October 8, 2019 | UK Film Review
Directed by (Unknown)
Film review by Nathanial Eker
This film is two hours of the same shot of an inflatable Spider-Man toy in a field. What more is there to add? Oh, there is also the important addition of flies buzzing around the plastic Peter Parker’s cold, rubbery carcass. This obvious attempt at meme creation exists exclusively to prank viewers and critics misfortunate enough to waste their time examining it.
That said, the timing is amusingly topical. Released only five days before the ‘Spider-Man leaves the MCU’ scandal, had it delayed a week, you could’ve called it an economic commentary. For the sake of a review longer than fifty words, let’s assume that a considered intent exists behind this exercise in red and blue pointlessness. A cynical critic might see a metaphor for the tiresome, yet pertinent assertion that ‘comic book movies are about to die’; a long-discussed theorem from a sect of journalists, proposing that an inevitable superhero movie judgement day is just one bad film away. (We lived through Batman and Robin, kids; I think we’re fine). If that is the desired message, then the image of a cheap, deceased avatar of the most profitable hero of all time is at least appropriate, if bafflingly strange. Nevertheless, if the intent is satire, the director has failed to create anything worthy of discussion by sheer lack of effort; two hours of the same image is not insightful, funny, or clever.
Alternatively, perhaps the creator is attempting to make a subtle, metaphorical objection to the ever-growing industry monopolisation by good old Uncle Walt's mouse eared empire. Or maybe Marvel’s Dead Spider-Man is an artistic reflection on the audience themselves and our obsession with modern myth and tales of spectacular pillars of imaginary virtue. Perhaps the filmmaker simply despises the hordes of Marvel geeks and is chastising us for spending our lives enjoying fantastical escapism, stemming from an uber-hipster loathing of pop culture or just a resentment of fun.
A quick analysis of the video’s mock reviews makes it immediately apparent that no, the film is not a grand statement on Marvel, Disney, Hollywood, the film industry, or even society. It’s merely an unfunny joke with no substance.
As it consists of one frame, one shot, and one image, there’s little to discuss technically. The camera moves a few inches to the left over the course of two hours, putting the cinematography on par with a retro View-Master toy. The musical aesthetic is little more than a collection of random distorted sounds, sometimes utilising amplification and effects to presumably attempt an unsettling tone. The lighting also alters throughout, though that’s seemingly just the sun moving in real time. The intended effect of the spectacularly minimal post production appears to be to disconcert, though after ten minutes you’ll be more irritated than disturbed.
There’s really nothing more to say about Marvel’s Dead Spider-Man except that you’ll simply feel braindead upon watching it. Do yourself a favour and do something productive instead. Learn the beginnings of an instrument, see a friend for coffee, write a short story; two hours can be surprisingly industrious. This macabre practical joke isn’t a clever commentary; it’s simply a troll on anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across its web of idiocy. Still, it probably remains a better Marvel film than Thor: The Dark World, at least.