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Monster Gallery: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Mister Wink

Mister Wink — Prince Nuada’s musclebound henchman troll — was born as a drawing in one of director Guillermo Del Toro’s notebooks: an ape-like humanoid with a large prosthetic mechanical hand that could be deployed from the arm through a chain and then retracted. As defined by concept artist Wayne Barlowe, “his huge artificial arm and hand seem like a direct counterpoint to Hellboy’s Right Hand of Doom.” The mechanical arm and hand also served the purpose of making Mr. Wink visually belong to Hellboy’s world.

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Wonders of the Troll Market and Beyond – Part 1

 

 

Although the first Hellboy film was rich in creature effects — both practical and digital — its sequel increased the workload with an ambitious roster of monstrous characters. To design the creatures and bring them to the screen, work was split between Spectral Motion, Solution Studios, Creature FX and DDT Efectos Speciales. Creature designs started from sketches by director Guillermo del Toro or Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, and then passed over at the companies for further refinement and selection of effects methods that could portray them effectively. Certain creatures were entirely practical or digital, whereas others employed both effects systems. Certain expedients used in Pan’s Labyrinth — such as the use of green screen creature suit portions that would be erased in post-production — were also recycled for the project.

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Lycans of the Underworld — Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

WerewolfCrouch

Tatopoulos Studios and Luma Pictures once again returned to bring to life the Lycans for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Set in ancient times, the film also marks the new appearance of the first generation of Lycans — the original, feral strain of Werewolves. Seven ‘first generation’ Werewolf suits and only one hero animatronic head were used for the film. They were based on the moulds used for the creation of the William suit, with the single hero head actually being the William suit’s head used in the precedent film — appropriately repainted with the new Werewolf colour scheme.

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Lycans of the Underworld — Underworld: Evolution

LycanStance

The success of Underworld quickly led to the production of a sequel. Len Wiseman returned as the director of the new film, and with him Tatopoulos Studios to bring the Lycans to the screen again. The same basic design for the creatures was used, and most of the moulds were actually reused. An innovation in the design was represented by the greater quantity of hair on the bodies of the Werewolves. This aesthetic modification was implemented to portray the first generation Lycans of the prologue scene, as well as the climax of the film. “We changed up the Werewolves a little bit, made minor alterations to them,” Wiseman said, “because a lot of the Werewolves in this one were in some flashbacks that show the past, and we wanted them to look a little less evolved.” For issues of time and budget, the same suits were used to portray both the newly mutated first generation Lycans as well as the second generation Lycans.

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Monster Gallery: Predators (2010)

Monster Gallery: The Cave (2005)

Creatures of the Cave

Caveroares

The creation of the mutated beings in The Cave was assigned to Patrick Tatopoulos and his special effects company. Accompanying them were the digital effects artists at Luma Pictures, also responsible for the film’s other visual effects — which included digital extensions of the cave sets. Wide creative freedom was given to the creature team. Guy Himber, shop supervisor, said in a featurette: “the script gave an idea of where it wants to go, but all of the creature development happens with us, because the guy who’s writing the script is only suggesting things. He might not have an idea of what the creature looks like; he just knows it’s a thing, it’s in a cave and flies, it has a bat quality to it, but that’s as far as he’s taken it.”

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Monster Gallery: The Relic (1997)

Kothoga

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“As the flashlight beam hits it, MBWUN roars and looks up. Now we see it clearly for the first time. The monster is MASSIVE, putrid, rank. Slit reptilian green eyes are rimmed in red. A ridge of stiff black hair rises on the creature’s buffalo-like humped back. The withers are muscled and covered with plates. A forked TONGUE licks out as purple lips draw back exposing razor sharp teeth. The claws raise up to fend off the light.” This is how the reveal of the Kothoga plays out in Amy Holden Jones’ The Relic script draft, written in 1995. Since the beginning, the description of the Mbwun for the film adaptation of The Relic was vague — and did not follow closely the design described in the novel.

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