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Spawn (1997)

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

Director:

Mark A.Z. Dippé

Writers:

Todd McFarlane (comic book), Alan B. McElroy (screen story) (as Alan McElroy) | 2 more credits »
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2,930 ( 6)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Jai White ... Al Simmons / Spawn
John Leguizamo ... Clown / Violator
Martin Sheen ... Jason Wynn
Theresa Randle ... Wanda Blake
Nicol Williamson ... Cogliostro
D.B. Sweeney ... Terry Fitzgerald
Melinda Clarke ... Jessica Priest
Miko Hughes ... Zack
Sydni Beaudoin ... Cyan
Michael Papajohn ... Glen, Zack's Dad
Frank Welker ... The Devil Malebolgia (voice)
Robia Scott ... XNN Reporter (as Robia La Morte)
John Cothran ... African Liaison (as John Cothran Jr.)
Caroline Gibson Caroline Gibson ... News Anchor
Marc Robinson Marc Robinson ... Punk #1
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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 supposed to destroy the world with a deadly virus that will help start Armageddon and allow Hell to attack Heaven. Spawn must choose between Good and Evil. Written by Keith Haney <kbhaney@inconnect.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Born in darkness. Sworn to justice. See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arma dreptatii See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,210,131, 3 August 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,967,359, 30 November 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,949,859
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Devil in this film calls himself Malebolgia. This is a name used by Dante in The Divine Comedy, however, it refers to a place rather than an individual. In Dante's work, the Malebolgia were the Infernal Pits, a particular place located in the seventh circle of Hell where the damned were buried, head down, in pits filled with insects. See more »

Goofs

When Clown on the truck rams Spawn's spiked construction, for a second you can see a set of construction armature instead. 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 »

Alternate Versions

A R-rated Director's Cut has been released for VHS, DVD, and laserdisc. It includes scenes that had to be cut for a PG-13. The film has a couple of new violent scenes. At the end of the film is a 30-minute interview with the creator Todd McFarlane and a Behind the Scenes of Spawn show that was first aired on the Sci-Fi Network. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Spawn: Armageddon (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Hard Road Out of Hell
Lyrics by Marilyn Manson
Music by Jeordie White
Performed by Marilyn Manson and Sneaker Pimps
Produced by Marilyn Manson and Sean Beavan
Marilyn Manson appears courtesy of Nothing/Interscope
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A few good scenes don't save this wreck of a story.
5 June 2010 | by Samiam3See all my reviews

There are moments in Spawn that stand out with exceptional creativity, but what truly stands out about the movie is just how much of a mess it is.

The screenplay is a wreck, the acting is stiff and unconvincing, and the whole thing seems to fly by so fast, that we don't get a chance to experience much other than a look at some nifty visuals. In fairness, I suppose it is easy enough to argue that Spawn delivers its share of action sequences for a ninety minute movie, but perhaps it needs to back down a bit. It needs more story. In the end, Spawn feels like nothing more or less than an exercise in CGI and make-up effects.

It is pretty difficult to get involved with the story, in part because it makes no sense, but mostly because we simply do not care. The character of Al Simmons is about as cheap and plastic as the armour he suits up in during the second half of the feature. Quite frankly I don't find him all that likable. He is cold and nasty, even as a superhero. I really hate it when the good guys talk like the bad guys; when they cackle or make snarly remarks, like Dr. Westlake in the Darkman series.

Some of the special effects work, some don't. Our hero has a blood red cape which can expand to the size of Texas (don't ask me how). I liked that effect. The thing sort of has a computer generated life of its own, and its elegance clashes with the plastic of Spawn's armour. the primary villain is a clown from hell, who can turn into a ten foot armour plated beast which looks a bit like a cousin of the Queen from Aliens. That is another good effect. The climax takes us deep into the fiery pit of hell, which unfortunately does NOT so convincing. My screen saver is a more intimidating computer generated image. I was reminded a bit of the Brinstar level from Super Smash Brothers.

Like so many films do, Spawn ends on a note that just cries out for a sequel. Needless to say, there isn't one and there never will be. Spawn is entertaining in parts, but definitely not as a whole.


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