Subtitled "The Master of Discipline," the script generally follows Percy Bysshe Shelley's 1810 novel, albeit shot through with the typical Walker sense of tongue-in-cheek. Ruthlessly existential Zastrozzi (the memorable Philippe Brenninkmeyer) swears vengeance on deluded Verezzi (avid Alex Robert Holmes, alternating with Hans Longo). After causing the death of Zastrozzi's mother, this addled painter has become a self-styled religious visionary.
By rendering Walker's witty Gothic fillips in film noir idiom, this light-fingered reading sharpens "Zastrozzi's" trumps and shrinks its foibles. Co-directors Sara Botsford and Christopher "CB" Brown deftly finagle the mix of camp and gravitas. Spurred by Brenninkmeyer, who is ideal in charismatic presence and eloquent diction, the ace actors follow suit, tearing into Victor Warren's fight choreography and exuding casual perversity without going overboard.
Lacey Anzelc designs an imposing abandoned prison set, which Luke Moyer lights lushly. Costume designer Curtis C. and sound designer Jonathan Zenz have great fun with the Carol Reed-on-absinthe ambience.
There are fleeting oddities -- Act 1 ends too bluntly, Holmes might rethink his accent, and Walker remains an acquired taste.
Yet many a deeper dish of treachery has offered less real thought, style or entertainment than this solid revival consistently provides.