Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

DD1

There is a detective known to all of the creatures of the night named Dylan Dog, once trusted mediator of the damned now a pariah, but when an artifact with dangerous abilities goes missing it’s up to Dylan to find it before all hell breaks loose.

Why would a human solve the crimes of the world’s more unnatural denizens? In the real world vampires solve vampire crime, werewolves solve werewolf crime, zombies solve zombie crime, and bigfeet (yes, that’s the plural of bigfoot) solve bigfoot crime. Though bigfeet don’t have much crime beyond who shit where they weren’t supposed to and this usually just results in a lot of grunting, chest pounding, and then the offending party gets punched in the face and everyone goes home. With the rest of us though we have to deal with the same crimes you do, theft, murder, assault, and public indecency (werewolves are really bad about that last one), so we have to have our own police forces to deal with it. I don’t see how a human could take care of it. How could a human understand the insatiable hunger of a zombie, the unbridled savagery of a werewolf, or the never ending bloodlust of a vampire? They couldn’t, there’s just no way they could possibly understand the undead side of things. Take for example how often the living still holler “brains” at me. That doesn’t sound like people who understand anything beyond what the media portrays to me. Brains are a pain in the ass to get to and zombies are notoriously lazy.

Our dead of night film begins with a woman finding her father murdered and a werewolf jumping out of a window upon discovery before our titular hero Dylan Dog starts his narration about the world we live in, a world full of vampires, werewolves, and all sorts of things that go bump in the night. It seems he used to be the detective all those creatures went to when they needed help, but due to an incident he doesn’t elaborate on they no longer trust him. The next morning Dylan receives a visit from his assistant Marcus informing him that the daughter of the man murdered in the beginning is asking for Dylan’s help in the case. He initially goes to talk to the woman but turns her down when he finds out she has requested his help due to his old life as a detective for the damned, Dylan having given up that life because of whatever event destroyed his relationship with the undead. He changes his mind though when the simple act of talking to the woman causes his assistant and friend Marcus to be murdered, taking the case not for justice but because he wants revenge. His investigations lead him to a missing artifact that may have been stolen earlier, an artifact that could give someone unlimited power, but neither the vampires nor the werewolves want him involved, each seemingly having an agenda all their own. With a reanimated Marcus at his side, it turning out that his assistant was killed by a zombie, Dylan is determined to uncover the secrets behind the artifact, even if it kills him to do so.

DD3

{Dylan and Marcus ready for combat}

I have to be honest, I had no idea this was a comic book before I watched the movie. I only even found out it was a comic when I was researching the film, so I can’t say how close the film is to the comic. I just want to get this out of the way first, this review is going to focus solely on the film with no ties to the comic book. I’m very interested in checking out the comic now, but with no real knowledge of it I can’t comment on how close the film was to the comic or even if it was at all similar in anything but title and basic plot structure. My review is about the film alone. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get on with the review shall we?

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{I will say they look fairly similar though}

I enjoyed the film overall, the story was interesting enough that it kept my intention the entire time. I liked that they didn’t spend a bunch of time with his back story or turn this movie into an origin story, they just get right into it. There is a bit at the beginning where Dylan Dog explains things a little, discussing where he used to stand with the creatures of the night and where he stands now, but that’s about it. Everything else is focused on this singular story. What happened to estrange him from the undead community is explained later on as part of where he comes from and it does play a significant role as events unfold, but his entire past and origin or how he became associated with the undead is never fully explained, nor does it really need to be. All you need to know for the movie to work is in the movie itself. Then there are the vampires, werewolves, and zombies that populate this world and their roles within it. They do a great job of making these paranormal creatures seem very normal, as if they are as much a part of it as you or I. The vampires run a club and deal drugs, the werewolves run a meat packing plant, and the zombies, well, the zombies run a gambit of things. Out of everything I loved about the movie, the zombies were my absolute favorite. They are all over the place, not really tied to any one specific thing or another. To be fair, werewolves and vampires could very well be all over the place too, but the only ones they focus on are the ones running a club and a meat packing plant respectively. The zombies on the other hand they show to be everywhere, they work at burger joints where they make special meals of worms for other zombies, they run repair shops where they can fix a zombie up if he gets injured, and they even show them siting around in self-help groups helping each other to feel better about their undead lives. They really flesh out the zombie community for the film and I absolutely loved it. They did a great job with their make up too, the vamps didn’t need much make up and I can’t say I was terribly impressed with how the werewolves looked, but the zombies all looked fantastic, each one in a different set of decay. Marcus, Dylan’s undead assistant, is even shown further decaying throughout the film, starting out looking relatively fresh but looking more decayed by the film’s end since it takes the consumption of life (even if it’s just live insects or worms) to stave off decay and he refuses to eat it for much of the film. It was a fantastic job on their part in how much effort they spent in crafting this world.

Dead of Night

{Zombies also run the morgue which is very helpful for them}

The acting for the film is top notch as well…for the most part. Most everyone does a great job with the exception of Dylan Dog actor Brandon Routh who at this point has now played four different comic book characters (yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to bring up the comic book but come on, he’s played Superman in Superman Returns, Todd Ingram in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Dylan Dog in this, and A.T.O.M. in Arrow). I won’t say he does a terrible job, just that he’s mediocre and bland. There wasn’t much emotion behind his performance, almost as if he wasn’t even trying. I got that he was supposed to play a distant man who no longer really cared about the world but he just seemed to not care about his part. It’s a shame too because everyone else does great, including one of my favorite actors Peter Stormare as werewolf leader Gabriel. I think my favorite performer for the film though was Sam Huntington who played zombie assistant Marcus. He was basically the comic relief for the film and he is more than comic, giving you a smile every time he came on screen. Not only did he make you laugh, but he made you care for his character as well. Out of every person in the film he was the one I cared most about. Hell, I’d go as far as saying I would have preferred seeing a movie that was all about him.

DD2

{He looks so sad}

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night isn’t anything that’s going to blow you away, but it is still an immensely enjoyable film that’s worth a few watches. If it made me want to check out the comic book it has to be at the very least interesting.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Kevin Munroe (TMNT, Ratchet and Clank)

Starring: Brandon Routh (Arrow, Superman Returns), Anita Briem (Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Nun), Sam Huntington (Fanboys, Superman Returns)

Released By: Hyde Park Films, Long Distance Films, Platinum Studios, Prana Studios

Release Year: 2010

Release Type: Limited Theatrical Release

MPAA Rating: PG-13

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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