June 28, 2008

Written by Matt Goldberg

I am in a conundrum. You see, I am a big fan of “Hellboy”. I’ve got a “Hellboy” figure on my desk and I’m not sure if I’m going to wear my B.P.R.D. t-shirt or my Hellboy t-shirt that uses the art from the first film’s Mike Mingola teaser poster. I’m also a massive fan of writer/director Guillermo Del Toro. Unfortunately, “Pan’s Labyrinth” t-shirts and action figures are harder to find. But it’s difficult to find someone among my friends in Atlanta who shares even half my excitement for “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”. Sure, I’ll get a lot of, “Sure, as long as I don’t have to pay anything, I’ll come along,” as responses to an invite to see the film with me (my friends are just swell), but I want to go with someone who already knows what B.P.R.D. stands for. My life is difficult.

This conundrum was only exacerbated today by the release of not one, not two, but THREE new pieces of “Hellboy II” goodness. First, we have an animated prologue. It’s not done up in the style of the “Hellboy Animated” movies, but it’s still entertaining and don’t think that it’s spoilery because its written by Hellboy creator Mike Mingola. It’s the opposite of spoilery. It’s canon. You have to watch it.

The next piece is a brief featurette that doesn’t really go into depth on any aspect of the film in particular, although it does note that Abe Sapien will get more screen time, something that the trailers haven’t really alluded to and while I understand (it’s hard enough to sell the film on the main character let alone his fishy-looking pal), it’s a revelation that gets me even more excited for the film.

But my excitement is really self-perpetuating because all the trailers and all the posters (except for the one by Drew Struzan) are trying to market the film for a mass audience and I don’t think they’re doing a very good job. It’s some kind of self-reflexive marketing where you can see the guys in the room sighing over how to sell a movie where the main character is a demon called Hellboy. Then they just took that frustration and put it into tagline form (“Believe it or not, he’s the good guy”) Why not emphasize the fun dichotomy between Hellboy’s working-class attitude and the fantastical world he inhabits? Show the guy holding a beer, smoking a cigar, and bashing a monster. I don’t envy their task but that doesn’t mean I have to applaud their effort.

But you can check out all of this below and judge for yourself. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking for someone who thinks it would be awesome to own a replica of The Samaritan. And to watch any of these in HD, click here.

Hellboy 2 Prologue

Hellboy 2 – 3rd Trailer

Hellboy 2 Featurette

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