The Batman property has been pulled in so many creative directions over the years that it shouldn’t be a surprise The Caped Crusader has had to endure his bizarre share of indignities throughout his cinematic tenure. From the 1966 Adam West-starring Batman movie right through to last year’s The Dark Knight Rises, the Batman movies are full of eccentricities and quirks that, regardless of each film’s individual quality, simply make Batfans sit up and shout, “WTF!?”
Whether part and parcel of the campy theatrics of West’s iconic take, or an ill-fitting flourish in Christopher Nolan’s otherwise gritty and “realistic” take, here are 10 batty Batman moments, the 10 strangest The Dark Knight has ever experienced on screen. Note that we’ve deliberately left off the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Mr. Freeze because, frankly, his ridiculous performance isn’t all that strange, really; what else did you expect?
10. Shark Repellant – Batman (1966)
Adam West’s Caped Crusader is well known for its camp silliness, and in the 1966 movie, it reaches an all-out strange apex as Batman’s trusty utility belt comes in even handier than audiences were expecting. The scene in question has Batman at the bottom of a rope ladder, while Robin is piloting a helicopter above, when a Shark attacks The Dark Knight. Bats first tries to land a few punches in the shark’s stomach as it latches onto his leg – yet curiously doesn’t manage to take a bite out of it – before signalling to Robin to quit piloting the copter, and fetch the oh-so-conveniently-placed shark-repellent bat-spray.
Robin gingerly makes his way down the ladder, incredulously hanging upside down to hand the bottle to Batman – in a seeming attempt to make the scene seem more exciting and perilous? – before he sprays it in the shark’s mouth, causing it to fall back into the ocean deep. Hilarious, and very strange.