The 1940s were, in many ways, a better time for superhero filmmaking. The old black-and-white serials about Captain America, Batman, Superman, and the like were comfortingly simple. Instead of sleek armor, the heroes wore costumes that were lumpy and sacklike. Instead of grim brooding, the actors were given to wild exuberance and manic facial expressions. Instead of special effects, there was … uh, basically nothing. Something like Zack Snyder’s awkwardly titled, upcoming mega-blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would’ve been unthinkable for audiences of the period.
In this week’s Vulture Remix, video artists Diane Bullock and Mike Schuster take footage from mid-century Batman and Superman serials to assemble a look at what a Bats-fights-Supes flick would’ve looked like in 1949. (Shout out to remixer Paul Cornish, who had a very different take on a similar idea a few months ago.)