Review The Green Goblin's Last Stand (1992)


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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.

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.[2] 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.[3] He financed the film on a shoestring budget—less than $400[1]—while working part-time at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.[2] He shot the film in Baltimore, using local actors, friends, and family as cast and crew.[1] Poole did his own stunts for the movie, including swinging on ropes, jumping off bridges, and riding on cars.[2] On his limited budget, he could not afford any protective measures other than a pole-vaulting mat and an 18-inch-thick foam seat.[4] 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".[2][1][4] For one shot, he swung on a rope from an abandoned high-rise, swinging four stories above the ground without a safety net.[1] At one point, the difficulty of the project pushed Poole to contemplate suicide.[2] However, after 14 months of production, he completed the film.[2]

When the trailer was released, the Marvel Comics characters Mysterio, Bullseye, and J. Jonah Jameson were featured significantly. Although they do not appear in the final film.

After the credits, a title card asks the question "The End?". Thus far, however, Poole has not filmed a sequel.

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,[5] the Waterfront Film Festival,[6] and the Johns Hopkins Film Festival.[7] 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."[8] 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.[1] Film Threat endorsed the "inspiring" documentary, calling it "the Hearts of Darkness of the comic-book world."[9] The film also received the endorsement of Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.[2]