Joe Lynch, director of Wrong Turn 2 and the upcoming Knights of Badassdom, has made an interesting fan film based on the infamous Marvel villain, Venom, that premiered recently at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. In the short, True Blood star Ryan Kwanten plays an intrepid, ethically-challenged New York crime reporter who goes about his daily life while being trailed by a French documentary crew in Truth in Journalism.
You can watch the full 17-minute video here below. I’m going to discuss the short in spoiler-laden detail below the embed.
The short was produced by Adi Shankar, who also produced last year’s extremely well-received Punisher fan film Dirty Laundry that brought Thomas Jane back to the part he first played in 2004’s The Punisher. Shankar served as executive producer on three of last year’s coolest films – The Grey, Dredd, and Killing Them Softly. The man has major pedigree and apparently also loves helping make these dark and amazing unofficial comic book-based short features. Good on him.
Truth in Journalism is styled after the 1992 Belgian cult classic black comedy Man Bites Dog, in which a documentary crew followed an affable and charming serial killer as he murdered people at random and slowly became complacent and involved in his gruesome activities. In Lynch’s short, Kwanten is initially introduced as “Eddie B.” and drops hints about his past throughout including fan service mentions of the Daily Bugle, a particular church where his life forever changed, and a certain spidery individual.
The build-up to Eddie’s big secret is wonderful and the payoff, set to Glenn Frey’s “You Belong to the City,” actually scared me a little. After we finally meet Venom and the film supposedly ends we get a little extra footage of Eddie and the crew coming across a snuff film in progress. I’m 100% positive that Derek Mears, who played Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th remake, is playing another Marvel Universe villain, in this case the longtime Daredevil adversary Bullseye, in the last scene.
Watching Truth in Journalism makes me wish – and I doubt I’m alone in this – that Marvel would hired filmmakers like Lynch and Phil Joanou (who directed Dirty Laundry) to make low-budget, lean and mean adaptations of some of their darker characters ripe for movies that wouldn’t be done proper justice by the major Hollywood studios. Such an endeavor might not fit into Disney’s long-term cinematic ambitions for the mighty Marvel stable of heroes and baddies, but it would definitely show the company has got a pair.
At the very least they could fund some of those Marvel One-Shot short films for the DVD and Blu-ray releases of their movies featuring characters like Venom and the Punisher. How about a 70’s-style fake grindhouse trailer for a Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu movie? It’s so much an idea as it is a dream that may remain sadly unfulfilled.
The wicked cool soundtrack also features the J. Geils Band, Europe, and the Outfield.
[Source: YouTube via Collider]