Spider-Man (2002) Special Raimi Edition

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Ah yes, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man. What an absolute classic film. Great acting, great effects, great everything. That is, how I remember it. I've barley seen the film since it came out in '02, and after seeing No Way Home, I've been dying to re-watch it. Unfortunately, the movie isn't available on any streaming services. Looks like I'll have to watch it the old fashion way...

So I load up eBay and start searching for you-know-what. I decided to sort the search by "new" and started scrolling through a few pages, until I came across something very interesting. A listing that was titled "Spider-Man (2002) Special Raimi Edition." Intrigued, I clicked on it thinking it would be some kind of scam. This is eBay, after all. But to my surprise, after closer inspection, it seemed to be a special holographic Spider-Man DVD. Around the DVD was written "a true holographic edition, never to be printed again." It also came with a letter from Sam Raimi himself that read "For those of you who saw my original 2002 version, I wanted to give you a little something extra to make up for the obvious imperfections and cuts. Enjoy."

This blew my mind and my hands were shaking reading this, thinking very well this may be legit. The seller elaborated in the listing's description. They were (allegedly) a high level intern at Columbia Pictures that worked closely on the film, and were good friends with Raimi. Around a year after production wrapped up, Raimi sent a special cut he put together of Spider-Man that is over 3 hours in length to his closest staff. Apparently, only 4 copies are in existence.

The selling price was $500, and after reading the listing I was so intrigued by its backstory that I bit the bullet and purchased it. I couldn't even imagine the joy I'd feel watching that version of Spider-Man. I will never in my life get the chance but now. I had no choice.

A week later, the DVD arrived. I couldn't wait to see it. To my surprise, it was exactly what it said it was. A true holographic Spider-Man DVD. It also came with the Raimi letter intact. However, as I was reading the letter, I noticed something strange on the back of the DVD. One of the holographic panels had a tiny bit of the code visible through a crack. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. I carefully peeled back the holographic panel, to see that it wasn't a hologram at all. It was a sticker.

The sticker was a black silhouette of Spider-Man's head against a red backdrop. He looked frightened and had a terrified look in his eyes. The words "HOLOGRAPHIC DEPRAVITY" were written above it. My excitement turned into confusion and anxiety. Why is the sticker on the disc? What is Holographic Depravity? Was Raimi really that crazy? And what was the deal with the terrifying look on Spider-Man's face? Did the seller know about this?

My morbid curiosity was piqued and I HAD to see what this was all about. I immediately put the disc in my DVD player and pressed play.

The film starts with no intro or buildup, showing a run-down apartment. It pans to a shirtless, middle-aged man smoking a cigarette and staring at the camera with a sinister smile. The man is then revealed to be Norman Osborn, played by the one and only William Dafoe.

"So, you're the next great hope, huh, Spidey?" he says, mimicking Spider-Man's high-pitched voice. It then cuts to Spider-Man, who then says "So, you're the Goblin, huh?" followed by a slap. Osborn says in response to the slap "Do you like that?!" The first thing I noticed was that Spider-Man sounded nothing like Peter Parker from the original film. Was this a different actor? I tried to pay attention to the performances but found it hard to focus. Everything seemed stiff and strange, the lighting was all wrong, and the audio was all over the place.

Spider-Man falls to the ground after getting the shit slapped out of him by Osborn. Osborn continues to hit him, saying "It's OK, it's OK. We've been through a lot, you and me." The slaps seemed very real and the unknown actor playing Spider-Man seemed to be in legitimate pain. It was odd. There was nothing of the upbeat, happy-go-lucky, carefree vibe of the 2002 film. This felt darker, deadlier. It even looked darker.

Osborn then proceeds to look at the camera and says "I'm not going to beat around the bush, Spidey. I'm gonna tell ya, I want to kill you, for real. I want to see you die."

"You think I'm stupid, huh?" Spider-Man says in response before he is hit in the head with a frying pan repeatedly "Hey, it's just a movie, why are you getting fucking worked up over a movie?" Osborn yells while acting like a maniac. I start to feel sick watching this while breaking out in a cold sweat.

Osborn then drags Spider-Man by his neck like a ragdoll to the kitchen where he stops him cold in his tracks with a final kick to the face. He then grabs a belt sander and begins to destroy Spider-Man's face, turning it into a bloody mess.

What I was watching didn't look like acting.

This was real.

I just saw William Dafoe brutally murder an actor that was playing Spider-Man. I couldn't believe what I had just experienced. I tried to turn away but could not. The DVD starts to stutter and skip while flashing images of the events that just occurred. Osborn then stares stone-faced at the camera, daring the viewer to question the events that just transpired.

I cannot express in words how I felt at that moment. I was completely paralyzed and in complete awe. I couldn't take it anymore. I fainted.

I later woke up, feeling sick and my surroundings looking holographic and distorted. I felt the urge to re-experience the film. I didn't care. I hit replay as much as I could to see it again. I was obsessed with it. As the hours went by, everything started to feel sped up, disturbing images were flashing on the TV at an astronomical rate, my heart rate was increasing rapidly. I felt like I was spinning at 300 mph. The DVD player started to smoke, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air. I tried to call for my mom and dad but I couldn't make a sound. Everything was muffled. I was sweating profusely. Before I knew it, the DVD player explodes, sending me flying across my living room.

The next day, I woke up in the hospital. I was scared and confused, while experiencing a massive headache. I couldn't even form a thought. The next thing I know, a doctor walks in the room and hands me an envelope. I muster all the the energy I can to open it, only to find it containing that very letter from Sam Raimi that came with the DVD. Needless to say, that sent me straight into a coma.

Written by TrickyNix
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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