Video Vices

Constantine: City of Demons Review

Release Date: 2018.
Director: Doug Murphy.
Producers: David S. Goyer, Sam Register, Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti, Butch Lukic and Marc Guggenheim.
Written By: J.M. DeMatteis, Philip Tan, Mike Carey, Dan Didio, Steve Dillon, Garth Ennis and Richard Piers Rayner.
Cast: Matt Ryan, Damian O’Hare, Emily O’Brien, Jim Meskimen, Kevin Michael Richardson and Laura Bailey.
Running Time:
1 hour and 30 minutes.

These days if it wasn’t for bad luck, the John Constantine character wouldn’t have any luck at all. His television series has been cancelled and so too has his comic book. For now, fans can only follow his exploits as a member of Justice League Dark.

Just in time for Halloween, John Constantine’s luck might be changing though with the DVD and Blu-ray release of Constantine: City of Demons.

Originally an animated web series for the CW’s online streaming platform CW Seed, City of Demons was supposed to be tie-in to the live-action series but because of gremlins or hellish imps or poor communication between productions, that didn’t happen.

The film has the occult detective using his arcane abilities to help a friend in need from his rock band days. Buddy’s daughter has fallen into a coma and thus far modern medicine has failed to help her. Constantine, voiced by Matt Ryan who played the character in the Legends of Tomorrow television series, is brought in to root out any supernatural shenanigans.

Calling on The Nightmare Nurse (Laura Bailey) to oversee the comatose child in his stead, Constantine follows paranormal clues which lead him and his head-banging buddy to Hollywood. There they find a diabolical demon who wishes to establish his own division of hell right in the middle of Tinseltown by feeding on all of the succulent corruption and depravity.

The voice work by Matt Ryan, Damian O’Hare, Emily O’Brien, Jim Meskimen and the always incomparable Kevin Michael Richardson and Laura Bailey, is exceptional as the story itself is not your typical superhero fare. It is very tragic, horrifying and heart-breaking. Only a voice cast like this could pull all of those emotional notes in a genuine way.

The animation is far better than we have seen in recent Warner Bros. Animation features. City of Demons looks crisp, clean and vivid not haggard, rushed and murky as the awfully animated Death of Superman and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight did.

As with the majority of the Warner Bros. Animation releases these days, Constantine: City of Demons is not for young children. It is as gory and blood-spattered as any contemporary horror movie. Demons rip human beings apart, tear off their limbs and feast on their brains and skulls. There are many uncensored decapitations accompanied by geysers of blood jetting into the air.

Possibly the most disturbing scene is when Constantine is invited to a nightmarish, underworld party in which humans are flayed alive, fed to other demons and human bodies have been contorted into ways that Leatherface and the Sawyer family would be proud of. Some of the bodies have been freakishly fashioned into grotesque musical instruments including one with…bats flying out of its ass.

Yes, you read right. Constantine: City of Demons is probably the only film in which you will see…bats flying out of a corpse’s ass. That to me is worth the price of admission alone.

If you are still here after reading all of that, Constantine: City of Demons is right up your alley. Having more in common with anime than animated films produced in Hollywood, it is explicit in every way…and that’s the way we like our demon hunter-anime movies-produced-in-North America-based-on-American comic books movies.

Gravestones

Four people sliced apart.
One neck snapped.
Another four people dismembered.
Scores of patrons at a concert hall are massacred.
Demons killed six people.
A demon destroyed by…love??!!?
Four demons die.
A head is ripped off.
Someone is torn apart.

Naughty Bits

adult_content_warning

Some naked bodies here and there.

Memorable Dialogue

John Constantine: Sometimes shitty things happen because that is just the way the world is.
John Constantine: If I have learned one thing over the years, it is there are no happy endings.
John Constantine: Who do you think I am? Benedict bloody Cumberbatch?

Pints of Blood

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Rating

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