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Film / Hellbound

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Hellbound is a 1994 supernatural action movie starring Chuck Norris.

During the Crusades, an ancient demon known as Prosatanos tried to unleash Hell on Earth before being stopped by Richard the Lionheart and sealed away. After he is freed again, he travels the Earth to recover the pieces of his scepter to restart the ritual. When he murders a man in Chicago, local cops Shatter and Jackson follow him to Jerusalem to stop the Apocalypse.

Last film produced by The Cannon Group.


This film provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Pickpocket: At the Israeli airport at the end, Bezi gives Jackson a hug goodbye... and steals his wallet. Again.
  • Ancient Tomb: The demon Prosatanos was sealed inside his own tomb in the Holy Land by King Richard the Lionheart. He is woken up centuries later by two tomb robbers.
  • And Show It to You: Prosatanos murders a rabbi by ripping out his heart and laughing at the old man.
  • Bald of Evil: Prosatanos is mostly bald except for a fringe of hair.
  • Best Friend: Jackson is this to Shatter. Shatter, being played by Chuck Norris, doesn't acknowledge their friendship much.
  • Car Cushion: The demonic villain kills a prostitute who became an unwitting witness to another murder by throwing her out a window, whereupon she lands on the hood of Norris's parked car.
  • Cool Shades: Shatter wears these, particularly when he's outdoors in the bright sun of Israel.
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  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Norris gets to martial-arts kick the movie's super-powered "ambassador" of Satan. A lot.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: An ancient demon who was about to unleash Hell on Earth is stopped by King Richard the Lionheart who sealed him in a tomb and broke the demon's magical scepter into several pieces, which were then sent for safekeeping to Christian orders across Europe. After the demon awakens he spends decades tracking down the pieces to reignite his plan.
  • Distant Prologue: The movie opens during The Crusades, then flashes forward to the twentieth century.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Prosatanos' voice drops a lot when he catches Leslie, after she talks to Shatter, and he drops his Lockley guise/
  • Freeze-Frame Ending: The movie ends with Jackson discovering that Bezi stole his wallet, and the camera "freezing" on Bezi running.
  • Game Face: The demon mostly appears disguised as a human, but every time he kills someone he grows claws, gets frog-like pupils, and his voice drops a few octaves. When he's defeated, he briefly reverts back to his true form.
  • Gilligan Cut: Jackson tells Shatter that he's not going to Israel, and in the next shot he's going to Israel.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Shatter and Jackson argue about which of them is going to be the "bad cop" and who is the "good cop". Jackson argues, Shatter does what he wants and mostly plays "bad cop".
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: In his first scene, Shatter establishes his asskicking credentials by challenging a thug to take a swing at them, then effortlessly kicking him into next week when he does.
  • Human Sacrifice: A human of royal blood needs to be sacrificed by the villain to open the gates of Hell.
  • Large Ham: Christopher Neame as Prosatanos is this, throughout most of the movie.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The reason why Prosatanos kills the prostitute: he might have let her go otherwise, but she walks in on him after he just finished murdering someone else, with the bloody evidence still in his hands.
    Prosatanos: Time for you to leave.
  • Meaningful Name: Shatter's last name is... Shatter. He shatters people when he hits them. Or at least their bones. And he's played by Chuck Norris: he hits people a lot.
  • Not Quite Dead: Prosatanos is stabbed by an old rabbi with one of the sacred knives that were originally used to bind the demon inside a coffin. The demon appears to die, only to reveal that he can't be killed even by those weapons and murdering the poor old man in response.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Prosatanos is sealed inside his own tomb by Richard the Lionheart during the Crusades. He's set free six hundred years later by two tomb raiders.
  • Street Urchin: There are two of them in the movie: Bezi and his partner.
  • Strange Cop in a Strange Land: Shatter and Jackson are two Chicago cops who are summoned to Jerusalem by Israeli police for questioning regarding a rabbi who was murdered by a demon posing as a businessman. Shatter ignores the demands of the local chief not to get involved and starts his own investigation.
  • Teleport Spam: Prosatanos displays this once, when he teleports away from Jackson's bullets, gets close to him, and grabs him by the throat.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact:
    • Subverted, with an attempt to kill the demonic villain with one of the sacred knives that originally bound him inside a coffin proving useless, as he's impervious even to those.
    • The scepter that Prosatanos has been seeking the entire movie, on the other hand, is also the only thing that can hurt him.