Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978)

Despite its high ratings, the CBS Amazing Spider-Man series only lasted 13 episodes. There are a lot of reasons why it didn’t last — Marvel Comics publisher and co-creator of the character Stan Lee fought with producer Daniel R. Goodman (even telling Marvel house magazine Pizzazz that the show was “too juvenile”), it was expensive to make, it didn’t get the demographics that the network wanted and they no longer wanted to be the superhero network.

Columbia Pictures helped recoup those costs by releasing two movies in UK, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, taking the “Deadly Dust” episodes — season 1, episodes 1 and 2 — and turning them into a feature-length movie.

Upset that their professor has brought a small amount of plutonium onto campus, three students decide to steal it and build a bomb in order to protest the dangers of nuclear power. They didn’t figure on international businessmen and arms dealer Mr. White (Robert Alda) taking their bomb and trying to detonate it in Los Angeles as an attempt to kill the President of the United States.

Meanwhile, Captain Barbera (Michael Pataki!) suspects Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond) of the crime. He’s also pursued by Rita Conway (Chip Fields), a reporter who wants an interview with his alter ego, Spider-Man.

The great thing about the UK — well, maybe not great — is that nunchucks are illegal, so they get censored from every movie. Like this one. It played on U.S. broadcast TV but couldn’t play UK theaters.

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