Fans of Walker, Texas Ranger, will be surprised to find this Chuck Norris flick, titled Hellbound. Made in 1994 (about one year after the airing of the television show), Hellbound is interesting in that it reflects some of the elements that would later come into play in Walker, Texas Ranger. Horror fans will not find many scares here, but those who enjoy “Chucky Cheese” will find plenty of that on display.
The movie starts off during the crusades, where King Richard and his small army of men confront the demon Prosatanos, an emissary of Satan. The king and a priest succeed in trapping the demon in a sarcophagus. In his rage, King Richard also destroys the source of Prosatanos’ power, a scepter. The rod is shattered into nine pieces, which are then sent to nine holy places throughout the world.
The flick then switches to modern times, where Detectives Shatter (Chuck Norris) and Jackson (Calvin Levels) are doing their good cop/bad cop routine on some drug dealers. In the meantime, a reincarnated Prosatanos (Christopher Neame, who reeks evil) has summoned a pair of antique dealers to a dirty, dingy hotel room. Prosatanos pays the men a briefcase full of dough for a part of the scepter, which he has started to assemble. As the parties exchange items, one of the two antique dealers attacks Prosatanos. It turns out the man is rabbi who is bent on destroying the demon. He fails and pays for it with his life.
The plainclothes cops are assigned to the rabbi’s murder, and days later are sent to Israel, where the police wish to question them about the events. Not content to sit around, Shatter and Jackson begin an investigation without permission, subsequently tracking down the antiques dealer and Dr. Lockley (who is really Prosatanos), an archeologist whose assistant Leslie is none other than Sheree J. Wilson, who plays Assistant District Attorney Alex Cahill on Walker, Texas Ranger. It turns out Leslie is the daughter of a duke, making her “royalty,” as essential ingredient required by Prosatanos to open a portal for Satan to come through.
The film’s climax takes place when Prosatanos kidnaps Leslie and places her on the slab to be sacrificed. It falls on Shatter and Jackson to save her and top stop Prosatanos from carrying out his diabolical plot, for he has now completed his scepter of evil. It true Chuck Norris form, Shatter must use a combination of martial arts, faith, and luck to win the day.
Directed by Chuck Norris’ brother Aaron Norris, Hellbound is a cheesy film, with Chuck Norris playing his usual stoic but strong self, Calvin Levels overacting in his role of sidekick, and Christopher Neame dripping crazy evil from every pore in his body. There’s plenty of action, plenty of cheese (Norris helping a kid become a better person), and overall the film is quite fun, if it is possible to be open-minded while watching it.
It may be difficult for more refined fans of horror (or cinema in general) to enjoy this film. However, those who enjoy cheesy B-flicks, like Chuck Norris and his brand of filmmaking, or are fans of his Walker, Texas Ranger show will all get a kick out of Hellbound. I confess to all three, so I found Hellbound to be cheesy but satisfying fun.