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How the new Hellboy movie brought Baba Yaga to life

The new Hellboy film, not surprisingly, is packed to the brim with monsters. But amidst the blood queens and pig demons, the most unsettling scene in the movie belongs to a little old Russian witch who lives in a chicken-legged hut — and moves like no creature you’ve ever seen.

Baba Yaga has captivated Hellboy creator Mike Mignola since fifth grade, when a classmate gave a book report on her. He wrote Baba Yaga into one of the earliest Hellboy comics, and she’s been both family and foe to Hellboy (now played by David Harbour) over the years.

“She’s just one of these pivotal characters. She’s the icon of ‘grandmother.’ We need to know something, so we need to go to the woods and meet with ‘grandmother,’” Mignola tells EW. “Sometimes she’s gonna help you, and sometimes she’s gonna eat you.”

Creature design and special makeup artist Joel Harlow sculpted Baba Yaga’s one-eyed visage from clay.

“She’s a Russian witch and I knew I didn’t want to go with stereotypical witch-looking character with a

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