MANILA, Philippines – The first Filipino movie to feature the superhero Batman topped the list of Top 10 “lost” Asian films, according to a movie website.
The 1967 release, “Batman Fights Dracula,” which stars Jing Abalos as the Caped Crusader and Dante Rivero as the blood-sucking vampire, was selected by the website Japan Cinema as the top “lost” Asian films.
“There are plenty of lost films from the history of entertainment and some of these we know very little about. Film preservation was not a serious undertaking in the beginning and due to the flammable nature of the film reels many movies are probably burned. Recently private collectors have come forward with films thought to be lost and these are the top ten films we hope someone comes forward with,” the website said in its introduction to the list, which was released on Monday.
“Batman Fights Dracula” was directed by Leody M. Diaz from a script by Bert M. Mendoza. It was the breakthrough movie of Abalos, a former stuntman with the S.O.S. Daredevils.
“‘Batman Fights Dracula’ has got to be the most mind-blowingly awful, amazing Batman film we will never see. You know what, I’ll go further than that! It has to be the most amazing superhero film ever. Keep your ‘Dark Knight Rises’…I want this one! Doesn’t it crush your Batman-loving soul you’ll never see this. Only a poster exists I couldn’t even find a plot description. I guess the Filipino production knew how awesome it was and wanted to keep it to themselves. For its amazing premise alone, it ranks in as our number one lost Asian film,” the website said of the movie.
The Filipino film topped the list of mostly Japanese films, including “King Kong Appears in Edo,” which was released in 1938; and 1933’s “Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka,” which is considered the first Japanese anime.