Murphy’s Law – A SFW review of Spider-man XXX

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

When Stan Lee introduced Mary Jane Watson into the Spider-man comics in the 1960s, it was done via a running joke where Aunt May kept trying to set Peter up with the “nice girl” who lived next door. Peter Parker had never met Mary Jane and had no clue what she looked like, so he assumed that any “nice girl” his elderly aunt wanted to set him up with was most likely not very attractive. He put off going out with her for as long as he possibly could.

The storyline went on for quite some time, with neither Peter nor the reader seeing what MJ looked like. When Peter finally gave in and decided to go on a blind date with Mary Jane, he was amazed to discover that she was actually drop dead gorgeous. As she’s standing there in his doorway in the final panel of The Amazing Spider-man issue 42, she looks at him with a smile and says: “Face it, Tiger … you just hit the jackpot!”

It’s one of my favorite moments in comics. That final panel is just so perfect. I’ve always loved that line and was a bit disappointed that Sam Raimi couldn’t find a way to work it into his first Spider-man movie.

So imagine my surprise when the Mary Jane Watson in Spider-man XXX: A Porn Parody uttered the line in her first scene in the film.

But that’s the genius of Axel Braun, the director who has carved out a niche making superhero parodies for Vivid Entertainment. He’s great with the little details. The costumes and the music in his films always seem to be just right and you can tell he’s done his homework on the characters. Anyone can dress a porn star up in a cheap, store bought Spider-man costume and call it a porn parody, but it takes a true auteur to make one that will actually make fanboys happy.

One of the keys to making fanboys happy is casting the right people and overall Braun did a solid job casting this film. The actors generally look like their comic book counterparts, especially Xander Corvus who plays Peter Parker/Spider-man. Capri Anderson took a little getting used to for me since she is a bit more tan than I expect Mary Jane to look, but the more I thought about it, her hairstyle and overall appearance is fairly similar to the original 1960s MJ. The best casting by far is the role of Kingpin. While porn acting often leaves something to be desired, Peter O’Tool (much like the guy he borrowed his name from) is actually quite an entertaining actor.

Braun’s first superhero movie, Batman XXX did a great job recreating the look and feel of the 1960s Adam West TV show while offering an original plotline. His second effort, Superman XXX struggled a bit in trying to find a way to cram two hours of story from the original Richard Donner film into 25 minutes of plot (which is all the plot you get in one of these porn films; the other hour and a half are devoted to, as Maude Lebowski would say, “couitus.”) Bruan seems to have learned his lesson from Superman XXX, so instead of trying to do a faithful parody to Sam Raimi’s Spider-man trilogy, Braun instead lifts a few key sequences from those films while offering up a plot that is entirely new.

The result is actually surprisingly entertaining. The music and overall look of the production are definitely highly influenced by Raimi’s work, which helps to give the porn a big budget feel. (Although the sound mixing is definitely off in this film – the music is too loud and at times it drowns out the dialogue.) Lifting plot from Raimi’s films, we see Peter Park leaving Norman Osborn’s funeral with Harry, planting the seeds for Harry to become the second Green Goblin. And in a very wise move, Braun recreates the iconic upside-down kiss from the first Spider-man film, but with a decidedly XXX twist.

Outside of those few moments, the rest of the plot is entirely new. It involves Electro and Kingpin teaming for a big secret heist. The original storyline works fairly well. What makes it so intriguing is that Braun ties the action taking place in the movie to the larger Marvel Universe. The Fantastic Four are mentioned in the film, as is S.H.I.E.L.D. Best of all, Black Widow actually has a cameo. (I’m surprised they didn’t just hire Samuel L. Jackson to show up as Nick Fury – it’s not like that guy has ever turned down a movie role.)

Tying Spider-man in to the larger Marvel Universe opens up a myriad of intriguing possibilities for Braun. Marvel has been building a lot of steam for its Avengers movie by having Nick Fury recruit the superheroes in little vignettes in their own standalone films. Fans have really enjoyed seeing all of the crossovers. But one thing Marvel can’t do is have Spider-man or the Fantastic Four show up in these other films because those characters are licensed to other studios.

But Braun can. That’s the beauty of unlicensed porn parodies. He can have Spider-man, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers all team up for one giant superhero orgy. And he can take it one step further and have epic Marvel/DC crossovers (which he is already planning on doing with Spider-man vs. Superman XXX). The possibilities are endless.

But in this film, Braun is content to simply tease us with the possibility of these crossovers. And we all know the tease is a big part of any good porn film. So until the next installment in the series comes along, viewers should be content with Spider-man XXX, which is another solid parody by Vivid.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *