Starring Adam West (2013) – By Jim Morazzini

 

A lighthearted and affectionate look at the star of TV’s Batman series and his career both pre and post fame Starring Adam West, traces his life from growing up the son of Canadian farmers through his unlikely road to show business and places it against a backdrop of the yearly attempt to get Adam a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Now I may be biased, one of my earliest convention going memories involves embarrassing Adam by asking him about 1987’s Zombie Nightmare in which he costars with fellow Canadian B movie stars Tia Carrere and Jon Mikl Thor, (himself the subject of the documentary I Am Thor), but I’ve always liked Adam West and enjoyed watching his movies. From early appearances in the sci fi gem Robinson Crusoe on Mars to the spaghetti western The Relentless Four on the set of which he had a strange encounter with a cave full of bats, that would prove to be an omen. And his post Batman movies like Young Lady Chatterley 2, Hell Riders and, of course, Zombie Nightmare.

So of course I was happy to sit down with this and see the story behind his career. And while it’s not a hard hitting, pull no punches kind of film it doesn’t shy away from the less pleasant parts of his life. The depths he hit after Batman was canceled, taking anything that came his way and even borrowing money from his father to make ends meet. Or the problems with the bottle that came from his meteoric rise to fame and equally fast fall.

But it also celebrates his determination to get through those hard times and his eventual rise as an icon to the nerd community and in demand convention guest and voice actor. Sadly it does gloss over his B movie adventures which I would have loved to have heard more about in favor of lots of footage from Comic Con, a choice probably driven by budget and audience demographics.

There’s also plenty of footage of Adam on vintage tv talk shows which give a sense of the Batman era. And that is contrasted with a contemporary radio interview showing where everything has led him. And through it all he comes off as humble and able to laugh at himself, a very likeable person unlike so many celebrities.

So if you’re a fan of Batman and/or Adam West or just curious if he gets his star I’d certainly recommend this. It’s a fun, if lightweight look at a man who’s seen the highs and lows of the industry and come out on top.

http://starringadamwest.com

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2719448