||Based on the comic book series by Mike Mignola, Guillermo del Toro's gleefully eccentric film follows the supernatural adventures of Hellboy (Ron Perlman), a cigar-chomping, horn-filing demonic hero enlisted by an occult scholar (John Hurt) to fight evil in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. Along with the fire-throwing Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and the amphibious psychic Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, with the voice of David Hyde Pierce), Hellboy is joined by new recruit John Myers (Rupert Evans), a squeaky-clean FBI agent assigned to keep the big red devil's exploits in check. Things get out of hand, however, when a vicious monster is unleashed by the villainous Rasputin (Karl Roden), leading to events that may set off an apocalyptic nightmare for humanity.^Echoing Peter Jackson's passion for THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, HELLBOY is a labor of love from del Toro, a longtime fan of the comic and its creator. The director's enthusiasm shows, since HELLBOY is a wondrously strange slice of pulpy adventure, mixed with horror and humor, and enhanced by stunning visual effects. In the title role (and lots of red makeup), Perlman is pitch-perfect, giving the good-natured misfit a powerful--yet surprisingly sensitive--presence. Blair, Evans, Hurt, and other actors are similarly well cast, rounding out an ensemble intent on retaining the movie's dark yet superbly entertaining tone.