COLD TO TOUCH
HellBound is directed by Norriss brother Aaron. Aaron Norris is someone who, like his brothers attempts to act, has been foolishly granted the opportunity to rise to his level of incompetence in a way that is there to be perceived by the entire world. A former stuntman, Norris frere began directing with Chucks Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988) and also put his older sibling through the dropkicks in Delta Force 2 (1990), The Hitman (1991), Sidekicks (1992), Top Dog (1995) and Forest Warrior (1996), almost all of which went direct to video. Notedly, Aaron Norriss directorial career outside of material for his brother has been zilch.
HellBound is an amazingly awful film. Some of the dialogue has a moronic quality that defies belief Armageddon the fires of Hell unleashed on Earth, which gets the inane response: You mean worse that it is now? Or the discovery that Sheree J. Wilson is of royal blood: Is that Leslie [upon discovering a photo of her]. Wow, she looks like royalty. Aaron Norris trades in cheap shocks not to mention bloodless, entirely PG-rated ones. The cheap animation effects and chintzy shocks that he pulls belong in a film made on an extremely cheap budget, not the halfway respectable one that HellBound has.
The whole cast give awful performances. Chuck Norris is about the same he ever is tight-lipped and monosyllabic, neither any better nor any worse than in any other film he has appeared in. Christopher Neame, who has become a latter-day Michael Caine of sorts (maybe if Caine had started playing villains in B-budget films), overacts atrociously in a performance of maniacally loud, rafter-rattling excess. Calvin Levels gives an equally bad performance. Clearly under the post-Tarantino misapprehension that chatter equals authenticity, Levels never stops babbling throughout the film, whining to the stony-faced, tight-lipped Chuck Norris about everything from wanting to find something to eat to the air conditioning.
HellBound was produced by Yoram Globus, the former partner in Cannon Films, for whom Chuck Norris made most of his action films in the 1980s. Here Globus returns to his native Israel to shoot in a unbelievable plot twist that involves the Israeli police summoning Chuck Norris and Calvin Levels over at a moments notice to provide information. (Havent the Israeli police ever heard of faxing files over or asking questions on the phone?) At least the Israeli locations make for an interesting background in comparison to the rest of the thoroughly awful film on show.