Story: Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond) already has a lot going on, between his job as a newspaper photographer and his crime fighting done under a mask as Spider-Man, but things are about to become even busier. His boss J. Jonah Jameson (Robert F. Simon) is always on his case for more Spider-Man pictures and a new office arrival shares that interest in the masked crusader. Gale (JoAnna Cameron) is a reporter who has ventured to town for an interview, though of course, getting Spider-Man to sit down is no simple task. As it happens, Gale winds up paired with Peter, who then finds himself drawn into a plutonium nightmare that could end in a nuclear blast!
Entertainment Value: This made for television superhero movie delivers some campy fun, but tends to grind to a stall whenever Spider-Man isn’t around, which is often. The narrative is fine and seems like a comic book style storyline, as Spider-Man gets roped into a potential nuclear disaster, though the film seems content to do little with the potential. The movie is mostly dialogue and while there are some fun exchanges, for the most part, they are few and far between, with the focus on rather dull, forgettable scenes of conversations. But when Spider-Man shows up, the b movie appeal rockets and the movie is fun to watch, assuming you appreciate hokey action set pieces. Spider-Man’s fight scenes are hilarious, like slow motion, poorly choreographed martial arts, with some humorous special effects around climbing and most abysmal, but again hilarious attempts to pull off some web tricks. This is hokey and low rent, even by made for television standards, but it still manages to entertain when Spider-Man is the focus, which sadly, isn’t nearly enough.
I doubt many will remember Nicholas Hammond’s turn under the mask, as he is a bland and often boring choice for the lead here. None of Peter Parker’s trademark wit and charm are on showcase, instead he seems like an overly serious dork. He is so far removed from the Parker of the comic books, I could have easily forgotten he was the lead in many scenes, as he has minimal presence and doesn’t capture the attention when he is around. As I mentioned above, the scenes of Spider-Man are the highlights here, but I have no idea how much of that time is Hammond. He might not be one of cinema’s best webslingers, but he does have epic hair, so there’s that. Robert F. Simon is not a great J. Jonah Jameson either, opting for a generic boss type turn, rather than a dialed up, over the top performance, which honestly would have been quite welcome here. The cast also includes Robert Alda, JoAnna Cameron, Chip Fields, Michael Pataki, and Lawrence P. Casey.