“Life is unpredictable… Life is the riddle,” Communication/Journalism junior Quinn Erney said about his student film “The Quinn Legacy: The Batman Who Laughs Fan Film” that premiered Feb. 5, 2022, in Orndorff Theater. Based upon the fictional DC Comics villain of the same name, Erney’s multidimensional, horror film aims to teach viewers that life is unpredictable and that its meaning should be questioned.
The movie begins in “Somewhere in Space” 1000 years ago, where Commander Quinn instructs General Quinn to find the two people who will save humankind: Shawn and Xavier.
The film then jumps forward to the year 1955 on Earth, and viewers meet Shawn and Xavier on a mission to solve a murder. Shawn, seemingly taken over by some other entity, turns on Xavier and kidnaps him. Shawn blames Xavier for the murder and eventually kills him.
It turns out, Alien Quinn is inside Shawn and is only visible in mirrors. Quinn takes matters into his own hands, transporting from the “mirror-verse” into the real Earth to take Shawn home to safety. Shawn is dropped into the year 2022. He leaves Quinn, only to be stalked and controlled by The Batman Who Laughs.
Shawn meets up with Quinn in a fight scene and eventually ends up killing Quinn. Shawn runs away but is continuously hunted by The Batman Who Laughs. The Batman Who Laughs finally knocks out Shawn and transports him off Earth. This is where the film ends, leaving viewers waiting for more.
Quinn Erney, with the help of Shawn Orner, John Dickey, Olivia Wilson and Seamus Landis, began working on this project in August 2021. Almost half a year in the making, Erney said that the process of creating this short movie has been “nothing but a learning experience” as he wrote, directed, filmed and even produced music for “The Quinn Legacy: The Batman Who Laughs Fan Film.”
Erney was inspired by The Batman Who Laughs, and wanted to eventually see a live action version of this villain. He then recruited friends to help him make this vision a reality.
While the story is quite serious, with murderous characters and a mystery to solve, the acting is comedic and often has an improvisational feel. Many characters are not notably costumed and much of the film was shot at Shippensburg University, making it recognizable for audience members.
The audience did question some aspects of the Quinn Universe, including the existence of the mirror-verse, the scattered, constantly moving timeline, and the identity of the person behind the Batman Who Laughs mask. Erney’s only answer was to look forward to a potential sequel.
Fans of DC Comics, murder mysteries, and “your mom” jokes can all find something to enjoy in Quinn Erney’s “The Quinn Legacy: The Batman Who Laughs Fan Film.”
The short movie and other projects can be viewed on Quinn Erney’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCQIDZrouzNVN_kFR2Z_xzg.
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