Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reviews:

Spawn (1997)

Martin Sheen meets the clown from Hell

movie poster A CIA operative goes to Hell and makes a deal with the devil. A lot of 1960s liberals would say, "What's your point?"
Well, this time it's fiction.
Now here's Mike Nelson:

I recently rented Spawn (“that’s your own damn fault,” I hear you saying, and you’re absolutely right), starring Martin Sheen, aka Ramon Estevez. Now, Spawn is not the worst movie ever made. Wait. . . yes it is. It is the worst movie ever made. It’s hard to discipline your children for being in D3: The Mighty Ducks when you yourself are acting next to a foul-mouthed, gas-expelling John Leguizamo in a fat suit. To be fair to Martin, there was a time when he was in better movies, like Apocalypse Now, "Badlands," and "Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys."

It’s hard to know what influence Martin has had on his brother Joe’s career, though his filmography does yield several clues. Joe, a larger, scarier version of Martin, has starred in such vehicles as Soultaker (which was screened sometime back by a guy stuck in space with two puppets), Blood on the Badge, and Beach Babes from Beyond, with Don Swayze, Joey Travolta, Jacqueline Stallone, and, well, Burt Ward. In many cases it’s not an altogether bad idea to buy an off-brand of aspirin or cornflakes, but if you’re reduced to purchasing off-brand quasiporn movies starring the impostor fragrance equivalents of Patrick Swayze, John Travolta, and Sylvester Stallone, it’s time to trim other things from your budget and do the upgrade. Patrick Swayze, John Travolta, and Sylvester Stallone are already off-brands of actual actors. You don’t want to take a further step down, or you’ll end up in Adam Sandler territory.


In Emilio Estevez’s oeuvre, one can hear the echo of the elder Sheen’s words. Words like, “Grab for the long green, kid, even if it means being in a crappy Disney quickie.” And, “Freejack? Hell, yes! Are you nuts?” Emilio wrote and directed the film "Men at Work", in which he costarred with his brother, Charlie Sheen. Men at Work is the story of two down-on-their-luck garbage men who shoot their neighbor with a pellet gun. If it doesn’t sound all that compelling, please remember it was written by Emilio Estevez. I saw it with a friend on its opening night, because we wanted to see the worst movie we possibly could.
That was 1990, and Spawn was many years away.
The family must have worried for Charlie, starting as he did with such relatively respectable roles in Wall Street and Platoon. But Charlie soon did the family proud, signing up for Navy SEALS, The Rookie, and The Chase, costarring Kristy Swanson, of Deadly Friend and “Mannequin 2: On the Move” fame! (Incidentally, On the Move co-starred Terry Kiser, who costarred with Andrew McCarthy in Weekend at Bernie’s. Andrew McCarthy costarred with Emilio Estevez in St. Elmo’s Fire. What a wonderful world!)

Charlie added to the family legend by becoming a member of the frequent buyers club at Heidi Fleiss’s place. It became well known that he purchased the ladies’ services to act as though they were cheerleaders on the night before a big game! That’s the kind of detail that only the son of an actor can provide.
That unpleasant detail aside, it’s important to reflect on just how many families have been brought together by their family watching such films as Touch and Die and Roswell: The UFO Cover-up. None, I’m sure. But thank you for taking the time to reflect with me.

Spawn movie trailer
(click twice to play)

"Spawn" availabilty on video and on DVD from Amazon.com

Books by Michael Nelson available from Amazon.com include Movie Megacheese. Mike's episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are available from Amazon.com on both video and on DVD, and he co-wrote the MST3000 book

Download & watch your favorite TV-shows online from episodes of "24" to Star Trek, whether they're available on video/DVD or not!
Or your choice of over 3000 movies online

See if your favorite person, TV series or
motion picture is available on video:
In Association with Amazon.com

Blade has spawned a sequel, but so far Spawn has not bladed a sequel

Back to Monstervision or Sci-fans.com

© 2000 Michael J. Nelson. All rights reserved, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles & reviews. Mike Nelson is no relation to Lloyd Bridges, though MST-3000 did review MonsterVision favorite Village Of The Giants starring Beau Bridges