The title character, created in 1994 by comic book artist Mike Mignola, is a bright red behemoth who chews wearily on his cigar, files down the massive horns on his forehead because they make him feel self-conscious, and periodically emerges from his hiding place at a federal research institute to save the earth from supernatural predators. Played by Ron Perlman, he's the most magnetic action hero I've come across in a long while, though I couldn't make heads or tails of this story, which involves Nazis, horrible gargoylelike monsters, and a resuscitated Rasputin. Selma Blair costars as a beautiful fire starter who makes Hellboy go all mushy inside, and the splendid production design is by Stephen Scott. Guillermo del Toro (The Devil's Backbone) directed; with Jeffrey Tambor and John Hurt.
By J.R. Jones