The under-performing horror/comedy pic Dylan Dog: Dead of Night got a Blu-Ray release on July 26th from 20th Century Fox. Based on a popular Italian comic book about a detective for the undead, the movie is a fun stylized romp that stars Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray is disappointingly light on extras. By light I mean none at all.
The film follows Dylan Dog (Routh), who is a private eye for the undead. It’s his calling, but after his girlfriend is murdered he wants nothing more to do with the world of the supernatural. Fast forward a few years, and Dylan has turned into a regular loner private dick who’s chronically money-strapped. His eager assistant Marcus (Huntington) is desperate for their detective agency to go places.
Something new and sinister is in town, but no one’s talking. There’s a giant mutant zombie on the loose, and a bigger secret behind it, but the vamps and the werewolves have their own agendas. The zombies don’t know much either. Dylan, with the help of a Marcus-returned-from-the-dead, follows the clues and manages to escape one life-threatening situation after another until the case is solved.
Director Kevin Munroe brought some nice comic book-esque visuals to this playful pic that is part hard-boiled detective story, part film noir and part campy ‘80s horror. While Routh’s (Superman Returns) performance is on the lackluster side, Huntington’s wide-eyed zombie sidekick definitely makes the film worth a watch.
Munroe talked about the great comic book style visuals of the film in my interview with him. He mentioned his background in animation as one of the forces behind the stylized shots, and his ability and propensity to communicate in pictures.
As I said in my review of the film, there’s a tongue-in-cheek humor in this film and a lighthearted silliness that makes the horror elements a natural and fitting backdrop to the murder mystery. It’s kind of a light parody of those neo-noir crime films and the hard boiled detective stories of the early 20th century; even down to Dylan’s voice narrating the story at certain points.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable little film and personally, if there were to be a sequel, I’d be all for seeing the next adventure of Dylan Dog and his zombie sidekick. Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night is silly and certainly won‘t stick with you for long, but it’s a lot of old-school fun.
I can’t complain about the visuals on this Blu-Ray at all. Munroe’s graphic artistic touch comes through crisp and clear. He uses different color palates as themes for different elements of the film, and these bright background colors transferred well and come through vibrantly, particularly the electric blues of the vampire’s clubbing world and the sickly bright green of the zombie scenes.
There is a lot of darkness in the film; naturally it’s a horror movie so it has plenty of night scenes and darkened corners. Sometimes the dimness is overwhelming in the dark scenes, as a saturated and dense black makes for overly dark shadows. There’s also a certain graininess to the picture, part of the natural 35mm stock that hasn’t been particularly enhanced, but it’s just a softness that doesn’t distract. Close-ups are still plenty crisp and defined, and the graininess is mostly noticeable in association with the dimmer scenes.
The audio probably ranked a little higher than the visuals. It has some great surround sound variables, with a particularly exaggerated sound effect track. This compliments and enhances the comic book look and feel of the film itself, almost like audio ka-pows to accompany the punches. The dialogue was clear and the range and pitch of voices and various creature noises is spot on.
Where the Blu-Ray doesn’t pack any punch is regarding extras. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night Blu-Ray is underwhelming as far as extras because it has none. That’s right, not even a theatrical trailer or a storyboard.
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is a fun horror movie with a retro vibe. It’s particularly disappointing that the Blu-Ray has no extras as Munroe had some interesting things to say about the making of the film, and why some of the decisions as far as tone, content and style were made. Fans of the movie would definitely appreciate some of his behind-the-scenes input, so I find it surprising this Blu-Ray was released so light (particularly as Blu-Ray sales offer an opportunity to recoup some of the money this film didn’t make in theaters).
Despite mediocre reviews and some disappointing numbers when it came out in theaters, I think Dylan Dog is worth a rent if you like genre films, or are a comic book fan. When it comes down to a purchase though, just remember that there are no extras, so it really depends on how much you enjoyed the film.
Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night is a mostly fun horror/comedy whoddunit with a supernatural twist a la those campy '80s horror pics.