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Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

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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Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions: Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by St. John Paul II. 
<p>Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. </p><p>The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful. </p><p>Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries. </p><p>Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons. </p><p>The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution. </p><p>By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees. </p><p>During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.</p> American Catholic Blog I discovered that my sins had created a spiritual racket that drowned out the gentle whispers of God to my soul; God had never actually abandoned me, but I needed repentance and sacramental grace to reawaken all that was good and beautiful in me.

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