Tag Archives: Unknown Fan Films

Venom Fan Film – Eddie Brock: Truth In Journalism

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.

Unknown Fan Films truth in journalism eddie 3

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.

Unknown Fan Films truth in journalism eddie 2

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.

Unknown Fan Films truth in journalism venom

Unknown Fan Films – The Incredible Hulk Meets The Ever Lovin’ Blue Eyed Thing

The Incredible Hulk

In the late 70’s one superhero had a tight grip on the television industry and that show is fondly remembered even now by most people for numerous reasons. Even the most casual of TV viewer will have seen a shot of Lou Ferringo in his green makeup with only his purple pants on at some stage in their life. Of course I am talking about The Incredible Hulk series which blazed brightly through Television screens. But by 1982 the show had been cancelled and viewers had moved onto other things. But the green paint look was not forgotten by Bob Shreck, Bob Karwoski and Larry Ruggiero (And lets not forget editor Marc Harwood) who had that look in mind when they made their 16mm movie The Incredible Hulk vs. The Ever Lovin’ Blue Eyed Thing.

The Incredible Hulk

If you’re interested in watching a funny (And messed up, in certain places) short film then you have come to the right place. The basic plot revolves around a very strange bar/nightclub where the Fantastic Four’s Thing is trying to relax with a pint or two but just cannot get his happy face on (Due in part to being a grumpy bugger, as well as the interesting array of characters that reside there. But I’ll talk about that later). It is not until his old sparring partner, The Incredible Hulk, turns up that he truly starts to chill out. But enough talk, here is the short film for your viewing pleasure:

The whole thing has a Rocky Horror Show patch-work vibe to it, with colorful costumes and a real sense of fun. Aside from the various monsters, aliens and just general weirdos who pop up in this short, there is a list of well-known characters that pop up. Here are some of the ones I managed to spot: Superman, Spider-man, X-Men’s Angel and Nightcrawler, Chewbacca, Darth Vader (who struts his funky stuff), The Blues Brothers, a Tuscan raider, Dragon Man and Doc Savage (Still not sure about this one but I double checked the credits and it says he is there somewhere!). Truth be told there are probably even more!

The Incredible Hulk

Yes sir, this movie is a continuity fan’s nightmare with different universes all sharing the same space together, but least they are all dressed in the right attire. This brings us to the costumes, which vary greatly in quality. Some of them are obviously bargain basement stuff but others have had some real effort put into them. The Hulk makeup is straight from the TV show and fits in nicely. The Thing’s costume is incredible and as controversial as it sounds, this is the best live-action version of The Thing I have seen. It’s obviously not as realistic as the recent movie franchise’s version but it certainly keeps more in line with the character’s comic book roots. This Ben Grimm gets the moody, mardy look down to a tee but also does not come off as to depressing and melancholy, more just really uptight. And as bad as it is I cannot help but laugh whenever I hear Ben Grimm shout “Back off bitch” to a lady of the night (Though it’s not so funny to watch him get a laugh out of almost killing same said woman with a beer glass thrown at her head).

The Incredible Hulk

For the most part it’s all just a bit of harmless 70’s fun, but there is some nice skill on show for such a short feature, and the cracking soft punk soundtrack is also worth noting. It might not to everyone’s tastes but I certainly got a buzz out of it and there is a weird pleasure to be found watching The Thing lamp Darth Vader in the gut while The Hulk smacks Chewbacca so hard he whelps like a dog (Though it kind of sucks that the two never actually fight against each other). It certainly is amateurish but still fun. If you like the movie there is a great interview with Gerry Giovinco the genius behind the actual costume.

Unknown Fan Films – Aquaman: The Cast of the Angler

Comic books have appeared in most people’s lives at some time, whether it be the cheeky antics of comedy comic characters like Dennis the Menace, superhero exploits with titles like Superman or even the funny pages in your local newspaper. Somewhere, somehow, you will have come across this medium. With comic book movies becoming a huge draw at the box office as of late, interest in comic books has never been higher. But there was a time before this when the comic book moviegoer was starved for attention when it came to movies about their favorite superhero teams. So what did these fans do? They just made the movies themselves.

With the introduction of YouTube, it became even easier to make your own superhero movie and be able share it with the world. Now, I am a huge fan of these fan films and have seen quite a few. While browsing through the internet, I decided to do a series of articles highlighting some of these movies. So for your viewing pleasure, here is part one of this series and today we focus on a DC character who never seems to get a fair deal, the lord of the DC Universe oceans, Aquaman.

aquaman dc

Aquaman is a hero that has gone through various character changes to try to make him more relatable to an audience but for the most part, he always seems to get slammed by fans who for some reason see him as a kind of joke. The recent DC Comics New 52 version of Aquaman has helped to change perception of this hero, even making jokes about how people see him as a fishy loser. Gone is the messed up 90s hero with a trident for a hand and a crazy beard and long gone is the campy hero who used to ride a sea-horse to work.

But in 1984, the campy version of the hero was definitely still alive and kicking and made his heroic entrance to the world of entertainment via this film The Cast of the Angler. This has to be one of the greatest attempts so far to put Aquaman onto the small screen (yes, even better than Smallville). Shot for $10,000 by students Thomas Farr and Jeff Klein, with very little crew to help, they were able to create something which when viewed, came off as unique if nothing else. They were also able to secure DC Comics permission to film, something which they may not have been able to pull together in this day and age. It is certainly an amazing achievement to make something like this under the restrictions the team had. Look below to see a quote from Thomas Farr’s YouTube page just to see what they were up against.

Jeff Klein and I (Thomas Farr) produced Aquaman while attending film school at CSUN. Permission was granted by DC COMICS to make the film after we send our script to Jenette Kahn President of DC COMICS at that time. The film won several awards. 

While I was attending a comic book convention in the 90’s, I came across our film inside the Super Hero video bins. It had been pirated and turned into a double feature with a WB pilot of Justice League of America. It was touted as a WB Pilot that was not picked up for series (which I found funny). Most of the crew have gone on to careers in the industry.

aquaman cast of angler aquaman

The Adam West Batman influence shows and is the driving force behind this show. Much like Batman, the reason The Cast of the Angler works so well is because Aquaman plays it so straight. Showing its influences even more, it goes so far as to have its own animated intro. You thought Batman was a campy classic? Well, Aquaman managed to fill a whole 20 minutes with camptastic events. The acting is either over-the-top or not there at all with Aquaman being quite a dullard throughout, but still managing to be strangely entertaining. Here we have an Aquaman who uses his fishy friends for more sinister purposes, the main sufferer being the starfish that Aquaman uses as a flying death star. You heard it right, this Aquaman does not take prisoners.

 aquaman cast of angler aquaman swims

If this was not enough to keep you going the main villain of the piece is The Angler, a guy with a fishing hat and mask on his face (similar to The Weather Man in the awful yet amazing JLA TV movie) and needs a daily dose of potassium to keep him going. You read correctly, he is addicted to bananas and they pop up all over this little short. Why they did not attempt to use a more established baddie for this, like say Black Manta, I do not know. For this however, this new villain works perfectly. There is not much more plot than Aquaman going out find The Angler and he gets to kick his goons’ backsides before taking on the big guy himself. To say too much would spoil the fun of watching the events unravel but I will say that it is hilarious. Whether it was meant to be or hardly matters at all. It is a must see for fans of over-the-top superhero action.