Guilty Pleasures – Spawn

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It’s a great time to be a fan of comic book films. It’s been a hard and long road for the industry, but the trip along the way has given us several classics, from Batman to Iron Man.

Of course, the road was quite bumpy, with several massive potholes along the way, such as Green Lantern, Superman Returns and that third X-Men film has claimed so many lives already.

And then there was Spawn.

An assassin named Al Simmons is double-crossed and murdered by his evil boss Jason Wynn. Al makes a deal with the devil and returns to earth as Spawn to see his wife. He is ordered by the devil’s minion, The Clown, to kill Wynn. Wynn has made a deal with the clown too and is suppose to destroy the world with a deadly virus that will help start Armageddon and allow Hell to attack Heaven. Spawn must choose between Good & Evil.

Back in the heyday of comics, the mid-nineties, along came a creator-owned spectacle of violence and supernatural themes. Spawn was gory, light and easy on the eyes, but for its time, it was pretty damn good. It’s lost that relevance in later years, thanks to some substandard writing, art and lawsuits, although it did help creator Todd McFarlane purchase some big balls.

Read  Todd McFarlane talks about the Spawn reboot production, shares a script page

With the comic book still selling by bucketload in the mid-nineties, a film adaptation was inevitable. Fans got a movie, that while it took a few liberties, was pretty much closely tied to the source material. It was a dedicated project that included numerous nods to the franchise, a move that most likely was as much a positive as it was a negative.

Because at the end of the day, Spawn is actually a really stupid tale filled with stereotypes and an over-reliance on style over substance. There, I’ve said it, Spawn is stupid, so dumb that it’s technically against the law to hate something so retarded.

But horrible story aside, everything else was perfect. The make up was spectacular, the right actors were chosen, and you’d never guess that it John Leguizamo was chewing scenery like it was going out of style.

And then you had those special effects, which were so revolutionary at the time, it most likely gave George Lucas a rush of blood to the head. Style-wise, this film was perfect, and it didn’t hurt to have a really badass soundtrack tearing up the scene either.

Ambitious, yet rubbish where it counts, I still have a soft spot for this one-time foray into the world of Spawn, in my deep-fried heart.

Read  Todd McFarlane talks about the Spawn reboot production, shares a script page

Last Updated: August 1, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Valshen

    I am with you on this one mate, love this movie!

  • And you’re not alone Darryn. I still watch it to this day every now and then.

  • Cr1t Fv

    I liked the movie Spawn it was fun and dark. A good sequel would not have been enjoyable. 

  • mjw

    animated series was 10x better imo

    • Agreed. Not only that – the animated series was revolutionary. 

      • Fully agreed on this. There were things about the movie that I liked, but the HBO animated series did everything better.

  • Erwin Kempff

    I actually tried to watch this the other day again, deleted from my machine, piece of crap

  • Have you watched this again recently? The casting of the Violator was great, but I don’t agree on the effects. The Hell scenes were downright awful and the effects were not cutting edge: in the same year we also saw the releases of Titanic, Men In Black and The Fifth Element – all with way, way, way better SFX.

    Ultimately John Leguizamo was the only thing that made this movie worth watching. 

    Okay, I’m also sore because this for me ranks next to Judge Dredd as some of the all-time comic book movie fuck-ups. 

  • I just watched this for the Violator. Still my favourite looking villain of all time.

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