MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 677 this week

Spawn (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Horror  |  1 August 1997 (USA)
5.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.2/10 from 49,783 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 207 user | 70 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A mercenary is killed, but comes back from Hell as a reluctant soldier of the Devil.

Director:

Writers:

(comic book), (screen story) (as Alan McElroy) , 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 27 May 2011
 
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 01 Sep 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 22 Jun 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 08 Sep 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Spawn" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Spawn (1997)

Spawn (1997) on IMDb 5.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Spawn.

User Polls

1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Spawn (1997–1999)
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Spawn 2 is the slick and darkly realized animated adaptation of the popular comic book of the same name. This is an Uncut condensed version of the second Season of the HBO series.

Stars: Keith David, Richard Dysart, Dominique Jennings
Blade (1998)
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.

Director: Stephen Norrington
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In Los Angeles, an ex-con takes the underground fighting world by storm in his quest to fulfill a promise to a dead friend.

Director: Ben Ramsey
Stars: Michael Jai White, Julian Sands, Eamonn Walker
Black Dynamite (TV Series 2011)
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of the central character, Black Dynamite and his crew. Action comedy-spoof that follows ex-CIA agent and full-time ladies ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, Tommy Davidson
Android Cop (2014)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

In the year 2045, a L.A.P.D. detective and his new Android partner enter the Zone, which is a forbidden section of the city plagued with an unknown disease. Together, they discover the reason everyone is sick, and try to stop the illness.

Director: Mark Atkins
Stars: Michael Jai White, Kadeem Hardison, Randy Wayne
Thriller

Plot unknown. Follow up to Todd McFarlane's 1997 film "Spawn".

Todd McFarlane's Spawn (Video 1997)
Animation | Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The first movie compilation of SPAWN made from the TV's first season.

Director: Alan B. McElroy
Stars: Keith David, Richard Dysart, Dominique Jennings
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A former witch loses her son while shopping. Knowing evil forces are still lurking, she frantically searches for him, but comes across a discovery.

Director: Michael Paris
Stars: Johanna Genet, Tom Maurice, Gregory Paris
Animation | Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The second movie compilation of SPAWN made from the TV's second season.

Stars: Keith David, Richard Dysart, Dominique Jennings
The Spawn (1968)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

After a nun moves to Rome, she is seduced by a mysterious young man with a seemingly dark past.

Director: Jon Caine
Stars: Livia Avellino, Carlo Rozzo, Dario Luciano
Animation | Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The third movie compilation of SPAWN made from the TV's third season.

Stars: Keith David, Richard Dysart, Dominique Jennings
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Zack
...
...
Glen, Zack's Dad
...
...
XNN Reporter (as Robia La Morte)
...
African Liaison (as John Cothran Jr.)
Caroline Gibson ...
News Anchor
Marc Robinson ...
Punk #1
Edit

Storyline

An assassin named Al Simmons is double-crossed and murdered by his evil boss Jason Wynn. Al makes a deal with the devil and returns to earth as Spawn to see his wife. He is ordered by the devil's minion, The Clown, to kill Wynn. Wynn has made a deal with the clown too and is suppose to destroy the world with a deadly virus that will help start Armageddon and allow Hell to attack Heaven. Spawn must choose between Good & Evil. Written by Keith Haney <kbhaney@inconnect.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From flesh to steel. From blood to blade. From man...to Spawn. See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Justiceiro das Trevas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,210,131 (USA) (1 August 1997)

Gross:

$54,967,359 (USA) (28 November 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The heavy metal band Iced Earth, which has made an album based on the comic Spawn, were offered the opportunity to be on the soundtrack. They turned it down, because they thought there was too much techno music on it. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, Sommins is supposed to be on a mission in Hong Kong, but when he fires his missile to destroy a terrorist's plane, you can see the famous lookout tower at LAX. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cogliostro: The battle between Heaven and Hell has waged eternal, their armies fueled by souls harvested on Earth. The devil, Malebolgia, has sent a lieutenant to Earth to recruit men who will turn the world into a place of death in exchange for wealth and power, a place that will provide enough souls to complete his army and allow Armageddon to begin. All the Dark Lord needs now is a great soldier, someone who can lead his hordes to the gates of Heaven and burn them down.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For about 1 frame and blurry in the opening credits, the name Terry Fitzgerald appears. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Familiar
Written by Brandon Boyd (as B. Boyd), Michael Einziger (as M. Einziger), Alex Katunich (as A. Katunich),
Gavin Koppel (as G. Koppel), Jose Pasillas (as J. Pasillas) and DJ Greyboy (as A. Stevens)
Performed by Incubus and DJ Greyboy (as D.J. Greyboy)
Produced by Jim Wirt
Incubus appears courtesy of Immortal Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Spawn"-lite
14 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Spawn" is a special effects spectacle unlike anything before it. It has some dazzling CGI effects to complement its dark tone and breathe life into the Gothic fantasy, and wondrous cinematography to carry it out. Unfortunately, that's all it has to offer, which is a real shame, because this had the potential to be one hell (pun intended) of a movie.

As a reader of "Spawn" comics and collector of "Spawn" merchandise (and affiliated McFarlane Toys products), I saw at an early age how "Spawn" revolutionized the comics industry with its mystical premise, graphic visuals, Heaven vs. Hell battle theme and gratuitous sex and violence, and while such gusto has been embraced by fans, this 1997 film adaptation of Todd McFarlane's popular underground comic, directed by Mark A.Z. Dippe', is rated "PG-13" (subsequent home video versions were of the "R"-rated director's cut, which contained additional footage), the watered-down violence more cartoonish than graphic. In short, in the comic book world, Spawn is not like anything else out there.

The story is that the demon Malebolgia needs fresh souls for his ever-growing army of undead soldiers to lead an eventual conquest of Earth, and then, Heaven, in what will eventually bring about Armageddon. All Malebolgia needs is a general for his army, and, Holy Lazarus, recently deceased CIA operative Al Simmons (newcomer Michael Jai White) has just the extra-crispy corpse for the job.

See, Simmons was set up by his insane former employer Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen) after making a bargain with Malebolgia's go-to guy and Earthbound lieutenant, the pudgy, disgusting Clown (John Leguizamo, completely unrecognizable in his get-up), to kill Simmons so that he would be sent to Hell. While in Hell (which looks like a CGI version of a Marilyn Manson concert on steroids), Simmons makes a deal with Malebolgia to lead his army, in exchange for one last chance to see his wife Wanda Blake (Theresa Randle), who is now married to his best friend Terry Fitzgerald (D.B. Sweeney) and together the two now have a young daughter named Cyan (Sydni Beaudoin).

Back on Earth and unaware that five years have passed, Simmons has a burnt-to-a-crisp visage that doesn't sit well with people not accustomed to undead soldiers from Hell. He establishes sympathetic links with the homeless denizens of alley Rat City, chiefly young Zack (Miko Hughes), and is watched over by the Godsend Cogliostro (Nicol Williamson). When Simmons's body comes out of its larval stage and transforms him into a "Hellspawn," a being with an endoplasmic and invincible suit of armor, he sees his chance to use these new powers to exact vengeance on Wynn, his lethal vixen Jessica Priest (Melinda Clarke), reunite with Wanda, and seek a way to break out of his agreement with Hell.

As stated earlier, "Spawn" is one hell of a special effects spectacle, and it looks great, but a lot goes wrong in too many places. I was dazzled to see one of my favorite superheroes on the screen nearly 10 years ago as an impressionable pre-teen. Now at 21, I am sorely disappointed by what I see today. "Spawn" still could have been good, even without with the full-on graphic content and Heaven & Hell mysticism of the source material. While a largely accurate reflection of the comics, it still gives more credence to my assertion that this is "Spawn"-lite. Presumably, studio bosses weren't keen on marketing a Hellbound superhero to the masses, so measures were probably taken to make the vehicle more accessible. (Take my advice and stick to the animated HBO miniseries.)

On the plus side, Michael Jai White makes an efficient hero and this remains the actor's most well-known part. We do feel his pain (even if it seems forced at times), his quips, and overall faithful portrayal of the character. Sheen makes for a coolly sadistic madman but it's Leguizamo who steals the show. His gross-out-humor, maggot-munching portrayal of the Clown is just what takes this movie out of the dregs and into full-blown camp territory. Lastly, the soundtrack, a mix of heavy metal and techno, does have some pretty wicked sounds.

It's easy to see that only core fans will want to stick with this picture. It had such a great chance to be something unlike anything else out there. With the comic book craze still in full swing in Hollywood, "Spawn" seems forgotten, or at the very least, sitting on the sidelines. But "Spawn," to me, seems to be an example of mis-marketing, a brilliant idea gone haywire. Maybe it should have stayed in Hell, where it belongs.

5/10


13 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who should remake this? highmana
5 worst superhero/comic book movies ross7682
Zakk Snyder would be awesome! elvis-pretzel
5 Best Superhero movies? Sampdoriano
This especially have ALWAYS bothered me steffen-k
'ENOUGH FROM THE CLOWN' Pokelord_STH
Discuss Spawn (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?