Thank you, Revolution Studios and Cartoon Network, for this. In the wake of HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS comes this second nifty animated film featuring Hellboy, the resilient and irreverent demon-turned-paranormal investigator. I just saw HELLBOY: BLOOD AND IRON on the Cartoon Network's Toonami block and, in my opinion, it's better than SWORD OF STORMS, more brooding, more pulse pounding, and, yes, even more action-oriented. Hellboy creator and BLOOD AND IRON co-writer Mike Mignola himself, in an interview with IGN Comics, says that it's an improvement over the first as SWORD OF STORMS proved to be a learning process for him and the Hellboy animators. Certainly, we as the viewing audience reap the benefits of a stronger and more focused narrative. The story elements are lifted in a mishmashed manner from the second Hellboy comic book mini-series, WAKE THE DEVIL, to create a new tale. To quote Mignola: "It's not an adaptation so much as it is a re-imagining of the story."
Here come the SPOILERS:
This time out, Hellboy again partners up with fellow B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) agents Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien as they venture to the New York Hamptons to help the aged and nightmare-wracked Professor Bruttenholm (nicknamed Professor "Broom") investigate the calamitous resurrection of Erzsebet Ondrushko, a depraved vampiress who had bathed in her victims' blood to maintain youth and beauty and whom Professor Broom himself had slain back in 1939 (as seen in a lengthy flashback). As per usual, as dire events unfold (and as we discover that Erzsebet is the high priestess of a powerful and malevolent entity), the jeopardy and the stakes escalate until, at the end, Hellboy is again up to his neck battling a formidable serpentine goddess.
As mentioned, HELLBOY: BLOOD AND IRON is the second animated foray into Mike Mignola's dark vision of the grotesque, the fantastic,and the occult. With its TV-14 rating, this certainly isn't intended for the younger kids. It contains enough violence and certain scenes of supernatural terror. The movie unveils several very nice action sequences featuring our favorite B.P.R.D. folks, the highlight of which is the epic brawl staged at the climax. The creatures of Japanese folklore from SWORD OF STORMS are jettisoned here in favor of foes more in line with Mignola's Dark Horse comic book version of Hellboy: skull-faced specters, demonic wolves, a lycanthrope, denizens of Greek mythology, and Hecate, the Queen of Witches herself. Hecate has the added agenda of desiring to place Hellboy back on his proper path of destiny, which in turn will bring about the end of the world for man.
There. That's it for the SPOILERS.
Ron Perlman, as usual, is consistently good as the irascible voice of the titular character ("Oh, crap!"). Selma Blair (Liz), Doug Jones (Abe), Peri Gilpin (Prof. Kate Corrigan), and John Hurt (Prof. Broom) are back to lend feature film cred to this project as they again convincingly flesh out their characters.
The look of the film, in terms of its shadowy moods, is typical Mike Mignola. The animation itself is more than adequate and is even occasionally reminiscent of Mignola's artistic style. There's even a certain kinetic flair to be enjoyed in the vicious skirmishes between B.P.R.D. and its supernatural dance partners. It's hard enough not to be sucked in by the allure of the barrel-chested, spindly legged, not-to-be-trifled-with Hellboy and his gothic milieu. Add in the nicely rendered animation and the appealing voice cast and what you have is a screenful of good times. Do yourself a favor and check out this film. You might even unearth the name of the place which offers the best pastries on earth.
on June 10, 2007
"Hellboy: Blood and Iron" lives up to the reputation of the comic book franchise. While investigating a haunted mansion in the Hamptons, Hellboy and his fellow agents of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense are joined by the Bureau's founder Prof. Trevor Broom to hunt down an evil female vampire whom the professor destroyed 60 years ago. Hellboy and his crew will battle an onslaught of ghosts, werewolves and other supernatural foes to stop the vampire from unleashing the wrath of the deadly goddess Hecate upon the world. "Hellboy: Blood and Iron" is the latest action-packed animated installment from comic book creator Mike Mignola and award-winning director Guillermo Del Toro. "Blood and Iron" shows some improvements over "Sword of Storms". The animated adventure contains a well structured plot, stylized animation and cool action sequences. "Hellboy: Blood and Iron" also features the fine voice talents of Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Peri Gilpin and John Hurt.
If you already purchased "Sword of Storms', then don't miss out on "Hellboy: Blood and Iron". The animated comic book adventure is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The DVD has a rich and detailed video transfer that really shows off the animation. The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is pretty good. Its supplemental extras include an extensive audio commentary with Mike Mignola and production crew, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Reversal of Fortune, Tales from the Tomb, Iron Shoes & The Pennanggalan) and trailers of other animated titles. The interactive menus look great. Overall, "Hellboy: Blood and Iron" scores a "B".
on August 8, 2013
Liked the HellBoy movies, liked the other HellBoy animated figured would give this one a go. Where the previous animated felt like a series of short stories sown together with a loose fitting main plot, this one was certainly all about the main plot and story. A pretty cool vampire store, it's ok she doesn't sparkle. But you can see for yourself.
Thanks for reading and have a nice day!
on April 17, 2014
Having seen the first two live action movies and liking them, I looked forward to seeing the animated movies. The were as good and stay true to the comics. Good job Hellboy crew. I look forward to more of these.
'Hellboy' is an anime' comic book jumping to life. Sparring between good and evil, the titled hero (Ron Perlman) is a demon fighting against the agents of hell on earth. He joins forces with what could be called the comic strip version of 'Ghostbusters' or 'Scooby Doo'. The anime' venue, which sometimes lacks the flow of most animated adventures, looks entirely appropriate with it's Gothic look and feel. Images of wolves with glowing eyes, lady vampires, snakes, and ghosts jump out to challenge our heros after an associate professor "Broom" has let a vampire lady come to life. Complete with a score that rises and falls with the action, 'Hellboy--Blood and Iron' takes all the old horror stories and recreates it with a frightening splendor. While it won't make most teenagers lose any sleep, it does an effective job of telling its story while generating a morbid, creepy interest.
Overall, 'Hellboy-Blood and Iron' does much to impress without an overkill. With a good story and dialogue, Victor Cook and Tad Stones do effective things with Mike Mignola's comic-novel series. (The extras have interesting explanations about how they assembled this movie.)
on June 13, 2007
I liked Sword of Storms because it seemed more like the comic and less like the movie (even though they had the movie actors do the voices). I liked how Hellboy seemed less of a "big child" and more of a aged sort of "got it together" type of hero.
The little things like Abe not wearing a breathing apparatus and Kate Corrigan made me really happy.
The new movie Blood and Iron only ventures futher into the comic world, even using some of the direct dialogue from the comic. The animation is really well done as well as the voice acting. The movie even seemed like a Mike Mignola Hellboy issue, which I liked a lot.
The DVD extras are pretty cool as well. Behind the scenes features and it even has a Hellboy E-comic. It also includes the short IRON SHOES which is frame for frame of the comic story of the same title. It was really cool to see that animated.
As I was watching this movie I realized it was definitely NOT for kids. Some of the images in the movie would probably scar little kids for life.
on October 26, 2012
Blood and Iron(released Mar/07)stars the voices of Ron Perlman as Hellboy,Selma Blair as Liz,Doug Jones as Abe Sapien,and unlike the first film,John Hurt is on board here voicing Prof.Bloome,Hellboy's mentor.John Hurt along with doing his role as Prof.Bloome,also does the film intro which gives us the brief back story on the bureau and Hellboy.It's a delight to hear all the original voices done by the film actors,which gives the film its vibrancy and legitimacy.
The film opens here,like the previous one,with Hellboy,along with Abe Sapien,on the job,battling a monster in the sewers below the city.The outcome is in inevitable(hey it's our Hellboy after all!),but the ancient goddess Hecate is looking on and commenting on Hellboy and his being on the side of good.We will see more of her later.We then go back to the HQ of the bureau and assignments are being dolled out.Jobs are given but it is all overruled by the good Prof.Bloome who wants Abe,Liz,Hellboy and another member along to investigate hauntings at an old mansion in the Hamptons.The millionaire owner wants to turn it into a tourist attraction,so it seems like his request is just to get publicity.Not only is it unusual that Prof.Bloome wants all those people,it is even more unusual that the Prof.himself wants to come along.
Along with the mansion story,another back story,seen in reverse,is being played out.This was back in Prof.Bloome's youth and before the bureaus formation.He,two cops,a priest and a man searching for the latter's wife to be,are in Hungary.A vampiress called Erzebet is responsible for the death of countless victims in the area and ultimately responsible for,as they soon find,the death of the man's bride to be.The find a tub full of blood that the vampiress uses to keep her youthful look.The group is attacked and they separate,which ends in the demise of most of them.Prof.Bloome is cornered by Erzebet and he throws holy water on her,disfiguring her.They fall out of a window and she is killed by the sunlight.Erzebet,by the way,worships the goddess Hercate for life and protection.
Back at the mansion the group do indeed find ghosts galore.They are all victims of the vampiress,and of all things the millionaire owner is trying to capitalize on Erzebet and her reputation by buying and putting on display some of her old torture equipment.The group also finds out that two of Erzemets minions are trying to bring her back from the dead.They succeed but briefly,only to have to Prof.Bloome add some holy water to her tub of blood.This returns Ezrebet back to her weakest state,who in turn evokes the power and presence of the goddess Hecate.Hecates spirit inhabits an iron maiden and it grows and comes to life,similar in look to Medussa,with its' snake like body.Hellboy of course gets the honour of doing battle with Hecate,and it is a pitched one to be sure.In the end Hellboy,injured,collapses.The film ends as Hellboy awakens briefly to see Prof.Bloome quietly sitting beside his bed,reading.
The film does a 180 from the first movie,and instead of ancient Japanese mythology it is ancient Turkish mixed with European mythology.The goddess Hecate,was known well in the Greek and Roman cultures,but her origins date back over a thousand years BC in what is now Turkey(if I recall my history lessons).The film manages to meld the two story lines together fairly well.The flashback of Prof.Bloome is done in reverse,which you don't see too often.I liked the opening credits which had alot of life to them,with the letters dissolving and reforming.As usual the music is tops and the voice work by all concerned was great.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:78:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include commentary,an e-comic,a new comic story by Mignola,a featurette and the Prof Bloome back story run from beginning to end,instead of in reverse.Also included here,like the first DVD,is a mini comic book.
All in all a nice second Hellboy anime',with all the original on screen actors doing the major voice roles we see on screen.The plot is imaginative and the pace is well executed.Recommended.
on July 6, 2012
Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron is the second feature-length animated adventure of Mike Mignola's demon hunter. I am a huge fan of this character's adventures in comics, and on film. I was excited to know that Starz would produce a few animated movies off the franchise and feature the actors from the movies. Sword of Storms released in 2006 was an enjoyable adventure for the BPRD team utilizing Japanese mythology, but several flaws kept me from fully enjoying the first Hellboy Animated adventure. In Blood & Iron a Hellboy adventure finds satisfying blend of character, humor, and supernatural which makes the world of Hellboy so captivating.
The BPRD arrives at a supposedly haunted house at the insistence of Hellboy's adoptive father Dr. Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm. Broom believes Countess Elizabeth Báthory, a vampiress who bathes in the blood of virgins and a priestess of Hecate whom he had defeated in his youth may be attempting to return to the world. As Broom faces off against this monster from his past, Hellboy must confront with the Goddess Hecate, who (like many gods and demons in the Hellboy franchise) isn't pleased to find the Right Hand of Doom working on humanity's side. The result is a more intimate glimpse into Hellboy and Broom's relationship.
Interestingly enough, despite the fact that the threat in Blood & Iron doesn't impact the world on the same grand scale as in Sword of Storms, the overall impact of Blood & Iron is far more effective. The characters of Broom and Hellboy are explored excellently while still providing the supernatural, mythology/supernatural fantasy expected from the franchise. By providing a more intimate story more focused on characters than adventure and world saving the final result makes a far more satisfying Hellboy movie than Sword of Storms. The main reason why is that in Sword of Storms action, and Japanese mythology was at the forefront with Hellboy and his team falling out of focus. Here the action and fantasy never overshadow the characters and the movie is better for it. The comics have produced plenty of adventures like Sword of Storms, but when the cast of the movies are assembled a story that actually expands upon the characters is more appreciated than just another Hellboy adventure. I loved getting to see Professor Broom as a young, active agent in the BPRD. It and really shows Hellboy as having been raised by a man who knows his monster busting.
John Hurt's return as Professor Broom is the greatest addition to the cast as his voice provides a perfect authority figure for the rest of the cast. And of course, Ron Perlman remains the best possible actor to play Hellboy. The rest of the cast who was shaky in their first animated outing also has improved since Sword of Storms. Doug Jones as Abe sounds a lot more comfortable and Selma Blair puts in a lot more energy than in Sword of Storms.
Blood & Iron isn't a perfect, and I'd be lying if I didn't mention its weaknesses. Animation, like its predecessor is far from perfect, and the action could still be more fluid and feature better choreography. Outside the primary cast from the movie is inconsistent and can be distracting at times. But overall Blood & Iron is a great improvement over Sword of Storms and I hope we can see another Hellboy Animated feature eventually.
on September 5, 2008
Hellboy-Blood and Iron is second animated feature in the Hellboy Animated series. The story goes a little something like this... In 1939, a young Professor Broom destroyed Erzsebet Ondrushko, a vampiress who bathed in the blood of innocents to stay young after selling her soul to the Queen of Witches, the goddess Hecate. Flash forward to today, a haunting in the Hamptons, on Long Island, is brought to the BPRD's attention. Broom decides to investigate it himself taking Liz, Abe, and Hellboy himself with him & a new BPRD member named Sydney Leach who is actually a human metal detector who has never seen any action in the field. Upon getting there, they meet a vulgar millionaire hoping to cash in on the supernatural angle, he's filled the house with relics of "Blood Countess" Erzsebet Ondrusko (based on the 16th century Hungarian noblewoman Elizebeth Bathory). They soon find out that it is really haunted and the gang tackles all types of beasties. The storyline, itself, is based on the "Wake the Devil" storyline from the original comics.
It was written by Tad Stone and Mike Mignola and directed by Victor Cook and Tad Stone. Vocal talents were provided by: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Hurt, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulson, J. Grant Albrecht, Cree Summer, James Arnold Taylor, Grey Delisle, Kath Soucie, and DeeDee Rescher.
I'll admit, I liked this feature alot more than the last. I guess it is because it deals with the subjects of Vampires. In some ways, this feature is alot better...especially in tone and subject matter. Although, it still lacks that darker feel of the original books. "The Amazing Screw-On Head" feature was closer to Mignola's style and feel of the comics than this. At any rate, I liked it. However, I feel this may only appeal to hardcore animation or Hellboy fans.
Course, after seeing these animated features, I wonder why there hasn't been an animated series on TV. My nephews really loved the cartoons so I know it would appeal to their age set.
on July 1, 2007
HELLBOY: BLOOD AND IRON is the second Hellboy animated movie released direct-to-DVD. The first was HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS. As in the first feature, Ron Perlman provides the voice for Hellboy. Other stars from the feature film lend their voices as well, including Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Peri Gilpin, and John Hurt. The story is taken from the second story arc of the Hellboy comics. It was originally called, "Wake the Devil".
This movie shows more of Hellboy's upbringing than the feature movie starring Ron Perlman. It also reveals a lot more of Professor (Bruttenholm) Broom's background before he found Hellboy back in the 1940s after the Nazi Germans brought him into this world. As it turns out, Professor Broom was quite the paranormal investigator long before Hellboy arrived.
During those days, the professor's arch-nemesis was Erzsebet Ondrusko, a vampire and worshiper of Hecate, the queen of witches. The opening sequence showing Broom's encounter with the villainess is appropriately chilling and a visual treat. In fact, the whole movie owes more to creator Mike Mignola's artwork than the feature-length movie. The scenes in the animated movie could have been ripped directly from Mignola's comics pages.
Hellboy is introduced while lurking through a sewer system and looking for a monster. He, admittedly, is up to his neck in crap. The humor mixes very well with the action and emotion in the film. This isn't Leo Tolstoy, but it's nice to have characters you feel like you know and can care about. Especially when they're dealing with old business that carries a lot of emotional baggage for them.
Hellboy puts down the creature with help from Abe Sapien and they quickly return to the hidden headquarters of the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense). They sit around talking and the viewer gets to know more about the characters. One of the things I enjoy about the movies is that you don't have to know much to understand who the characters are. You're given what you need to know as you go along, and it's never dull even for the true fans that already know everything.
When assignments are given out, Professor Broom usurps control of the meeting and assigns Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman to investigate sightings of ghosts in a mansion that's been remodeled into a top-of-the-line museum/lodge. The job was initially a low-priority for them. The professor offers no explanation and the rest of the team is left wondering what's going on. More than that, the professor is going along and that hasn't happened in years. All of them are concerned for his health.
Of course, when they arrive at the mansion, things are decidedly much worse than they were led to believe. There's not just one ghost; there appear to be dozens. And even more evil is afoot.
Interspersed for the current ongoing story line, there are flashbacks to Professor Broom's earlier encounters with Erzsebet Ondrusko. The story concerning Hellboy and the others definitely takes second-place to the overall storytelling until the very last of the movie. It's all the clues and backstory of what has gone on before that really captures the interest.
The fight scene at the end of the movie is multi-layered as Hellboy and the others are divided. It's all interesting to watch, but it tends to drag on the little, especially when you realize that time after time it is not over.
Due to the violence and the scary appearances of many of the monsters, this animated feature is and recommended for young kids. However, if you like cartoons and your kids do too, this is definitely one you can sit down and enjoy together. There's enough story and enough action to keep everyone happy. At 75 minutes, you can easily fit the movie into an evening.