09 January 2012


Box scan courtesy of VHS Wasteland

United States - 1993
Director - Aaron Norris
Cannon Video, 1995, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 35 minutes

In the Dark Ages, during one of many terrible Crusades against the eastern desert heathens, Richard the Lionheart personally slew Satan's voice-modulated emissary of Armageddon, Prosatanos, and stuck him in a stone sarcophagus. Unfortunately, he sealed the tomb with jeweled golden daggers, a prize far too tempting to remain undisturbed. 800 years later Prosatanos (Christopher Neame) is freed by several tomb robbers. Cleverly disguising himself as an archaeologist he begins searching for the pieces of a broken scepter which holds his power. Sometime in 1993, he finds himself in Chicago... At the very same time, while patrolling the streets looking for drug dealers, Frank Shatter (Chuck Norris) and his shuckin’& jivin’ partner Calvin (Calvin Levels) find themselves at the scene of a murder. After a short fight in which his adversary flees, Shatter discovers what appears to be the head of a broken scepter.

Returning to HQ, Frank and Calvin are interrogated by Israeli police, and instructed to escort the Rabbi's body back to Israel. Fortunately for us, this gives them ample time to ham up the white cop/black partner routine that has frequently made American action cinema so inspiringly progressive since the end of the70’s. Sporting a mop of Jheri Curls and a fanny-pack, perpetually hungry/whiney Calvin isn't going to challenge any cinematic stereotypes. All arguments, whether goofy or simpering merely bounce off the Norris's stony, practically comatose personage like so much bird shit. While I am not holding my breath to discover what value anything conceived by Team Norris has, I am curious to see how much worse this can get.

Following a string of clues which Prosatanos conveniently leaves lying on his writing desk, Shatter and Calvin manage to track Big-P to a partially excavated temple in the desert. Having collected and reassembled the pieces of the scepter, Big-P now intends to sacrifice his glorified secretary and usher in Armageddon. While Calvin distracts Big P with more whining, Norris storms in and personally delivers his traditional beat-down. Cue corny rubber demon-mask and writhing, mostly obscured by flames and Norris is once-again the savior of the world.

8 years after Chuck's finest moment, Team Norris is clearly running out of ways to present the same trite shit. The not-so-clever twist here is that Norris is just a two dimensional beard with fists, and the ethnics are left to compensate for the vacuum of personality with the amplified clowning that white people seem to find so reassuring. Relying heavily on both, Hellbound is arguably the laziest application of Team Norris’s “detached-benevolence” schtick to be found among their pantheon of hits.

Arabic poster from The Movie Poster Page

UK VHS sleeve from Froggyflix


Ed said...

Good stuff. Sadly, the box is the best thing about the movie.

The Goodkind said...

Yep, it's pretty shitty.

Ty said...

Great write-up!

This movie "is nuttier than a snickers!"

The box art is really cool too!