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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A-Z Challenge 2012: C is for Chuck Norris!

We're up to the third post in the April 2012 A-Z Blogging Challenge, and I sincerely hope you're not ready to chuck it all, because


C is for Chuck Norris!



And what better way to celebrate the man the boogeyman checks his closet for each night than a review of one of his movies?



Hellbound  (The Cannon Group, 1994)














Before the Camera:

Chuck Norris  (Invasion USA '85)
Calvin Levels  (Skyscraper)
Sheree J. Wilson  (Crimewave)
David Robb  (TV's Downton Abbey)
Cherie Franklin  (Drag Me to Hell)
Jack Adalist  (American Cyborg: Steel Warrior)
Erez Atar  (Blink of an Eye)
Jack Messinger  (Scanners)
and
Christopher Neame  (Licence to Kill)
as
Prosatanos




Behind the Camera:


Directed by Aaron Norris (Chuck's brother, if you didn't know)


Produced by Dean Ferrandini, Asher Gat, Yoram Globus, Allan Greenblatt, Christopher Pearce, and Anthony Ridio


Written by Brent V. Friedman and Galen Thompson / from a story by Ian Rabin, Brent V. Friedman, and Anthony Ridio






Moving into the 1990’s as one of the mainstays of action cinema, even Chuck Norris was finding it a tough haul. This release from 1994 was one of his last theatrical releases before he retreated to TV for the rest of the decade as Walker, Texas Ranger. Perhaps in an attempt to branch out, it takes Norris further afield from his previous efforts than ever before – as the action hero who had brushes with the horror genre in Silent Rage and The Hero and the Terror now jumps feet first into the supernatural. The story here takes off in the ancient past, as Richard the Lionheart and his legion of warriors show up just in time to stop the sacrifice of a young maiden by a Satanic creep named Prosatanos (Neame). But this guy is a little more than human, and he decimates the good guys before Ricky finally puts a stop to his nefarious antics. They lock Prosatanos in a magically sealed crypt and head for the hills.

Centuries later – in 1951, for no immediately discernable reason – a couple of standard issue grave robbers find the crypt and start grabbing up the baubles…including the big cross that has held the demon fast for all the intervening time. Of course moments later he’s back from the grave and ready to party, and he makes short work of the thieves, natch. Suddenly we then cut to the modern day, and we discover ol' Prosatanos is still running around 40 more years later, which and we finally meet up with Our Hero - sporting the awesome moniker Frank Shatter - as he works his Norris-y magic on some street thugs who apparently don’t spend a lot of time on chucknorrisfacts.com – not too surprising as the internet was still new in 1994 and the website hadn’t been built. Up above this street scene, ol' Prosie gets back to the business at hand by interrupting a dalliance with a toothsome female morsel to meet up with some monks. Yeah, I'm not sure why either. Well, actually I am  - it's to purchase an ancient artifact vital to his plans. But it’s a trick! They aren’t bringing him the artifact – they’re trying to kill him! Yeah, that’s likely. Instead, he promptly uses everybody in the room who isn’t him as a chewtoy, throwing one out the window and onto the car hood of….guess who? And thus are our disparate story elements brought together as Chuck and partner Levels dash upstairs to get in on the action.

In the darkened room, Chuck unloads on the guy with his gun for a warmup, then escalates with his really dangerous weapons – his legs! Chuck figures out he’s dealing with the supernatural not by Prosatanos’s ability to absorb some bullets, but by his shaking off the devastating roundhouse kicks he just took. In the end, though, battling an ancient demon in a Chicago hotel room is all in a day’s work for Chuck, and after the baddie’s escape, he simply gets on the investigative case, waiting for a chance to lay his foot upside the evil creature’s head one more time. The investigation takes the boys from America to the Middle East, where they team up with the assistant (Wilson) of a famous archeologist - who just happens to look exactly like...Prosatanos! Now we know what he's been doing for forty years - building up a reputation as an archeological expert so he can find his precious artifact. Will Chuck figure it all out in time?


What do you think?


This one ends up a perfectly watchable Norris kickfest, but it will never be mistaken for a classic. Chuck is his usual stoic self; the partner brings on some attempts at comedy relief - some work, others not so much; Sheree Wilson looks wholesome and attractive in a completely chaste way; and Neame chews the scenery with cool demon's eye contact lenses. Director Norris got the pictures onto the film in a workmanlike way, and everything is in focus. There is an annoying subplot with a kid pickpocket who first plagues Chuck and Calvin, then overstays his welcome, but at least he's a boy - because if he'd been a girl there would have been the additional waste of running time where they discover the thief's a she - which would then lead to the later scene where Wilson takes her shopping so she can come out in a dress and discover the joys of being girly while Chuck grins avuncularly off to the side. At least we were spared that. Eventually of course it comes down to a brawl for it all, with the added bonus of Wilson strapped down in a Perils of Pauline rig to give the climax a little more oomph.


I'm really glad Chuck is appearing in The Expendables 2, because that will mean this isn't the last theatrical feature Chuck appeared in. It's not terrible for Norris fans - but it's no way to end a career of kicking tushie on The Big Screen. If you're a fan of the man who tells clocks what time it is, then you should check this out. Others need not apply.









Let's Get Out of Here ?


At right around 1:17:26, Chuck Norris thinks they've stolen enough office supplies. At  approximately 1:25:14 Calvin Levels agrees with him.







Eye Candy ?


I think Sheree J. Wilson is awfully cute - but I can't give her Eye Candy status based on her sedate outfits here. Sorry Sheree.




Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Hellbound won't pass into Norris mythology,
but it's too good to Chuck out the door either.


I hope I can "D"-pend on you to come by for the next post - until then you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

31 comments:

  1. Every day needs a little Chuck Norris. :-) Great entry, and you have a new follower! Looking forward to reading more from you in the A-Z Challenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - thanks very much! And yes, some Chuck a day keeps Chuckless days away!

      Delete
  2. LOL He must be evil. He can take Chuck Norris' kicks! No man can withstand that kind of power!
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins
    Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins
    @mauricem1972

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely didn't know it was directed by his brother. I figured - being that it was Chuck Norris - he could write, direct, produce AND star all at the same time. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Aaron started out in front of the camera as a stunt man, then stunt coordinator, then finally director.

      And you're right - if Aaron hadn't needed the work, Chuck would have completely made the movie alone.

      Delete
  4. Fuck yeah! Chuck Norris is the BAMF of BAMFs, end of story. Great write up of the man's flicks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Morgan! He is indeed King High Holy BAMF, and I always enjoy watching and reviewing his flicks! Cheers!

      Delete
  5. It's funny. I know loads of Chuck Norris jokes, but I've only seen 2-3 of his movies. Neven been a fan of him, or similar B-Action-heros like Seagal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assumed he wouldn't be your cup of tea - and the next post may not be either - but by the end of the week there will be something more up your alley...

      Delete
  6. Of course C is for Chuck. He's the man!

    I just love all these Chuck Norris jokes, they're so hilarious.

    Do you know who gave birth to Chuck? His auntie. Why you ask? Because nobody is allowed to f**k Chuck Norris' mom!!!

    ..and if you have 5 bucks in your pocket, and so does Chuck, you must be aware that he has MORE money than you do. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - I love the jokes too! And those are some good ones! Thanks for coming by, George! Always a pleasure!

      Delete
  7. Found you on A-Z. Let me just say, Chuck Norris is a total badass! Guns? He don't need no stinking guns!He is Chuck Norris. He IS a lethal weapon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is indeed! Thanks for coming by! Will you be returning?

      Delete
  8. Wandered over for A to Z.

    Norris has sure made some campy movies, hasn't he?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has gotten a little on the campy side of things - but looking back at the early stuff - maybe he always was! Thanks for wandering in!

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  9. Replies
    1. Well gee whiz DL - after a theatrical run, home video, cable, TBS, and now Spike - I gotta kinda wonder if you're avoiding it... ;)

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  10. Great post! Chuck Norris is the bomb! Not sure when he became a parody of himself but he so rocks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think to some extent that started happening while he was doing nine seasons of the same episode over and over - and then it cemented in with the Chuck Norris Facts. Still - as you say - he does so rock!

      Delete
  11. I do find Chuck Norris funny. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, any reaction is a good reaction, right? Thanks for coming by - when I was a kid - you on a label label label I always liked it liked it liked it on my table table table. Cheers!

      Delete
  12. I can probably skip this movie. (No offense, just me) I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge blogs in April.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, glad you came by. And no offense taken - after all - you're the one living the Chuck Norris-less existence. Remember - when Chuck Norris does pushups - he doesn't push himself up - he pushes the Earth down.

      Delete
  13. WOOT! EXPENDABLES 2!!!! I CAN'T WAIT! <- big fan of the first*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaijinu - I think that's the first non-horror film I've ever heard you express affection for! Yeah - I loved the first one too! I reviewed it and Machete together back in the theater - that was a fine afternoon at the movies! Cheers!

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  14. Sorry I am so late, my friend. Forgive me as I am trying to pack, work, finish a deadline and do this A to Z. Chuck is awesome, there is no question. "Kneel before Norris" to borrow from Zod.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You never need to apologize, buddy! I know you are beyond super slammed this month - I'm thrilled to see you at all - I'm not looking at the clock - or the calendar - when you come in!

      Delete
  15. I think his best work is overlooked. No one ever mentions the Total Gym exercise equipment infomercials with Christie Brinkley.

    Christie. Brinkley. How is that not at the top of your resume?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does make me reach for the phone every time. And yes - Christie is still a fine Uptown Girl even now!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete