The Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defence are brought into a publicity stunt of a case for a supposedly haunted mansion in Long Island, owned by a big shot entrepreneur with ties to the BPRD’s budget. Upon arrival, the parlour tricks turn to paranormal warnings. Ghosts and ghouls haunt this house but as victims of a far greater horror, an Eastern European blood countess known as Erzsebet Ondrushko.
Just to get the negative out of the way, the animation can be choppy at times, especially during action sequences. It doesn’t ruin the flow of the film but it is noticeable unfortunately.
Okay now to the endless praise, when not in full motion, the animation and artistry is gorgeous. Whoever said you can’t replicate a beloved comic book art style in an animated adaptation needs to watch this. The film is dripping with Mignola’s grim and gothic atmosphere and art style with very few additions that do indeed add to the style.
As an animated film, the sky is the limit with what you can bring to life visually. Where this film really shines is in it’s visual restraint. Scenes of pure horror are left to the imagination with an orchestra made up of horrifying sections; instead of strings we have the sounds tearing flesh, percussion is replaced with the sounds of crunching bones and it’s all accompanied by a choir of echoing screams. The only horror we see is on the faces of those who narrowly escaped a nightmare.
There’s a satisfying full circle to this film wherein Mignola adapted Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula into a graphic novel in his own image. Now Mignola gets to make his own classic Stokeresque vampire story with Blood & Iron into a film. The psychological and emotional horror of Stoker’s Dracula mixed with the dark and witty action of Hellboy blends seamlessly as a story.
The Del Toro adaptation gang is all here; Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and the late John Hurt all reprising their roles and gifting the film with their synonymous voice talents. Not to mention the additional stellar voicecast of Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Peri Gilpin and James Arnold Taylor. Stand out performances are given by Kath Soucie as Erzsebet Ondrushko and Cree Summer as Hecate, Goddess of Magic & Witchcraft.
In conclusion, Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron is a gripping animated feature length film with a full package of humour, action, horror and emotional weight with an all star voice cast and uncanny art style replication.
Why this particular piece of Hellboy media didn’t spawn a long running animated TV Show is beyond me, a true missed opportunity to provide something dark, action-packed and educational!
Buy tickets for BGCP Comic Con in and around Glasgow Scotland – BUY TICKETS
If you want to be part of the BGCP community, Join us on Discord, Twitter, Instagram etc then click HERE