Batman's Most Gruesome Villain Is Still Underused in Film

Batman is no stranger to dark and twisted villains, many of which push the limits of what it means to be evil. Yet, one, in particular, has been heavily underutilized on screen and would make for a dark and eerie movie antagonist. Barton Mathis, also known as Dollmaker, is one of the more psychopathic Batman villains. And with a true lust for pain and torment, he would make a truly horrifying Batman movie villain.

Originally appearing in the first issue of the Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2, a young Barton Mathis would take frequent trips around Gotham City with his father. During these trips, his father would murder innocent bystanders and bring them home to cannibalize. This, of course, heavily messed with Barton's head and sense of empathy. After a young Jim Gordon shot his father, he ran away and went missing for many years.

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Years later, Barton Mathis returned to Gotham, except this time wearing the face of his deceased father and donning the name Dollmaker. Though not often appearing in the comics, Dollmaker makes a scary impact whenever he's around. With attire that perfectly suits his deranged personality, Dollmaker murders random civilians around Gotham to cut off their skin and remove their limbs. He then creates dolls out of the severed body parts and uses them to mess with Batman and other victims.

Part of what makes Dollmaker so creepy is how grounded he is. Unlike many of Batman's villains, he didn't fall into a vat of acid or stem from a science experiment gone wrong; he's simply an evil human being. Like many of history's most infamous serial killers, Dollmaker would kill at random and mutilate for no gain other than his own pleasure.

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Despite the character being one of Batman's less-frequent villains, Dollmaker appears briefly in the opening of the animated Batman vs. Robin movie. Setting the tone for the film, Robin breaks into a warehouse only to find a number of scared children in cages. The Dollmaker enters with a doll mask on his face and orders a number of feral children to attack Robin. Each child has been mutilated and transformed into mindless doll-looking minions that must be subdued by Batman's sleep gas.

While this takes the film's creepiness to the next level, the character is unfortunately gone within the first five minutes of Batman vs Robin. However, it proves that if he's given the proper portrayal he deserves, Dollmaker could make for a great movie villain, as he can transform Batman's usual noir tone into full-on horror. The realness of his mental state and crimes makes him all the more terrifying, something that has become increasingly popular with recent superhero movies. While not exactly the same, the upcoming The Batman movie seems to be taking a similar approach, with The Riddler clearly taking inspiration from the 1960's Zodiac Killer.

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Ben Hardwick (130 Articles Published)

Ben has taken a 'Film Production & Cinematography' university course, and recently completed a 'Scriptwriting' masters course, both completed at Bournemouth University. Throughout the courses, he has worked on a number of short films and documentaries. And found that his passion lays in scriptwriting, where he can combine his love of movies, writing, and storytelling. With taking courses involving film, Ben has extensive knowledge of movies both new and old, and keeps up to date on all the latest goings-on in the film industry. Especially within his favourite franchises, such as Star Wars. In his spare time, Ben is usually watching movies, playing games and running D&D games for friends (and hopes to one day actually be a player).

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