Poster and French lobby card set for “Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge.”
I’m not going to lie. Up until about thirty minutes ago I didn’t know this film existed.
Having watched the trailer…I now know why. It seems like a bizarre attempt to cash in on the Hong Kong fad of the late 70’s by pitting Spider-Man up against a British-Hong Kong evil doer. Though I haven’t seen it, I imagine it’s super racist.
Sufficed to say, Spider-Man looks very, very “porno” here and the funk saxophone soundtrack doesn’t help.
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
DIR: Sergio Leone
Another film that falls far short of Red Harvest. All lack a town with an identity or persona—either a settlement worth saving or worth destroying. This, Last Man Standing, and to some extent Yojimbo, take place in towns with what seems like no inhabitants, no community, no businesses—A Fistful of Dollars may as well take place on the moon. That civic untethering may appeal to some, but it makes the films feel weightless—why should one care about some shitty town with two gangs at war, and why are these gangs so adamant about staying in this town? Why not just move to some different faceless, uninhabited cowtown?
My central criticism of Leone is that, while he dismissed westerns in the 50’s as preachy, his films lack any semblance of social fabric. And what was The West if not an experiment in building communities, either conceived in a social trust, or probably more often, amidst a tense and temporary collaboration. It’s the push/pull between total disorder and the strength and persistence of individuals and communities that establishes an amazing depth of drama. And that dramatic success lies in an almost post-apocalyptic scenario, replete with a romanticization of strength, opportunities for selflessness, and a tenuous grasp of a person’s true character.
“Peace Mister” illustration of Marvel characters by Jim Steranko.
Undercover Emissary and Black Mask
暗行御使와黒頭巾 암행어사와 흑두건 (1969)
Iranian battle-mask, from the Safavid Dynasty (16th-18th c.) (Shahada inscribed on the top)
(Scanned by me. Don’t remember the source.)
I always thought this mask would make for some rather epic inspiration for a Middle-Eastern cyber-/steam-punk thing.