Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007)
I have a confession to make. I am not a rabid fangirl of the comic book realm. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being such a devoted fan of comics, I’m just saying I never got into that particular genre. Therefore, I really don’t know anything about comics or comic book characters. You can imagine I was a bit surprised and perplexed when I received a screener for the new Hellboy animated movie, Blood and Iron. I have heard of the comic, but I’ve never seen the live-action movie, never read the comic and never seen any previous animated movies featuring Hellboy. Despite not being familiar with the material, I found myself wholeheartedly enjoying Hellboy: Blood and Iron.
When Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) are assigned to investigate the ghost-infested mansion of a publicity-hound billionaire, they uncover a plot to resurrect the beautiful yet deadly vampire Erzsebet Ondrushko, who is connected to Professor Broom’s (John Hurt) past. Before becoming a vampire, Erzsebet enjoyed bathing in the blood of young girls to maintain her beauty and continued the tradition when she turned into a vampire and became the goddess Hecate’s right-hand woman. She’s killed over 1,000 people, mostly young women, and their ghosts have come forth to warn Hellboy and the others of the plot for her resurrection. Hellboy will have to face the hounds of hell, witches, harpies, a giant werewolf, Erzsebet and the Queen of Witches, Hecate, before this case can be closed.
Watching Hellboy: Blood and Iron, I was reminded of watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. The only thing that I was missing was a big bowl of Lucky Charms! The movie was fun, moved at a brisk pace, and kept me glued to the screen. Despite not having much previous knowledge of the Hellboy franchise, I found it extremely easy to follow along and become familiar with each of the characters. The writers wisely don’t go too far in-depth with the characters as to not bore the established fans, but introduce them just enough for any newbies (like me!) to easily follow.
The voice acting by all of the actors is superb; the skill in which they become their respective characters is astounding and really adds to the story. I loved the performance by Ron Perlman as Hellboy! He’s gruff, cheeky and just doesn’t give a crap about a lot of stuff. Perlman definitely gets into and really becomes his character! I was hoping to see more of Selma Blair’s character, Liz Sherman, but she doesn’t get too much memorable screen time.
The story of the resurrected vampire Erzsebet (which closely resembles the story of 17th century real life serial killer Elizabeth Bathory) is a little tired, but it still manages to work rather well with the added subplots of Hecate and the other demons Hellboy and Co. must face. The inclusion of the Professor’s flashbacks to his first confrontation with Erzsebet and the priest’s own story also added depth to the story and made the film much more interesting.
The only thing that disappointed me was the fight scenes. In animation, so much more is possible than in live action and I was expecting some pretty brutal scenes. I was a little bit let down when the fights weren’t all that spectacular. The film opens right away on a battle between Hellboy and a few demons in the sewers, which is probably one of the better fights in the film. The rest of the battles are just so-so…
The extras on the disc are impressive, including Reversal of Fortune: Professor Bloom’s Story, Tales from the Tomb: A Look Inside Blood and Iron, Iron Shoes: The Animated Debut with Introduction by Mike Mignola, The Penanggalan: An E-Comic Exclusive with introduction by Mike Mignola and Audio Commentary featuring Mike Mignola, Tad Stones and Vic Cook. Also included with the DVD is an exclusive 32 page Hellboy comic.
Hellboy: Blood and Iron was a highly entertaining and fun animated movie! I highly recommend checking it out, whether you are already a fan to the series or are a newbie! After seeing Blood and Iron, I am tempted to pick up the Hellboy movie and the other Hellboy animated feature.
Available from Amazon!