Director – Aaron Norris
Cast – Chuck Norris, Calvin Levels, Christopher Neame, Sheree J. Wilson, David Robb, Cherie Franklin, Jack Adalist
Release Year – 1994
Reviewed by John of the Dead
When I first began reviewing horror films I never once thought I’d come across one involving Chuck Norris, a man with a fist in his beard, and when I did come across this film several months back I bypassed it because I assumed it would not contain very much horror. Well my need for roundhouse-kick-to-the-face horror lead me back to this piece and after finally giving it a watch I can say that it did manage to provide enough horror to keep me entertained, and along with the usual Chuck Norris related cheese this flawed and simple effort made for an enjoyable one in the end.
After a rabbi visiting New York is brutally slaughtered over an ancient artifact, Detectives Shatter(Norris) and Jackson(Levels) are sent to Israel to assist their authorities in investigating the death only to find that they have stumbled upon the resurrection of an ancient demon that must be stopped at all costs.
I found it pretty funny that a Chuck Norris horror film pretty much played off like the usual Norris film, with cheezy dialogue, lots of lawless badassery, a beautiful woman who falls for him, and even an African American partner much like in “Walker: Texas Ranger”. The story is not anything special, giving us a simple plot that despite numerous faults came with a cool religious horror aspect that I enjoyed viewing, especially due to my love for resurrected demons. We get quite a few characters thrown into the mix, and surprisingly enough none of them were sheepishly used, although some could have been used to fuller potential. While I try not to mimic the numerous other horror/film reviewers out there, I can say that the phrase “paper thin plot” is definitely relevant here as the story really does not go into depth regarding any of the elements involved (which would take me forever to writer further on), however that thankfully did not keep me from finding enough joy in this story thanks to good direction and some decent kills written in.
Director Aaron Norris, younger brother to Chuck Norris, did a mostly-positive job with this flick, giving us fun execution that subsequently never really gave the film a serious tone for more than a few minutes at a time. The kill sequences were cool and came with decent gore on a few occasions, and the execution of Lockley, the resurrected demon in human form, was great as he provided a sound performance in a very believable role that resulted in a fun killer to watch. As usual, Chuck Norris was Chuck Norris / Walker and (as usual) he was fun to watch as well, although he was at times overshadowed by the ever-fun Calvin Levels as his partner Det. Robinson – just don’t tell him I said that – I hate roundhouse kicks to the face.
Overall, Hellbound is a fun cheezy ride with the usual Chuck Norris antics that wind up enjoyable enough to supersede the uninspired plot. The direction is well and we are given good action and decent gore at time,s making for a recommended watch for fans of such films.