Spider-Man may not appear in Sony's Venom, but Tom Hardy’s antihero appears to have found a new archnemesis to take his place: Lady Gaga.
Twitter has erupted into a war of words between Gaga's devotees, the Little Monsters, and those excited to see Marvel's alien symbiote in his first solo outing. According to Buzzfeed, Gaga fans are suspected of flooding the social media platform with negative reviews of Venom in an effort to propel A Star Is Born, starring Gaga and Bradley Cooper, to the top of the weekend box office.
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) 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 ⭐️ (@edgeofenigma) October 2, 2018
Beware of fake #Venom movie reviews. There are people trying to promote Lady Gaga's #AStarIsBorn and are fabricating negative reviews. Look out for bots and only trust proper and regular reviewers. pic.twitter.com/v9xznuN5R7— Marvel Mania™ (@marvel_maniac_) October 2, 2018
Not to be outdone, Venom fans have taken the same tactic, alleging that A Star Is Born is causing “satanic orgies,” among other things, and that movie-goers would be better off watching the Tom Hardy film instead.
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!— hava nagila (dance remix) (@shannytyrelle93) October 2, 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: pic.twitter.com/TT01N1MzMB— I Mighta Just Shidded (@iijustshidded) October 2, 2018
The only grievance between the two sides seems to be that both very disparate films will be released nationwide on Friday.
As Buzzfeed points out, this kind of behavior isn't exactly out of character for Gaga’s most fervent Little Monsters, many of whom have participate in coordinated troll campaigns against other performers and fandoms, as well as journalists. Gaga has repeatedly asked her fans to stop.
While this most recent campaign against Venom seemed to be a few fans sowing discord on their own, one Twitter user, identified only as @LGMonster95, alleged that the fake reviews had been part of a larger effort. "It's us Gaga fans creating fake IDs to trash the Venom premiere,” they said. “They both are getting released on the same day, so we want more audience for A Star Is Born.”
Given the film's decidedly mixed reviews, they may not need to worry.
Opening Friday nationwide, Venom is directed by Ruben Fleischer and stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate,Woody Harrelson, Sope Aluko, Scott Deckert, Marcella Bragio, Michelle Lee, Mac Brandt, Christian Convery, Sam Medina, and Ron Cephas Jones.