Friday, March 4, 2011

Spotlight On: Doug Jones

This week's spotlight is on the greatest creature actor of our time, Doug Jones. While there is a chance that you do not recognize his face, you will more than likely recognize at least one of his characters. He is probably most well-known for the work he has done with Guillermo del Toro, but he has worked on several other really cool projects. He has worked on several movies/ TV shows/ music videos, but here are my favorites of his roles going in chronological order.

Thin Clown

In 1992, Jones played the thin clown in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. Not a particularly big role, but still a really cool one in my opinion. He was part of Penguin's evil gang and help rewire the Batmobile.

Billy Butcherson

Hocus Pocus was one of my favorite movies when I was a little kid, and Billy Butcherson was always my favorite character. He is a zombie man that Winifred brings back from the dead to help attack the kids. Has a really cool look to him and Doug Jones does an amazing job. Here is the part of the movie where he is risen from the grave.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the movie Tank girl. The one thing that I did like about the movie though, were the Rippers. I thought that they looked really neat, and one of them was played by Mr. Doug Jones.

Gentlemen Leader
This is one of his creepiest roles. He plays the leader of the Gentlemen in what is probably the most well-known Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Hush." Creepy. As. Hell. The creepiest thing about them is probably the fact that they don't speak and they just communicate to eachother by gestures, which is something that Doug Jones, being a creature actor, is perfect at.

Abe Sapien
This is probably the role that Doug Jones is identified with the most, and for good reason. He is perfect as Abe, and is one of the main reasons why the Hellboy movies are so great. In the first movie, David Hyde Pierce does the voice of Abe, but Jones does it in the sequel. I just love it because he really knows how to move when wearing a costume, and really makes the characters come alive.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is my favorite silent film, so I wasn't too pleased with the idea of a remake. When I read that Doug Jones played the somnambulist Cesare, however, I had to see it. Overall, the movie is not that great and has horrible acting, but I loved Jones as Cesare. There is other living person who could have played this part, or at least played it nearly as well as Doug Jones.

The Faun
He plays two creatures in Pan's Labyrinth, the first being the faun. "Soy un fauno." It is obviously not Jones' speaking voice, but the character is all him with the look and the movement of the creature.

The Pale Man

The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth is probably my favorite of Doug Jones' characters simply because he is scary as hell. Like the Gentlemen, this creature says nothing, so the creepiness is all in the movements. Even the way his hands movie is creepy, and when he started running after Ofelia, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Silver Surfer
Laurence Fishburne did the voice of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but again Doug Jones owns this character. To be honest, I have never actually seen this movie, but from what clips I have seen the whole movie looks pretty stupid. Jones as the Silver Surfer would be my only reason to watch.

In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Jones reprises his role as Abe Sapien and also plays two other characters. The first of the other two is the Chamberlain. He is this really odd looking creature with these really long fingers, and I think that it takes a really great creature actor to make a character like this work.

Angel of Death
God damn, how cool would it be to be Doug Jones and to be able to wear all of these amazing costumes and makeup? The Angel of Death in Hellboy 2 just looks amazing!

Ice Cream Man

I have absolutely no desire to see the movie Legion. When the CGI old woman crawled on the wall in the trailer, I was just like, "NOPE!" I just thought that this was worth mentioning because it is such a strange character. In the trailer you see all his arms stretch and his face gets all long. I mean, its a neat role for Jones, but this movie just looks stupid to me. On a plus, though, it is actually a movie where you see Doug's actual face...

The Creature
Now I am just waiting patiently for Guillermo del Toro's adaption of Frankenstein, which is supposedly coming out in 2012. Doug Jones will be playing the Creature, aka Frankenstein's monster. According to del Toro, the look of the creature will be based on Bernie Wrightson's artwork, so Doug should be a perfect choice. Can't wait!

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