On this day in 2004, Mike Mignola’s comic book anti-hero Hellboy received a stunning cinematic adaptation. Hellboy was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and stars Ron Perlman as the titular demon, Doug Jones, and Selma Blair. The film’s sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, was released in 2008 and, although del Toro and company hoped for a trilogy, the franchise was rebooted in 2019 with Neil Marshall at the helm and a completely new cast.
If it’s been a while, or if you never experienced 2004’s Hellboy for yourself, check out the film’s trailer and synopsis below.
At the end of World War II, the Nazis attempt to open a portal to a paranormal dimension in order to defeat the Allies, but are only able to summon a baby demon who is rescued by Allied forces and dubbed “Hellboy” (Ron Perlman). Sixty years later, Hellboy serves as an agent in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, where he, aided by Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), a merman with psychic powers, and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), a woman with pyrokinesis, protects America against dark forces.
Doug Jones’ (Abe Sapien’s) voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, but Pierce refused a credit because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug’s creation, and did not wish to detract from his performance. (Source)
Much of the demonology in this movie was inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos developed by H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer in the 1930s. The Sammael creatures have characteristics of both Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu. Elder gods, many eyed and tentacled, sleeping at the edge of the universe, are a staple of his books. (Source)