Fantasy Film Fest: Guillermo del Toro speaks HB2! Plus a review of the Franka Potente horror flick CREEP!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a little look at what everybody's favorite Gordo filmmaker has to say about the sequel to HELLBOY from the Fantasy Film Fest, which seems to be kicking ass and taking names this year. Before you get to that stuff, though, the below reviewer fills you in on CREEP, a horror flick staring the yummy-yummy Franka Potente. Now, I hope the below review and I disagree because it sounds like it could be a really nice little spook-fest of a movie, but then again... I thought I'd flip for ANATOMY and I didn't... Anyway, let's get to the good stuff! Enjoy!
first time blabla...Hope you can use this:
I attended the Fantasy Filmfest in Berlin and had the misfortune on monday to watch the world premiere of "Creep" by british newcomer Christopher Smith, who was also there to see the movie the first time together with an audience. Spoilers follow, but i will make it short anyway:
Creep is basically the old lonely-young-woman-followed-by-maniac-with corpses-dropping -left-and-right story, this time playing in the London Underground after closing hours. After a short teaser following the adventures of a sewer-control-team, who of course split at the first hint of danger, and are then being attacked one after another with one "BOOH"-shock-cut after the other, we meet (very tired and pissed looking) german actress Franka Potente playing a german party girl in London, who falls to sleep on a subway station, misses the last train and is inexplicably not only overseen but also locked in. There by chance (uurgh) she does not only enter a train which again inexplicably appears despite the closing, but is also inexplicably attacked by a rapist who followed her from the last party AND stalked by a monster (not shown yet), who by chance already killed the train driver and attacks the rapist before chasing Franka. It's as silly as it sounds and that's just the beginning.
Franka then basically runs, crawls and sewer-dives (!) away screaming for the rest of the movie, trying to get help - with every helping person soon killed by the monster. Dark corners, sewers and BOOH every three minutes, a gory subterran abortion clinic, a monster-rape with a saw, screaming, BOOH!, screamin, some gore, BOOH!, you get it. Not a single idea is new here, the monster - while not being a bad make-up-job - is clearly seen for minutes after about half of the picture and gets more ridiciulous the more you see it. A boring slasher exerise like some of the old bad italian horror movies from the early 80ties of last century. Avoid this.
Christopher Smith, who is a nice guy and shows at least some basic understanding of making such movies, should try something original next, if he gets an offer again that is. At least he was able to channel some money from german filmfunds, which explains the presence of our "star" Franka Potente. Doesn't help much though.
Guillermo del Toro, Selma Blair and Ron Perlman presented Hellboy here in Berlin last night and were available for Q & A. Guillermo was very nice, funny and outspoken, but Ron and Selma (such a beautiful woman!) seemed tired (maybe after having given thousands of interviews before). They all confirmed that Hellboy 2 is signed and on the way, but Guillermo is at least making one other, smaller movie before that in spain. He told us, that The Devils Backbone is his personal favourite movie (mine too) and he was especially unhappy with Mimic and somewhat dissatisfied with Blade 2.
Abe Sapien was shortened for Hellboy regarding screen time for budget reasons (that's why he gets slashed by the demons underwater and cannot travel to Russia), and Hellboy himself was shortened for real for the same reasons, as initally he should have been much larger, which would have called for digitally enlarging Ron, who is in reality not as big as he looks on screen. So they just used the usual tricks (Camera angle, boxes, lower settings and smaller actors around him).
As for the story of Hellboy 2 Guillermo did not seem to have already made up his mind, but Abe and Selma's characters will get much more room and Kroenen seems not to come back in the first sequel (damn!). As they were not sure if there would be a sequel when making Hellboy, they tried to get as much good stuff from the comics into it as possible to have it on screen at least once. So many ideas were used up for Hellboy 1 and they seemingly have to search first for new ones to fill Hellboy 2.
Q&A ended after more than half an hour with much fun, applause and laughter. This was the first time big stars like Perlman and Blair attended the FFF (Fantasy-Filmfest), a sign that this festival is getting bigger and bigger. With about 70 movies in 7 cities (mainly horror, crime and asian action, not too much "real" fantasy or SF-movies anymore) and some short movies this 18 year old festival is now quite an institution.
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Aug. 19, 2004, 9:43 a.m. CST
First one was pretty good and hopefully with this sequel comes a bigger budget and some betterbad guys. Perlman was God in the first one, or maybe the Devil.
Aug. 19, 2004, 9:45 a.m. CST
Just another stupid opinion, i know.
Aug. 19, 2004, 9:54 a.m. CST
Well, you just sold me on this flick.
Aug. 19, 2004, 9:57 a.m. CST
by Some Dude
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I thought you were referring to the Italian movies from the 80s of the 18th or 19th century, not the 20th century.
Aug. 19, 2004, 10:25 a.m. CST
Anyone who's read the comic knows that they could probably make 5-10 movies out of all the vignettes in there; even the bigger stories like Conqueror Worm, Box Full of Evil and Wake the Devil are divergent enough from the "Rasputin's Ritual" of the first film that they could easily stand on their own. **\n** Plus, the tone of the films can change to line up more with the comics' tone, with Hellboy less of an urban legend and more of a well-known "monster plumber" like the Ghostbusters. **\n** I liked the movie, and I think the comic's a masterpiece, so I'm sure I'll enjoy the sequel, but I'm very confused by the sentiment that "ideas were used up".
Aug. 19, 2004, 11:23 a.m. CST
No ideas MY ASS. Bring in LOBSTER frikkin' JOHNSON and take down the Mountains of Madness!
Aug. 19, 2004, 11:43 a.m. CST
by Ra Ra Rasputin
At last common sense prevails a sensible fellow suggests LOBSTER JOHNSON. Opening scene of HB2 can be a full five minute sequence featuring the mighty super hero please (or a cameo would do). Fair play to that man
Aug. 19, 2004, 11:49 a.m. CST
I was unfortunate enough to catch a secret screening of Creep about three months ago in London, I was meant to stay behind to participate in a Q&A session about the film but I didn't have the heart to sit there and tell the film makers that what they had made was such contrived shite that there was no way in hell any amount of tinkering or re-shoots (unless they re-shot the whole film with a new script) could help salvage what is probably one of the worst horror films I've ever seen. And no it's not so shit it's actually good, it's just plain unoriginal DUMP.
Aug. 19, 2004, 12:13 p.m. CST
Hellboy was heavily promoted on Aint it Cool but I have to say that it was one of the worst scripts of the last year. From the opening dialogue with its faux British accents you could tell that this movie was going to be a dog. The production design, photography and effects were excellent but the script never did get any better. The reason was obvious, it was written by Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro may be many things but his English dialogue stinks. I presume no one had the heart to tell him. But everyone in that audience knew that the dialogue was so stilted and phoney that it wasn't worth spreading the word about Hellboy unless it was to tell your friends not to bother. As as for the plot (another storyline by del Toro) it was convoluted in the extreme. And the big boss monsters of the finale were nothing but another failed attempt to get to grips with some kind of Lovecraftian creature. But let me rewind a moment here. Did anyone else think that Hellboy had the worst title sequence of any comic book movie ever? What a low that was. As for Hellboy 2, sure, go ahead and make it. But for God's sake find someone who can write English! And no, Mike Mignola can't write scripts either. He;s still at the drawing stage of his evolution, nice drawings though they are. Get a scriptwriter in. It's a strange idea, but it just might work.
Aug. 19, 2004, 1:36 p.m. CST
I have yet to see this, but will once it hits HBO/Max, etc, but I don't understand why this is getting a sequel. Not even making back its production budget (domestically) and I know that it was advertised to death, does this make good business sense? I know that internationally and with home video that the movie probably broke even, but it didn't exactly set the world on fire, did it? This along with Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash seem to be fanboy fantasies that have come true. I think in the long run this will end up hurting the ability to make films that geeks want to see as I see both losing money.
Aug. 19, 2004, 1:51 p.m. CST
by Billy Bob 2
What a fucking letdown. That movie was so overhyped especially here at AICN that I was actually expecting it to deliver. A sequel? The movie made $59 million dollars. Who the hell makes a sequel to a failure? And how can they think they've used up all the good stuff on Hellboy 1? He fought that same friggin' Samael monster over and over until the end of the movie!!!
Aug. 19, 2004, 2:01 p.m. CST
It was fun watching them introduce and develop the characters but once they went on a mission to dispatch the villain, the fun (not to mention the rhythm) just evaporated. At least HELLBOY is getting a second chance, unlike Remo.
Aug. 19, 2004, 2:04 p.m. CST
"[Hellboy] was one of the worst scripts of the last year". Are you kidding? Did you SEE all the bollocks that hit movie screens last year? (Actually, Hellboy was released THIS year not last, but nevermind.) I ask you, do you really think HB was worse than: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? "The Day After Tomorrow"? "Cheaper by the Dozen"? "Bad Boys II"? And that's just a few of the crap films of the last two years that MADE MONEY that I can name off the top of my head. I haven't even scratched the surface! Tone down the hype man.
Aug. 19, 2004, 2:08 p.m. CST
by tango fett
For instance, I know that Hellboy is supposed to say all those cheesy one-liners a lot ("let me go in and say hi," "second date, no tongue"), but I cringed everytime he said one. Bad delivery I guess, but other than that, Perlman was awesome. Abe Sapien was well done as far as the look and stuff goes. And I got sick of seeing everybody fighting Sammael over and over again, as a previous person said. The best thing about the movie was, of course KROENEN. He was really cool, best character in the movie IMO. I've heard he's different from the comics (no swords, no crank thingy where his heart should be, and so forth) but the movie version is pretty trippy as he is. And as far as both the music and the opening credits, they were average at best, not very impressive (so far I think Spiderman has the best opening credits of a super hero movie). Well, I've critiqued long enough. Cheerio
Aug. 19, 2004, 2:16 p.m. CST
by Trevor Goodchild
Only just strated reading the Hellboy books. Love to see some of the RIGHT HAND OF DOOM stories on the big screen I was looking forward to the movie until I read the books and realized how beautiful they were. From what I seen it seems a little to contemporised. Any readers of the comic out there love the film? Who is Karl Roden in Blade II? Who makes the Figure of Hellboy that was available before the Movie was even planned? All Hellboy merchandise now seems to be the Film design. Like to see John Boorman's take or Peter Weir for the sequal.
Aug. 19, 2004, 2:39 p.m. CST
But as much as I want to see the Big Red Cheese, er, Claw on screen, I don't know how they could write him in. You'd need flashbacks to WW2 to establish him as a Captain America type, then show his demise, then create a reason for his spirit to return, then find a way to connect him to HB's current adventure. That's a lot of attention to focus on a supporting character. Instead, I'm voting for Johann, the ectoplasmic guy (the dude in the containment suit). They can use the "he's-there-but-not-there" FX developed for Kevin Bacon in HOLLOW MAN.
Aug. 19, 2004, 3:10 p.m. CST
But just for arguments sake: Budget/Domestic Gross in millions... Harry Potter 3 130/246...Chronicles of Riddick 105/58...AVP 60/38 and counting...Van Helsing 160/120...King Arthur 90/51...Troy 185/133. With the exception of HP3, which in my opinion was good, all have not made back their budgets domestically, not including advertising. AvP probaby will end up close to Hellboy if not better at 60/59. None of these have anything to do with how good of a film they are. But I have heard Hellboy, and Kill Bill for that matter called hits. Guess what folks, they aren't. Kill Bill more or less doubled its box office take by splitting the movie in two. It made money, but not much. Harry Potter on the other hand made big dollars. Not LOTR dollars, but big money. It reminds me of a winners/losers thing in EW regarding BO. It listed Attack of the Clones as a loser for Box Office. Say what you want about the movie, but you can't deny that $190 million dollars above the budget of a film is a good take. Once again Box Office doesn't translate into quality, but it should factor into what movies get sequels (which tend to cost more and make less.)
Aug. 19, 2004, 3:34 p.m. CST
by Lance Rock
Aug. 19, 2004, 4:27 p.m. CST
thats a way better horror movie to me than that shit. you lost me at monster rape with a saw.
Aug. 19, 2004, 7:11 p.m. CST
he's making another small movie before doing Hellboy 2. The Devil's Backbone was fucking AWESOME.
Aug. 19, 2004, 8:42 p.m. CST
How could Del Toro be "somewhat disappointed" with BLADE II? What was his problem with it - it was TOO GOD DAMN AWESOME? Come on Del Toro, let's get some fuckin self esteem there pal. Once you've made a perfect movie it's time to admit you've made a perfect movie. (Devil's Backbone and Cronos are pretty god damn great too.) Otherwise, good work and I look forward to Hellboy part 2 the revenge of Hellboy.
Aug. 20, 2004, 12:38 a.m. CST
by Lezbo Milk
Just because a film like HB doesn't make break even in the USA, doesn't mean it's a money looser. You have to count international box office. HB made 72 million worldwide. HP3 made 751 million combined. Troy made 491 million combined. If you look at just domestic your only looking at half of the proverbial pie. Now this is before you start factoring in Pay-Per-View, Cable, and DVD sales. Something that bombs domestically can still make a truck load full of cash.
Aug. 20, 2004, 12:56 a.m. CST
Roger the Homunculus? C'mon, the fact that Hellboy calls him Roger makes him cool enough for inclusion in the sequel. Hellboy only just came out in Australia, so I'm going to smoke a fatty-boombatty and go see it next week when I have some time. I'm prepared to be mildly disappointed (as someone said, it should be more Devil's Backbone than Blade II), but...whatever, it's got Perlman and Hurt, and I'll be hella stoned so it should at least be an entertaining ride at the time that I'll probably nit-pick to buggery when sober.
Aug. 20, 2004, 3:25 a.m. CST
by andrew coleman
The first film made over 300 million the second made it into the high 200 million the third low 200 million now I'm not saying that's bad at all. The studio claimed HP would be box office gold with the director and etc. and stated it should make more than 350 million. Well it didn't maybe because the movie was slow and nothing happened. Anyway I don't get all the Hellboy bashing it was a lot better then the ass load of crappy movies I've seen lately. So bring on the sequel it will make up for all the bad movies like AVP and many others
Aug. 20, 2004, 5:34 a.m. CST
i mean, look at the other talkbacks.
Aug. 20, 2004, 6:27 a.m. CST
by Spacker Dave
Hellboy only just came out yesterday in Australia and had gotten a lot of good reviews, so I was looking forward to seeing this. Pacing was all wrong for an action/fantasy movie. HB fighting the same monster over and over got a little tiring. And after building up Kroenen so well I was dissapointed to see him go down so easily. Had del Toro learnt nothing from Blade 2? This should have been like the Blade/Nyssa fight only more grandious and brutal but insted we're stuck with Jeffrey Tambor stepping up and throwing COGS?!? What the fuck? Also that romance with HB and Liz sherman was truly groanworthy with bad Attack of the Clones style dialogue. For Hellboy 2 I recommend del Toro hire an english speaking screenwriter.
Aug. 20, 2004, 9:46 a.m. CST
Aug. 20, 2004, 9:59 a.m. CST
Garbage, garbage, garbage. Hey Guillermo... if you wanted to re-make "Men in Black" with monsters instead of aliens, by all means, go right ahead - - but by making a vapid, Hollywood-ized mockery of Mike Mignola's brilliant comic, you made an enemy for life of this TalkBacker. Go crawl back under a rock. Shame on you. And shame on Mignola himself, not only for allowing this turd of turds to be made, but even more so for not returning to the drawing board to make it up to his fans with more of his top-notch work. Now, if you'll excuse me... the thought of a Del Toro sequel has me hyperventilating with rage, so i'm gonna go breathe into a paper bag.
Aug. 20, 2004, 9:59 a.m. CST
I know that I didn't calculate international Box Office, PPV, DVD sales, etc when talking about figures before. If HB made 72 million internationally, it means that (still not factoring DVD/PPV) it made a small profit. The reason I say that is that the movie was about at its budget for the US, and the budget doesn't factor in print costs, advertising costs, etc. I don't know what it is now, but I believe it used to be a movie has to make 2.5 times it's budget to break even. So 60 times 2.5 = 150. 72+59=131. DVD/PPV had to be at least 20 so there is a small profit margin there. I still see it as a movie that business wise doesn't warrant a sequel. It has nothing to do with whether or not the movie is good, but rather whether or not is makes sense from a monetary perspective.
Aug. 20, 2004, 2:39 p.m. CST
by Childe Roland
...officially wins Childe Roland's "Shinebox" Award for the most personally nostalgic film reference I've read on the boards this week. Remo Williams was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I wanted my own little pseudo-Asian Yoda-like trainer for Christmas after that came out. I should really watch that again. And Rain_Dog win's my "Tommy Chong" Award for the most humorous reference to marijuana I've heard or read in the workplace (he was up against some tough competition, as my fifty-three-year-old balding boss likes to ask who's been "smoking the spliff" in presentation meetings all the time, and that's almost as funny as grandma asking you about your sex life). Anyway, I digress. Hellboy was a decent enough comic book film. It wasn't any truer to the source material than any of the great comic book films (Superman, Spider Man, Batman Returns among my favorites) but it was fun four-color violence and over-the-top characters translated pretty vividly to the big screen. Sure the plot was somewhat derivative of formulaic blockbusters and the love story was craptastic, but Perlman owned the role (there I go, breaking my solemn vow not to use that verb in this context) and the special effects were decently enough done that I was never taken out of the fantasy by a "How stupid does that look?" moment. I'm not sure what more folks would want from a comic book movie than this. I mean, unless someone greenlights a "Dark Knight Returns" or "Watchmen" film that uses Miller's or Moore's comics as a storyboard and doesn't deviate one iota from the story, we aren't going to get a comic book movie that is also a truly great film about a truly great or compelling story. Comics are largely colorful eye candy with vastly oversimplified plots and quirky characters. I thought that was why we liked them? Methinks Hellboy's harshest critics need to lighten up some and enjoy the ride.
Aug. 20, 2004, 3:30 p.m. CST
Regarding Harry Potter, you said, "the second made it into the high 200 million the third low 200 million." The second HP film made $262 million domestic. The third is at $246 million and looks to make just shy of $250 million total. There is hardly a difference there at all. Most huge sequels fall a lot more from film to film (rarities like LOTR aside) then HP3 did. On another note, I read the script to Creep and it is bad. I love Franka, but this can't be a good film with that script. As for Hellboy, I really wanted to love it but it just wasn't very good. Hellboy himself was a great creation, but the movie was not involving.
Aug. 20, 2004, 4:29 p.m. CST
Hell, it's the #3 third episode of a series, folloing the two "Return of the..." movies. When did WB ever say it would make 350M domestic? Give a link, I call bullshit. Spidey 2 looks to drop about as much from the original as HP3 did from 2, you think sony is pissed? By the way, I agree that HP3 could have done better if they didn't go short and cut so much from the book.
Aug. 20, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST
I'm sure WB hoped for more, but they shouldn't have been surprised. (you think the Spidey 2 guys consider it a "failure" as well?) And the summer release date happened just because they couldn't get the damn thing done in time for another winter release. I'm also skeptical that WB was behind the shorter running time, I've heard that's what Cuaron wanted. The link request was directed at the guy who said that WB made a public statement saying it would do 350.
Aug. 21, 2004, 2:04 a.m. CST
<<Franka Potente is too masculine for me>> There's no reason to dislike a woman just because she can kick your ass.
Aug. 21, 2004, 4:13 p.m. CST
by Zefram Mann
Before you embarass your stupid-ass selves any further saying how Del-Toro fucked up the comic, and destroyed everything Mignola created, go listen to the commentary on the DVD where Mignola praises a lot of the changes Del Toro made. YEs, you assholes, the creator himself actually said he WISHED he had thought to make Hellboy and Liz Sherman an item like that. Two people who can never fit in, excpet with each other. And Kroenen? The one thing all of you dipshits can agree on being "kewl"? The Kroenen in the comic was a nerd in a gasmask, and didn't do shit. Again, Mignola loved the changes made, and in many cases made suggestions that even Del Toro thought might be too over the top (like having Kroenen's hand shoot off and choke people). Mignola was consulted throughout the whole movie, and didn't have a problem with anything, so if you're gonna bash Del Toro, fucking bash your geek god Mignola too, you stupid asswipes.
Aug. 23, 2004, 10:11 a.m. CST
by Pippin's Diamond
When the HB flick first came out I was truly bewildered to see that there was nuthin' but love for it! I was beginning to think I was the only raving lunatic out there who thought Guillermo had fucked it up beyond recognition. Except for Hellboy himself as I've said before. Ron became HB completely, and I think that's the one saving grace of the film (made me see it twice!), and the reason why some people loved it. Maybe his one liners are a bit off, but perhaps that'll change in the sequel. Though Abe did look awesome, I agree that he was totally gay. I really can't see this dude as the leading man in B.P.R.D., but if we're to be honest, I can certainly live with that, and anyway it can't be fixed. Seeing Lobster Johnson would be great, and I don't think it'd be all that hard to manage. At least not considering what Guillermo did with the first flick... the way I see it, the movie is mainly a crap sandwich: Del Toro came up with this humongous turd of a Sammael story, sprinkled it lightly with barely recognizable bits of the original stories, and put it right between the coolness of Mignola's HB origin from "Seed of Destruction", and Mignola's conclusion to one of the best storylines he's come up with ("Wake the Devil"), thus successfully destroying any chance to see the "Wake" storyline properly developed in the sequel. Granted, "Seed" would not have made a very exciting movie, but "Wake" would've. I think that's what I disliked the most about it... It's like Frankenstein's creature: a monstrosity made up of pieces of the originals. All the good bits they used are now unusable for the sequel because Guillermo had to twist them into something they weren't (look no further than the Corpse. I did like what he did to Kroenen though, but only that). I do see why he did some of it though... he thought he had to cram all that in just in case no sequel was made. A worthy effort; I just wish he'd done it right. Anyway, at first I thought we couldn't get Lobster Johnson ("Conqueror Worm"? not sure)before we got Roger (I would love to see him as other than a freaking statue in a corner!), since to get Roger we would need the "Almost Colossus" storyline, but I'm sure Guillermo will find a way (yes, that was sarcastic). Concerning Mike Mignola himself, I'm well aware of his involvement. I was there at Comic Con before the movie came out, listening to everything he had to say about the project, and I did see the DVD extras. I'm forced to come to the conclusion that the poor guy cares little for his own work. Either that or he really needs to learn to believe in himself, because all along he sounded like a yes-man to Del Toro (who -truth be told- couldn't write his way out of a paper bag). Not surprising from the guy who once thought "The Corpse" was a piece of crap until other people convinced him of the contrary. The guy who was originally gonna kill off Liz until someone told him it was a bad idea. I mean, the book is beautiful (and funny and odd and creepy etc.)... so how could the movie based on it be so pedestrian? What happened to the atmosphere? Anyway, that's just my 2 cents, and for the record, I'm really not as pissed off as I probably sound. Hey, it's just a movie. We still have the books. But for the sequel, I say bring in Roger, and if possible bring in one of them good ol' kriegaffes, and a nazi head in a jar, and the Lobster if you can manage it, and feel free to bring in Christopher Golden to pen the story. If we're gonna have to endure this awkward HB/Liz thing, at least leave it to a guy who already paired up HB once without it seeming so freaking preposterous.
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