"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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