Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
You kids with your fancy CGI and flat televisions and non-interlaced High Definition nonsense!  I tell you, when I was a kid I had to carry the 300 pound twenty inch console TV on my back, through the snow, with an eighty foot extension cord up three flights of stairs just so I could watch what WE called Spider-Man back in the day.  We're not even going to talk about having to put tin foil on wire clothes hangers just so we could receive a less fuzzy signal.  You kids today don't know how good you have it.  But if you want a sense at what we had to deal with back in my day, for your perusal, I offer you 1978's 'Spider-Man Strikes Back'.  A TV Movie created from a couple of episodes of the TV show we used to watch, and were happy to watch back in the late 70's.  Because we had three channels and didn't have much choice.  You kids and your dang Cable Sattelitic TV.  I tell you.

The YouTube did offer me the chance to watch the pilot, but we skipped that and went for the meat of the matter after Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond) had already become the web slinger.  Our film starts off with some girl on the edge of a roof threatening to jump.  Erstwhile police detective Captain Barbera (the late Michael Pataki) was looking like he was trying to talk her down, but actually it looked to us like he was trying to make her go ahead and jump, considering his issue resolution techniques.  Fortunately, Spider-Man is on his way.  He's coming.  Soon.  But first he has to creep across the roof and peek over walls and stuff.  Don't know why he's doing this.  Kinda wish he'd stop.  There he goes creeping again with his arms bent at this weird 90 degree angle.  Still don't know why he's doing this.  Good thing this chick didn't really want to jump or we'd be less one hot 70's chick.

That nonsense aside, lets' visit Florida reporter Gale Hoffman, as played by Isis herself, the ridiculously beautiful JoAnna Cameron.  Man, is that woman pretty.  Anyway, she's been sent to New York to secure an interview with Spider-Man, but to do that, she first needs to interface with Peter Parker who is the gate keeper to Spider-Man.  Because he is Spider-Man.  Nothing could be more obvious, but the people in this reality are bamboozled by this.  Spidey is busy though, as a
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couple of his fellow science students have broken into the chem lab and stolen some atomic bomb grade plutonium.  You would think plutonium would be a guarded just a little more closely, but I guess the seventies didn't have any cold war issues or anything like that to worry about.  These crazy kids just wanted to make a play atomic bomb to prove a point how easy it is.  Point well taken kids!  Too bad a legitimate bad dude, Mr. White the evil record producer (Robert Alda), has stolen this play bomb, made it a real bomb, and is blackmailing the U.S. or he will set off his bomb.  Jerk.  And if you heard that song he was producing, you would think even less of him.

Well, not if Spider-Man… and the hot reporter… have anything to say about this.  But it won't be easy because Mr. White is protected by the nefarious… well… regular dudes.  Seriously, these are just regular dudes completely kicking Spider-Man's ass, throwing him off roof tops, hitting him with lame roundhouse kicks and all kinds of things that shouldn't bother Spider-Man.  This cat is nowhere near ready for Kraven, The Lizard or Dock Ock.  This dude is barely ready for me and you to be quite honest about it.  Go get 'em Spidey!  And the hot reporter in the tiny white bikini!

You kids may laugh at this movie today, but this is what he had back then.  Heck if I know why Spider-Man was wearing a utility belt, heck if I know why his sparsely used web shooters looked like ropes… because that's what they were… heck if I know why he crept along rooftops like a catburgler when nobody was around, but that doesn't mean I didn't love the show.  One thing I do know is that Spider-Man crawled up and down skyscrapers, and this was not a camera trick and CGI hadn't been invented yet.  At least the CGI that you kids are used to.  I guess Spider-Man's spideysense can be considered old school CGI.  No kids, that Spider-Man crawling up and down that building?  That's some nut with a thin rope attached to his waist while another nut is holding this rope, either pulling him up or letting him down to simulate the effect of wall crawling.  I don't know what my man's name was that was in that suit, but if I asked him, I bet that was the scariest moment in his entire life.  And how evil was Mr. White the record producer?  He kidnapped the hot reporter then made her wear a skimpy white bikini.  Why?  Because he likes chicks in skimpy bikini's.  Now that's evil.

But is this movie any good?  Oh hell no. That's crazy talk.  This Spider-Man doesn't do much that LeBron James can't do, mainly he jumps real high and wears a red costume.  And like LeBron, I imagine he too would get beat up by common thugs.  And his Spideysense was more future sense.  He could see things that would happen like two rooms over… in the future.  That's awesome!  But it ain't Spider Sense. 

But that's niticpicking!  This one here is pure, rawdog, nostalgia.  A movie that anybody close to forty will shed a tear after watching… remembering how terrible our childhoods were.  You kids have no idea how good you have it.
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