THE DEADLY DUST (1978)
aka Spider-Man Strikes Back TV-Movie
Article 2985 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-10-2009
Posting Date: 10-16-2009
Directed by Ron Satlof
Featuring Nicholas Hammond, Robert F. Simon, Chip Fields
When some plutonium is stolen from a college lab by some college students, Spider-Man becomes a suspect of the robbery. However, when the students build an atomic bomb from the plutonium, it falls into the hands of a criminal organization. Can Spider-Man prove his innocence and retrieve the plutonium?
It’s nice to be able to follow up the pilot of “The Amazing Spider-Man” with the movie culled from the first two episodes of the series. I see they made a few changes to improve things a little; the character of Captain Barbera has been toned down considerably, and the actor playing J. Jonah Jameson has been replaced by Robert F. Simon, who plays it a lot closer to the Jameson I remember. It throws in a female reporter who is trying to get an interview with Spider-Man, but this does little more than give Peter Parker a few more complications and a hint of romance, neither of which really helps matters much. The story is rather weak, but it does get away a little from the rather tiresome wall-crawling that filled up much of the running time of the pilot. It looks like Robert Alda’s character was being primed to be a regular villain (especially as he escapes at the end of the movie), but it looks as if it was his only appearance in the series. At any rate, this is probably the last time I will touch upon the series, as I appear to have seen all of the episodes that were converted into movies from it.