REVIEW: Dylan Dog Dead Of Night

July 27, 2011

Ok… so I didn’t get to see this in theaters which disappointed me. I was seriously looking forward to seeing Brandon Routh (Superman, Chuck) doing his acting thing [which he’s so good at] in a horror film. Especially one that was so comic book-y. When I got the notice it was out on DVD I dropped the cash no problem and ran home like Charlie Bucket with his golden ticket.

The movie is about a private investigator who gets dragged back into the world of monsters which he previously held the position as the non-partisan investigator of monster crimes. He has a funny little partner [Sam Huntington] who gets killed early on and becomes one of the undead. Together they are trying to stop the “resurrection” of a demon of sorts who could destroy the balance between all the monsters and give someone all the power to control them or destroy them all, including the humans, by tracking down an ancient relic that could kick the whole thing off. The main conflict is between vampires and werewolves, but we run into different types of zombies too and even some monster hunters.


After watching the movie I had a lot to say, but I wanted to hold off and process what I’d just seen. It’s important for me, after all, to take in a movie and make sure I have it in the proper context. If I’m too tired, uncomfortable, or grumpy, I may not appreciate a movie the way it’s meant to be. I wish I could take the time to watch it a second time, but I just don’t feel like it at this point.

I decided that sleeping on it was best because I didn’t want to say something bad about a good flick. This movie was made to be fun and that’s how people watching it should take it. It wasn’t made to seriously scary, it wasn’t made to be a masterpiece of theatrical scrutinizing by uber picky movie goers. And it WAS fun. It was scary at times, delivering the horror part of this comic-action flick easily. BUT, and I mean a big honking huge “but”… it left a lot to be desired in my book.

First off, I was so disappointed in their version of a werewolf. I like the “backstory” they used about werewolves, the set up of what they are in this universe, but the look was outright awful to me. Not just that, but there was a serious lack of werewolf in this movie and in a movie about a conflict between vamps and werewolves I totally expected a lot more wolf. Also, I love Peter Stormare and was disappointed he wasn’t in the movie more than the couple one minute bits they had him in. The rest of the cast was pretty good too, but not much screen time for any of them. For any potential sequel, I’d like to see more in depth character development.

I realize this was an intro to the comic series as a film, and I seriously hope they make another one, but I also find it odd that this guy is basically the “monster police” but they only covered three types of monsters in the movie (four if you count that last baddy). They face off with this huge beast of a zombie a couple times but the confrontations are pretty short and I just feel like I’d have liked to see more of that guy because he was so cool looking. I guess you have to be familiar with the comic to get the most out of this movie.

This seems like it should be a bigger movie than it was. Maybe if they make another one it will get bigger. I liked the noir feel of it and the idea of a guy who works in undead circles as a private eye is one of my favorite plot lines. I dug it a lot in Constantine, I like it in things like Angel; and my pal and contributing blogger here, Jerod Brennen, has a killer screenplay along these same lines that blows even these I listed away. So by default I like the film. I was just left not quite satisfied. I wanted more from it. I wanted it to be more intense and have more action and more monsters and be a bigger story since the plot was a pretty big one in itself.

One of the other cool things about the movie was Dylan Dog’s backstory. I liked the position they put him in and the resulting conflict for him and the world which he occupies. He’s a special guy who was picked to do a job and is on the outs with that world because of his actions which turn out to be a bigger part of the story which he gets to resolve in part.

The comedy from Sam Huntington’s character was cute, but wasn’t hysterically funny. It kept me chuckling throughout the film but wasn’t the kind of funny that I expected. The quips and jokes were obvious and the big laughs were mostly seen in the trailer for the movie, but in context they sort of lose some of the funny because of the placement of the jokes. Still, I enjoyed it and I did laugh, so you probably will too.

The DVD isn’t anything special, there wasn’t any special packaging or special features. I was pretty disappointed that it didn’t get the high end treatment here, but after seeing the movie, I get the feeling they were strapped for budget which would explain most of my complaints. Even the website offers little for interactive entertainment for the movie.

Bottom line is that I enjoyed the flick for what it was, but wasn’t completely satisfied. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it makes me want to see a sequel. The plot was nothing new and I figured out who the real bad guy in this story was. I wasn’t thrilled about how they resolved the issue with the main bad guy as it seems like they took the easy way out and didn’t really change the main character through his actions and I’ve been told the measure of a good movie is when the main characters go through a change; usually something big having to do with their personal growth as a character. I didn’t see that here. Still, the movie was fun as I keep saying and I’m glad I got the DVD. I’ll probably watch it again at some point, but for now I think I can tuck this one away in my collection for a rainy day. I hate to say all these negative things about this movie, I had high hopes and was told it was a great flick by several people. Like I said, fun, but just wasn’t quite enough for me.



– Mr. Frights



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