|The Green Goblin's Last Stand|
Promotional release poster
|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 superhero 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 begins with Peter Parker, as his alias Spider-Man, following a stolen car. Late for a date with his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, he finally catches up with the vehicle, stops it, and traps the two criminals that stole it before going on his way to meet her.
Meanwhile, Gwen Stacy is waiting at a restaurant. Just as she concludes that Peter will not come, he arrives and apologizes for being late. Peter tells her that he was late due to taking pictures of Spider-Man for The Daily Bugle, and as she believes Spider-Man is responsible for her father's death, Gwen exclaims that she's through hearing Spider-Man's name all over the city. Peter is distracted when he sees Norman Osborn riding in a taxi, prompting Gwen to relay that Norman survived an explosion at a chemical plant which supposedly left him with amnesia.
Norman returns to his home in an attempt to find his son, Harry, who has left New York. In his room, he finds a newspaper detailing a battle between Spider-Man and The Green Goblin that led to the explosion of Osborn's factory. He then hears the porch door open and goes to find Peter Parker waiting. Upset that it is not his son, Norman gets angry with Peter before he goes back into his house. As Osborn goes back to the old newspaper, he realizes that the explosion from the factory must have caused his amnesia. Seeing Parker's name on the paper, he breaks out in a fit of rage, hallucinating that Spider-Man is in his house and chasing him, into the streets of New York, all the way to a destroyed area where three thugs harass him. Hallucinating, he attacks one he sees as Spider-Man. One of the thugs then break a beer bottle over his head and they flee.
At Peter's apartment in "The Darkroom", he brings up Spider-Man in the plot to Norman's amnesia and Gwen expresses her hatred of the superhero at full blast, mentioning her belief that it was Spider-Man who killed her father. She walks out on Peter just as the phone rings. He misses the call but learns from the answering machine that Harry Osborn is coming back to town.
The next day, Norman wakes up in the destroyed area and realizes it is the warehouse he last fought Spider-Man in. He gets into one of the other parts of the factory and finds the goblin equipment. He becomes his "true identity" The Green Goblin once he is fully suited, vowing revenge on Spider-Man. Peter goes back to Norman Osborn's apartment finding the newspaper, and 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. When Harry discovers that the card with the doctor's number is missing from his desk, Peter rushes out of the apartment due to the reveal that the card with the doctor's number had his name and address on it as well. He changes into is costume and heads for the darkroom.
Gwen returns to The Darkroom, now empty, looking for Peter and apologizing for her outburst. Norman Osborn then appears, makes her lose consciousness with a powder substance, and kidnaps her. Peter arrives as Spider-Man at the Darkroom only to find the Green Goblin has taken an unconscious Gwen to the rooftop. Spider-Man climbs to the rooftop, and after knocking the villain out, tries to get Gwen home. The Goblin regains consciousness, however, and returns to his glider to push Gwen off the roof. Spider-Man quickly spins a web to catch Gwen, breaking her neck in the process due to the shock of being caught by the web. Due to this, Spider-Man nearly kills The Goblin in his anger, who barely escapes by throwing a pumpkin bomb at him. Leaving Spider-Man to crawl back to Gwen's body.
Back at the ruins of the warehouse, Norman Osborn vows to kill all who underestimated him. But he is tracked down by Peter, who smashes The Goblin's glider after an intense fight that destroys Peter's costume. After being asked why he killed Gwen, Norman is apathetic towards her death. Insulting her in the process. Enraged, Peter almost beats the Goblin to death. He stops himself just before, leaving the Goblin to wake up and activate his glider. Just as the Goblin's glider is about to impale Peter, his spider sense activates, and he quickly jumps out of the way. Leaving the glider to impale Norman to death.
At a cemetery where Peter, a quarter of his face bandaged, apologizes at Gwen's grave. He says he is sorry he never told her he was Spider-Man and that his life is nothing without her, and that the Goblin's death only made the pain worse. He admits his hesitance to be Spider-Man, but he also made a promise on his Uncle Ben's death that he would keep being Spider-Man, no matter what.
After the credits, a title card poses the question "The End?".
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.
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, 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.