8. Its Hugely Inspired By Old German Cinema Most casual cinemagoers in 1992 wont have known that Batman Returns was hugely inspired by German culture from the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic era. The Gotham city designs and the costume of the Penguin drew heavily on the classic 1920 German Expressionist movie The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, which was full of strange characters and distorted buildings. The jagged edges and eerie lack of realism from this cinematic era played well with Burtons established gothic style. He developed the distinct look of Batman Returns with his regular collaborator Bo Welch, who hadnt been able to work on Batman in 1989. And the influence of Weimar culture didnt just stop with the visuals It fed into the script, as well, with Christopher Walkens character Max Shreck being named as a blatant tribute to Max Schreck, the German film star best known as Count Orlock, the protagonist from the unauthorised 1922 Dracula adaptation Nosferatu. Clearly, Weimar era cinema had a huge influence on Burton and his production team. They decided to channel this into Batman Returns, which goes some part of the way to explaining why this movie is so much darker, dingier and weirder than its predecessor.