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Hellboy Featurette Highlights Jaw-Dropping Practical Effects

Hellboy David harbour

One thing that was always guaranteed for Hellboy, the big screen reboot adaptation of the heroic demon from Dark Horse comics, was plenty of freaky monsters.

A new featurette about the makeup and costumes designed for the film not only confirms this, but shows how the monsters came to life with minimal dependence on computer graphics.

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The video's behind-the-scenes footage gives fans a close-up look at how masks, prosthetics and creative movement come together to turn human actors into eldritch horrors. The end results include undead ghouls, a giant bipedal boar, and of course Hellboy himself.

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"We were really lucky to have the Academy Award-winning makeup artist Joel Harlow working on this movie," says David Harbour, who stars as Hellboy. "I mean, he's a genius."

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Harlow discusses breaking new ground in prosthetics and performance, which may not be an exaggeration, judging from the accompanying production clip: a stunt actor hooked into suspension wires bends over backwards to walk on his hands and feet, and his movements are then shown in a creature creeping the same way.

While it's clear that some modern technologies have been used to supplement the practical effects, the visual signature of the film looks like it will stay true to the film's core idea of "good old-fashioned monster fights."

Arriving on April 12, director Neil Marshall’s Hellboy stars David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as Nimue, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio.

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