Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Preview Post: HELLBOY

Dru and Dave wrap up the "Hell" series by confronting old horn head himself. No, not Beelzebub: Hellboy! More specifically, the less than dynamic duo take a look at Guillermo Del Toro’s 2004 film adaptation of Hellboy, based on Mike Mignola’s cult favourite comic book.

I dig this poster, Selma Blair's pose doesn't really reflect the character of Liz Sherman at all.

Hellboy is cool and all, but where is our Monkeyman & O'Brien film?
Mignola’s famous creation first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 in 1993. Shortly thereafter, the character starred in his first mini-series, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, the comic which serves as the primary source material for the film. A blend of classic pulp storytelling, Lovecraftian horror and folklore, the Hellboy comics tell the tale of Anung Un Rama, a demon summoned by an occult division of the Nazis in the latter years of World War II. Instead of arriving as a full blown monster, however, Anung arrives as an infant, and is soon found by the Allied Forces, including Professor Bruttenholm. Raised by Bruttenholm, Anung, dubbed "Hellboy," grows up to battle evil supernatural forces for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence. Fighting alongside him are a variety of other gifted indivuals, include the mysterious Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman.

In 2004, the film adaptation of Hellboy was released in theatres. The film is co-written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro, whose feature film career launched with the Spanish language, sort-of-vampire horror film Cronos in 1993. Cronos also marks the first collaboration between Del Toro and Hellboy star Ron Perlman, who features in a supporting role in the film.

Prior to Hellboy, Del Toro made his first leap into the comic book superhero/horror genre in 2002 with Blade II, the sequel to the 1998 hit directed by Stephen Norrington. Infusing the film with his more gothic sensibilities, Blade II met with stronger critical notices than the first film and solid box office. Also turning up in Blade II? Ron Perlman.

This year, Del Toro returns to directing after an unplanned hiatus with the big budget blockbuster Pacific Rim, a kaiju/mecha film which stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, and, yes, Ron Perlman. (He's also rumoured to be putting together a crossover film featuring horror-themed characters from DC comics, including Swamp Thing, Deadman, and John Constantine! We'll keep you updated on that one here at 24 Panels.)
So how does Hellboy stand up nine years on? Check your iTunes feed on March 24 to find out!

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