Comedy horror flop holds cult potential

Features Editor Charlotte Kyle writes the movie reviews.

Photo courtesy of allmoviephoto.com

The “vampires, werewolves and zombies” genre has been beaten to death in the past few years, but that doesn’t stop filmmakers from raising the dead.
In the comedy horror film “Dylan Dog:?Dead Of Night” Brandon Routh (“Superman”) stars as the title character, a private investigator whose specialty is paranormal cases.
He is joined by his recently undead assistant, Marcus (TV’s “Being Human”) as they face werewolves, vampires and zombies in an attempt to save the world.
The movie, which is based on Tiziano Sclavi’s Italian comic book, grossed a mere $4 million worldwide. While it holds a 3 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film actually has a lot of good qualities.
Set in New Orleans, Dylan Dog’s universe features zombies working in the morgue and fast food joints, vampires running night clubs and werewolves owning meat factories. This is only the beginning in a long series of details which makes the undead universe seem not only believeable but also interesting.
See, unlike most supernatural films, the monsters in “Dylan Dog”?are not necessarily bad guys. Most of them, in fact, live normal daily lives – they just happen to smell a little worse. Zombies use a variety of cleaning products to keep themselves from rotting and, when that doesn’t work, they go to?body shops where they literally buy body parts.
This is what Marcus learns after he wakes up with an arm missing. His replacement arm was tattooed and brown.
“They didn’t have any Caucasian,”?Dylan told Marcus.
Dylan’s knowledge of undead lifestyle is extensive, and he releases information as the movie calls for it. There are many small details, from vampire bloodline lore and werewolf families being distinctive based on hair color, which help paint the picture and make watching the movie an enjoyable experience.
The film’s noir style separates it from other films in the horror comedy genre, while cheesy dialogue and one-liners make for excellent comedic moments.
“Like I?always say, ‘The secret to good detecting: get lucky,’”?Dylan says.
The movie, at times, seems to be bad on purpose. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and that tips the audience off that they shouldn’t take it seriously, either.
Routh and Huntington, who worked together on “Superman Returns,” have great chemistry. Huntington has the ability to deliver lines so naturally it doesn’t seem scripted.
In fact, I?often questioned whether or not one-liners had been improvised. Any other actor would have delivered it as an obvious joke, but Huntington just goes with the flow.
Routh, meanwhile, manages to play straight-laced and serious with the hint of a smile lingering on his lips. He has the perfect look for the broody, lovelorn hero.
The filmmakers used various transitions to keep the main story going while highlighting the side plots. While the movie focused on the case Dylan was working on, scenes were interjected to include what was going on with the villain, how Marcus was dealing with his newfound undeadness and flashbacks to Dylan’s past.
The transitions themselves, including sideswipes and quick cuts, were effective in getting from point A to point B. The actual scene content, however, was clumsy at times. It seemed as if these scenes interrupted the flow which had been established and gave the viewer too much to think about at once.
The composition throughout was fantastic. Action sequences were often shot showing only Dylan as he attacks, a trick that saved the filmmakers money and also created tension and beautiful shots. One sequence, as Dylan takes out multiple vampires, tends to stand out. This could be why they show it twice.
Overall, “Dylan Dog: Dead of Night”?has the potential to become a cult hit if the film manages to find its audience.
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