Morbid, The superhero film about some sort of vampire, with tentative ties to the MCU, had a poor run at the box office, earning a pitiful 17% on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, online the film experiences a strange afterlife in the form of wild enthusiasm, 100% irony disease fanbase. Today, the film can be seen in its entirety on Twitch, live-streamed to the tune of thousands of tongue-in-cheek fans repeating imaginary slogans from the film – it’s morbinic time!
The mediocre film starring Jared Leto was remembered from the start, with the internet happily scoffing at the idea that such a half-hearted film would have a dedicated fan base, perhaps inspired by Leto’s non-ironic, surprisingly serious fan base that it is , presumably in awe of the man’s fabulously annoying attempts at method acting.
Leto plays Michael Morbius, a disabled man cursed and empowered by an experimental blood treatment; During filming, Leto reportedly pretended to be disabled off-camera, limping as if in agony even for a simple bathroom break that stretched into longer fight sessions. Eventually, Leto gracefully accepted a wheelchair to speed up the process.
Leto’s seriousness about himself, in stark contrast to the film’s quality, is just another layer of wit. but disease has always been an absurdist film, slammed together by Sony as part of their effort to retain their copyright claim on Spider-Man, and yet another attempt to maintain their own cinematic universe of Spider-Man villains in which Spider-Man is still must appear.
Morbius himself is an incredibly obscure comics character, even more so than Moon Knight, and the film’s desperate attempts to bond with Marvel Studios has become a running joke — the film’s hilariously sloppy post-credits scene is a cautious indication that Marvel’s multiverse could connect to the world of Morbius – maybe?
Essentially, disease is like one of those off-brand DVDs that mimic the looks and titles of popular Disney/Pixar movies in hopes confused grandmothers might buy them for their grandkids. The opposite seems to have happened, as the film’s “fandom” know exactly what to expect from the film and have found a way to appreciate it – sort of.
The memes have proved so prolific that some fans even suspect Sony is running some kind of underhanded marketing campaign, but I highly doubt it — that’s not how the studio wants its cinematic universe to be perceived.
At this point, the only thing that might ruin the joke would be for Sony to acknowledge it via a knowing one-liner delivered by Leto in a spin-off or sequel.
disease A cheerless film may be, but wry fandom has turned it into comedy, one that must be seen in the presence of other “Morbheads” to be truly appreciated.