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I've got bad news for you: Your father's dead. But you're safe. And so is the world.
June 20, 2012 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Spider-Man 1969 fan film - "The first ever documented Spider-Man fan film, and the first (unofficial) live action appearance of Spider-Man from 1969! This was produced by Donald F. Glut and was his last amateur film (he had produced many other Marvel fan films before this) before moving on to write for classic cartoons like Transformers and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends." (via)
posted by mrgrimm (12 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is fantastic. "I'll cheat the hangman yet!"
posted by koeselitz at 12:10 PM on June 20, 2012


Fun to see if you're a Spider-fan, and even sporadically ingenious in spots, despite the no-budget cheesiness.

Switching from live action to claymation for the wall-crawling scenes is not something that would have occurred to me, and as visually incongruous and fake-looking as it is, it kind of works as a stylized rendition of the idea. Also, there are a couple of interesting camera angles that suggest that someone had a grasp of visual grammar beyond the close-up and the two-shot.

Big plot hole, though - what is Spidey supposed to be attaching his webs to when he chases the kidnapper to the villain's lair? The hideout is a cave, out in the country somewhere, with no skyscrapers or buildings of any sort in sight. So is he web-swinging from the trees? Telephone poles? Or what?

And why is the editor of the Daily Bugle some random guy instead of J. Jonah Jamieson? Was the novelty store out of fake mustaches that week? Or is the random guy supposed to be the Bugle's Robbie Robertson, just played by someone 25-30 years younger than he is in the comics?

Obviously, I'm thinking about this way too much.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 12:10 PM on June 20, 2012


I kept on waiting for this to turn into porn.

Still waiting.
posted by Fizz at 12:19 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got bad news for you: Your father's dead. But you're safe. And so is the world.

If I had a magazine, next month, we'd be having a short fiction contest where the only rule was that you had to use this line. I'm tempted to start a magazine just for that purpose.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:41 PM on June 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I knew I recognized Donald F Gult's name! He's the guy who wrote the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back, and thus revealed to me that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father.
posted by vibrotronica at 12:59 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the Superman serials, the flying sequences were done as animations. Superman would turn into a cartoon and then take off into the air. So there was some precedent.
posted by Billiken at 1:04 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I had a magazine, next month, we'd be having a short fiction contest where the only rule was that you had to use this line. I'm tempted to start a magazine just for that purpose.

"I've got bad news for you: Your father's dead. But you're safe. And so is the world."

At 4AM any phonecall is discomfiting to sleep, but this one shook me more than most would. It wasn't just the death of my father. He'd died many times before, and would again - but never before had the fate of the world hung in the balance. I climbed out of bed, put on my slippers, and turned off the alarm before "I Got You Babe' could play yet again...

February 2 #4023, The Diaries of Phil Connors
posted by pupdog at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's not Claymation per se... I am pretty sure it is stop motion photography of a doll. What's kinda interesting is that this would have been made before any Mego Spider-Man doll.
posted by Slothrop at 3:09 PM on June 20, 2012


Big plot hole, though - what is Spidey supposed to be attaching his webs to when he chases the kidnapper to the villain's lair? The hideout is a cave, out in the country somewhere, with no skyscrapers or buildings of any sort in sight. So is he web-swinging from the trees? Telephone poles? Or what?

Clouds.
posted by bettafish at 4:37 PM on June 20, 2012


Darth Vader is LUKE'S father? Nooooo! That's IMPOSSIBLE!
posted by SentientAI at 6:02 AM on June 21, 2012


You're right, Slothrop - the notes on the YouTube page say that the wall-crawling scenes were done with a Captain Action figure in a Spider-Man outfit. (For you youngsters out there - Captain Action was a sort of generic hero action figure sold in the 1960s that could be dressed in different superhero outfits.) So, not technically claymation, but rather stop-motion animation.

bettafish, it does seem like clouds are about the only things that Spidey could be web-swinging from, doesn't it? This never has bothered me for scenes set in the city, because one can rationalize that there are always tall buildings around. But it struck me as weird here, especially since the whole second half of the film is set in the unspecified remote location...
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 6:42 AM on June 21, 2012


Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner: There's actually a very funny Spider-Man issue from the 80s in which Spidey chases a petty thief into suburbia, runs out of places to websling from, and is eventually reduced to hitching a ride from a friendly garbage truck crew.

Come to think, that same writer (Peter David) made a "Where'd you websling from?"/"Passing cloud," gag in one of his more recent comics.

Anyway, now that I finally had time to sit down and watch the film, I really enjoyed it! Very schlocky, even by fan film standards, but in true MST3K fashion that just made it more entertaining. More than the stop-motion bits I think my favorite parts of the sfx were that (a) Spidey's webbing was a fairly broad swathe of tule reused over and over again and (b) the spider-homer/tracer was just a plastic spider, not even repainted. Also quite amused that Randy Robertson (Robbie's son) was the sole Bugle representative, but hey, work with the cast you have!

I'm sure the "fan makes fan films, ends up as pro" cycle has happened more than once, but when watching this I was reminded of Zeb Wells', whose fan films got him noticed by Marvel and eventually led to a career writing Marvel comics -- most recently on Avenging Spider-Man.
posted by bettafish at 7:34 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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