The 7 Best Ron Perlman Movies

The 7 Best Ron Perlman Movies

Ron Perlman is a unique figure in Hollywood. His deep, booming voice is instantly recognizable, no matter how much makeup he’s under. Which is good, because he has spent a decent chunk of his career in the makeup chair. His breakthrough role — the latter titular character in the Beauty and the Beast television series, alongside Linda Hamilton — required him to take on the appearance of a lion-man for three seasons. His portrayal of the eponymous Hellboy in Guillermo del Toro’s film adaptations of the graphic novel — perhaps his most famous role — also required a lot of makeup. In and out of the Hellboy franchise, Perlman and del Toro have done much of their best work together. They have collaborated on five films to date, and hopefully more in the future. For now, here are Perlman’s seven best films to date.

Hellboy (2004)

After taking the reins of Blade II, Guillermo del Toro found himself in a new echelon of power in Hollywood. What he chose to do with that power was put to film the graphic novel about a demon child brought to Earth and raised by do-gooders. Del Toro recognized that Perlman — who he had worked with a couple times before — would be perfect in the role. Along with a pyrokinetic woman named Liz Sherman and a scientific marvel named Abe Sapien (David Hyde Pierce and Doug Jones, another frequent del Toro collaborator), Hellboy must stop the forces of evil from doing harm on Earth.

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Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim is a love letter to the Japanese monster genre by del Toro. When a race of alien monsters come to Earth by a portal in the Pacific Ocean, mankind must step up and save their planet. They do so by developing gigantic pilot-controlled robots to fight one-on-one with the monsters. Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, and Rinko Kikuchi play the ragtag team of pilots given the job, while Perlman plays the mysterious Hannibal Chau, a shady underground scammer whose motivations are murky. Pacific Rim is great, bombastic fun, as well as del Toro’s biggest film to date. During its time in the theater, the film grossed more than $400 million worldwide.

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Perlman and company return to the world of Hellboy as Hellboy, Liz and Abe must join forces to save the world from supernatural evil once again. This time, an exiled elf prince (Luke Goss) seeks to break a long-held truce with humanity and take control of a mythical army. Like the original film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army provides a wealth of campy, cartoonish fun. Even though a lot of the computer-generated effects have not aged very well, del Toro’s commitment to practical effects and prosthetics makes the film wholly worthwhile, even more than a decade later.

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Alien Resurrection (1997)

Alien Resurrection gets a bad rap. Sure, it isn’t as good as Alien, but what third sequel is ever as good as the original film? For all the talk of James Cameron’s overrated sequel Aliens, little is said about Alien Resurrection. At the very least, it is fascinating to see Jean-Pierre Jeunet — most famous today for his film Amelie — take on his first and only American blockbuster. Sigourney Weaver returns, this time as a clone of her character Ellen Ripley. She and a team of space pirates, including Perlman and Winona Ryder, must do what they can to stop an onslaught from a genetically-modified breed of the eponymous alien. 

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Cronos (1993)

It is difficult to remember a time when Guillermo del Toro was not a household name, but even he was a young buck once. Perlman, for his part, has been working with del Toro since the latter’s directorial debut Cronos back in 1993. The film tells the story of an aging antiquer (Federico Luppi) who finds a mysterious gilded scarab that gives him everlasting life. Angel de la Guardia (Perlman) seeks it for his own father, Dieter (Claudio Brook), who is not long for this world. Like any supernatural power, this scarab corrupts even the mildest and kindhearted of men. Perlman and del Toro both received deserved praise for their work in the film, and have thankfully since become huge personalities in the industry.

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Blade II (2002)

Before Hellboy, del Toro and Perlman cut their teeth in the big-budget comic book adaptation genre with the sequel to Blade. Wesley Snipes returns as the eponymous half-vampire vampire hunter. Vampires the world over are being infected with a disease which leads them to attack one another, turning them into Reapers. Reapers are more powerful than typical vampires and the powers that be in the vampire world call upon Blade to help end the spreading disease. Perlman plays Reinhardt, a member of a vampire gang who must reluctantly join up with Blade to assist him in his quest. Blade II is wall-to-wall fun action with a timelessly cool performance from Snipes at the center.

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Drive (2011)

Two films and nearly a decade later, Drive continues to be Nicolas Winding Refn’s most discussed film. Ryan Gosling plays a nameless film stunt driver who complements his income by driving criminals during robberies. His life becomes complex when he falls for his new neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan). Out of sympathy for her, he helps her ex-convict husband (Oscar Isaac) pull off a robbery of his own, which goes very wrong. Perlman plays Nino, a high-up member of the Jewish mob who sets up jobs for the driver through his body shop friend (Bryan Cranston). It is the best of Refn’s work to date, showing off his affection for neon hues and ability to create a tense thriller.

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Weekend: Mar. 28, 2019, Mar. 31, 2019

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