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The Amazing Spider-Man - Pilot

episode 1.0

USA 1977
produced by
Edward Montague, Charles W. Fries (executive), Daniel R. Goodman (executive) for CBS
directed by E.W. Swackhamer
starring Nicholas Hammond, Lisa Eilbacher, Thayer David, Michael Pataki, David White, Hilly Hicks, Jeff Donnell, Ivor Francis, Robert Hastings, Dick Balduzzi, Barry Cutler, Norman Rice, Len Lesser, Ivan Bonar, Carmelita Pope, George Lane Cooper, Robert Snively, Kathryn Reynolds, Harry Caesar, Roy West, Jim Storm, Ron Gilbert, Larry Anderson, James Brodhead, Chip Fields, Mary Ann Kasica
screenplay by Alvin Boretz, based on the comicbook created by Stan Lee (writer), Steve Ditko (artist), published by Marvel Comics, music by Johnnie Spence

Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somebody is mind-controlling quite a bunch of honourable citizens of New York, forcing them to commit daring heists they wouldn't even dream of otherwise and the like. Eventually though, whoever it is who is behind the mind-control scheme requests 50 million Dollars from the city, otherwise he has no less than 10 prominent citizens kill themselves at a set time.

In a seemingly unrelated story, science student and wannabe newspaper photographer Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond) is bitten by a radioactive spider, which gives him super strength, enables him to climb tall buildings, and equips him with extra acute senses, especially the spider sense that makes him feel if there is something evil going on. Somehow, he's there when professor Tyler (Ivor Francis) crashes his car into a wall after a heist (obviously he was mind-controlled), and that gets him involved in the whole case, especially since the investigating inspector Barbera (Michael Pataki) suspects him anyhow since he was on the scene of the crime, and since Peter soon starts dating Tyler's daughter Judy (Lisa Eilbacher).

Peter decides to investigate the case on his own, being perfectly equipped with his super powers and especially his spider sense, and for some reason he also tailors himself a fancy red-and-blue costume and calls himself Spider-Man, to keep his identity a secret.

After much to and fro, Peter and Judy attend a seminar of Judy's fathe's self-help guru Byron (Thayer David), and to the audience it becomes obvious from the go that he's involved with all the mind-controlling going on around town - not so for Peter and Judy though, both of whom are soon equipped with buttons that will submit them to Byron's will ...

As the hour on which all these people are supposed to kill themselves moves ever closer, Peter runs a few computer tests, figures out how the mindcontrol-signals are transmitted, and figures out how the signals can be jammed - but then he is brainwashed into killing himself by jumping off the Empire State Building, and only a silly coincidence that removes the mind-controlling button keeps him from doing so in the end. Then, as Spider-Man, he destroys Byron's transmitters, defeats all the baddies and brings Byron to justice ...


Pretty weak pilot to a rather weak superhero-series. The problems with this pilot are that Spider-Man's origin story and the plot about the mind-controlling baddie don't really gel, seem to be totally sepearate and independent entities, crammed into the same movie by bad luck rather than anything else. And while Spider-Man's origin story is at least told ommitting most of the more cheesy parts (including the almost inevitable "with great powers come great responsibilities"-speech), it's still pretty boring and uneventful. Add to this an inevitable directorial job, a below-average cast (only Michael Pataki is at least some fun, even if his role is terribly clichéed and he hams it up, too), and special effects that do little to actually bring the Spider-Man to life, and you are left with very little ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD