Over the last few decades, comic book movies have reached heights of storytelling and spectacle that readers could never have DREAMED of. But for every triumphant high—The Dark Knight, The Avengers—there have always been a good number of stinkers… some bad enough to become punchlines or talking points, but most mediocre and ultimately forgotten…
Until they end up here.
The Discount Spinner Rack is where you’ll find the worst, the weirdest, and the most puzzling of comic book movie misfires. We’ll take a look at the things that actually work and the parts that absolutely don’t, and decide whether it’s worth your time and your dime. In the end, movies will be marked down on a scale from $1.00 (a surprise gem) to $0.05 (better used for kindling). For this year’s Halloween BOO-nanza, we’re going to sink our teeth into the newest, lamest offering from Sony’s withered, decrepit film division: the infamously terrible 2022 vampire dud, Morbius!
You’ve heard the old saying “you can’t get blood from a stone”? Well, that’s exactly what Sony Pictures has spent the last decade trying to do with the Spider-Man film rights.
The studio had run into hard times developing films about the wallcrawler when, following the departure of director Sam Raimi after Spider-Man 3, they’d immediately tried to reboot the franchise to keep the money train rolling. 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man arrived in theaters to decent box office (though it earned less than any of the previous films) and middling reviews. It was a transparently cynical attempt to marry the grey, drab aesthetics and youth-targeted appeal of YA science fiction films like The Hunger Games and Divergent to the strained “realism” and pedantic over-explanation of a hero’s origin from Batman Begins. And when their follow-up, 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, changed tacks by emulating the vibrant colors and world-building of the MCU (The Avengers in particular), the result was an even BIGGER disaster—a folly that seemingly killed any hopes for continuing the franchise… at least, under Sony’s watch.
Disney and Marvel Studios were making overtures to Sony to buy back the feature-film rights to Spider-Man by this time, but the studio resolutely refused (likely because Spider-Man was one of the few valuable IP assets the studio had left after a remarkably terrible decade of cranking out low-grossing garbage). Nevertheless, Sony’s financial situation was undeniably dire at the time, so the studio eventually came to an arrangement with the Mouse House: a contract that allowed Disney to feature a new version of Spider-Man in the MCU (appearing in a limited number of team-up films), as long as Sony was allowed to continue distributing solo Spider-Man movies featuring the new Spidey (written and produced by Marvel Studios’ creatives) and keep 100% of the box office. Technically, Sony still owned all the film rights to the character, but they couldn’t make their own, separate movies about him anymore1; it was a shared custody arrangement.
… But that didn’t mean Sony couldn’t make movies about characters adjacent to Spider-Man.
Y’see, before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 flopped… Sony had been making plans. The studio may only have owned the rights to Spider-Man2 and all his related characters (villains, supporting cast, spin-off characters, and the like)… but that was still a BIG roster. So while the second Amazing film was in production, Sony began actively developing not just sequels, but team-up movies and solo films about whoever they could think of—even friggin’ Aunt May—to spin their Spider-Man rights into a self-contained cinematic universe to compete with Marvel’s.
Their contract with Disney meant that they couldn’t use Spider-Man himself anymore… but they COULD still develop solo films about Spidey’s villains and allies so long as they kept the wallcrawler OUT of it3. So they dipped their toes in the water by producing a film they’d been dying to make since 2007: a solo movie starring the monstrous, black-suited, toothy-grinned anti-hero Venom4. And against all odds5, Venom turned out to be a surprise hit—so the SPUMC was born!
The SPUMC—which is to say, the “Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters”6—established itself out the gate as focusing more on anti-heroes and monsters than traditional superheroics (it WAS built largely from the rogues gallery of our friendly neighborhood webslinger, after all). So for their second franchise launch, it stands to reason that they would choose to go with a tortured, morally ambiguous creature-of-the-night-type character… and who better to fill that particular studio-mandated niche than Morbius, the Living Vampire!
You know… Morbius? Famous and beloved Spider-Man villain turned comic-book-headlining anti-hero? EVERYone knows who Morbius is, right?
Created in 1971 by writer Roy Thomas and penciller Gil Kane in The Amazing Spider-Man #1017, Dr. Michael Morbius was a scientist who discovered, in the DNA of vampire bats, a cure for the rare blood disorder which was killing him. Desperate to live so he could be with his beloved fiancée Martine, Dr. Morbius immediately used the treatment on himself… only to then discover its shocking side effects: a painful sensitivity to light; enhanced strength; hollow bones that allowed him to glide on air currents; and, worst of all, a gnawing thirst for human blood. For all intents and purposes, he was a Living Vampire—and so, anguished at what he’d become, he set out on his own to track down a cure for his new, accursed condition (often running afoul of Spider-Man in the process because… y’know, the man’s still gotta eat, and Spidey wouldn’t be too cool with that).
… Okay, so maybe Morbius wasn’t in the TOP TIER of Spider-Man villains. But during the “grim ‘n gritty” era of the ‘90s, Morbius made the leap from mid-tier bad guy to tortured, brooding anti-hero (which was all the rage in those days) and even got the chance to headline his own comic book… which lasted a grand total of 32 issues. Hmm.
But this is a character that HAS made a pop cultural imprint outside of the comics! For instance, Morbius was… ALMOST the villain of the second Blade movie! See, David Goyer wanted to use Morbius as a genetically-engineered vampire adversary for the titular vampire hunter in Blade II… but New Line Cinema couldn’t secure the rights to use the character (at the time, Marvel Entertainment was developing a solo film based on the character with Artisan Entertainment), so Goyer was forced to re-work Morbius into an original creation called Jared Nomak. Like Morbius, Nomak was Eastern European and had distinct vampire powers with none of the accompanying weaknesses… but rather than being the product of an accident, Nomak was a genetically-engineered super-vampire created by the REGULAR vampires in an effort to eliminate their vulnerabilities and conquer the world. Which was neat!
Probably the most prominent appearance Morbius had made outside the comics, though, was his appearances in the ‘90s Spider-Man animated series—in which, due to the notoriously strict censorship standards of the Fox network for their kids’ programming, Morbius was not actually allowed to bite anyone or refer to “drinking blood”. The cartoon infamously skirted this absurd mandate by putting leech-like suckers on Morbius’s hands, though which we’re told Morbius draws “plasma” from his victims… which actually seems a little MORE horrifying to me, but hell—what do I know?
Undeterred by the relative obscurity of the character, however, Sony Pictures plowed ahead with plans for a solo Morbius film—with a finished script arriving in 2017 from Matt Sazama and Buck Sharpless (whose previous credits—Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter, and Gods of Egypt—don’t exactly instill a lot of confidence). Then, the film managed to land its leading man. Jared Leto: frontman and lead singer for the mediocre alt-rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars; the big screen’s single worst live-action Joker; dedicated method actor and reportedly huge on-set pain in the ass; and, pointedly, an allegedly toxic mega-creep and borderline cult leader8. Leto became “loosely attached” to star shortly after the script was finished, withholding a commitment to the project until he was personally satisfied with the director the studio chose.
Directors considered for the project included Antoine Fuqua (Shooter, the Magnificent Seven remake) and F. Gary Gray (the Italian Job remake, Straight Outta Compton), but the studio ultimately settled on Daniel Espinosa—a journeyman director from Sweden who’d recently made the listless Alien knock-off Life for Sony in 2017. From there, it wasn’t long until the filmmakers started hiring British actors to garner a façade of respectability. Former Doctor Who Matt Smith joined the cast in an undisclosed role that was soon revealed to be Lucien “Milo” Crown9, Morbius’ best friend since childhood and the ultimate villain of the piece; then shortly after filming began, Jared Harris joined the production as Morbius’ mentor Dr. Emil Nicholas. Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona was cast as Dr. Martine Bancroft, Dr. Morbius’ one true love/research partner (which is, like, a whole can of worms I’m not getting into). Somehow, when no one was looking, this whole flimsy pretense for a spin-off franchise congealed into an actual movie.
After several pandemic-related delays, Morbius premiered exclusively in theaters on April 1st, 2022—a truly fitting date, given what was to come. The film received scathing reviews from critics and drastically underperformed at the box office, grossing a mere $74 million in the U.S. and $90 million internationally (on an $83 million budget). It was a failure as dramatic as it was predictable.
But then a funny thing happened: the Internet got ahold of the movie. Following the film’s release on video on demand, memes started sweeping across Twitter and other social media platforms praising Morbius as a masterpiece or as a massive success—making absurd claims such as that the film was the first to sell over a trillion tickets, that it had made $352.9 trillion dollars, and somehow that it had scored a 203% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The hashtags #MorbiusSweep and #ItsMorbinTime started trending. Sony, elated at all the new interest in the movie (and seemingly unfamiliar with the concepts of sarcasm or irony), re-released the film to 1,000 theaters on June 3rd, 2022… and earned a paltry $280,000 for the weekend for their troubles, making Morbius possibly the only film in history to flop at the box office twice.
So this Halloween season, we’re settling in to watch the product of a real-life tale of man’s hubris (or rather, a STUDIO’S hubris) gone awry… resulting in a Thing Which Should Not Be. (And don’t worry, it’s certainly not gonna be the last of ‘em; we still have the solo Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web movies to look forward to!) Does Morbius at least have enough bite to break the skin, or is the film going to turn out to be a bloodless affair? And are there seasonal chills to be had, or is it going to leave us cold? Only one way to find out…
I guess it’s Morbin’ Time.
IN THIS ISSUE: Would it surprise you to learn that, in addition to just generally being a giant pile of formulaic bullsh*t, this is also possibly the bro-iest comic book movie ever made?
There’s this underlying tone of toxic machismo and smug arrogance flowing through the whole movie—and appropriately, this vibe is at its strongest with our lead character. Dr. Michael Morbius, as presented in the film, is a smirking, self-satisfied asshat who steamrolls over other people’s needs or wants to force them into the roles he WANTS them to be in. His best friend, “Milo”, is actually named Lucien10—but when they met as children in a hospital in Greece, Michael simply started calling him Milo because he didn’t actually care what his name was, and he called EVERYONE who occupied the bed next to his “Milo”. Then as an adult, when Dr. Martine Bancroft comes to him with concerns about the nature of the nature of the research he’s been doing, he balks at all of her fears and genuine concerns, and eventually has her accompany with him on a cargo ship into international waters to complete his highly illegal experiments. There’s a running motif of Michael folding up origami animals to give to his friends; symbolically, this represents Morbius’ compulsion to reshape the world as he sees fit, and this very much includes the people in his life. He’s a user.
But ol’ Dr. Morbs is given a BIG pass on being a giant douchebag because he also happens to be a hyper-competent supergenius who literally revolutionizes medical in his spare time. Morbius, we are told, has developed artificial blood: a synthetic replacement for hemoglobin that has eliminated typing and rejection concerns. Morbius is even awarded the Nobel Prize for this in the first ten minutes of the movie, but he rejects the award; his given justification is that the blood was created as an accidental by-product of his actual research, but in SCRIPT terms, this is all cheap shorthand to establish Morbius’ big-d*ck energy as an alpha intellectual. The portrayal is further compounded by the scene where we see ten-year-old Morbius fix a dialysis machine with the miniature spring from a ballpoint pen—a feat SO astonishing to Dr. Nicholas that he sends Morbius away to a school for the gifted11 to hone his vast intellect. The movie wants to paint Morbius as a scientific rock star: someone so gifted and cutting-edge at what he does that people ignore all of the sh*tty things he does between gigs.
And all of this only gets WORSE when Morbius finally injects himself with Vampire-Bat Oil and becomes a literal murderer. But we’ll circle back around to that…
So in keeping with the Sony Spider-Man films’ obsession with animal-human hybrids, Morbius is presented here as less of a conventional vampire and more of a super-literal Bat-Man™©®. Like in the comics, Dr. Michael Morbius is dying of an inherited blood disease, and finds the cure in vampire bats—specifically, in the genetic coding that allows bats to naturally produce anticoagulant saliva. Naturally, this leads Dr. Morbs to want to splice vampire bat D.N.A. into humans—and luckily, his childhood best friend Milo grew up to be obscenely wealthy layabout12, so the good doctor is able to convince him to finance his illegal experiments on a cargo ship in international waters, where he can play God with wild abandon. (Milo, shady chap that he is, even throws in a contingent of hired mercenaries with assault rifles to protect the ship! That was never going to end well…!)
So Morbius throws some bats into a blender and injects the resultant Bat-Juice straight into his spine, and voila! He now has all of the powers of a vampire bat… apparently. For one thing, he has the inevitable thirst for blood—HUMAN blood, specifically (even though vampire bats aren’t cannibals and can drink from any warm-blooded animal)—which he can thankfully slake with that super-convenient artificial blood he invented off-screen (which, the film stresses, is only a TEMPORARY solution—it becomes less effective the more often he uses it, for some reason). Secondly, he has the ability to glide on air currents… though they don’t bother explaining WHY, considering that he doesn’t have wings and seems to have the density and weight of a normal human (the whole “hollow bones” justification probably wasn’t gonna fly, no pun intended). Third, they decided to saddle Morbius with echo-location abilities—something the comic character has actually NEVER had, but which fits into framing Morbs as a legitimate, real-deal Bat-Man™©®13. However, to VISUALIZE this power, the filmmakers use C.G. particle effects to create a smoky haze coming off of every object the sonar waves hit (presumably to represent those air currents that Morbius can sense and glide on)… which has two side effects: 1.) it makes nearly every action scene into a muddy, visually-indistinct soup of particle effects, and 2.) it creates the inescapable impression that the movie… literally… well, reeks.
But Morbius isn’t JUST left with lame-o stink powers. He also gets the standard superhero power set: super-strength, stamina, agility, and even regenerative healing. Why would injecting yourself with bat D.N.A. give you super-strength or healing powers, you may ask? Who the hell knows!
But even more conspicuously, he also has very limited shape-shifting powers—which is to say, when he’s finished guzzling down blood like a voracious beast from Hell, his monstrous bat-face, fangs, and flattened nose all go away and he’s left looking like a ripped, handsome Jared Leto again (who pointedly gets a shirtless scene as soon as he’s transformed to show off his physique). Why, when dealing with a character who’s battling a monstrous curse, would you write it so that he looks like a glamorous movie star for most of the film’s runtime…?
The real giveaway moment happens when Milo finds Morbius for the first time post-vampirification, and the bad doctor tries to explain why he can’t give Milo the cure that clearly already worked for him. “I’ve done things, Milo… I’ve killed people,” Morbius ominously intones, as his face stays placid and his stringy black hair hangs down in his face. There’s no remorse there… no sense of shame in his actions. Only a lingering threat, which can read almost like a brag. “It’s a curse,” he tells us, but it’s really not… not for him, anyway. Because Morbius has become the romanticized ideal of a violent alpha male. He’s powerful, dangerous… yet honorable, and “cool”. This isn’t a horror story… it’s a wish fulfillment fantasy. For @$$holes.
And the film makes this explicit by forgiving Morbius’ violent actions just as much as it forgave his douchebaggery at the start of the film.
Morbius murders an entire cargo carrier full of armed mercenaries (after they decided to arbitrarily bully Martine like jocks picking on a dweeb in the library), and we’re just supposed to brush it aside because the mercs were unlikeable chowder-heads. Then the film sets up a misdirect wherein an innocent nurse at Morbius’ laboratory is killed and we’re supposed to THINK that he did it… even HE thinks he probably did it, in a haze of bloodlust… yet we’re expected to side with him when he decides to pack up a bag of artificial blood and goes on the run from the cops.
But the worst instance of this is when Morbius decides to steal a laboratory from a group of counterfeiters. Morbs follows two dipsticks trying to pass off phony hundred-dollar bills in a café and they lead him to a decently-appointed counterfeiting lab, staffed by the two dipsticks and a boss watching television. Then Morbius just waltzes in, insists that the counterfeiters leave immediately, and starts making snide threats to beat the sh*t out of everyone there. The boss gets up, tells him to leave, then (when Morbius refuses) pulls out a knife and attacks… only for Morbs to gleefully break every bone in his hand to scare off the lot of them. Now, some things stand out to me here: first of all, counterfeiting is a non-violent crime in-and-of itself, so it’s weird that the movie expects me to accept that these guys are worthy of violent assault in the first place… but secondly, the boss whose hand gets broken is the only black man in the entire crew.
Now, I can’t say if ANY of this was intentional… but the optics of a lily-white man gleefully inflicting harm on a black man who’s framed as “worthy of violent punishment” for running a money counterfeiting operation… well, they’re NOT F%$#ING GREAT, BOB.
Milo, on the other hand, ends up taking the Vampire Smoothie for himself against Michael’s objections (because of course he does), and he becomes the villain of the piece. Now, Matt Smith—he’s having a GRAND old time as the bad guy in a superhero movie. You can really get a sense of the liberation Milo feels when he becomes powerful enough to lash out at the world that he’s felt has oppressed him: we often see him laughing and dancing with joy, reveling in his newfound physicality. And in all honesty, this seems to be what the film thinks Milo’s great sin is—rather than being self-serious and brooding like our protagonist is, Milo has zero chill about being a bloodsucking murder-bro, and immediately starts hitting on women and ogling his own body in the mirror. Sure, he also kills indiscriminately and sees himself as a special person who’s above the rabble of humanity (a viewpoint, I might add, that he got FROM MICHAEL)… but no, Milo’s REAL problem is that he’s trying too hard. He’s a poser. He’s CRINGE.
So the movie finally starts to wrap up when Milo, burned out from going on a drug-and-alcohol-and-blood-fueled bender for several days, finally snaps (uh… moreso) and kills Dr. Nicholas, the mentor character who, yes, STILL was technically in this film, but hadn’t appeared for nearly an hour. Morbius, meanwhile, has concocted a special “antibody” which induces instant hemochromatosis14 and which he declares “deadly to bats… fatal to humans,” as if there were a meaningful difference between the two statements15. Dr. Morbs prepares two syringes—one for Milo and one for himself—but there’s never actually a moment where it seems like Morbius is actually gonna USE the stuff on himself. The existence of the second syringe is purely so that Dr. Bancroft can beg him not to use it and he can stoically say that he has to do it, and then walk away dramatically. It’s pure manipulation, both of Martine and the audience.
So Morbs gets all pissed off when he discovers that Milo killed Dr. Nicholas, and then he gets SUPER DOUBLE pissed when, while he’s away, Milo lethally wounds Martine just to get to him. So hey—a cheap mentor death AND a fridging! Now you know things are getting serious!
Martine, dying in Morbius’ arms, asks him to “make it [her death] mean something,” offering up her blood as… I dunno, a power-up? Which takes the sexist subtext of her death to a WHOLE ‘nother level—“I’m not just going to die to motivate your character journey, but I want you to literally feed off of my dead body to beat the bad guy!” It’s SO gross… except, before he bites her, Martine kisses him, and then bites his lip, taking a drop of blood into her mouth and drinking it. And in the last minute of the movie, we cut back to Martine’s eyes, which POP BACK OPEN and glow red. Aww, sweet—Martine is a vampire now, too!
Except… the movie has spent an inordinate amount of time spelling out for us that Morbius is NOT a supernatural vampire. They explicitly demonstrate that he’s unaffected by sunlight and holy water… so why would a single drop of his blood, orally ingested, turn Martine into a vampire? That’s how, say, Dracula turns his victims into vamps, sure, but… I mean… ARRGGH! Screw it. At least this means they technically un-fridged her, and she might have something to do in the… er… sequel.
So Morbius and Milo have a big punch-up flying through the air, smashing through skyscrapers and tumbling through a construction site and OH GOD, they’re trying to emulate the climactic battle from Man of Steel, aren’t they? Then Milo pile-drives Morbius straight through a sidewalk (Jesus, how strong do they think vampire bats ARE?), and the final battle happens in a ginormous sewer and utility maintenance terminal. There, Michael instinctively calls out for help… and a TSUNAMI of vampire bats fly out from the surrounding tunnels in response, swirling around and gingerly lifting him up from the ground, back onto his feet. Morbius has become a Bat Messiah.
… This is the culmination of his character arc, apparently, and it’s really not a good sign.
Morbius has spent a good chunk of the movie denying his vampiric side and trying to either find a cure for his bloodlust or control it. However, this ending, through the use of bats as a metaphor for his animal instincts, suggest that Morbius’ salvation lies in embracing his monstrous side… and this is treated as a triumph, with no thought given to the implications of this decision. Is Morbius going to feed on innocent people now? Is he going to fight crime and drink criminals like Capri Sun packets? Doesn’t matter—the moral implications are left completely unaddressed. What matters is that Morbius flies off in a swarm of vampire bats, looking awesome and zooming over the heads of the two F.B.I. agents16 who are chasing him, untouchable and invincible.
It would have been so easy to make this a tragic ending. Just give us some sense of pathos from Morbius—a sense that this is a fall from grace, the destruction of a once-great man by his own hubris and short-sightedness. But the movie doesn’t do that… instead, it presents this as a POSITIVE ending. Morbius is now a total badass! He can flyyyyyyy! And he even has a smokin’ hot vampire girlfriend waiting for him, now that Martine has turned! This film is all about rewarding Morbius for being a complete piece of crap—because it’s a story meant to reinforce a mindset that says that strength and intelligence are better than empathy or humanity, that the strong take what they want, and the weak are meant to be shrugged off or ignored. “We are the few against the many,” Morbius tells us—and only a few will get to earn their place in the skies. So you better get grinding.
Morbius is the ultimate super-douche.
IS IT WORTH YOUR DIME?: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHHHHHhhhh HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHA! Hah ha ha hah… ha ha ha… heh heh…! Ehhhh… Heh hehehe! Heh… heh… (*sniffles*) Oh… oh man… noooo! God, no. No no no. Not even a little.
DISCOUNT PRICE: $0.05 (RUN!!!)
- BEWARE the VAMPIRE BAT!!!: This movie really wants us to believe that vampire bats—relatively docile nocturnal feeders whose most dangerous attribute is that they spread disease—are some of the SCARIEST, most DANGEROUS ANIMALS in the whole world! We see emu (?) carcasses stripped down to the bone in front of the bat cave from which Morbius catches his specimens, and the good doctor makes some… VERY silly claims about what the little critters can actually do throughout the movie. (He boldly asserts, “Vampire bats weight almost nothing, but they can down a creature nearly ten times their size!” Vampire bats are VERY tiny, though—weighing on average just 1.2 ounces—so “ten times” isn’t quite the scale that the movie implies it is.) The way this movie sells them, you’d think the vampire bat was the piranha of the skies!
- The Worst Mid-Credits Stinger Ever Filmed: So for the mid-credits stinger of this solo movie about Michael Morbius, a giant inter-dimensional rift opens up in the skies above New York City… and, with absolutely no explanation as to what exactly is happening or why (you have to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home for even a shred of context), Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. the Vulture (Michael Keaton) just sort of magically appears in a jail cell in Ryker’s Island. He looks around, confused—no more certain of what he’s doing there than WE are—and then just sort of smirks and says “hope the food’s better in THIS joint.” No panicking, no fear… not even a suggestion that he might want to check in with his WIFE AND CHILD to find out what happened to them. And then, we get a news cast explaining to us that, since there is no record of Toomes being a prisoner on this Earth, they’re just going to… let him go. Now, not only is this hastily-reshot and reconceived stinger17 a confused mess (it doesn’t even make sense if you DO know all the stuff that’s happened in the other movies), but it’s also dramatically inert and makes the Vulture a less interesting character—because all the people he actually knew are in a completely different dimension, so he has nothing to motivate him whatsoever!
- Bat Tube: Sitting right in the middle of Dr. Morbius’ laboratory is a giant glass cylinder, extending all the way up to the ceiling. It’s got its own door and a number pad to access it. And INSIDE the cylinder, after their introduction in act one, is a great big swarm of vampire bats… which just keeps flying around in circles. Aimlessly. Pointlessly. We never actually see them STOP, or roost on the metal grating at the top of the cylinder. Also, pointedly, we never see any bat guano on the floor of the tube, nor any means of feeding the bats or removing them for cleaning. The bats just fly around in circles, like a lava lamp. And they’re visible in EVERY… SCENE… set in the laboratory.
- The Worst Mid-Credits Stinger Ever Filmed, PART TWO: Oh, you thought that was ALL? You thought that was the worst of it? HA! After the mid-credits roll finally ends, we get treated to a scene of Morbius driving a luxury car down a back road (which initially looks like a car commercial). He pulls over in the middle of nowhere, checks his watch, and then we hear a faint rumbling in the distance, growing closer and closer… until we see that—SURPRISE!—it’s the friggin’ Vulture AGAIN, decked out in the jet wings and flight suit that shouldn’t even exist in this universe. He never takes his helmet off—likely because they couldn’t get Keaton to show up on the day—but we hear Keaton say in voice-over (without a HINT of concern or worry):
“I’m not sure how I got here… Has to do with Spider-Man, I think.”
Then he proposes that they, and some other people like them, should “team up” to “do some good”. And in terms of just cynical, aimless, empty teases for movies no one wants to see, it doesn’t get much worse than trying to sell audiences on a Sinister Six movie set in a universe with a Spider-Man they’ve never even met.
- THE VAMPIRE BAT KAMEHAMEHA!: Holy sh*t, I didn’t even tell you how Morbius defeats Milo, did I? Oh, it’s beautiful. Morbius calls a veritable blizzard of bats to his defense, marveling at how they heed his slightest gestures. Milo, fed up with the whole thing, grabs a rebar and charges at Morbs, clearly planning to use it as a spear. Morbius, seeing it all play out in slow motion, draws back his hands down to his side (which calls all the bats to him), takes careful aim at the airborne Milo… and thrusts out his hands at him, FIRING A COLUMN OF BATS directly at Milo like an energy beam! It’s the most wonderfully ludicrous moment in the film—completely unlike anything else that happens in the movie—and… well, just LOOK at it!
NEXT ISSUE: Whew! Got that one in just under the line. Next time, I think I’m going to take it nice and easy, and watch something a little goofy and old-fashioned—like maybe, an ‘80s T.V. movie featuring a fright-wigged bodybuilder and the live-action debut of the God of Thunder? Tune in to catch my review of 1988’s The Incredible Hulk Returns!