Constantine: The House Of Mystery (2022)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/10/23
Cast: Matt Ryan, Camilla Luddington, Lou Diamond Phillips

In the aftermath of the Apokolips War, John Constantine (Matt Ryan) enlists the Flash to go back in time and prevent Darkseid from coming to Earth. But there's a price to pay for meddling in such things, and John finds himself trapped in the House Of Mystery for eternity, while his friends and family murder him over and over. Thankfully (or not), John is a pretty clever chap and manages to break out of his prison, but that only makes things worse.

First of all, the music is FANTASTIC. I'd love to buy the soundtrack for this show. Second, as a DC Showcase title, it's disappointingly short and the ending is frustratingly abrupt and offers no closure. However, there's also very little story, so a longer running time would probably just make it boring. As it is, it's a non-stop nightmare as John repeatedly dies at the hands of his friends, while trying to figure a way out. It's shockingly bloody and brutal, with a dash of sex and horror thrown in by Zatanna (Camilla Luddington).

Filling out the rest of the Blu-ray are three other shorts, which are "Kamandi", "The Losers", and "Blue Beetle." "Kamandi" is a fascinating tale that looks like it crawled off the pages of "Heavy Metal" with its post-apocalyptic story and bold Jack Kirby style. "The Losers" is a fun World War II adventure featuring dinosaurs and a sexy Chinese operative (Ming Na Wen), while "Blue Beetle" is a hilarious spoof of old Filmation superhero cartoons from the 60's. "Blue Beetle" does a superb job of emulating the old Filmation aesthetic, including all of the common goofs. The sound effects and voice acting are also spot on, and The Question ends up stealing the show with his deadpan philosophical banter. "It's not a question of who's going to let me. It's a question of who's going to stop me."

Funny side story: I was at my local pharmacy wearing a Batman shirt and the cashier asked me if I was a DC comics fan. I said I was a casual fan, but that I don't really follow what's going on. He then proceeded to tell me that I had to watch the "House Of Mystery" animation, and that it was the best DC animated feature ever. That's clearly not the case, but his passionate rant made me curious enough to check it out.