Hellboy Animated: Blood And Iron (2007)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 2/19/18
Music: Christopher Drake
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Peri Gilpin, John Hurt

In 1939, professor Bruttenholm (John Hurt) defeated the vampire Erzsebet Ondrushko, who took some tips from countess Elizabeth Bathory regarding the rejuvenating effects of bathing in blood. Back in the present, someone is trying to revive Erzsebet as a priestess of Hecate, which convinces the professor to come out of retirement and face her once again. Her spirit manifests at an alleged haunted house in America, which Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz (Selma Blair), Abe (Doug Jones), and Bruttenholm are assigned to investigate. As the professor's past catches up with him, bloods flows freely and all of his friends find themselves in mortal danger.

It's another fun journey into the macabre with the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense team. A good portion of the story is told in flashback scenes, where John Hurt's voice is sped up and processed to sound younger. It's a weird effect and a constant distraction. The film is surprisingly bloody and our heroes find themselves in a considerable amount of danger, which creates a very tense atmosphere. Christopher Drake's music score also does an excellent job of underscoring the sense of dread. The voice acting is good and the animation is dark and spooky. What's interesting to me is how they blended Greek mythology with vampire lore, and how the entire Hellboy universe is a rich mixture of all sorts of gods, demons, spirits, and monsters. Good stuff, but it might be a little too scary, gory, and racy for pre-teen viewers.