DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT (2010)

Dylan DogDYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT (2010) Halloween Month continues with a look at the luckless Brandon Routh’s turn as this film’s title character, Tiziano Sclavi’s horror hero from Italian comic books. Sclavi launched Dylan Dog’s series in October of 1986 and under various creative teams the series is still running.

(Years ago I reviewed the film version of Tiziano Sclavi’s Dellamorte Dellamore from 1994.) 

Dylan Dog, an investigator of vampires, werewolves and other monsters, is an international cult hero beloved by comics fans around the world … which, of course, meant that any deviation from what the fan-boys wanted would cause them to hamstring the movie adaptation at the box office. The internet giveth and the internet taketh away.

In my opinion Dylan Dog: Dead of Night does not deserve its bad reputation. Compared to the many, many other films and television programs about heroic battlers of the paranormal this was certainly a top shelf production. The fact that this cinematic adaptation came along decades later than it should have is the main problem.  

Dylan Dog 2Let’s go by the numbers, knowing full well that budget and projected box office returns limited many of the creative decisions:

I. The Dylan Dog comic book was set in London (?). This movie was set in New Orleans, a change of locale that I actually like, given London’s overuse in horror films. Needless to say, this put the worst type of fan-boys in a VERY bad mood right off the bat.

II. The creative team behind Dylan Dog: Dead of Night kept the mood light. I agree with that choice given the inherent campiness and absurdity of an investigator who encounters werewolves, vampires, zombies, etc in horrific settings that are often reminiscent of Film Noir detective stories. The worst type of fan-boys bemoaned the “lack of the sad and serious tone of the comic books.”

III. In the comic book Dylan Dog’s sidekick in his investigations was Groucho, a Groucho Marx impersonator whose built-in craziness caused him to BE Groucho 24/7. For obvious legal and monetary reasons an American film version could not use Groucho as Dylan’s sidekick. The worst type of fan-boys were even more disenchanted.

Dylan Dog 3IV. The cinematic sidekick for Dylan was a new creation – Marcus, played by Sam Huntington, who had previously appeared with star Brandon Routh in the ill-fated Superman Returns (2006).

(Poor Routh. If only he had also starred in Frank Miller’s 2008 movie The Spirit he could have notched an all-time Hat Trick for starring in unfortunate comic book adaptations.)    Continue reading

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MUSLIM FASCIST ATROCITY ROUNDUP: OCTOBER 16th

Islamophobia posterHere at Balladeer’s Blog I devote a lot of space to those courageous Muslims who take on the fanatics in their own faith PLUS the condescending white Westerners who think that ONLY Muslims who hate the Western World are “authentic.”

For the flip side of that here’s another look at JUST A FEW recent attacks by Muslim fascists empowered by Democrats in the U.S. and by Labour in the U.K. and by  “educators” (LMAO) everywhere: 

October 14th: Mogadishu, Somalia – Another reminder that even in majority Muslim nations Muslim fascists will always go on killing other Muslims who don’t worship in the exact same way that the Muslim fascists want them to. Two Muslim fascist suicide bombers detonated two trucks, killing THREE HUNDRED TWO innocent people and injuring FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE more.  FACEBOOK WILL BAN NEWS ITEMS ABOUT THIS STORY.

September 10th: Fakirabazar, Myanmar – Muslim fascists killed EIGHTY-SIX innocent people for being Hindus instead of Muslims. Coexistence! FACEBOOK WILL BAN THIS STORY.

October 16th: Nkiedonwhro, Nigeria – Fulani terrorists – the local franchise of the Global Muslim Fascist Murder Machine – killed TWENTY-NINE innocent people. FACEBOOK WILL BAN LINKS TO THIS STORY. 

September 8th: Ancha, Nigeria – Fulani terrorists – the local franchise of the Global Muslim Fascist Murder Machine – killed 19 innocent people and injured 5 more, all because the victims were Christian instead of Muslim. Coexistence! FACEBOOK WILL BAN LINKS TO THIS STORY.  

September 11th: Sinai, Egypt – Agents of the Islamic State (Obamastan), which was spawned by Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq, used a suicide bombing to kill 18 innocent people and injure 7 more.  FACEBOOK WIL BAN LINKS TO THIS STORY.

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SEASON OF THE WITCH: HALLOWEEN SONG

Halloween Month rolls along with another musical shoutout. This one goes out to Ione Skye’s father Donovan with Season of the Witch.

 

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TOP SEVEN ROBERT LUDLUM NOVELS: NUMBER TWO

FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S SEVENTH PLACE LUDLUM NOVEL CLICK HERE 

Bourne Identity2. THE BOURNE IDENTITY (1980)

TIME PERIOD: Vietnam War era to the late 1970s.

Robert Ludlum’s most popular fictional creation – Jason Bourne (Real name David Webb) – has become as thoroughly overused, distorted and bastardized as James Bond or Sherlock Holmes. Ludlum himself already watered down the character’s original impact with two additional novels putting the amnesiac figure in increasingly ridiculous situations.

Since then other writers have churned out so many silly Bourne stories (ten at last count) to the point where Jason Bourne In Spaaaaace is the only avenue left unexplored. Or maybe a crossover with All My Sins Remembered. The Matt Damon movies use virtually nothing but the Jason Bourne name.

To me the bulk of the appeal of the original novel The Bourne Identity was that a reader only had to suspend disbelief just enough to accept an amnesiac figure surviving the unique set of circumstances presented in that story.  

Bourne Identity 2At the end it was accepted by all characters that David Webb/ Jason Bourne was in no condition to continue his intelligence work. Not only because of his amnesia but because he had found happiness with Marie, which made him lose the near-suicidal edge he had needed to succeed as Bourne.  

In my opinion Ludlum should have done PREQUEL stories of David Webb as Delta in the Vietnam War’s Medusa Project or his days pursuing Carlos as Cain/ Jason Bourne PRIOR to his amnesia.    

HERO: Since there are virtually no spoilers left about this character who has had everything but his own comic book series I will go ahead and lay out all the details of the ORIGINAL figure. This is for potential Bourne fans who associate him purely with the silly super-soldier nonsense of the movies and have avoided him because of that.

I think transferring Jason Bourne to more recent time periods robbed the story of a great deal of its unique appeal. Movies CAN work as period pieces. Studios still churn out spy flicks set during World War Two for crying out loud. There’s no reason why they can’t keep the period setting for stories dependent on the Vietnam War or late Cold War events for their full impact. 

So again … HERO: DAVID WEBB, an American scholar who specialized in ancient Vietnamese culture and spoke multiple regional languages. Webb had been serving in various diplomatic posts throughout Indochina and had a Vietnamese wife and children.

Bourne Identity 3When his wife and children were killed during a fly-by strafing from a plane of unknown national origin Webb left diplomatic work and volunteered for the top secret Medusa Project. (Ludlum’s fictional version of the real-life Phoenix Project.)

Under the codename Delta (later refined to Delta One), David Webb thrived in that Black Ops program. Delta proved ruthless and bloodthirsty, with his command of local languages and culture making him an irreplaceable asset against the Viet Cong, the North Vietnamese regulars and international mercenaries in the region. 

The Medusa Project’s operatives served as assassins, guerillas and saboteurs, often locating POW camps and facilitating escapes for UN participants in the war. On one particular mission Jason Bourne, a treacherous Medusan from Australia, betrayed Delta and his team. In response Webb killed Bourne on the spot.   Continue reading

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POLITICAL CARTOONS: A RECENT ROUNDUP

Mascot with demo and repub headsBalladeer’s Blog continues enjoying the way in which America’s cesspool of corruption that masquerades as a government is FINALLY getting exposed and fought on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, on the other hand, Left-Wing Archie Bunkers continue warring on freedom of expression on college campuses. 

Trump Van Helsing

Free speech issuesTrump is the adultAND MORE … Continue reading

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WILD AND WEIRD (1889) – NEGLECTED HORROR

Wild and WeirdHalloween is celebrated for all 31 days of October here at Balladeer’s Blog. Here’s another neglected gem. As Johnny Carson would have said “That izh some weird, wild shtuff.” 

WILD AND WEIRD (1889) – By Gilbert Edward Campbell. This compilation of three of Campbell’s short story collections presents some of the author’s best works. He often based his tales of terror on pre-existing folklore from around Russia, England and Italy but made them come alive in more polished form.

Here are some of the stories:  

THE MIDNIGHT SKATER – This tale gets extra points from me for presenting a reasonably unique monster: a female were-bear. That’s not really a spoiler since this is one of those stories in which modern readers will guess the twist just a few pages in. Olga, a beautiful gypsy girl, is wooed by plenty of men but most of them end up getting killed by a bear-like creature. It turns out Olga herself is the were-bear, who preys on her suitors when she gets them alone in the woods.

WHAT WAS IT? – I’m often surprised at how many horror stories from the 1800s and earlier were edgy enough to kill off children. This is another one of them. Playful, mischievous children are repeatedly warned not to enter a room called “the Infernal Room.” Kids being kids, they eventually enter it anyway and face death in the form of a child-hating ghost.

THE GREEN STAIRCASE – An eerie green staircase – think David Lynch meets Arthur Machen – leads to a portrait gallery. (But no, this strange room is NOT above a convenience store.) The art is hypnotically beautiful but if you stay too long or visit too many times the figures in the pictures come to life and reveal their malevolent nature.   Continue reading

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HALLOWEEN SONG FROM THE HIGGLEOOS

Since it’s Saturday morning lets go with a Halloween-themed song that is something Balladeer’s Blog usually is NOT … Kid Friendly. It’s the Higgleoos with The Monsters Ball, but not the Butcher Babies song of the same title.

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