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.

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.

Last Updated: August 1, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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