Film review: Hero and the Terror

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 21 1988 12:00 a.m. MDT

Chuck Norris is starting to repeat himself. Much of "Hero and the Terror" resembles a film he made a few years back, "Silent Rage." Once again he's up against another mindless killing machine as the villain.

In fact, this hulking killing machine is so mindless and silent that he seems like Jason without the hockey mask, making the movie seem like "Chuck Norris Meets Friday the 13th."

Norris is "Hero," so nicknamed because he single-handedly took down a brutish insane killer nicknamed "The Terror" (Jack O'Halloran), who broke the necks of young girls and collected their corpses like dolls.

Nice plot.

But Norris knows the truth, that he took O'Halloran down accidentally and he's scared to death (complete with nightmares) that he will have to face him again one day.

He must be psychic. Like most of the audience.

Sure enough, O'Halloran escapes from the mental hospital — the old-fashioned way, by cutting through the window bars — and steals a truck. But the truck goes over a cliff and into the ocean, so smashed up along the way that nothing could possibly survive.

So the cops think.

But when girls start disappearing again it is Norris' theory that O'Halloran is collecting them somewhere in a brand-new $13 million movie theater funded by Los Angeles City.

In addition to all this fun there is a romantic subplot designed to "soften" Norris' image and make his movies more appealing to women. His girlfriend, who is about to have his baby, moves in with him and plays "will-she/won't-she" when he asks her for the umpteenth time to marry him.

These scenes show that, despite his lack of range, Norris can handle romance in the movies. But the rest of the movie is so repulsively downbeat and played like a bad horror flick that neither men nor women will likely enjoy it.

Nice try, Chuck, but it's the same old problem. If the script is bad the movie is bad. Better luck next time.

"Hero and the Terror" is rated R for violence, profanity and partial nudity (corpses of The Terror's victims).

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