the cinema

Have You Seen ‘Heckboy’ Yet?

Meet Hellboy, excuse me, Heckboy. Photo: Mark Rogers/Lionsgate

Have you seen the new Heckboy? I hear it’s really good. (Or, well, Rotten Tomatoes and Vulture actually says it’s really bad. But we all have a right to our own opinions.) Granted, I have never been particularly into demon-superhero action blockbusters or their widely panned reboots, but for Heckboy, I will make an exception. Even if it means taking an unscheduled trip to Tennessee, which appears to be the only place in the country currently screening Heckboy.

CNN reports that Belinda Daniel — the owner of the Roxy 8 movie theater in Dickson, Tennessee — likes to edit out any offensive language in movie titles, so as not to corrupt the minds of students at the neighboring elementary school. The Roxy also sits across the street from a church, and Daniel does not want to invoke God’s wrath by advertising films like Hellboy, so she made a highly meme-able tweak to the signage. And thus Heckboy was born:

Exact same, Moon Lobster.

“To my knowledge, we have never put any words on our sign that may be seen as profanity,” Daniel told the Tennessean. “This is the way l believe, thus this is way we conduct business.”

“Hundreds of children pass by our sign daily and we want to be respectful to them, our employees, and everyone,” Daniel added, nodding to the surprise celebrity her Heckboy has achieved. “As it turned out, our play on words became a little more exciting than we expected. We are glad that we could share a small bit of our great community while also sharing a laugh with the rest of the world.”

I certainly find this wordplay exciting, and am delighted to share in the laughs. Upon reading the phrase “Heckboy,” I fell off of my chair. I am typing this from the floor, where I have been cackling for what feels like a full year. I have only interrupted myself to occasionally whisper “heckboy” into my cat’s receptive ears, because he is a Heckboy if ever there was one. Forget “I’m baby”; I’m heckboy, and it appears I’m not alone.

Have You Seen ‘Heckboy’ Yet?