Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guillermo's Rune Alphabet

In a recent article about the HELLBOY II ARG, ARGNet has posted Guillermo's Rune Alphabet that was "spread throughout the entire underworld in Hellboy II". The translator below was to be released during the HELLBOY II ARG, but was never needed since gamers were able to break the code without help.

This should be a fun little item to use - an "ancient" alphabet created by Guillermo himself. Bonus points to anyone that uses them in a tattoo (Geez, I've been obsessed with tattoos lately.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Doug Jones is 'Skin & Bones'

On Thursday, July 31, our pal Doug Jones is starring in Skin & Bones an episode of the NBC horror show FEAR ITSELF.

Here is a description of the show's plot from an article in Fangoria magazine: " focuses on Grady, a rancher who returns to his horse farm after a week lost in the surrounding mountains. His emaciated appearance is startling enough, but his loved ones soon discover that what now resides inside him is far worse.."

I have never watched this show, but I'm excited to see Doug carry a horror story - it sounds great. Director Larry Fessenden spoke very highly of Doug's performance, saying, "He is so spectacular, it’s really remarkable and I believe it’ll be remembered as an iconic episode, and this little minifilm of Doug’s performance."

So be sure to watch tomorrow, support Doug, and let us know what you thought of Skin & Bones.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Hi, everyone. As many of you know, I made the trip to Muncie, Indiana, on July 27th to meet Doug Jones on the set of his new film, MY NAME IS JERRY. I had a great time - Doug was wonderful and was gracious with his time and allowed me to ask A LOT of questions. I will have a full report at some point, but it will take me quite awhile to go through all my taped conversations, as I not only spoke with Doug, but I spoke with cast and crew. I also took a few pictures.

But I know many of you have some questions you are dying to ask, so here we go - DOUGIE FAQ'S!

What was it like to meet Doug?

A real trip - the man is a goofball. A very friendly, outgoing goofball who makes you feel like an instant friend. I first saw him on set while they were putting down the marks for a scene, and he walked over and gave me a big hug. Later, before I really got to sit down with him, he was striking a silly pose in his wardrobe for the scene - a snappy business suit and tie. Its obvious the crew loves him - he is not just approachable, but he often approached THEM, which caught some of the young students off guard (My Name is Jerry is an immersion study/work project with Ball State University). Doug is also very sincere and passionate about his work - especially MY NAME IS JERRY, which he has often called his "dream project." He is very grateful for his chance to be a leading man in a film - and he feels the pressure a bit and is working really hard to give his best performance. When I finally sat down with Doug, we had a chat for what felt about 30 to 4o minutes or so, and he was funny, enthusiastic, down-to-earth, warm, intelligent, caring, and goofy. I can tell you that he loves his fans, and he loves meeting them at the many conventions that he attends. When my meeting with him was finished, it felt like I made a new friend - and its a great feeling to have someone you respect return the favor.


My Name is Jerry is an independent film starring Dougie that is being produced by the College of Fine Arts at Ball State University, the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education, and Clothespin Films, LLC. Doug plays a forty-something door-to-door salesman ("Jerry") who, in the midst of a mid-life crisis, finds excitement when he meets Jordan, an engaging young punk rocker. The comedy/drama centers around Doug's encounter with the punk world and his reconciliation with his daughter, who hasn't seen him in nearly 10 years. What is truly special about this production is A) Doug gets to step out from the makeup and prosthetics and carry a film as the lead actor and B) The production is an immersion project with Ball State students, who work on set with professionals to learn the ins and outs of the film business. Part "B" is very important to Doug and the producers (Bruce Economou and Rodger Smith), as it is giving young men and women a real jump start towards their dreams to work in the film industry.

Did you get to see Doug dressed up in "Punk" wardrobe?

Unfortunately, no. He was doing a scene at the office - but perhaps this production still will work for now:

It may take me several weeks to transcribe my interviews, but I promise you will really enjoy my set report when it is published. Doug talked about all the stuff you love to hear about - Guillermo, the Silver Surfer, Frankenstein, The Hobbit, his fans, etc.. Be patient!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Like everyone else in America, I saw The Dark Knight (but not until I had shelled out my $$$ to see The Golden Army the previous weekend). As expected, it was a great movie, but after such blockbuster weekend, my expectations were pretty high. I did not think it lived up the hype - for that kind of jack ($154 million opening weekend), I'm expecting a timeless classic. In reality, I don't believe it is as good as Batman Begins. However, Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker IS timeless. An amazing performance - one that will be forever remembered. It makes Nicholson's Joker in Burton's Batman look like a goofball. This Joker is psychotic, and when he makes you laugh, it is a nervous laughter. You just don't know when he is going to fly off the handle and do something really sinister.

So here are some thoughts on the film:

  • When Batman Begins came out, I remember Michael Caine talking about how Nolan convinced him to be a part of the franchise. Caine said that Nolan explained Batman this way: "Superman is the way the United States views itself. Batman is how the U.S. is viewed by the rest of the world." Armed with that information, I couldn't help but notice that The Dark Knight is a true post-9/11 film. It is very politically charged and ties in metaphorically with the U.S.'s current war on terror. I believe the Dark Knight's message is that when you fight terrorism, there are things that you have to do that are going to be hated by the rest of the world - you have to be "something other than a hero." I believe this correlates to the U.S.'s unpopularity throughout the world due to its involvement in Middle East conflict. Heavy stuff for a comic book film, but I truly believe this is part of what Nolan is trying to say with this movie.
  • Again, let me just say that Ledger was AMAZING. And his "pencil trick" was the greatest magic trick I have ever seen. Wow.
  • I loved the movie, but my one problem was that the plot was hard to follow at times. It is a dense story line, especially for a 2 1/2 hour movie. I had to really concentrate to follow along.
  • I thought the way Harvey Dent was "turned" made a lot of sense, and his character worked into the plot perfectly. I'm always worried that too many villains will muddle up a movie (see Spiderman 3). Bruce Wayne's character was essentially diminished in The Dark Knight, but really, after Batman Begins, what more was there to tell? My one complaint with Dent was that his "accident" was a little anti-climactic. I was expecting a big explosion and a horrifying transformation, but I just got a small fire and a cut to a hospital room. Bo-ring!

That's all folks! Go see HB2! It is 5th at the box office after being passed up by DK, Mama Mia!, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Hancock (which came in at #2??). Come on, people - Hellboy deserves better!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The (Very Late) ORPHANAGE Review

I FINALLY saw The Orphanage (hold your applause until the end, please.)

Wow, what a haunting film. I can't think of a movie I've seen recently that touched so many emotions in me. Maybe PAN'S LABYRINTH was the last. This film held true to my expectations of a creepy ghost story - but it delivered so much more. In the last twenty minutes, the film elevates itself above the typical haunted ghost story into a work of art depicting insanity, fear, grief, and hope. This is a very powerful film.

****** SPOILERS *********

A couple of notes:

I've noticed that ever since I've become a father, it is much more difficult for me to watch a young child die on screen. It is especially difficult for me when the child dies alone - as was the case with Simon. The vision of Simon - dead on the cold floor of that basement - haunts me still this morning.

Also, it bothered me that Laura committed suicide. I just felt it cheapened her story - a convenient plot device, but not something that I held entirely true to her character. After all, Simon was going to die anyway at some point - that was clear from his illness. And it bothers me when seemlingly noble characters take this "selfish" route (it rarely seems like a tragic act to me anymore). Laura gets rewarded for killing herself by reuniting with her son and finding happiness. I would have preferred an ending where Laura simply died from grief. That is a more tragic ending to me, and a much more noble death.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Art: Nuada's Spear and Street Musician

Here is some more art for you:

Prince Nuada's Spear
Francisco Ruiz Velasco: This drawing is an early version of the Prince's spear, created by Pablo Angeles. The main idea was for the spear to be a kind of telescopic device, so when it is short it can be used as a double-bladed sword and then extend to a spear. All the weapons of the Elf royalty are richly decorated. We were trying to stay away from Celtic motifs and create our own patterns. In the end we moved the design toward more Oriental and Islamic ornamentation.

And also, here is the Street Musician from the Troll Market:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Cool Hellboy Tattoo

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I've been sick with the flu. I'm back up to speed now so I thought I would post something quick. Below is Mignola's concept art from the "game board" in the Angel of Death's lair. It depicts Hellboy's destiny regarding the End of Days:

Does anybody else think this would be a cool tattoo? I don't have any myself, and don't plan on getting any (my obsessive indecisiveness being the reason), but this seems to lend itself well to a really cool arm or ankle tattoo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

THE SPOILER FREE REVIEW! Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

I love pizza. Everybody loves pizza. If you don't love pizza, you suck.

Now imagine one of the best chefs in the world made you a pizza. Extra toppings. Crispy crust.

The woiks.

That's what HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY felt like: The best ever party food whipped up by one of the best chefs in the world.

A feast. Pure bliss.

Pure fun.

I loved this movie. I loved it for so many reasons. I thought the first HELLBOY was very good - but this blows it out of the water. It no longer feels like Guillermo's adaptation of Mignola's Hellboy - this feels like GUILLERMO'S HELLBOY. The first film seemed a little restrained at times. Guillermo was still growing as an artist in 2004 - he was still feeling his way around making a pop culture film.

Then he made PAN'S LABYRINTH and the world went bonkers over it. And with the affirmation that people will love a 100% Guillermo movie - unrestrained, undeterred - Guillermo has finally unleashed his Frankenstein monster.

A lot of the things I love about Guillermo as a person are in this movie. Now, I can't say I know Guillermo that well, having only met him once, but I know he is a) a funny guy, b) loves monsters, c) loves makeup, costumes, and real sets, and d) loves Hellboy.

The movie is a banquet for the eyes. The sets are beautiful. The colors are eye-popping (bright, comic book look-and-feel), and the monsters - oh, the monsters! There are so many creep crawly weirdy nasties in this movie you can't keep track of them all! Seriously - I'm going to have to watch the movie in slow motion on DVD because the most intricate crazy creature designs will run through the frame in about 2 seconds.

So what's it all about? Well, I'll try to make this spoiler free as possible because I like to see a movie without knowing ANYTHING about it - and I know a lot of you fans feel the same way. Let's just say Hellboy is facing an identity crisis, a relationship crisis (with Liz), and a work crisis (his new boss - Johann!). And it doesn't help that an Elven king is looking to destroy the world - hey, that sucks, doesn't it? So how does Hellboy deal with all this pressure? The answer will make you laugh, and will be totally unexpected.

That's right, laugh. A lot! This is a classically funny movie. I've always thought GHOSTBUSTERS was the watermark for the fantasy, sci-fi comedy. This movie is even par, I think. And this will surprise a lot of people - especially those who are expecting a faithful adaptation of Mignola's comic. Well, those comic-crusaders may be in for a bit of a disappointment. This is a much funnier movie than I would have ever have expected - but I love the movie for it. Guillermo really runs with every character and knows what can make them funny - much the same way a veteran sitcom writer for a classic show like CHEERS or NIGHT COURT would understand how to use a character for laughs. And Ron Perlman and Doug Jones put on tremendous performances - blending action, emotion, and humor in such a perfect way to make their characters spot-on cool. Put those guys in for Saturn Awards. They are terrific.

But don't worry - there is plenty of action to go around. Huge monsters, bio-mechanical gorilla-ogres (What is Wink, anyway?), and Luke Goss (another great performance) playing a villain with a real motive - the kind of ambiguous character that Guillermo revels in. You can't hate him, because you know he might be right...This has some of the best choreographed fight scenes I've seen Guillermo do. With Big Red pulling the punches (as cocky as ever), how can you not love it?

Really - this may seem like a big love fest for a guy that runs a DelToroFilms website, so regardless, trust me when I say this is one of the best movies of the year. Go see it, go buy the DVD, go tell friends. It will be worth it.

And then go buy some pizza. Extra toppings. Crispy crust.

The woiks.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hellebration 2008, Part 3

I'm back!! Literally, I'm back home again in Indiana! Sorry it took so long to post....where was I?

Oh yes, the pre-party! As I said, I finally got to meet GDT. He was everything you would want him to be - super-friendly, smiling, giving everyone hugs. When I told him I was "Parker" from DelToroFilms he gave me the fist-bump and a huge hug. It was great! I had my DelToroFilms t-shirt on and he said "Nice shirt." I joked that they were selling them at Frederick's of Hollywood now and he asked if they came with nipple clamps. The guy is on my wavelength - at least comedy-wise.

He took me up to the bar at the restaurant and ordered a Mexican pork dish that was fabulous. This seemed to be his favorite dish at Loteria, and he was having everyone try it. At one point he tied a scarf around his neck like a waiter and was serving food to everyone - pretty funny.

Everyone had a great time at the restaurant, GDT made sure to talk with everyone. Unfortunately, MTV showed up and started interviewing him, so that kind of took away from the event. But at least all the fans had each other to talk to - we really became fast friends and continued to chat and hang out over the course of the entire evening.

Finally, it was time to hop on the shuttle and go see the movie!! GDT ditched his ride I think and jumped on the bus with us. In the process, some guy off the street he happened to walk by asked what was going on and GDT pulled him on the bus - we had to explain to him that we were going to see a premiere of Hellboy 2. The guy couldn't believe his luck - he had seen nearly all of GDT's movies and had a smile on his face the rest of the night. Since he was coming from the grocery store, he had ice cream that melted in his backpack, but he told us later it was worth the sacrifice.

GDT rode in the passenger side of the bus and as we were making the trek to the theater, he grabbed the intercom and start giving us the "Hollywood" tour - cracking us up by pointing out the shady tattoo parlors and offering a prize to the first to spot a cross-dressing man.

When we got to the theater at the Academy (yes THE Academy), we piled off the bus, but a guy out front told us we were in the wrong place and had to walk around the building. Which was kind of funny, so the fans and GDT hiked it around to the side of the building together - it was worth it because we got some swag at that entrance - a booklet, a comic, and some rubber Hellboy horns for our head.

As we walked into the theater, GDT pulled me aside and told me I was a "great man" for what I was doing with the website. I get extremely shy and modest when I get compliments, so my head went down and immediately started babbling about how it was his fans that were truly great - which is absolutely true. It was a nice moment - I hope I made a better impression with him than how I visualize it in my head. Fan paranoia, I know.

Doug Jones was sitting two rows ahead of me in the theater so I got to say, "Hi" and I locked down and interview with him this month when he is in Indiana shooting a movie. Can't wait for that! Doug is a wonderfully friendly, generous soul. AND a helluva actor - he is fantastic in HB2.

Oh, yes, the MOVIE. You probably want to hear my review, don't you? Well, you're going to have to wait because I need a whole new post for that one. Let me just say that it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Come July 11th, you guys are in for a big treat!!! I'll get my spoiler-free post up soon enough.

After the movie, the cast (everyone but Ron, who is filming is new F/X TV show) , Guillermo, and Mike Mignola came out for a brief Q/A. Not a lot of "scoops" from the Q/A, but a lot of great stories from Guillermo and cast about their hijinx on the set. My favorite was Guillermo talking about filming a scene with Doug and Selma where they had to fire guns while standing back-to-back, and he had to try to keep them from doing cheesy Charlie's Angels poses. Funny, funny stuff.

Following the screening, we went to a lobby-type area for appetizers and meet-and-greets. I got to talk with all the stars and get their autographs. Here is my brief summary:

Selma Blair: She was very friendly and approachable (despite labelling herself as anti-social during the Q/A). I kept our conversation short, just asking for her autograph and telling her I thought the movie was great. My wife jumped in and got her autograph for her boss, telling Selma that "this should get her a promotion", to which Selma laughed and said "Thank you."

Anna Walton: She was very sweet and very pretty. She seemed tall as well, not sure how high those heels were. I chatted with her briefly about what she has going next and she mentioned working on The Mutant Chronicles and a new TV series based on Robinson Crusoe.

Luke Goss: Dude was cool as can be. You might think there were all girls standing around him, but when I was there it was all guys! He was a trip - talking about how cool it was to do all the weapon work in the movie, particularly with Prince Nuada's spear. He loved it and joked about even doing the moves with his BBQ tools when he is grilling out. I got to speak with him for a few minutes, probably longer than anyone, and he was extremely gracious and friendly.

Doug Jones: Doug's the best with his fans, he has a legion of "Fan Sapiens" who all love him - with good reason. I got his autograph real quick and we talked about getting together in Indiana to talk about his independent flick he is filming at Ball State University. That should be later this month, or early August. I can't wait.

Guillermo: This was the third chance I had to talk to GDT that evening, so I wanted to make it quick because he had a legion of fans wanting to speak with him. It took me almost 45 minutes to make my way through the crowd - the man is so gracious with his time. He complied with every autograph request, flipped through countless art portfolios, and gave everyone his undivided attention - making it a special moment for each and every fan. The guy is a dynamo. I felt kind of guilty taking his time again, but I wanted to get his autograph on a Hellboy book so I would have everyone's signature that was at the event. He again gave me a great hug and signed my books. I hope to have the chance to speak with him at length at some point and really get ask him some good questions - but for this event I kept it brief and thanked him for everything. He said something to me as I left which was hard for me to understand with his accent and I am hoping he didn't ask me a question because I laughed and told him "I would see him later." More fan paranoia, I guess - I shouldn't obsess so much. Anyway, it was great meeting him - I hope to do it again for The Hobbit.

That pretty much spelled the end of the evening - soon they cut the lights and ushered the fans out to the buses.

I also want to say how great all the fans were at this event. I've known most everyone from the message boards, but this was the first I had met them in person. Everyone was friendly, funny, and just a pleasure to be around. GDT could not have a better "family" to be a part of - I enjoyed meeting every one of you and I can't wait to see you again.

I finished off the evening by sharing some Tecate beer with some fellow fans - I can't believe we didn't get a visit from security. We were pretty loud. But we were drinking and celebrating and enjoying each other's company- a perfect end to the trip.

Thanks again everyone, and thanks GDT!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hellebration 2008, Part 2

Hi gang!

Just getting up and moving from an incredible night! It is almost 11:00 here - I was up until 3am talking to our fellow fans (and having some celebratory Tecate beer in honor of Big Red).

The evening kicked off with a shuttle ride from the hotel to Latoria Grill, a new Mexican restaurant in LA that GDT has an owning interest. The pre-party group was small - a limited guest list. This was made up of hard-core fans that have been posting on DelToroFilms since its inception (and some other guests like Tad Stones).

I had never met Guillermo in person - amazing, isn't it? That's just the drawback of living in Indiana - I don't make it to LA much, as you might guess. I thought I would be nervous, but I really wasn't. It felt kind of like meeting just another fan - only I wanted to make sure I made a good impression.

Whoops! Gotta go...more partying awaits. I'll fill you in on the BIG EVENT in the next post!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hellebration 2008, Part 1

Hi everyone-

I'm blogging from beee-autiful Hollywood, California, site of the 2008 Hellboy 2 Fan Premiere. I got here yesterday at around noon and the weather is gorgeous. Universal Studios has set me up with a nice room in the Renaissance Hotel on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland. All the great Hollywood landmarks are here - I can see the big "HOLLYWOOD" sign from the Hotel, we are right next to the famous Chinese Theater, and the Walk of Fame goes up and down Hollywood Boulevard.

The first day was spent meeting friends from DelToroFilms, the Hellboy Message Boards, and other fans. Hooked up with Spyda, Andrew, Tim, Erin, Kirk, Katie, Seth, and Kim (I hope I included everyone) the first night for dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel. Had a great cheeseburger as we talked about movies, comics, and basically got to know each other. It was a great time!

This morning I got up and had a coffee as I sat out and stared at the HOLLYWOOD sign. Another beautiful morning. My wife and I met up with everyone again this afternoon - with a lot of new faces - Kate, Laurence, Stephanie...just to name a few...we met at Mel's Diner for lunch and we filled up two tables!! A great fan gathering and the big event hasn't even started yet. Everyone is really excited and the few who have seen the movie say it is really amazing. I can't wait.

Now I'm resting in my hotel room and getting ready for the big night. A shuttle leaves here at around 5:15pm for a pre-party, where we will meet Guillermo and chat a bit before the big screening. Following the screening there will be a Q&A with GDT, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss and Anna Walton.

I'll try to check in again tomorrow with the full report on tonight's festivities!