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This week:

Filthy says:
"Fanboy masturbatory horseshit.

I don't fantasize about sex as much as I used to. Nowadays, most of my fantasies are about getting self-righteously indignant. When I was younger, I daydreamed about fucking anything that moved, included escalators. But, you know, not skanky old, groady ones with old gum and shit in the corrugated steps. These days a typical fantasy might be getting cut off at a stoplight by a soccer mom. In my dream I confront her and she says she was in a hurry, and since my car is shitty she assumed I didn't need to be anywhere important. That's when I blow my fucking cool and yell at her until she's crying and humbled. When I do think about sex, a typical fantasy is this: I get cut off at a stoplight by a soccer mom. I confront her and she says she was in a hurry, and since my car is shitty she assumed I didn't need to be anywhere important. That's when I blow my fucking cool and yell at her until she's crying and humbled. Then we have sex while I yell at her some more. None of that has anything to do with Hellboy, but I wonder if I'm getting old. Oh yeah, I write a lot of letters to the editors, too.

Hellboy sucks. It looks really fucking expensive, but. The makers spent the money like an old lady who keeps buying Franklin Mint plates, Hummels and pickaninny salt-and-pepper shakers to fill her emptiness. "Maybe just one more Norman Rockwell calendar will end my misery. Hmmmm, that didn't work, but here's a lovely porcelain figurine of a kitten on a toilet." Hellboy is similarly empty and pointless, and it just keeps stuffing its curio cabinet to cloak that.

The movie, based on a comic book, is a twisted, convoluted mess, like yarn in your shit. It throws in everything it can think of, including Nazis, Rasputin (I shit you not), monsters, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, robotics, Indiana Jones-style swashbuckling and lots of visuals stolen from Alan Quartermain, without putting much effort into making it make any sense.

The movie is the result of a studio and director--scared shitless by fanboys--adapting yet another comic book. See, anyone who wants to adapt a comic book has to navigate the obstacle course created by fat, greasy momma's boys who think they are the characters' guardians, and only they know what's best for them. They're fucking extortionists. Stupid ones who don't smelll so hot. They're more dangerous and demanding than any Russian mobster or bookie owed a bundle. They don't use guns or piano wire because they have something far more deadly and terrifying: the grating, ceaseless whine of their pissy complaining.

The result is a Hellboy that is less of a coherent story than a checklist for rabid, literal fanboys who will complain if any element of their favorite comic book is not included. Maybe all the baroque backstory and tedious plotting work in the comic books, but they sure as hell don't work here. And with all that I saw, there could have been a good movie made, if only someone had shown some restraint, or at least ignored the ear-bleeding whine of the fanboys,

Ron Perlman is Helboy, a literal devil brought forth from hell by the Nazis and Rasputin. He's now in the employ of the FBI. He has the requisite weaselly boss who doesn't trust him, the longing for a girl who he fears doesn't love him because he's different, and more lame, misfire one-liners than all of Sylvester Stallone's movies put together. For reasons not explained, Rasputin and a robotic Nazi return now (rather than in 1945, 1946, 1947...) to wreak havoc on the world, arbitrarily unleash monsters and take the story to locales that are equally unnecessary and arbitrary. Perlman must defeat them, their monsters and overcome his only-mentioned-in-the-last-act urge to be evil in order to save the world.

The action is arbitrary. I never really could piece the plot together, and I sure as fuck am not gonna go read the comic books to see if it makes sense. Monsters seem to reproduce for no reason other than the story wants them to. Bad guys avoid death conveniently, and the story bounces around without ever gaining steam. For as much crap and action as del Toro crams into it, it's as boring as fuck. Why? Because I never got to know any characters beyond a one-dimensional outline. Okay, Hellboy is smarmy. Ha ha. And he likes junk food. Ha ha. But why is so much time dedicated to showing how vigorously the FBI has tried to keep him a secret, only to let him roam freely and interact with all sorts of people throughout the story? Why does FBI Director (Jeff Tambor) let Hellboy live in absolute luxury for 60 years only to decide now that he's a menace? Why didn't the villains, who are apparently pretty close to immortal decide to act long before now? It's not like they were waiting for a comet to pass by or something.

There's a million more questions like this that come up throughout Hellboy. There is loads of attention to detail and every single frame of film is so crammed with shit that it felt like I was treading precariously through my Aunt Clara's house addition where she kept every fucking thing she ever saw, like Johnny's old stitches, the cat's hairballs, cans of Bubble Up and old empty tuna cans. But, in his effort to capture every visual detail, del Toro makes the characters and the set up such a boring, undeveloped mish-mash that I had to ask: who the fuck cares?

The fanboys, that's who. I know this sounds like a tired stereotype, but just go and lose your job so you can be an unemployed loser like me for a week. Then go to a Friday afternoon matinee of a just-released comic book movie. I sat in a theater half full of the smelliest, dirtiest, most virginal fat fucks you'll ever see. These are the sort of pigs who whistle through their nose when they breathe, have filthy beards and use both hands to shovel their jumbo popcorn into their greasy maws. And when the movie was over, half of these very, very full-grown men stood outside the theater waiting for their mommies to come pick them up. This is who dictates what we see at the Cineplex, and it's time we took back the movies.

Why do you think long comic books started getting called "graphic novels." Who do you think thought that pretentious, overly-serious name up? Fucking fanboys who wanted to be taken seriously. They don't want to take the time to read novels, or raise their reading to the level of normal people. They want the word novel dumbed down until they can read one.

I like Ron Perlman for no other reason than he was in City of Lost Chidren and it opened my eyes to him, the same way Peter Falk in Wings of Desire made me appreciate him. I realized neither is just a lame old TV actor, that they had a desire to do something deeper. But he's got little to do here except bark out cheesy puns. Selma Blair plays his love interest with the sort of self-serious mopey disinterest she has mastered.

Hellboy is a pretty bad movie, but not for lack of trying or money. I can't help but think of what could have been if the fanboys didn't have Hollywood by the nuts. Two Fingers.

Help Filthy || Want to tell Filthy Something?



Shawn Edwards of Fox-TV Kansas City

"R O C K spells action!" - Umm, no it doesn't.

Walking Tall is "Endlessly enjoyable and a lot of fun!" -- as opposed to those endlessly enjoyable but unfun movies, I guess.

Filthy's Reading
Donald Barthelme - Great Days

Listening to
Janis Martin - Female Elvis


Major League Baseball - The San Diego Padres Win It All in 2004