The Green Goblin's Last Stand
|The Green Goblin's Last Stand|
Poster for the film
|Directed by||Dan Poole|
|Produced by||Dan Poole|
|Written by||Comic Book:
|Distributed by||Alpha Dog Productions|
The Green Goblin's Last Stand is a 1992 fan film by Dan Poole, based on the comic book story "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", published by Marvel Comics in The Amazing Spider-Man #121–122. Poole is the director, producer, creative editor, screenwriter, and star of the film. The film and its attendant documentary received showings and accolades at several small film festivals.
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The film starts off at night with Spider-Man jumping from building to building, following a car stolen by two crooks, late for a date with his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. He finally catches up with the vehicle and, complaining that he is late for his date the whole while, eventually manages to stop, overpower and web up the crooks.
Meanwhile, Gwen Stacy waits at a restaurant, saving a seat for her date, Peter Parker. Just as she concludes that Peter will not come, he arrives with roses and he apologizes for his lateness. After sharing a small kiss, Peter tells her that he was taking pictures of Spider-Man for The Daily Bugle - but before he can continue, Gwen angrily bursts out that she is sick of hearing Spider-Man's name all over (as she believes Spider-Man is responsible for her father's death). Peter - who secretly is Spider-Man - tries to protect his alter ego, but is distracted when he sees Norman Osborn riding in a taxi. Gwen notes that Osborn was in the amnesiac institution for millionaires (in another comic book storyline, Osborn, also the villain known as The Green Goblin, fought Spider-Man, figured out the superhero's secret identity, and got amnesia in the ensuing battle, leading to his institutionalization). Gwen is pleased, but Peter is worried that Norman may know his secret identity.
Norman Osborn returns to his apartment home and calls out through his apartment for his son, Harry (who had left New York out of stress). In his room, he looks at an old newspaper detailing a battle between Spider-Man and The Green Goblin that led to the explosion of one of Osborn's factories and Spider-Man returning to the police with Osborn's unconscious body, claiming that The Goblin seemingly perished in the explosion. Osborn begins to vaguely remember The Goblin, but has trouble remembering the figure. Before he can remember more clearly, he hears the door open - and believing his son has come home, he rushes to the door, only to find Peter Parker. Despite Osborn's irrational anger, Peter remains calm and tries to tell Osborn he was trying to find Harry and get them back in contact with each other. Norman calms down and leaves.
Peter and Gwen confront each other in Peter's apartment, The Darkroom, discussing Norman Osborn's return from the clinic. Peter express his worries about Osborn's return, telling her that Osborn could be dangerous if he remembers everything about his past, getting the feeling that Osborn didn't leave that institution with doctor's permission.
As Osborn glares at the old newspaper, he realizes that the explosion from the factory must have caused his amnesia. Seeing Parker's name on the paper, he descends further into madness, hallucinating that Spider-Man is in his house and chasing him through his house, into the streets of New York, all the way to a destroyed area where three low-lives harass him. Seeing one of them as Spider-Man, he attacks him. A fight breaks out, ending when one of the punks breaks a beer bottle over his head and the three run away. Osborn just lies there with his hatred of Spider-Man still intact.
Back in The Darkroom, Peter brings up Spider-Man in the plot to Norman Osborn's amnesia and Gwen expresses her hatred of the superhero at full blast, mentioning her belief that it was Spider-Man and the other freak (Dr. Octopus, though his name is never spoken) who killed her father. She walks out on Peter, and as he tries to calm her down, the phone rings. Torn between calming Stacy down and picking up the phone, he fails at both, learning from the answering machine that Harry Osborn is coming back to town.
The next day, Norman Osborn wakes up in the destroyed area and realizes it to be the warehouse he last fought Spider-Man in, screaming at him as he gets into one of the other parts of the factory and finds The Green Goblin equipment. His voice becomes more squeaky and sinister as he screams throughout the warehouse he is The Green Goblin once he is fully suited, vowing revenge on Spider-Man as he laughs throughout the destroyed warehouse.
Peter goes back to Norman Osborn's apartment and is shocked to see an old newspaper of a battle between Spider-Man and The Green Goblin. He pieces together that this may have caused Norman to relapse. Just as he is walking out of the apartment, he bumps into Harry Osborn, who still believes his dad is at the amnesiac institution for millionaires. While Harry tries to find the doctor's number at his father's desk, Peter rushes out of the apartment because his spider sense tells him danger will happen in The Darkroom.
Gwen returns to The Darkroom, now empty, looking for Peter and apologizing for her outburst. But when she sees a newspaper of Spider-Man that has the question if Spider-Man is really a friend or foe to New York, she angrily wishes that Spider-Man would just disappear from the world - a sentiment the Green Goblin echoes, appearing from nowhere and knocking her out.
Peter goes into an alley and slips into his Spider-Man suit, swinging from rooftop to rooftop all the way back to The Darkroom, where he finds only a pumpkin bomb, The Green Goblin's calling card. The Green Goblin taunts him from the rooftop as he holds Gwen's unconscious body. Spider-Man climbs to the rooftop, where after knocking the villain out, Spider-Man tries to get Gwen home. But The Goblin regains consciousness, returns to his glider and knocks Gwen away from Spider-Man - off the roof. Spider-Man quickly spouts a web to Gwen, catching her and pulling her back up to the roof. His relief turns to horror, however, when he finds that Gwen died in the fall anyway. The Goblin cruelly continues to taunt him, bringing Spider-Man to vow that he will avenge Gwen and The Goblin in cold blood. The fight is renewed, and Spider-Man nearly kills The Goblin, who barely escapes by throwing a bomb at Spider-Man at point blank range. Spider-Man crawls back to Gwen's body, grieving over her death.
Later, back at the ruins of the warehouse, Norman Osborn recovers from the battle and vows to kill all who underestimated Norman Osborn's intelligence. But before he can continue, he realizes Spider-Man has tracked him down, determined to stop him - and ready to kill him. A long, brutal showdown ensues. Spider-Man eventually smashes The Goblin's glider, which infuriates him; he is utterly apathetic towards Gwen's death and claims that she is just another worthless, pathetic girl. Enraged, Spider-Man pounds the Goblin mercilessly, and finally begins to choke him to death. Just as Goblin seems to pass out, though, he stops himself, truly realizing for the first time that he was actually going to kill someone, even a psychopath like The Green Goblin. Suddenly, The Goblin wakes up, telling Spider-Man he should have killed him, keeping him talking while he secretly activates his glider (which is still functional). Spider-Man pulls The Goblin back to his feet, pinning him against a wall as the glider slowly approaches his back, knives out. Just as The Goblin's glider is about to impale Spider-Man, his spider sense activates, and he quickly rolls out of the way, leaving the glider instead to continue rocketing forward and kill The Goblin.
The movie cuts to a cemetery where Peter Parker, a quarter of his face bandaged, apologizes at Gwen Stacy's grave as if talking to Gwen herself - sorry that he never told her he was Spider-Man and that his life is nothing without her, that the Goblin's death only made the pain worse, that he just wants to retire being Spider-Man all for Gwen - but he made a promise on his Uncle Ben's death that he would keep being Spider-Man, no matter what. The film then concludes with Spider-Man jumping and swinging around buildings at night, on the prowl once again.
After the credits, a title card asks the question "The End?" Thus far, however, Poole has not filmed a sequel.
|Dan Poole||Peter Parker / Spider-Man|
|Jimi Kinstle||Norman Osborn / Green Goblin|
|Allison Adams||Gwen Stacy|
|Bob Tull||Harry Osborn|
Dan Poole had been a Spider-Man fan since he was a child. Prior to making this film, he had already made two shorter Spider-Man fan films. In 1992, upon hearing that James Cameron was writing a script for a Spider-Man movie, Poole decided to create a new film of his own, in order to show off his acting and stunt skills to the director. Poole choose to adapt the story "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" from The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1, #121–122, which is considered to be a major event in Spider-Man comics, as well as in comics in general. He financed the film on a shoestring budget—less than $400—while working part-time at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He shot the film in Baltimore, using local actors, friends, and family as cast and crew. Poole did his own stunts for the movie, including swinging on ropes, jumping off bridges, and riding on cars. On his limited budget, he could not afford any protective measures other than a pole-vaulting mat and an 18-inch-thick foam seat. It has been observed that Poole's stunt work is what sets his film apart from other fan films, overcoming "bad dialogue, pre-CGI special effects, and irregular production values". For one shot, he swung on a rope from an abandoned high-rise, swinging four stories above the ground without a safety net. At one point, the difficulty of the project pushed Poole to contemplate suicide. However, after 14 months of production, he completed the film.
Showings and reception
Although it received little attention initially, over the years bootleg copies of the video began appearing at comic book conventions and Internet auctions. Capitalizing on this interest, in 2002 Dan Poole produced a documentary, The Making of The Green Goblin's Last Stand, which told the story of the film's production. The two films were shown together at several film festivals, including the Backseat Film Festival, the Waterfront Film Festival, and the Johns Hopkins Film Festival. The documentary was honored at the 2002 Nodance Film Festival, where it won the "Audience Award for Best Documentary" and the "Golden Orbs Award for Best Guerrilla Marketing." Poole earned the latter award largely by enduring the snow in the festival's home of Park City, Utah to put up posters for his film while wearing a Spider-Man vest. Film Threat endorsed the "inspiring" documentary, calling it "the Hearts of Darkness of the comic-book world." The film also received the endorsement of Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.
- Spider-Man, a 1969 fan film
- Viva Spider-Man, a 1989 fan film
- Spider-Man Lives: A Miles Morales Story, a 2015 fan film
- Quirk, Justin (9 June 2002). "The Real Adventures of Spider-Dan" (reprint). The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. Retrieved 14 November 2008.[dead link]
- Blumberg, Arnold T. (Fall 2003). "'The Night Gwen Stacy Died:' The End of Innocence and the Birth of the Bronze Age". Reconstruction. 3 (4). Retrieved 14 November 2008.
- Martin, Maurice (1 May 2002). "Web Master" (reprint). Baltimore City Paper. Baltimore: Times-Shamrock Communications. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
- Botwin, Michelle (1 December 2000). "Real Fan, Real Stunts". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tribune Company. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- Backseat Film Festival
- Waterfront Film Festival
- JohnsHopkins Film Fest Archived 12 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- NoDance Film Festival
- Campos, Eric (1 May 2002). "THE REAL SPIDER-MAN: THE MAKING OF THE GREEN GOBLIN'S LAST STAND". Film Threat. Retrieved 26 March 2014.