the Barbarian and let me tell you why.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is Conan the Barbarian. With the possible
exception of Robin Williams as Popeye, no actor has ever brought
a comic book or cartoon hero to life on the big screen as convincingly.
(Christopher Reeves as Superman would be a close third.) I know
there are many Arnold haters out there, and you are all full of
shit. You’re fucking jealous, you’re pussies, and you’re
scared. Those of you who say the man can’t act; I have but
one question for you. Of all your “true thespians” in
Hollywood, the De Niros, the Hopkins’, the Hoffmans, the Brandos,
and whatnot, tell me one of them who could have done better as Conan
or Terminator. (I’m talking about the first Terminator mind
you.) For that matter, tell me one of them who ever played a role
as convincingly as Arnold Scwarzenegger did in Conan the Barbarian
or The Terminator. Sure he was a robot in one and a barbarian in
the other, but he played both roles to perfection.
like to mention quickly another Alamo event that brings Arnold to
mind. While I was covering Jim “Black Belt Jones” Kelly’s
appearance at The Alamo Lake Creek, he made a joke about how Arnold
was running for Governor in California and asked the audience if
they thought he had a chance to win. There was a resounding, groaning
NOOOOO from the pussified, left wing, film geek crowd that caused
me to turn around and ask aloud, “Are you fucking kidding
me?” I haven’t the time to explain to you fools how
politics and film/television in America are the same exact thing.
Even an obscure actor or athlete that runs for anything always wins,
period.... much less Arnold Fucking Schwarzenegger. Expecting Cruz
Bustamante to beat him in that election was as ridiculous as expecting
Cruz Bustamante to be cast as The Terminator in Terminator 3.
Ok, back to
the movie. Here are a few more things for you Conan haters to chew
on. Conan the Barbarian has one of the best musical scores of all
times. Any metal band that ever covers the entire soundtrack to
Conan will be bigger than Metallica and Slayer combined. Also, Conan
the Barbarian was both Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones’
best movie ever. (Star Wars doesn’t count, that was just a
voice over.) Furthermore, the dialogue in Conan, although limited,
is word for word the most brilliant dialogue ever spoken in any
film, from both a standpoint of philosophy and humor. Whether it
be a debate over which God is stronger, Crom or The Four Winds,
or Arnold all fucked up on black lotus dismissing a gaggle of women
with the wave of his hand grunting “Bah, You’re all
sluts”, every word uttered in this film is pure magic.
So yes, I like
Conan the Barbarian. I went on Thursday by myself and ran into any
number of local celebrities, from members of The Bullemics to Trans
Am himself. The next night, I took my son, knowing it would probably
be his only chance to see the film on the big screen. People kept
looking at me like I was crazy to bring a small child to a midnight
screening of any movie, much less one with so much sex and violence.
My argument to them? He’s six years old goddamnitt. Just as
old as Conan was when he saw his family and entire village slaughtered
by Thulsa Doom; Same age as Conan when he was chained to The Wheel
and forced to drudge behind it nonstop for more than a decade. I
think he can handle it.