hero_and_the_terror_1988

Review: Hero & The Terror (1988)

by Trey Lawson – celluloidsheep.wordpress.com

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Bad Movie Quote:

VICTOR: “Fuck you, pal!”

O’BRIEN: “That’s not a choice.”

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Have you ever wondered what would happen if Chuck Norris fought Michael Myers? Me either! However, somebody at the long-defunct studio Cannon Films must have, because that is essentially what the movie THE HERO & THE TERROR amounts to.

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Norris stars as detective Danny O’Brien, dubbed “Hero” by the press after his arrest of serial killer Simon “The Terror” Moon (thus explaining the entire title in one brief sentence). Moon is institutionalized, but three years later he disappears after escaping in a stolen laundry van. That’s about all the plot there is – there are some subplots, like O’Brien’s pregnant psychiatrist girlfriend, but they don’t really amount to much. There are also some incredibly idiotic people in this movie – like the cop who takes off his gun to work out while standing watch over the killer’s suspected killing grounds.

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Simon Moon/The Terror is almost a non-character in the film, which is a shame. Had they really embraced the slasher movie aesthetic with him the film would have been much more suspenseful. The closest they come is that every so often the score throws in a Friday the 13th-esque sound cue to let everyone know The Terror is about to show up. However, by shying away from gore or brutality, he comes across as tame compared to other cinematic serial killers. TRIVIA: Simon Moon/The Terror is played by former boxer Jack O’Halloran, most famous for playing the mute Kryptonian Non in Superman II.

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Anyway, the dialogue is laughable, and the performances are mediocre at best. Norris is really the only one who even seems to be trying, and his character is so two-dimensional that it doesn’t feel like the movie ever goes anywhere. Things happen because the plot demands it, with very little motivation or justification to be seen. O’Brien claims to be tormented by the events surrounding his first capture of The Terror, but if the film didn’t show the nightmares I would never have guessed, because they never really seemed to affect his ability to function as a cop. Worst of all, the action is just boring – one expects a certain quality of fight scenes from a Chuck Norris movie, especially from this point in his career, but THE HERO & THE TERROR is seriously lacking. There are moments where fight scenes could have developed into something halfway entertaining, but they just fizzle out and the scene shifts to the next pointless dialogue scene. The final fight scene between O’Brien and The Terror is pretty good, but nowhere nearly as entertaining as a battle between a martial artist and a nearly superhuman serial killer should be. If you make it that far and see the ending, just make sure you stay for the credits, accompanied by an incredibly cheesy (and out of place for a Norris action flick) generic pop ballad, “Two Can Be One.”

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This isn’t what I would call an edge-of-your-seat engaging action movie, nor does its badness reach the level of hilarity I usually expect from a post-1985 Chuck Norris movie. There were moments where I laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation, but overall when the credits rolled all it left me with was a sense of intense mediocrity. The only way I could recommend THE HERO & THE TERROR is if you’re planning a night of Chuck Norris features – and even then only because of the weirdness of its premise.

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Rating:

2 out of 5 Constipated Chuck Norris’s

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