About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly

Article

Spider-Man villain Venom stars in gritty (unofficial) short film

Posted on

Heroes, meet horror.

True Blood‘s Ryan Kwanten takes on the role of iconic Marvel villain Venom in the new guerrilla-style short film Truth in Journalism, directed by Knights of Badassdom filmmaker Joe Lynch.

It’s too professional to call a “fan film” but it’s definitely unofficial. Imagine The Blair Witch Project fused with a supervillain story. The gritty black-and-white tale is presented as found footage of a journalist-turned-vigilante who wants a documentary crew to immortalize his crimes achievements.

The roughly 16-minute short was produced by Adi Shankar, whose credits include the big-screen films The Grey, Killing Them Softly, and the comic-book adaptation of Dredd starring Karl Urban. Last year, he produced another rogue short, Dirty Laundry, based on the Marvel character The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane (who played the character in the 2004 feature film.)

Truth in Journalism includes a lot of coded references for those familiar with the origin of Venom, the shadowy, multi-fanged, slobbering monster-villain of the Spider-Man world.

In the Marvel Comics, Eddie Brock was a overeager journalist covering the serial killings of an unknown psychopath dubbed the Sin-Eater. When a character named Emil Gregg confessed to Brock that he was the murderer, Brock eventually published an expose outing his identity.

Gregg turned out to be a fraud, a habitual liar who was only confessing to get attention. Demented? Sure, but harmless. After Spider-Man caught the real Sin-Eater, Brock’s big scoop became a massive embarrassment that cost him his job, his reputation, his wife, and pretty much his entire life.

Seething with rage, Brock ended up fusing with the black-tar-like alien symbiote that, for a time, had bonded with the web-slinger, turning him jet black and giving him extra-terrestrial abilities. Thanks to his already-superhuman powers (courtesy of that radioactive-spider bite) Peter Parker had been able to keep the symbiote’s influence over his psyche in check.

Brock had no such control, and his already sketchy nature was dialed up to levels of psychotic rage after fusing with the organism.

All of this is hinted at in the short, which is set in the mid-to-late-’80s, similar to when this storyline was published by Marvel Comics. (Dig that swinging Miami Vice-era soundtrack. And the crew’s film-stock conundrum would have been easily solved by todays video-friendly smartphones.)

Lynch’s film borrows not just from the Marvel universe, but spoofs the disturbing 1992 Belgian crime faux-documentary Man Bites Dog, about a serial killer whose twisted spree is accompanied by a film crew. Everything from the crackling, black-and-white film stock to the Belgian filmmakers is represented in the Venom short. (Even the post-credit scene is a riff on a sequence from Man Bites Dog.)

It’s unlikely Sony Pictures would ever make a feature-length horror film about Venom, but now it at least exists in brief.

Outbrain

Tags