It’s no secret by now: Guillermo del Toro is a master of detail. From his elaborate set decorations to his innovative creatures, the Mexican-born director has a style that evokes sensation and art over reason, something evident in the new “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” DVD package from Universal.
The three-disc special edition collection comes equipped with two hours of bonus features, as well as a digital copy of the film. But while the pic itself is del Toro’s final vision, the route in which he took to get there will be all the more gratifying to fans.
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll pee your pants,” grumbles star Ron Perlman. While the latter may be a bit of an exaggeration, viewers will certainly get a kick to watch Jeffrey Tambor drink a cup of fecal-laden coffee in one deleted scene.
“Hellboy: In Service of the Demon” is a special feature that pays homage to del Toro and writer Mike Mignola’s vast and limitless rendering of the pic’s frightening characters. Del Toro, in pre-production meetings and extensive voiceover commentary, emphasizes the creatures’ need for personality and spirit, and asks that his designers steer clear of any stereotypical alien or sci-fi creature.
The seven different chapters of “Demon” begin with a pre-production meeting between del Toro and the “Hellboy” designers. Discussions delve into a thorough look at each of the film’s new characters, including Krauss (the b aid to Hellboy), Mr. Wink, Prince, Princess Nuala, and the giant tree monster, Element.
While the bonus disc is loaded with storyboard galleries –the fantasy sequence in “Professor Boom’s Puppet Theater” or the “Hellboy II” poster gallery (over 75 posters to scroll through) — it’s del Toro’s “Director’s Notebook” that steals the show.
Del Toro unveils all of his notes and beautiful drawings of the film’s monsters and the world they inhabit in a digital book. (It helps to speak Spanish, as the notes are all made in his own native tongue). Viewers can scroll from page to page to witness del Toro’s gifted talents as not only a visionary, but also an artist.
“Director’s Notebook” also comes with a play option that allows viewers to click through each page and learn more about a specific character or rendering of a scene.