Monday, February 15, 2021

Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell – review

Director: Mitch Schauer

Release date: 2016

Contains spoilers

The marvel (and DC are the same, to be fair) machine rumbles on with another franchise tie-in, in the form of an (almost) feature length cartoon. Interestingly, however, this one concentrated on Hulk (Fred Tatasciore) – though it was as much a Dr Strange (Liam O'Brien) vehicle.

Indeed, after introducing us to some trick-or-treaters who knock on his sanctum door, it starts with Dr Strange battling an eldritch horror. Once he has contained that (and returned spilled candy to a trick-or-treater) he is suddenly facing three more monsters.

Dr Strange

Step in Hulk, who Strange has summoned. Strange is clear that it is capture and contain – not destroy. Hulk and Strange mostly get the job done but, in the middle of battle, Hulk falls asleep and turns back into Bruce Banner (Jesse Burch). Strange contains the last monster and then casts a spell on Banner so he can speak to his unconscious self. Apparently Banner has been losing hulk time recently (he normally remembers everything) but a sight of a monster causes him to wake up and Hulk out.

Paranormal Containment Division

Despite Strange trying to prevent the fight there is a battle with the newcomers – who turn out to be S.H.I.E.L.D.s Paranormal Containment Division. There is Agent Sitwell (Mike Vaughn), commander of the team and now a zombie (who has to be fed brains occasionally to stop him going mindless revenant), Warwolf (Edward Bosco), a weapon enabled werewolf, the moderately well-known Man-thing (Jon Olson), and Nina Price (Chiara Zanni). Nina Price is the important character, from our point of view, as she is Vampire by Night.

Vampire by Night

Vampire by Night is the niece of Jack Russell – aka Werewolf by Night. In Marvel comic lore she has the option of becoming a vampire or werewolf between dusk and dawn – though she is human/powerless during the day and can walk in daylight. This kind of makes a mockery of her commentary in this about Banner being a part-time monster and there is no mention of her wolf side either. Mostly we see her using eye mojo, flashing fangs and, arguably, being the most competent member of the Paranormal Containment Division.

Hulk and Sitwell

The general story has the four monsters that Strange contained being four children turned into monsters by Nightmare (Matthew Waterson). Nightmare is also manipulating Banner/Hulk to try and split them in the dreamside and get control over Hulk, where he will use his power to smash the barrier between dimensions (on Halloween, when the barrier is thinnest) and turn earth into a nightmare dimension. Whilst Strange and Banner try to deal with that, the Paranormal Containment Division are babysitting their bodies and the four kids/monsters – who manage to escape and must be recaptured.


This isn’t a bad animation but it is far from the best superhero anime I’ve seen. Strange really began to annoy with his Summoning the Flames of Wachdya-Call-It every 30 seconds – probably comic book accurate but annoying in a film and Nightmare looked like the lovechild of Loki and Joker as imagined by a Black Metal fan. The Hulk moments were good and the Paranormal Containment Division might have been played for laughs but that made them more satisfying than perhaps they should have been. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

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