TRAIL MIX: SPAWN

The Long Hard Road out of Hell…

 

Trail Mix takes a look at classic movie trailers from years past to explore their relationship (however sometimes tenuous) to the films themselves and to the movie promotion of today.

 

The mid-90’s were a dark time for big screen comic book adaptations. Between 1992 when Tim Burton was shit canned by Warner Bros. because Batman Returns was “too dark” and Stephen Norrington re-invigorating the genre with 1998’s Blade, lots of pure trash was foisted upon the public, including Joel Schumacher’s hated Batman films…

 

 

Sylvester Stallone’s complete disaster Judge Dredd…

 

 

And misguided Billy Zane vehicle The Phantom…

 

 

Which brings us to the most 90’s of Super Heroes, Spawn.

 

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Yeah!

 

In the early 90’s, acclaimed Spider-Man artist Todd McFarlane, among others, jumped ship from Marvel to form their own company, Image, and Spawn was easily the most popular book to, um… spawn from the new endeavor. Spawn comics and action figures were the coolest fucking things in the world to me when I was a stupid kid. Everybody loved what McFarlane did with Venom in his Spider-Man run. Guess what? This guy looks like Venom, but he’s from HELL. Holy shit!

 

So of course expectations were through the roof of the Middle School Lunchroom when news of a big budget Hollywood Movie being in the works first surfaced. I can remember catching my first glimpse of this trailer, being on the VHS copy of Mortal Kombat (1995), like it was yesterday:

 

 

The trailer is pretty by-the-numbers, setting up Spawn’s origin and powers for the uninitiated, the groan worthy macguffin of a world destroying bomb he has to stop the villains from using, (seriously, why would he care?) and John Leguizamo’s Poochie of a bad ‘90’s catch phrase spewing take on Clown. But the costume looked cool right? He had the cape in that one scene, right? That motorcycle that he turned into a giant… uh… Dorito was, uh… interesting… RIGHT!?

Unfortunately we all know how things actually turned out. If handled correctly this could’ve been a dark urban fantasy on par with the aforementioned Blade or 1994’s The Crow. Instead we got a movie where Spawn makes friends with the kid from Kindergarten Cop.

 

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Boys have a penis, Girls have a vagina…

 

McFarlane has long promised a hard R sequel/reboot focusing on the comics’ Detective characters Sam and Twitch, being more of a hard boiled police story with Spawn’s supernatural shenanigans going on in the background. We wish him the best of luck, just leave the kids and dogs out of it this time.

 

 

Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.
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