Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Hellbound

 5 of 7 viewers "Liked" "Hellbound" (1994, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

The Great Hornito - "Hellbound should have been titled "Chuck Norris vs The Devil". It's a buddy cop movie that lacks any chemistry between Chuck Norris and his partner played by Whoopi Goldberg. Despite that, it is still a fun movie to check out if only once. And now I see where the inspiration for the Jack Reacher character came from. Chuck Norris and Jack Reacher are total badasses." - 3.5 Stars

Huntress - "A distinctly 90's buddy cop adventure movie, where two cops get flown waaay out of their jurisdiction, to Israel, to investigate motives for a murder. And somehow that is never the questioned. They also bend and break the law while abroad but that's not an issue either. Watching Hellbound, I kept thinking of the investigation part of Candyman, but with 100% more hands on fighting and weird inside jokes between the audience and Chuck Norris. And ancient demons, of course." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "Frank Shatter (Chuck Norris) and Cal Jackson (alternate dimension Kel Mitchell) are Chicago cops who find themselves smack dab in the middle of a medieval prophecy. Watch as they fast for 3 days and punch the shit outta Satan! Hellbound is visually a neo-noir that somehow ends up in Jerusalem, which is about as charming as the lack of chemistry in the buddy cop portion of this film. Thankfully, Christopher Neame provides everything worthwhile in this film with his portrayal of the goat eyed demon. Hellbound is best enjoyed with friends." - 3.5 Stars

Wandering Panda - "Hellbound is anything but. I'm sorry but I don't get why Chuck Norris is famous. He's just so bland. No personality and I heard that in every movie that he's in he plays the same character. Now I'm not saying this movie is terrible because it's not; it's in the category of so bad it's good. The first 10-15 minutes are so amazing that it set the bar high. King, knights, scrab, and a holy man on horseback journeying to a closed crypt ritual with a baby princess sacrifice!! This should have been what the film was about, but instead we are trapped in a buddy cop movie with a comedic partner who's always hungry and is a huge Chicago Bulls fan. And  then there's Chuck Norris, who is Chuck Norris." - 3 Stars

Clark Little - "The ultimate sin of this film is making a story about a Chicago cop who travels to Israel to investigate a murder of a Rabbi who was killed by a Demon from the 1400’s, boring. A great villain, but a terrible sidekick and not enough roundhouse kicks have overpowered this interesting and insane plot with copious mediocrity." - 2 Stars

Eddie the Gamer Ghoul - "CHUCK FUCK'N NORRIS! All I gotta say... Seriously though, da movie starts off strong an' interest'n. Den quickly turns inta average martial ats action movie. Adding a few audience enduced Chuck Norris jokes an' it turns up da heat if ya will. Da character fell flat wift personality an' da story jumped ta an odd rail. At da end I'd say it'sa strong 2 stars. And an extra cause.... Chuck Norris." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "The plot is outlined in a Star Wars text crawl explaining that a demon with a stupid name is going to fail to destroy the earth. My immediate reaction was; "How will roundhouse kicks be integrated into this story?" I was disappointed that the answer was "poorly". The 5 people credited as writers were unable to find a consistent tone (Let's have car chase! Let's befriend a pickpocket to get directions to a university. Oh and old man got his heart ripped out by Satan!) Creating a boring experience for Chuck Norris to kick his way through." - 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Late one night after a Terror Tuesday at the Alamo Drafthouse here in San Francisco, our buddy Robbie started telling me about a Cannon film starring Chuck Norris. This had caught me off guard since Robbie had become sort of a spiritual film adviser for me. His high-art, low-brow brand of film is exactly what I like, it just so happens I tend to venture recklessly down the amateur rabbit hole while Robbie has a more refined pallet, combo'd with a sensible approach. Even though this conversation had intrigued me at the time, I still totally forgot we ever had it.
A couple months later I saw Robbie at the Unnamed Footage Festival, and after a quick greeting, he handed me a DVD. I think I responded with "What the hell is this?" after looking at the painful cover art depicting a photoshopped Chuck Norris above a medieval battlefield. Robbie responded with something like "It's the film we talked about." and that's how we got here...
I think the creatures responded with "meh" ratings because 1: the film is fun to watch with friends. 2: Chuch Norris fans may be confused for the first 15 min but ultimately will come out satisfied (none of the creatures are fans (although Clark claimed to be, he isn't)) and 3: The cover may be terrible but the promise of a misfired Chuck Norris movie was more enticing to this 3rd wave of creatures, then the post-screening conversation about Cannon and its ability to make insane art.
Robbie did mention that he particularly enjoyed the attempt to make Israel look like Chicago, then have the characters "fly" to Israel. He then laughed when I told him I didn't even notice.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 4/19/2018
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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