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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service

"Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" (Freestyle) may prove that your mother was right when she used to warn you, "Those comic books will rot your brain!" Scenes of mayhem and some language issues, moreover, mark this maladroit screen adaptation of an Italian series of comics as off-limits to its youthful target audience.

The movie's potentially diverting premise holds that the undead—vampires, zombies and the occasional werewolf—co-exist peacefully with the living, and perform useful jobs such as morgue attendant, until something goes wrong that plunges them into murderous behavior.

But director Kevin Munroe and screenwriters Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer drive it all into the ground, hobbled by a low budget that only allows for vampire teeth, some glowing eyes, a few wigs and what appears to be a single werewolf outfit.

Supernatural? It ain't so super, and it's not all that natural, either.

Brandon Routh as private eye Dylan Dog—who prowls through New Orleans to find out why the killing spree has begun with cases involving his client Elizabeth (Anita Briem) and his dead sidekick Marcus (Sam Huntington)—has little to do except for cocking his eyebrows and spouting leaden dialogue.

Typical of the macabre humor occasionally on display is the idea of a "parts shop" where the undead from all over the country can purchase all manner of body parts that have dropped off, or been torn off, during their nights of mayhem.

The film contains considerable action violence, a few drug references and fleeting crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.



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Pedro de San José Betancur: Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala. 
<p>Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change. </p><p>“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy. </p><p>Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line that the Franciscans had established. </p><p>Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent. </p><p>Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Out of this group came the Bethlehemite Congregation, which won papal approval after Pedro's death. A Bethlehemite sisters' community, similarly founded after Pedro's death, was inspired by his life of prayer and compassion. </p><p>He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve <i>posadas</i> procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries. </p><p>Pedro was canonized in 2002.</p> American Catholic Blog We sometimes try to do everything on our own, forgetting that the Lord wants to help us. Let's never be afraid to admit that we are weak and can't do things on our own. St. Paul gives us a great example: "On my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses" (2 Corinthians 12:5).


 
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