Realm of the Damned began life as a comic book heavily influenced by heavy metal & with an art style that was extremely graphic. You can read our review of the comic book here.
The popularity of the story, the links to the world of metal, the graphic imagery…all of this has seen its popularity take off to such an extent that we now have an animated motion comic movie. We here at GBHBL we’re in attendance for the premiere at The Prince Charles Cinema in London.
There’s no one left to protect us from what lurks in the dark. There’s no Hellboy, no Mulder and Scully, no Torchwood or Men in Black coming to save us. The monsters have won.
Our world now belongs to them.
Realm of the Damned is a rip-roaring tale of vampires, werewolves, ancient Egyptian mummies and black metal. Well written with incredible artwork, you’ll struggle to put it down.
Our world has been lost to supernatural monsters, the last line of defence in the Vatican City has fallen and now vampires live within the hallowed walls. Every day people continue on with their lives unaware (the vampires aren’t stupid – they need a food supply) but for the damned there is no peace.
Van Helsing, a husk of man now…driven to murder, an addict, a defeated hero…he is hunted all over the world for those he has destroyed in the past. He survives but when an ancient evil is summoned from the depths of Norway he is forced to team with his mortal enemies to defeat a threat that will see the entire world go up in flames if not stopped.
For those who’ve read the comics there are no surprises here, the story is told out frame by frame on the big screen. It’s visually appealing & the small movements that characters do help differentiate it from literally just being a comic book with voice acting.
That there is the main reason to see this if you know the story already, a chance to hear voices put to characters & for the most part it’s pretty damn good. We get some big name metal voices lending their talents with David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel) & Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) in particular doing a great job. The actual band, Sons of Balaur play themselves in the opening scenes but that is a bit of a mixed result (one of them sounds like he is directly reading his lines of a page slowly). It does take a few minutes to get used to Dani Filth voicing Balaur but thankfully he sticks to his more guttural vocal style resulting in some fantastic lines.
Unfortunately, the decision cast someone with a really strong London accent to voice the Egyptian mummified goddess was a mistake. It completely ruins the character, any mystique she has is gone & by the laughter in the audience it seems many agreed.
The movie is around about 40 minutes long, a decent length for the amount of detail in the pages & on the screen. It does leave you feeling like there is more to be told both before & after this story but it’s still a satisfying watch. The blood flows vibrantly on screen & most of the characters are drawn really well.
The standout feature of the film though is the music; Sons of Balaur may not be for everyone (black metal) but here playing alongside violent & gory fight scenes it fits perfectly. Very enjoyable!
Realm of the Damned
The Final Score - 7/10
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