This thing has so many bad 80’s horror movie affects you’d almost think it was on purpose; it’s got the requisite group of horny kids (the slut, the bro, the underdog… although one of them managed to carve just a hint of dimension out for himself as a rare bro/ nerd hybrid), some supernatural mumbo-jumbo (the filmmakers had the reckless lack of regard to slap Lovecraft’s name at the top of the title), acting you could iron a shirt on, a plot you could lose in a bowl of rice and the budget-friendly pacing decision of being totally fucking boring for the first 90% of the movie. When you finally do get to see the big monster though it’s, surprisingly, worth it. The thing is insane, a white-pancake nightmare on an actor who’s either an excellent performer or tweaking from withdrawal. The director’s bizarre decision to shoot the creature totally straight, fully lit and completely in frame, somehow adds to it. This is happening. We don’t need no color gels to make this look fucking weird. And in the end, all the likable protagonists (who were the only ones to survive, of course) walk off into the distance with a giggle, their sexually promiscuous friends’ deaths a distant memory of almost an hour ago.
Comic book, 2011
Okay, so, I really have to get over this thing where all I think about when reading BPRD is how the new artist, Tyler Crook, is not as good as the previous artist, Guy Davis. But I realized while reading this issue another big reason for that. Davis’ art was loose, from construction to inking. This left room for your imagination to participate in the horrors being depicted. (I mean Davis is also a brilliant designer and cartoon expressionist, some other departments in which Crook is falling short.) But Crook’s work is rendered in a concreate reality that leaves no room for your mind to play. He actually appears to be actively combating this, getting looser in his inking by tiny increments every issue. But I think the book’s editors are with me on this one- BPRD is about to be drawn by a variety of artists in its upcoming installments, a possible scaling back of Crook’s position as THE new BPRD artist. One of the upcoming artists, James Harren, is fresh off of Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest, where he turned in some of the best action scenes BPRD has ever seen. (His scenes of simple conversation were a bit awkward though.) Not to mention Tonci Zonjic drawing the upcoming Lobster Johnson series. His work on the last Madman annual knocked me out with sheer storytelling alone- his pitch perfect Moebius meets Herge art style is the icing on the cake. Anyway, BPRD still hasn’t found its way out of Davis’ shadow for me, and I don’t feel like I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
Additional: I found out today that I am not a completist when it comes to Hellboy, as I passed on buying a copy of Dark Horse Presents #7, featuring what looks like a little wisp of a Hellboy short. I will be buying Dark horse Presents #8, however, which features a BPRD short. Being less willing to miss out on anything BPRD is a direct result of how much John Arcudi has made me care about these characters.