The Surprisingly Coherent Spider-Man Fan Film From 1969 [Video]
In the fifty years since he was created, Spider-Man has been seen in a lot of pretty strange live-action adaptations, including a Broadway musical and a mind-boggling Japanese tokusatsu show, but it looks like one of the strangest interpretations might also be the first. It’s an 11-minute fan-film produced by Donald Glut in 1969, in which Spider-Man (played, of course, by Glut) battles against a supervillain called “Dr. Lightning” and occasionally turns into an action figure whenever special effects are required, and it’s well worth seeing.
Check out the full video after the cut!
Even if you’re not familiar with Don Glut’s name, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen his work as a writer for Transformers, DuckTales, G.I. Joe, and, uh, Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood. Long before the launch of the Countess Dracula franchise, though, Glut was an amateur filmmaker with an interest in super-heroes — a few years before Spider-Man, he made Superman vs. the Gorilla Gang, in which the Man of Steel battled a criminal ape.
Even though it was clearly made on what could charitably be referred to as a pretty low budget, Glut’s Spider-Man has an awful lot of charm. I’m actually having trouble figuring out my favorite part, but Spidey’s short car trip to the vast, rocky deserts outside of New York City (because those exist, right?) and his casual delivery of “I got bad news for you: Your father’s dead” is definitely up there, especially since it almost feels like the prototype for Italian Spiderman.
If pressed, though I think I’d have to go with Glut’s version of the Daily Bugle building:
Even J. Jonah Jameson is feeling it in this economy, it seems.
Either way, it’s pretty fun, and pretty impressive. It paid off, too: Eleven years after suiting up as Spider-Man and battling Dr. Lightning, Glut was a writer on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.