How long, do you suppose, until video stores start separating superhero films into their own genre as they do with war movies and westerns? With the amount of films based on comic books increasing with each new year, it’s safe to say that we are living in the golden age of superhero films. Every summer is a new bouquet of caped crusaders and daring-do and — most surprisingly — the films are more often than not really, really good.
It was the abundance of quality superhero films out there in the world that first gave us the idea to put together Dynamic Duos, a monthly film series dedicated to superhero films. Teaming up with our friends at Ain’t It Cool News and 8th Dimension Comics & Games, every month we plan to curate a double feature of superhero flicks. That’s double the heroes, double the villains and double the two-fisted justice. We plan to spotlight the classics plus give some long overdue props to a few forgotten gems. As the months go on, we’ll provide you with your superhero film fix until the summer of 2012 is here and — if the world has not yet ended — a new batch of superhero films will pop up.
In the inaugural month of Dynamic Duos, we’re turning the spotlight on a few darker heroes. Since we’re nearing Halloween, we thought it only appropriate to feature a few comic book-inspired films that aren’t afraid to get a little creepy at times.
For the first film in the double feature, we will be screening HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY. This fun throwback to pulp comic heroes — with that signature Guillermo Del Toro twist — is based on a comic book by Mike Mignola from Dark Horse.
Hellboy is the inferno-spawned man-devil with a red right hand of doom and a heart of gold. Now free from the confines of an origin story and character introductions, Del Toro’s sequel featured an impressively epic story featuring a rouge army of fairies, goblins and trolls. As Hellboy, star Ron Pearlman must match wits — and punches — with a legion of Hans Christian Anderson rejects… but these fairy tales are armed to the teeth with claws, swords and more. Don’t miss this very fun, very imaginative razor sharp fantasy film from the man who brought you PAN’S LABYRINTH and THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE.
We’ll follow Del Toro’s devilishly fun film with DARKMAN, the movie that launched a hundred nightmares of melting faces for a generation of kids. Since Bruce Campbell is in town this month and we’re screening Sam Raimi’s classic EVIL DEAD trilogy, it is very fitting that we kick-start Dynamic Duos with DARKMAN, Raimi’s ode to the shadow-drenched heroics of The Shadow and Batman.
Raimi had sought to make a Batman film in the late ‘80s but was beaten to the punch by Tim Burton. Unable to secure the rights to Gotham’s avenger, Raimi created his own hero, a disfigured vigilante played by Liam Neeson who fought crime using elaborate disguises and a mentally unhinged violent temper. Campbell (Raimi’s first choice for the main role in the film) briefly appears in DARKMAN if you keep a sharp eye towards the end of the movie.
While DARKMAN isn’t based on a comic book, he later made the jump to the four-colored world — even starring in a team-up mini-series with Ash, Campbell’s character from the EVIL DEAD movies.
We’ll be offering up some games, prizes and more fun throughout the action-packed night. If you’re a fan of superhero films or just badass movies in general, this month’s inaugural Dynamic Duos is an event you won’t want to miss.