Friday 5 December 2014


From the tail-end of the VHS era: the sleeves for the two original SPIDER-MAN sequels: SPIDER-MAN STRIKES BACK and SPIDER-MAN: THE DRAGON'S CHALLENGE.  

These were re-released to capitalize on the first 'proper' SPIDER-MAN movie, presumably (like almost every move The Asylum makes) in the hopes that an unwitting punter would think these bargain-priced releases were the new movie.  I don't think they would be so impressed when they got home and saw the Seventies TV Spidey in all his low-fi glory.

These were double-length episodes of the CBS series (The Deadly Dust and The Chinese Web respectively) retitled and released in overseas markets, including the UK, as full theatrical films in the late Seventies (delaying the UK premiere of the actual series until 1981, four years after the Pilot first aired in the States).  THE DRAGON'S CHALLENGE, the finale of the TV series, was almost certainly shot with a theatrical release in mind as it benefits greatly from extensive location filming in Hong Kong.  Highly unusual for a US series.  

Exact release dates are hard to come by but the first film had two runs in UK cinemas (March and October or thereabouts) in 1978 so I imagine that these two followed in 1979 and (possibly) 1980. 

None of the three movies have ever been officially released in the DVD era.  Columbia, the rights holders, are part of Sony and (presumably) they don't want old product competing with their new series of feature films.  It's also possible that their rights don't extend to digital media.  It's a shame as these were ubiquitous during the tape era... and hard-to-find today.  

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