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By Eric Campos | May 1, 2002

You know, I’m starting to feel like a big, fat loser here. I like Spider-Man too, but I’ve yet to make my own fan film. Guess I just suck!
First there was Dan Poole with “The Green Goblin’s Last Stand.” Now, here’s William Minsky with “Attack of the Octopus”. I can’t say a whole lot for Dan Poole’s film because I haven’t seen the whole thing, but I know a lot of blood, sweat, tears and broken bones went into the making of it. William Minsky’s film doesn’t look as death-defying, but it certainly has heart. Minsky and gang have concocted one of the best party tapes for comic book nerds ever.
The story totally plays out like a classic Spider-Man comic — skipping out on his date with Mary Jane, Peter Parker jumps into Spider-Man mode, foiling a jewelry store robbery and, at the same time, getting some choice photographs of Doctor Octopus. After printing the pictures in the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is kidnapped by the supervillain for making him look like a fool. It’s then up to Spidey to rescue the cranky newspaper publisher.
I think what stands out most in this shot-on-video short is the way the filmmakers were able to perfectly catch that brand of Marvel comic book humor. I haven’t picked up a comic in years, but watching this short brought me back to a time when the only things I had to worry about were homework and getting too much comic book ink on my fingers.
The stunts in this short aren’t as wild and death-defying as the ones in Dan Poole’s film, but it does have its share of rough and tumble action. From what I understand, Ian Rowe played the part of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, but for the more dangerous stunts, William Minsky donned the Spidey outfit himself and rolled across the hoods of cars and did some swinging around the corners of tall buildings. But for most of the wall crawling and web swinging scenes, a blue screen was used.
The outfits are alright. The Spider-Man outfit looks a little too loose-fitting, except for the butt area…I feel that I know Ian Rowe and William Minsky way more than I want to. The Doc Oc costume is the coolest. Nevermind that there’s strings attached to his tin tentacles to make them wave about — he looks just like the comic book character.
The special effects are okay, too. There’s the blue screen that I mentioned before, which isn’t bad at all for a bunch of guys on a shoestring budget. And Spidey’s webbing is sometimes digital effects, other times silly string. That works for me.
Ian Rowe wouldn’t be my first choice to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man if I had my say, but he certainly looks the part more than the scrawny Tobey Maguire.
Even though it suffers from some shaky camera work and grainy picture quality, a common trait of 8mm video, this isn’t a bad homemade production at all. William Minsky really knows how to compose a scene and kept true to the material at hand. I assure you, this won’t be the last time we hear from this Minsky guy!

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