Dark and gritty superhero dramas are certainly nothing new to the cinematic landscape, with stories like Watchmen, Powers and relative newcomer Daredevil all tackling some of the darker aspects of the superhero genre.
Welcome to another installment of Unknown Fan Films, where we delve deep into the World Wide Web and select for you some of the best and most interesting fan films that you might have missed.
This week we look at Truth In Journalism, a film which focuses on one of Spider-Man’s most ferocious enemies – Venom. Or to be more precise, it focuses on his alter ego, the disgraced journalist Eddie Brock.
Eddie has become further corrupted since his days at the Bugle, and the saddest thing is he doesn’t even know it. The only truth to be found here is in Eddie’s real personality change, or what Eddie perceives to be true journalism. Certainly Truth In Journalism focuses on a type of reporting, whether this is considered to be the best kind of journalism is left up to the viewer to decide. Here is what director Joe Lynch and producer Adi Shankar has to say about his project.
[quote] “This was 200% pure “passion project”, a dream come true for a comics ‘n cult-film loving fan to work within two distinct worlds I grew up loving. As a lover of mixing pop culture into storytelling, in a Warholian way, TRUTH IN JOURNALISM is pure ‘Pop Art’. I’ve rarely been as proud of something I’ve created as much as I had with this project and thrilled the TRUTH has been unleashed to the world. To CineMAAA!” – Joe Lynch
“I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that as a feature film producer I shouldn’t dabble in television, web content, or even comic books … that thinking perpetuates the consumerist mosh pit we are now desperately trying to dig ourselves out of. I have a burning desire to entertain and different mediums allow me to do this in different ways. These shorts are as much a part of my filmography as the movies are. I’m here now, I’m inevitably going to die at some point, and as an artist I feel an ardent urge to constantly be creating. ” – Adi Shankar. [/quote]
Like Man Bites Dog director Joe Lynch takes the documentary approach with a French crew following Eddie around the streets of New York. The black and white gives the film a crisp, realness to it that makes it thoroughly engaging (the scratches on the film add another element of realism to it). There are some nice little touches to – Eddie working out (which happened quite a few times in the comics), talking about the events after the Bugle (when he became Venom), talks to Venom in the bathroom and instantly gets changed, ties up villains and the shocking ending.
Actor Ryan Kwanten (from True Blood) really brings to life the character of Eddie, more so than attempt in Spider-Man 3. Not that his attempt was bad, it’s just has more time to get engrossed in the character and bring him to life for us. And he certainly does that, with his black attired clothing and common man attitude he does come off as a likable guy but there are scenes that pop up that show the menace underneath (a key scene involving a stab victim begin one of the shocker scenes). This sense of underlining menace builds up to a truly sinister and quite disturbing ending where Eddies true self comes out. This scene alone is incredible, using the shock techniques seen in many a homemade horror flick, but used correctly (and very similar to the ending of REC). Not to give to many spoilers away but this is handled perfectly and for once it actually makes Venom seem alien, like something not of this Earth and most important it makes Venom scary. Director kind of knows the darkness of this scene because he gives us a nice (and very funny) cameo from one of Marvel comics most well-known killers.
A stunning short to watch and in just 15 minutes manages to tell a story that Spider-Man 3 with his compilation of characters really struggled to tell correctly. This version of Eddie is dirty, gritty and more importantly shocking. A must see for all Spider-Man fans but fans of good quality movies should also check this out to.