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Hellboy (2004)

by on 2012/01/21

“I’m fireproof, you’re not.”

* * * *

“Mommy, Mommy, can I have a Obersturmbannführer Karl Ruprecht Kroenen action figure?

It has a limited edition removable gas mask so you can see his missing eyelids, unnecessary surgery scars, and it even has real dust instead of blood!

No?

Ok, how about the Sammael, Hellhound of Resurrection? It comes with a security guard that it can devour from the head down, and lays real gelatin eggs!”

Hellboy, unlike Trix, is not for kids. Not even a little.

However I, a monster-loving grownup, have this thing for Guillermo del Toro.

A serious thing.

It started when I first saw Blade II, which later became one of my favourite movies of all time. In fact, I would have a difficult time calculating how many times I’ve watched that movie.

I laughed and laughed when I found out that Roger Ebert called it a “vomitorium of viscera.” He was right.

I would gladly follow Mr. del Toro into the dark. Darkness and the construction of vast, wonderous vomitoriums is what he does best.

Hellboy‘s got viscera. Ever so much. This is no funny pages story. It pulls no punches. In fact, it punches with a big, red fist of doom …and makes me wish I had one just like it.

Hellboy is packed with all sorts of demon-y goodness and hellfire. It has raw, charming, silverback mountain man Ron Perlman. And John Hurt plays his occult-talking dad. There’s Selma Blair as Liz, the tortured pyrokinetic who has the power to blow up entire buildings when she loses control.

There’s the slimy charm of Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), a fish man who is also a genius and psychic. There’s even Rasputin (Karel Roden).

For me, the shiny cherry on top is …hey now …Jeffrey Tambor as the public relations con man keeping the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense out of the papers.

It has action. Great action. Ron Perlman flying through plates of glass and battling monsters on subway platforms action.

It has romance. In fact, Hellboy’s whispered line to the lovely Liz deserves an honourable mention in my Top 5 Romantic Speeches  list. “I said, “Hey you, on the other side – let her go. Because for her I will cross over, and then you’ll be sorry!”

You wouldn’t think a big red guy with horns could be dreamy, but he was in that moment. He was also very much the romantic hero when he saved a box of kittens from certain death.

With Hellboy, Mr. del Toro doesn’t just do viscera, he also knows how to plunge his hand through your sternum and tug at your heartstrings.

* * * *

132 minutes (director’s cut)

Rated PG-13 for Guillermo del Toro’s signature violence and slimy gore. Though I love it, I still can’t quite bring myself to let my favourite teenager Miss_Tree watch it.

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