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ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

HELLBOY (2004), PG-13
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
Aprl 2, 2004
40 out of 100

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

HELLBOY (2004), PG-13
"...what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible."

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Revolution Studios, Dark Horse Entertainment, Lawrence Gordon Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Revolution Studios
Director(s): Guillermo del Toro
Producer(s): Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Mike Mignola, Patrick J. Palmer, Mike Richardson
Written by: Comic Book: Mike Mignola. Screen Story: Guillermo del Toro, Peter Briggs
Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro
Cinematography/Camera: Guillermo Navarro
Music: Marco Beltrami
Film Editing: Peter Amundson
Casting: Jeremy Zimmerman
Production Design: Stephen Scott
Art Direction: Marco Bittner Rosser, Peter Francis
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

In terms of violence, there was nothing half-way about it in Hellboy. Neither in terms of unholiness was there anything half-way about it. This is one film that gives meaning to my saying "For so long we have become so drugged by the narcotics of extremes that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible."

I decided to use all three available posters to give you an idea of the content of this film. The bottom poster is about the most descriptive of the content. Though the critter in the bottom poster looks more like the creature from the black lagoon under red light than the title character in the movie, the bottom poster most accurately depicts the content of the film. Evil. Unholy. Why not? The beast in this film, Hellboy is the Apocalyptic beast from Hell and is, by what I understand, a son of Satan (the dragon that gave power to the beast [Rev. 13:7]). God clearly defines the beast with a single purpose -- to be evil. That this film places him in a good guy role violates God's Word about the beast. God's Word cannot be changed by a movie.

The star of the movie, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) was released from Hell as an infant during a time-space portal experiment by the Nazis of 1944. An evil Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) was trying to rush the Apocalypse by bringing Hell to Earth. It seems this show echoes Indiana Jones(tm) by depicting Hitler as obsessed with the occult, with combining science with evil. After a successful military gun battle with the Nazis, the Allies found a small red lizard-looking being that had been drawn up from Hell, tail and all, scared and cold. Poor little thing from Hell. The tiny titan was wooed into the arms of the Allies ironically with two Baby Ruth candy bars.

As an infant, Hellboy was adopted by lead ally scientist, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt) who raised Hellboy for 60 years in the Bureau of Paranormal research in Newark, New Jersey. Under Bruttenholm's careful guidance, Hellboy "renounced" his allegiance to Satan by breaking off his horns and keeping them ground down to nubs. He become a powerful crime fighter. And a cigar-smoking wisecracker with a right hand and forearm of stone.

Hellboy's main nemesis is Rasputin, a resurrected servant of Satan who carries in his body another beastie. Rasputin tried to finish what he started and bring up the powers of Hell to Earth.

Bruttenholm learned that he was dying. Fearing for the future of Hellboy, Bruttenholm recruited FBI Agent John Thadeus Myers (Rupert Evans) to mentor Hellboy's crime fighting career. But the intimidating countenance of Hellboy rather turned the tables and Myers learned more than he taught.

Amidst all the brouhaha, Hellboy loves Elizabeth Sherman (Selma Blair) with who came the Bureau at 11 years old. And like all love interests of "super heroes", Liz became the target of Rasputin; a tool to be used to manipulate Hellboy to do his bidding. Liz was a firestarter with the ability to conjure up flame at will, most typically during episodes of heightened emotion. What an exhilarating affair, being in love with one who can turn you to ashes. Note, however, the only sexual matter to the entire show was statue nudity. Liz also had a special relationship with Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), an amphibious creature who also lived at the Bureau in a tank when not inspecting crime scenes. Shades of X-Men!

This movie is a prime example of calling evil good. [Isa. 5:20] To take an immutably evil entity and give it a face of goodness is a slap in the face of the One who gave us the Truth. Even when done in fantasy. After seeing this film they who have an undeveloped or underdeveloped understanding of the Gospel and the Scriptures will now have yet another battle to contend with: another obstacle; another stumblingblock. [Rom. 16:17 - 18; Rom. 14:11 - 13]

Foul language was about 8 examples per hour in this 112 minute film. God's name in vain came both with the four letter expletive (once) and without (five times). Violence and brutality were severe and intense at 28.4 examples per hour. Unholy matters and things of evil nature appeared at 22.0 examples per hour. All for your 13 year old kids, so sayeth the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Earning a final score of 40 and a zero score in two of the six investigation areas, this film is NOT a PG-13 any more than I am 13. It is every bit as "R" as any other R-rated film.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rev. 13:7 He was given power to make war against [to kill] the saints [Christians] and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter
  • Rom. 16:17 - 18 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
  • Rom. 14:11 - 13 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another [bicker, falsely accuse] any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock [an opportunity of tease to sin] or an occasion to fall [cause to sin] in his brother's way.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Hellboy (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • flesh disintegration
  • gun battle
  • gunfire death, repeatedly
  • blade death, repeatedly, some graphic
  • melting flesh gore
  • pole impalement death
  • human folded then pulled through a hole smaller than he
  • injury gore
  • mutilated body
  • action violence (fighting demons), repeatedly, frequent
  • hand engulfed by fire
  • adolescents stoning little girl
  • little girl engulfed in flame
  • massive explosion
  • attacks by demons, repeatedly
  • human decay gore, repeatedly
  • beating
  • impalement with squashing death
  • woman engulfed in flames
  • brutal assault
  • another impalement death
  • parasitic demon ripping out of human host
  • monstrous demon action violence
  • consumption of live human
  • pair engulfed in flame

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • statue nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • "I grant you everlasting life" by an evil one
  • demon child from Hell
  • unholy being rising from the blood of a murder
  • Halloween
  • demons, repeatedly, frequent
  • unholy life force
  • premonitions of unseen/unknown
  • unholy power, repeatedly
  • servants of Satan, repeatedly
  • resurrection of the dead, repeatedly by unholy power
  • immortal evil beings
  • giving knowledge of the future
  • vanishing/reappearing
  • talking dead
  • having unholy power to resurrect
  • living dead
  • revenge
  • unholy power
  • bartering for soul
  • unholy magic
  • other than Jesus unlocking the gates of Hell and for love of a woman

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • blade/slicing murders, repeatedly
  • gunfire murders, repeatedly
  • murder by demon, repeatedly
  • murder by great fall
  • biting murder

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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