Katee Sackhoff talks about what it's like to be a part of "Star Wars: Rebels" and reveals the inspiration for her character on "The Flash." Plus, we get our Jedi on and learn how to wield a lightsaber.
Unsold TV pilot and a dark, violent and gory sword and sorcery spoof set in a postapocalyptic new dark age about a Conan-like barbarian warrior hired to steal a golden goblin from a dangerous wizard who lives in a tower in the sky.
A professor of folklore opens a forbidden scroll and becomes possessed by the ancient Japanese demons of Thunder and Lightning, who seek to return and dominate our world. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense sends Hellboy and a team of agents to investigate, but when Hellboy picks up a samurai sword, he literally disappears into a weird wonderland of Japanese legends, ghosts and monsters. Meanwhile, BPRD agents Kate Corrigan and Russell Thorne are on the trail of the possessed professor to bring Hellboy back. Written by
Mike Mignola's Hellboy is a treasure among comics, both for its jovial quirk and its sublime hyper-contrasty visuals, both of which defy translation to the screen.
Guillermo Del Toro's 2004 feature film pulled this off to a certain extent, in no small part thanks to judicious casting (particularly Ron Perlman as our hero). The present experiment was designed as filler before the 2008 release of The Golden Army, and perhaps to probe audience interest in a longer-running animated spin-off.
After a nifty prologue introducing our redesigned protagonists - Hellboy has hoofs again, as in the comic - charges forth with an adventure encompassing Medieval Japan and a mystic sword, blending several genres with an ease that does the source material justice. Retaining the film's voice cast also gives this a sense of legitimacy and continuity.
The story and tone might put off some newcomers, but kudos to the producers for defending Hellboy's acquired taste status. Fans will also note that while the story is mostly original, a small episode with a group of flying heads follows one of Mignola's short stories to the letter.
What makes this fall short of classic cult status is the animation and visual style in general. Not only is this not the stuff to give Pixar or Disney sleepless nights, but with the comic's visual language so unique and compelling, why veer so far from it here? The earlier - and far superior - Mignola-penned Adventures of Screw-On Head is proof that the style is easily adaptable, so it's a shame not to see similar care here.
An interesting experiment, but sadly not all it could have been.
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