Saturday, October 6, 2018

Little Monsters Troll Venom

On October 05, 2018, two films premiered in the US of A: Warner Bros “A Star Is Born” and Sony’s “Venom.” 

Two contrasting films that appeal to very different target demographics – and yet, Lady Gaga’s devotees, the Little Monsters felt compelled to try to undermine Venom.

Image credit: Glamour

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Image credit: W Magazine

Lady Gaga plays rising star Ally in the remake of the classic movie. She appears alongside Bradley Cooper (ageing rock star Jackson Maine), who also directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay. 

And Venom stars Tom Hardy as freelance photographer Eddie Brock, who becomes the titular beast. 

In fact, A Star Is Born has already received a ton of praise since its debut at the Venice Film Festival in August. A review published on Talkhouse called it an “instant classic” and said: “It’s one of those rare movies that grabs you from the opening shot and then just gets better and better with each passing scene”. 

It is widely considered to be one of this year's Oscar frontrunners – besides having drummed up significant hype, garnering a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Venom, on the other hand, is earning a largely mixed response thus far, with many critics saying it feels somewhat dated in the current comic book movie landscape. Still, it's projected to break October's all-time opening weekend record. 

What Lady Gaga followers decided to do was to troll Venom with poor reviews online – and hoping that this silly little exercise can generate a larger audience for A Star is Born. This is surely laughable!

Anyway, fake Venom reviews are popping up all over Twitter, with many of them identically worded.

“I saw #Venom last night and had to leave halfway through, my children wouldn't stop crying at how bad it was. Luckily a second pre screening of #AStarIsBorn was about to start, and now we are all crying, tears of amazement. Please pray for my eldest he is still in a coma” – Anne Harrison @AnneHarrisonMom, 4:19 AM, October 2, 2018. 

“Extremely disappointed with the let down that #Venom⁠ ⁠ was 😣. One of the films I was most excited for turned out to be the worst film. Hate to say that considering I am the biggest Venom fan... Looks like i’ll be taking my family to #AStarIsBorn instead!!” – maurizio/a star is born @ edgeofenigma, 3:48 PM, October 02, 2018.

“Extremely disappointed with the let down that #Venom⁠ ⁠⁠was 😣 One of the films I was most excited for turned out to be the WORST film. Hate to say that considering I am the biggest Venom fan... Looks like i’ll be taking my family to #AStarIsBorn instead. 💔” – Mhrad 🕷 and 100 people in a room @TheFameJoanne, 5:27 PM, October 02, 2018.

One user named @LGMonster95 owned up to there being a "coordinated effort" amongst Lady Gaga's fans to tear down Venom. It's taken a life of its own at this point, with people posting (obviously) fake A Star is Born reviews for comedic effect and others saying DC is behind it all – paying critics to write bad Venom reviews.

More tweets putting down Venom

Of course, this invites retaliation.

And Marvel fans reportedly begun to strike back by pushing fake, negative A Star Is Born reviews. 

“Was at the midnight screening of #AStarIsBorn but couldn’t hear a single word because of the commotion coming from this woman , her husband, her 9 children & her 8 grandchildren as they engaged in a satanic orgy. I had to leave to watch #Venom⁠, best movie in years!” – have nagila (dance remix) @ shannytyrelle93, 4:31 PM, October 02, 2018. 

“Walked into #AStarIsBorn and was disappointed. Completely filled with Neo-Nazi propaganda and Bradley Coopers character constantly muttered the phrase the “South will rise again”. Taking my 8 kids and 9 grandchildren to see #Venom instead. If you don’t believe me see here” – I Mighta Just Shidded @ iijustshidded, 4:41 PM, October 02, 2018.

Internet media and news company Buzzfeed pointed out, this kind of behavior isn’t exactly out of character for Lady Gaga’s most fervent Little Monsters  many of whom participated in coordinated troll campaigns against other performers and fandoms, even journalists. 

(Gaga has repeatedly asked them to stop). 

I guess the strange thing is A Star Is Born will do well, no matter what. 

And it makes me realize that for all the good social media can do, it's fuelled an incredibly toxic and destructive landscape where trolls can run amok and ruin platforms for the rest of us.

In Malaysia, Venom is already in theaters but A Star Is Born is scheduled to be released only on October 18, 2018. 

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