movie buff

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am


Mexican director del Toro, who made the Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth, is a man who loves darkness. Before his recent Academy Award-winner, he directed a couple of Hollywood genre films. Two of them are particularly morbid and fun, revealing the filmmaker as a man obsessed with insects, morally ambiguous heroes and the underworld.


The star: Mira Sorvino, who was dating Quentin Tarantino during shooting.

The story: Sorvino plays an insect expert who creates a new bug that feeds on the cockroaches that are spreading a new disease among the children of Manhattan.

The new bugs are not meant to be able to breed, and should die off quickly after their feeding mission. But some of them survive and evolve to become giant flying roaches that mimic the appearance of humans in order to hunt their homeless human prey.

The film: The horror flick received mixed reviews. It was reported that del Toro was unhappy with the final version of the film, which he described as a 'beautiful daughter whose arms are chopped off'. Still, the movie, a scary treat for anyone who is roach-phobic, is a typical del Toro film.

The yuckiest spectacle: There are plenty of memorable moments, although some gory scenes are obvious rip-offs from Alien.

But perhaps the most haunting is the giant roaches' dung hanging upside down in the subway like chandeliers.

The moral dilemma: Sorvino's character hopes to save the world with her bugs, but they are more than capable of ruining human civilisation.


The star: The director.

Although Hellboy is played by Ron Perlman, who must have endured hours of heavy makeup to play the muscular, red hero with sawn-off horns and a wagging tail, the comic book hero is a projection of del Toro - a large, round man with reddish-brown hair who scorns authority and sympathises with anything abnormal.

The film was well-received and is viewed as one of the best comic book movies, along with Spider-man and the X-Men trilogy.

The story, which defies logic and celebrates eccentricity, allowed Del Toro to portray his fantasies about monsters and the supernatural in the film without bothering too much about plot and characterisation.

The story: Hellboy is a boy from hell. He escaped to the human world when the Nazis tried to unleash monsters from hell to destroy civilisation during the second world war.

He is raised by a professor and, together with FBI agents and his paranormal girlfriend, battles evil and comes to terms with his identity.

The sweetest spectacle: Hellboy munching cookies and drinking milk with a little boy on a roof while spying on his girlfriend and his FBI partner on a date.

The moral dilemma: Hellboy is on the side of good - but he is the son of Satan.