Devil, the Hellevator

Devil

The movie I’m about to tell you about is called Devil, but it should have been called Hellevator or had a tagline like that. “Devil,” psh. That’s about as creative as naming your pet hamster Rodent. As far as Satanic horror movies go, it’s not actually very scary. It gets super tense at parts through utilization of flickering lights coupled with unusual deaths, but never really steps into that jump-scare territory. That’s what happens when the entire movie occurs in a malfunctioning elevator and you’re not allowed to know who the one making trouble is, I suppose. Not a lot to work with.

Devil begins with a priest dying by falling out of a rather tall building, and a narration describing a priest dying and how that kind of thing usually means Satan is up to shenanigans. Then, five people get into an elevator and it enters inspection mode. Then, the lights flicker and someone gets bit. You may be hoping they turn into a demon zombie, but they don’t, for which I am profoundly sorry. The security guards watching via the elevator’s camera call the police to defuse the situation, which brings Detective Bowden to the scene.

DevilBowden is a recovering alcoholic who lost his wife and daughter in a hit and run car accident several years prior. That might seem irrelevant, but it plays an important role later on, so hush. He’s the one who doesn’t believe in the Devil because he thinks people are bad enough on their own. Ramirez, the religious security guard and narrator of the beginning of the film, gives him some guff for it, though they eventually join forces to take on Satan in a loose, moralistic sense. You can’t actually fight Satan, I don’t think.

Anyway, here’s the lineup of people trapped in the elevator in case you want to sleuth who the devil is before you watch the movie, if you even plan on it:

  • Ben Larson, a temp security guard.
  • Jane Cowski, an old woman.
  • Vince McCormick, a scumbag mattress salesman.
  • Tony, a former mechanic and Afghanistan veteran.
  • Sarah Caraway, a rich and tricky young woman.

DevilBy the way, Sarah Caraway is played by Bojana Novakovic. That’s a name I haven’t heard since Drag Me to Hell. That one and Devil are similar, though the latter lacks a sense of humor and focuses more on being a moral lesson, the lesson being “you better not do nasty shit or the Devil gon’ come round and kill you dead.”

Josh Tyler of CinemaBlend is quickly becoming my favorite movie reviewer around. According to him, Ramirez knows the secret of the Devil. He knows it super good-like because his grandma told him. He just doesn’t tell anyone until everybody’s already dead. You should read this other review because it’s silly and clever and I like it: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Devil-4849.html

The Fourth Kind Probed Itself Wrong

The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind is a horror movie that wants its audience to believe that its content is true. We’re not talking about a murder with a vaguely supernatural nature, by the way. We’re talking about aliens. Hold the cream and sugar please, I take my aliens straight. This flick is so adamant about being real that it plays “actual” recorded footage side by side with the actual feature. And you used to scoff when movies said “inspired by true events” and left it at that. What an utter delight that is by comparison. On top of that, it has a pair of opening and closing segments in which its actors speak out of character about how very REAL the footage is. To paraphrase, “I’m not saying the events of this movie are real, but they are and we have video evidence to prove it.” Effort only a mother- excuse me, paranoid alien conspiracy theorist could admire.

The Fourth Kind

The idea driving The Fourth Kind isn’t bad on its own; several of a psychiatrist’s patients begin sharing the same dream and having panic attacks when hypnotized. The psychiatrist takes note of their behavior, and upon studying all the facts, suddenly concludes that aliens are responsible. After she hits that point, the movie says “yeah definitely aliens” and throws in some large ovular UFOs, a mandatory quasi-nude probing scene, and makes sure to not actually show any aliens by having every camera suffer a stroke at every potentially revealing moment. I’m not referring to the probing thing, but you don’t get to see anything anyway.

The Fourth KindYou see, The Fourth Kind goes about inspiring fear and awe with all the subtlety and tact of a surgeon with a chainsaw who happened to forget his subtlety and tact medication. Borrowing elements from the possession subgenre of horror, victims of alien attacks apparently float, hear voices speaking in Sumerian, and start breaking things while hypnotized. After that, they go crazy and murder their families because they don’t want to remember being abducted. They even have a skeptical cop who goes out of his way to be a complete prick to the protagonists, because he doesn’t believe in aliens and only assholes don’t believe in aliens. Have you not seen all the proof? LOOK AT ALL THE PROOF ALIENS ARE REAL SHUN THE NON-BELIEV-

*cough*

The Fourth KindPoor Milla Jovovich. Even as sci-fi actress royalty, this was not one of her finer roles. Not because of her acting, mind you, but because of the content. If only aliens would come down and extract the memory of her ever having participated in the filming of this movie, eh? Tee hee.

Oh, yeah, and one last thing. If you have seen or are going to see The Fourth Kind, replace the aliens with demons and tell me the transition isn’t unusually smooth.

Annalee Newitz of io9.com claims outright in her review that The Fourth Kind is a hoax. That’s kind of tongue in cheek, because you’d have to be pretty oblivious not to be able to tell. You can sell a movie by the nature and quality of its content, but when your selling point hinges on your audience believing your work of fiction to be truth… you better do a damn good job making it seem real. And The Fourth Kind didn’t. Here’s the alt review link: http://io9.com/5397359/the-fourth-kind-is-a-hoax

Nine Dead Has No Protagonists

Nine Dead

It really doesn’t. The masked man is the closest thing to a good guy, but he kills people.

Nine Dead doesn’t really break any new ground in the well-treaded realm of horror, but it certainly provides enough intrigue to hold your interest until the end. The premise, nine people trapped in a room until they can discover why they’re there, allows the film to tantalize viewers with a slow but steady trickle of information that leads up to the dramatic conclusion. All you know is that they deserve to be there, and as they each begin spilling their personal stories, you’ll understand why.

Nine DeadNine Dead wastes no time in delivering its victims to the killroom. From the very start, you witness a chain of seemingly unrelated kidnappings that ends in nine people trapped in the heart of a vengeful scheme. Handcuffed to metal poles and placed before a timer, the supposedly guilty group must speak amongst themselves to find out just what they did to earn their imprisonment. Every ten minutes, the masked captor enters the room, asks if they’ve found the answer, and kills one of them when they have nothing to offer.

Since the entire film is essentially built around spoilers, there are only two things left for me to explain: the characters, and the somewhat dissatisfying conclusion. I’ll do a bullet list for the characters.

  • Kelley, the cutthroat attorney at law.
  • Jackson, the cop who’s not as clean as he thinks he is.
  • Eddie Vigoda, the timid and innocent type.
  • Father Francis, the devout Catholic priest.
  • Nhung Chan, the Chinese woman who sadly does not speak English.
  • Sully Fenton, the easily amused and short-fused head of a gang.
  • Leon, the gun running black guy. He doesn’t die first.
  • Coogan, the unabashed pedophile.
  • Christian, the barkeep and Hollywood actor.

Nine DeadInteresting lineup, huh? Makes you wonder how they could all possibly be connected.

My final note, aside from stating the opinion that Nine Dead is worth a watch if you like webs of intrigue and character driven stories, is that person X does NOT get away scot-free at the end. The masked man was filming them the entire time, so when the police find the recording devices, they will log the video as evidence. No evil goes unpunished in this’un.

Ben the Book beat Nine Dead upside its nine heads with a stop sign, saying the acting was vomitous and the plot was only being held together by the stubborn understains of its knickers. While I can promise you that the film isn’t that icky, it is certainly no more than a once-off horror film to satisfy an idle mind. Boredom, not stupidity. Whatever. It wasn’t like Saw at all, though. Read this collection of words: http://spitonyourtaste.blogspot.com/2011/07/nine-dead-review.html

The Twist in the Room at the House at the End of the Street

House at the End of the Street

House at the End of the Street has got more twists than a 1960s dance floor, I tell ya what. Jennifer Lawrence has to put up with some shit. I mean that in both a plot and a bone-breaking sense. Well, there’s one bone-breaking twist, and it in itself is an emotional twist that misleads viewers. Even the suspenseful climax will keep you guessing. Gosh darn I hate reviewing good movies because I don’t want to spoil anything.

House at the End of the StreetElissa and her recently divorced mom move into a big house near a national park, only affordable because the house at the end of the street *cough* was where a family was slaughtered, leaving only one person alive… Ryan. And he still lives there. The entire town brands him a freak and hates him, as they don’t know the true story behind his family’s murder. You don’t either, so stop making crass assumptions. Quasi-spoiler, once Elissa and Ryan get a little chummy, he reveals that his brain-damaged sister Carrie-Anne killed everyone before drowning in a river. Her body was never found, so local legends have cropped up of her living in the woods.

House at the End of the StreetThere is a short introduction to the town douchebag, Tyler, which gives you someone to hate. He runs some kind of afterschool charity club which is actually a front for some stereotypical high school partying. Elissa doesn’t take too kindly to being propositioned by the drunk and “pathetically horny” Tyler lad. Aside from that, the only role he plays is trying to beat up Ryan right before things get dramatic climactic, so feel free to fully disregard him as a mechanism to incite an emotional response from you, the prospective audience. Was that too meta?

House at the End of the StreetJennifer Lawrence isn’t too bad in a horror movie victim role. Since the movie focuses more on scares oriented around the story rather than story oriented around the scares, there’s enough room for Elissa to actually receive some quality characterization, particularly by the dynamic between her and her mother. I actually found myself getting a little “involved” during the final confrontation.

Overall, House at the End of the Street comes off as a quality, modern horror story. Its only blatant clichés are a flashlight that’s low on batteries and a villain that comes back for a final scare. If you’re expecting to be doing a seeing of the boobies, you must be going to a different venue of cinematic event showing, for this instance is dedicated to the being of the quality. Ten outta ten.

Stephen Holden of NYTimes ripped House at the End of the Street for ripping from Psycho, which I haven’t seen for reasons unknown. If you want to watch something for entertainment, my mostly neutral and out-of-context review is the one for you. If you want to assess this flick as cinematic art, check out the alt review here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/movies/the-house-at-the-end-of-the-street-with-jennifer-lawrence.html?_r=0

Lovely Molly, Attack of the Ghost Horse

Lovely Molly

I’ll explain the title momentarily.

Speaking of titles, Lovely Molly was originally going to be called The Possession, you know. Considering the title “The Possession” is about as original as all the Paranormal Activity spinoffs out there, I’d say Lovely Molly is a better choice. Though not intended, I interpret the title as a sort of sarcastic jab at Molly’s descent to madness throughout the film. Seriously, you’ll have a laugh too once I explain everything. Ahem!

Lovely MollyFirst of all, the real reason Molly is so “lovely” is because her insanity orbits around sex and ultraviolence. Mainly sex. You’ll see Gretchen Lodge nude often enough to wonder if the director was recovering from an overdose of Viagra while filming. It’s all part and parcel of demonic horror movies, really. Everyone knows Satan loves him some booty.

As far as backstory goes, Lovely Molly sits right on the border of interesting and meh. The premise is that Molly and Hannah were sexually abused by their scumbag father up until Hannah killed him. Not content to leave the world early, the evil in his spirit brought him back as a demon, and he haunts their family home in an attempt to exact revenge by driving them mad. Simple but effective, right?

Lovely MollyI said “Attack of the Ghost Horse” because scumbag ghost dad is a horse demon, thus clops around when he walks. Having seen pictures from Molly’s childhood that contain horses, I was under the impression that perhaps something had happened to her pet horse as a kid and it was coming back to wreak havoc. That would have been absolutely hilarious, especially when done in this movie’s dire tone. But hey, Rapey Undead Demon Dad works too. But not as well as Vengeful Ghost Horse, let’s be honest with ourselves.

Right! Now to actually explain the story! Molly and Tim are newlyweds, and they have moved into Molly’s old family home because they’re broke. Tim is a truck driver, so he doesn’t get to spend much time with his darling wife who also happens to be a recovering heroin addict. Lovely lovely! Soon, creepy things start happening, and Molly slowly begins to flip out. Most of her madness involves seduction and cannibalism, which would be much more entertaining if the malevolent entity was just a horse. Instead of all that inane would-be creepy singing, there could be whinnies and neighs. Lovely Ghost Horse made me do it, officer.

Lovely MollyIn short, the only reason you need to see this movie is to understand all the jokes I made while reviewing it. See? It’s kind of like an entrapment scheme. Now that you know my glorious sense of humor has shone light upon this horsey booby spectacle, you have no choice but to view it by whatever means are available to you. I used Netflix, just so ya know.

Ryan Turek of ShockTillYouDrop offers much tamer and less spoiler-filled review of Lovely Molly. Isn’t it a shame that you’ve already indulged in my sparkling potpourri of goofy horse oriented opinions? Read different words about the same thing right here: http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/reviews/169235-review-lovely-molly/



Cockneys vs Zombies is Well Worth a Butcher

Cockneys vs Zombies

Butcher’s hook, worth a look! You don’t need to be cockney to enjoy the rhyming slang.

While watching the quirky character introduction flashbacks in Cockneys vs Zombies, I can’t help but be reminded of Guy Ritchie’s 2000 film Snatch. They’ve both got cranky old people, a heist that goes better than planned, and a sometimes silly sense of humor. The film’s low budget takes nothing away from its charm, though you wouldn’t guess it’s a 2012 release judging by its special effects.

Cockneys vs ZombiesCockneys vs Zombies follows the lives of two East End of London brothers, Terry and Andy, who are looking to save their grandfather Ray’s retirement home from foreclosure by robbing a bank. In order to do so, they throw together a motley crew of misfits: “Mental” Mickey, the insane gun-running war veteran with a steel plate in his head, Katy, their lockpicking hotwiring cousin, and Davey “Tuppence,” the master of disguise. Terry fits well in the leader role, whereas Andy’s reliance on his brother to get things done betrays his talent and particularly good luck.

The zombie outbreak coincides with their robbery, beginning the uncontrolled chain of infection when construction workers crack open a mass grave condemned by Charles II and are promptly eaten by 17th century zombies. Though the primary antagonistic force, the undead shamblers just happen to show up right when the bank is surrounded by police and Mental Mickey has taken two hostages. In the meantime, Ray’s retirement home has been completely besieged by zombies, forcing the aged cockney pensioners into the kitchen where they sit and wait to be rescued.

Cockneys vs ZombiesI’d like to take this moment to point out that this is one of the few zombie movies in which the characters are actually aware of what zombies are. In so many others, people are completely clueless as to what happens when you’re bitten or why that pudgy man is bleeding from the ears and moaning like a drunken sea lion. The film industry has seen to it that everyone who has so much as glanced at a TV knows about the glamorous undead. With that in mind, moving on.

Cockneys vs Zombies veers from the stereotypical zombie movie composition by adding a goofy sense of humor and characters with personality that extends beyond not wanting to shoot a bitten loved one and then being eaten consequently. Emma, one of the hostages Mickey took, has the only “can’t do it” moment in the movie, but seals her zombie sister in a room rather than up and die. So, you know, go Emma.

Cockneys vs ZombiesI would recommend this flick to anyone with a love of the genre, or to someone who is bored with the genre and wants something new. Zombie films are very niche despite how widespread they’ve become, yet Cockneys vs Zombies holds an appeal beyond what is offered up by its thematic box art.

Gabe Toro of IndieWire has kindly reminded me that some horror movie clichés are still fully in effect. Mental Mickey is the film’s only black man, and he is the first of their crew to die. I won’t tell you how, but that’s just something to nod your head and “huh” at. Also, apparently Alan Ford played a part in a film called Strippers vs Werewolves. I, uh… What? I mean, I don’t really have high standards when it comes to movies, but… Yeah, just follow the incoming link for the alt review: http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/review-horror-comedy-cockneys-vs-zombies-20130802

American Mary, Living the Dream

American Mary

American Mary is a film that I don’t think really deserves to be stuffed in the horror genre. There are horror elements, of course, like extreme body modification and a climactic murder, but this film is largely character driven. If not for how desperate the director was to sexualize Mary to hell and back, I’d consider American Mary to be nearly flawless. I’ll get more into that later, but for now, the plot.

Mary is training to become a surgeon under a hardass yet encouraging teacher, and funds are tight. For lack of any better ideas, she decides to take up working in a strip club to make ends meet. The owner, having looked over her resume, offers her $5,000 in cash to perform surgery on one of his lackeys who was savagely beaten. Unable to turn down that kind of money, Mary stitches him up and sets the wheels in motion.

American MarySoon after, she begins to receive calls from a plastic surgery addict named Beatress Johnson who is apparently looking for some unorthodox surgery for a friend. Mary turns her down initially, but she caves once the Betty Boop lookin’ gal starts offering big bucks, as that’s basically her weak point. Hey, if you can do what you’re good at and make a shitload of cash off of it, why not, right? The surgery scene is tame compared to what you’d normally expect in slasher movies, though you might have sympathy pains during the nipple removal bit. Oop, did I say that out loud? Spoiler! Ooh hoo hoo.

After finding her footing financially, one of her teachers invites her to a surgeon party, which she decides to attend. Donning a tacky and skimpy dress, she finds herself drugged and raped by her old teacher. Who would have thought, huh? Apparently he thought she had become a prostitute to make money, which… explains why he rapes her? I don’t follow that logic at all, but it sets up a revenge scene that is pretty satisfying.

American MaryMary practices every extreme body modification she can on her rapist teacher after paying the strip club’s owner to have him “acquired” and beaten. After that, the remainder of the film focuses on her body modification, and some of its dire consequences. Er, not the consequences of having body modification, but of doing them. The conclusion of American Mary could not have been better. If you end up liking the movie, I guarantee the ending will score high. No hints aside from what I’ve already said.

As for the sexualization that I mentioned earlier, I feel as though it’s unnecessary and distracts from the story. The movie is too serious to be campy, so the sexy outfits during surgery and constant boobs and butts everywhere seem out of place. I suppose mixing sex and surgery can be considered avant-garde, but the way it’s done in this film makes it seem tacky. Like they believed they wouldn’t be able to sell Mary’s story without throwing in some blatant titillation, you know? It’s a damn shame, because Mary is a likeable character. You don’t need to see her ass to figure that out. If you do, then you’re a confusing person and you’ll probably glean a lot more from the film than I did.

American MaryMatt Glasby of TotalFilm found the rape revenge to be empowering. While I do enjoy a bit of justified retaliatory torture, it tends to draw focus from the fact that Mary’s shitsack teacher probably shouldn’t have played the rape game in the first place. It’s good that he got his dick chopped off. Right, well, here’s the alt review: http://www.totalfilm.com/reviews/cinema/american-mary

Serenity and Psychic Secrets

Serenity

Serenity feels like it’s an episode of a sci-fi something that I wouldn’t mind watching regularly. Then again, I’m an absolute sucker for space mercenaries; the merc charm just gets me. On the flipside, I’m not really a fan of political themes, but sci-fi tends to harbor them all but reliably. Serenity is a ship full of Alliance dissenters, Alliance being the powerful and controlling organization that’s trying to swallow up the known universe. Of course, they’ve got some deep dark secrets that a member of Serenity’s crew might just know, so they engage covert operation “murder the shit out of that person really fast.”

SerenityDr. Simon Tam, with the help of Serenity’s crew, counter-kidnaps his sister River from an Alliance training facility, where she was being mentally programmed for nefarious purposes. The Alliance is not pleased with this loss, especially considering River is a high-grade psychic who happened to peek into the minds of everyone around her during her training, which includes politicians. Politicians who held highly classified secrets that would critically drop the public opinion of the Alliance if they were to be released, at that. The Operative is hired to kill everyone who came in contact with River after her escape, and ensure her safe return before the Alliance’s dirty laundry is put out to dry.

Initially, the crew of Serenity has no idea why they’re being hunted down by government assassins, or why River suddenly flips her shit and starts killing everyone after seeing a cheerful octopus themed commercial. Simon puts her to sleep with a code word, which raises all kinds of questions, eventually shuffling them to Mr. Universe for answers. Mr. Universe is an infamous hacker who hides in a nebula-encased outer planet and broadcasts pirate signals. He decodes the commercial and reveals it to be a subliminal message meant to activate River’s programmed combat training.

SerenityAfter that, it’s a battle against time, the government, and battle-hungry insane cannibalistic rapey Reavers to figure out the Alliance secret and make it public before the crew of Serenity is collectively subjugated and/or wiped out. Hint: The secret has something to do with the Reavers. But I’m not telling you anything else! It’s a great watch, so you’ll enjoy the ride. Plenty of emotional ups and downs, and a conclusion worthy of a top-notch sci-fi thriller!

So, it turns out Serenity is the movie of a failed TV series that didn’t make it past its first season. Coulda fooled me! Olly Richards of EmpireOnline says that whether you’re genre savvy or just looking for some fighty space-action, Serenity is the movie for you. Though it relies on worn but beloved character archetypes, it has a feel all its own. Here’s the alt review! Not that you need to read it: http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=10125

Devil’s Pass, Ignore the Box Art

Devil's Pass

There are no naked brunettes buried waist-deep in snow. You should know better than to think that.

Devil’s Pass was one of those few shockumentaries that I was was better. It had a good premise and an excellent buildup, but fumbled the big reveal. It’s one of the few movies of its kind that is neither horrendous nor outright amazing, which is an achievement all in itself. I imagine it would have been on-par with the Blair Witch Project if it hadn’t been so eager to explain the supernatural goings-on within. I lost interest at the halfway point, when the team discovers a mysterious something in the snow and eventually decides to investigate it. I’m sur eyou’ll agree with me when I say that the ambiguous unknown is a greater spook factor in horror movies than being chased around by some creature. That in mind, let’s begin.

Devil's PassDevil’s Pass follows a group of students who are researching the disappearance of nine Russian skiers who vanished mysteriously in the Dyatlov Mountain Pass of Russia in 1959. Some initial news reports and illegally acquired video footage suggest that the students vanished just as the skiers had, which isn’t much of a spoiler, because we all know how horror movies like to repeat past tragedies. Introductory spookfest noted, I feel the real tension begins to build when the crew first has drinks at the base of the Ural mountain range. They tell the bartender about their project, and he offers them the very same drinks the Russians had on their way up. Blatant foreshadowing, perhaps? Oh yes. On top of that, the hints at a government conspiracy certainly amplify the viewer’s sense of “just what the crap went on up there?”

Once they’re up in the mountains, eerie things start happening, and their technology begins to malfunction. Can’t have a good sense of isolation with all these communicating gadgets and gizmos in the way! It’s moments like these that make me ask myself if I really want an explanation. After receiving one, my immediate response was no, but that’s the trouble with magic tricks. Once you know how they’re done, the wonder is gone. Anyway, one of the greater lines is dropped during a nighttime camping sequence, not minutes before the discovery of the mysterious thing in the snow. That was the highest point for me.

Devil's PassNow, despite the fact that the big reveal was disappointing, I’d rather avoid spoiling it. If you end up watching the movie, please leave a comment and tell me what you thought of the buildup and the latter half. I’m aware of the fact that I compare absolutely every found footage movie to the Blair Witch, but that sets a high bar, damnit. Part of the charm was that the characters and plot were so down-to-earth you could imagine yourself there with them, shivering in a tent, afraid of the fucking baby out there. With Devil’s Pass? Not so much. I can’t envision myself running away from Russian soldiers or being haunted by a yeti.

Scott Foundas of Variety wound up getting the same mediocre-positive impression; they could have done MORE with the film. More in this case means less, because explaining everything isn’t a very good idea when you’re trying to scare people. Unless the explanation is scary. But it wasn’t. Bit of an image-spoiler in the coming link, but it doesn’t give anything critical away! http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/devils-pass-review-1200586363/

What the Hellboy

Hellboy

Apologies to anyone who thought my punny title insinuated a predominantly negative review. It’s actually more medium positive. Ahem. Shall we begin?

I didn’t know Guillermo del Toro did Hellboy. Huh! The costumes and CG definitely make sense now, which is to say, they’re over-the-top but tolerable… for the most part.

Hellboy is the action-packed story of a demon summoned into the world by Nazis only to be captured by America and raised to fight the forces of evil. Those of you who have played Bloodrayne basically already know the entire plot, so watching the movie is a formality. On top of the perfunctory involvement of the Third Reich in Satanic affairs, Grigori Rasputin is set in the seat of the antagonist. You’d think a perverted false-prophet freeloader would warrant a less important position, but there you go.

HellboyThe story resembles something out of a comic book (which it is): Spunky, strange-looking heroes with unusual superpowers, and villains looking to do something outlandishly evil and apocalyptic for no real reason. Take Abraham Sapien, one of the non-combat sidekick types. He’s a fish-man with the “unique” frontal lobe that lets him read minds and sense the timelines of objects he touches. Or Liz Sherman, a humanoid pyromancer with a past full of bullying and misfortune, who so happens to be Hellboy’s love interest. Hellboy himself gets immunity to fire and a big stone hand that he uses for smashy fun time. I suppose his tail counts as a part of his hero loadout, but he only ever uses it to steal a six-pack of beer, so I’ll leave that judgment up to you.

HellboyThe deal is, the Nazis want to use Hellboy to open up a special gate that will free a terrible Eldritch beast and subsequently turn Earth into Hell. They begin their devious scheme by releasing a hellhound called Sammael, the uh… dog of many titles. He regenerates from grievous wounds and lays plenty of eggs, so most of the fight scenes are engulfed by his generous presence. This is rather unfortunate, because several of the concluding fights seem particularly quick if not rushed, whereas ol’ tentacle chops gets three or four chances to hump Hellboy to death. No humping actually happens, okay?

Despite its sometimes icky CG and silly-angsty sense of humor, Hellboy is a fun movie to watch. It’s two hours long, which unfortunately doesn’t manage to escape the inescapable time-crunch of turning a written work into a movie. It’s not too harsh an impact, though, so despite the fact that you’re going to wish Hellboy spent a few more minutes slapping the giant purple tentacle cactus, you’ll be satisfied with the film as a whole.

HellboyKim Newman of Empire Online liked del Toro’s movie adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic. It’s a comic, by the way. Thought you should know. As it turns out, Guillermo remained extremely loyal to said comics, so fans will be able to enjoy a good watch without too many “THAT NEVER HAPPENED” moments. And newcomers might have reason to check out the source material! Here’s the alt review link for your perusing: http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=9788

1 2 3 14