Interior artwork from Batman #395 (May 1986).
Batman #395 (May 1986)
Catwoman #54 (Jun 2006)
|Created by||Weston Doug Moench, Tom Mandrake. Edison Will Pfeifer, David Lopez|
|Alter ego||Burt Weston|
Film Freak is the name of two DC Comics villains and enemies of Batman and Catwoman. They are among the myriad "gimmick" villains in Gotham City, their trademark being their obsession with motion pictures.
The Burt Weston version of Film Freak first appeared in Batman #395 and was created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake. The name Burt Weston is a nod to Adam West and Burt Ward who played Batman and Robin (respectively) in the 1960s TV series.
Fictional character biography
Burt Weston is a wannabe actor who dreams of getting a big break by playing quirky villains, because those kinds of villains were able to get rich from how popular those characters became. When each of his plans failed, however, he faked his death in a method similar to one used by Paul Newman's and Robert Redford's characters in the movie The Sting.
Years later, he committed every crime known in films and the Gotham newspapers dubbed him "Film Freak". One of his signatures was a pair of earrings in the shape of film cans. Nicknamed the Film Freak also due to his spouting off movie dialogue during crimes, after his real identity was revealed by an old girlfriend to a reporter named Julia Pennyworth, Film Freak stalked her in a manner similar to that of the character Norman Bates in the movie Psycho. Film Freak began to murder his fellow associates and is tracked down by Detective Harvey Bullock who had a large knowledge of film and was working with Robin at the time, as well as Batman and Catwoman working together after Batman and Robin temporarily split.
In the Knightfall storyline, The Mad Hatter controlled Film Freak with one of his mind control hats and used him to spy on and attempt to kill Bane by placing a tracking device on a falcon belonging to one of Bane's men. Upon discovering the device Bane confronts Film Freak, and easily kills him.
The second Film Freak appeared later, in Catwoman #54, as part of the One Year Later storyline, going by the alias "Edison". He appears as a television show host, similar to Elvira. He later approaches Angle Man after Angle Man was defeated by Catwoman (Holly Robinson).
Soon after the birth of Selina Kyle's daughter, Selina donned the Catwoman outfit and was caught on video alongside Holly in her outfit. From the footage Film Freak was able to deduce the original Catwoman's secret identity, and then he and Angle Man kidnapped Selina's daughter. While they are defeated with relative ease, Catwoman was forced to call Zatanna to erase the villains' memories of her identity. Zatanna notes that Film Freak had no actual memories, only "film clip after film clip". She then ordered the men to confess their crimes to the police.
While Angle Man went to the cops to turn himself in, Film Freak's warped mind interpreted the order differently. Watching Angle Man escorted into the police department, he said "I have crimes to confess...crimes against cinema" and went on a murderous rampage, killing people in ways that reference classic movies such as Psycho, King Kong, and The Public Enemy. His crime spree culminated in him stealing a nuclear warhead, and murdering a television studio full of people to broadcast his nuclear threat. He sets the bomb in a giant movie palace, where Catwoman quickly beats him up and disarms the bomb.
The "Edison" version of the character appears once again in the DC Rebirth reboot universe. He is one of the many villains taken down by Batman and Catwoman after he takes her along with him on an average night of his job.
In other media
The Burt Weston version of Film Freak was portrayed by actor Michael Roberts in the BBC radio adaptation of Knightfall. In a differentiated take on the character, Roberts' Film Freak dialogue included a number of vocal impersonations of famous Hollywood actors.