Friday, December 09, 2011

DVD Review: Hellboy: Blood and Iron (Starz Home Entertainment, 2007)

Recommended for ages 12+

For those unfamiliar with the Hellboy comic book and movie series, let me provide a very quick overview: Hellboy is a demon from Hell, brought to earth by Nazi occultists during World War II. He was saved by the Allies and raised as a son by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, and later went to work for the secret international Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), founded by Professor Bruttenholm. His two closest friends and partners are Liz Sherman, a human who can create fire with her mind, and Abe Sapien, an amphibious humanoid.

In Blood and Iron, the BPRD is asked to investigate a haunted mansion purchased by a billionaire who wants to make money from it as a tourist attraction. They learn that the mansion is haunted by ghosts, witches, werewolves and hellhounds and that the evil undead Hungarian countess and vampire Erzsebet Ondrushko, who Professor Bruttenholm has tangled with before, is back to cause more trouble. Ondrushko appears to be based on the real-life historical figure Elizabeth Bathory, and Greek mythological figures Hecate, goddess of the crossroads and witchcraft, and harpies are also thrown into the mix.

Mike Mignola, Hellboy creator, was one of the screenwriters on Blood and Iron and the cast who plays the characters in the movie voice their characters in this animated film. Fans of the comics and the movies will be happy here; there is plenty of paranormal activity, snappy dialogue and character interaction, and wild fight scenes and gunplay. While some of the imagery may be rough for younger viewers - there's not direct graphic violence, but there is blood and some implied torture - older 'tweens and teens have played more violent video games. Parents, watch it first, then use your judgement.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I really enjoyed this movie. I just finished watching both “Sword of Storms” and “Blood and Iron” at It is where I go to aid in passing time when things get slow here in the DISH call center. The fact that actors from the live action films returned to voice the characters for the animated movies adds a level of coherence you don’t often find in animated sequels. This is one of the few instances I would like to see another sequel. These animated movies are very well done and I like the attention to detail from both the perspective of a comic reader and as a movie watcher.