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  Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron Back To Hell
Year: 2007
Director: Victor Cook, Tad Stones
Stars: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Hurt, Peri Gilpin, Kath Soucie, J. Grant Albrecht, Cree Summer, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Grey DeLisle, James Arnold Taylor
Genre: Horror, Action, Animated, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hellboy (voiced by Ron Perlman), an agent of a Bureau investigating paranormal happenings, is currently wading through a sewer in search of a supernatural creature. And sure enough he finds one, a robotic minotaur that launches itself at Hellboy and a fierce battle is held between the two antagonists, with Hellboy being assisted by his accomplice Abe Sapien (Doug Jones). While all this is going on, their boss, Professor Broom (John Hurt) is a troubled man, recalling the times he spent in Transylvania beating a female vampire called Erzsebet Ondrushko (Kath Soucie). He thought he had foiled her plans once and for all, but is she about to make a comeback?

For the second animated Hellboy TV movie, the cast of the theatrical film returned once more, working on a story co-created by Hellboy comic originator Mike Mignola, just to back up its pedigree in the minds of the aficionados: this was an official project, rest assured. It adopts a more team-building approach to its characters compared to the first cartoon, indeed this premise could have kept Scooby Doo and the gang in Scooby Snacks for some time, and it's the basic collection of heroes investigating spooky house tale that we have seen many times before, with animation of TV standard which nowadays isn't bad at all.

There's an interesting pattern to the flashbacks in that it starts at the most recent event, that is Professor Broom vanquishing the vampire in 1939, and working backwards from there to fill in the story. It should be noted that while Hurt voices his present day incarnation, in the flashbacks he is voiced by an actor trying to do a young version of Broom with an American accent for some reason. It's not as if Hurt sounds that much different these days than when he did way back when. Anyway, the team are invited to a haunted house by a millionaire where they encounter ghosts, harpies, glowing-eyed wolves and the Countess Bathory rip-off herself, but the makers of this are so keen on packing in the fights they do so at the expense of the plot, which gets lost in yet another scene of bad guys being whomped. Even at little over an hour it seems padded, but uncritical Hellboy addicts should enjoy it well enough. Music by Christopher Drake.

The Starz Region 2 DVD has a collection of featurettes, including a new Mignola comic strip, as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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