FROM THE DARK SIDE TO OUR SIDE.
Born out of one of the Nazis’ occult experiments, a red demon (Ron Perlman) now works for the U.S. government fighting evil. Watching a film by Guillermo del Toro is like stepping into another (gorgeously shot) universe with fantastical creatures and magnificent visual effects. What makes it work is his intelligent and sensitive approach to his characters and the story, which is vital when you’re dealing with supernatural Nazis, monsters and a blunt, wise-cracking, cigar-chomping demon (wonderfully played by Perlman). It’s a longish but well told and very entertaining version of the comic book.
2004-U.S. 125 min. Color. Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Mike Richardson, Lloyd Levin. Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. Comic Book: Mike Mignola. Cast: Ron Perlman (Hellboy), John Hurt (Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman), Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor… Doug Jones. Voice of David Hyde-Pierce.
Trivia: Alternative version runs 145 min. Followed by Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) and a reboot, Hellboy (2019).
Last word: “I said in the past that obviously no matter how respectful you are for the material there is a moment – an analogy is like marrying a widow. You have to be very respectful about the late husband, but at some point you are going to get in bed. The late husband isn’t going to matter anymore, or he better not. And I think it’s the same with material. There’s a point where you go, ‘I only have my instinct to guide me through this section, but it’s co-exploring.’ In the case of ‘Hellboy’, I have been blessed with a guy like Mike who is the most generous landlord of the ‘Hellboy’ real estate. He says essentially, ‘Move in, decorate as you want, and make it yours’, and he has done that. (Del Toro, Screen Crave)