13 August 2018

FABULOUS FILMS PRESENTS: THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS. (1988) REVIEW BY SANDRA 'YOU WOULDN'T LIKE ME WHEN I'M ANGRY' HARRIS.

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THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS. (1988) DIRECTED BY BILL BIXBY. STARRING BILL BIXBY, LOU FERRIGNO, JACK COLVIN AND ERIC ALLAN KRAMER AS THE MIGHTY THOR.
REVIEW BY SANDRA YOU WOULDN'T LIKE ME WHEN I'M ANGRY HARRIS. ©

OMG, do you guys remember THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the television series from the 'Eighties? Sure ya do! Bill Bixby plays mild-mannered scientist David Banner who transforms into this gigantic and ferocious green creature every time he loses his temper, and it's all because a lousy scientific experiment he's doing goes tits-up in a bad way, lol.

I knew there was no point to my doing stupid Science in secondary school. I knew stupid Science would only lead to trouble for someone someday unless it was abolished, haha. And it leads to more than his fair share of trouble for poor old David Banner.

He might be minding his own business in a bar, drinking a beer while wearing a lovely mild-mannered sweater and tight beige or cream 'Eighties slacks, and some asshole would spill a drink over him and then start chatting up some broad who doesn't want to be chatted up.

Then the fun would start. A seriously pissed-off David Banner would start to change into the Hulk, magnificently played by the uber-muscly Lou Ferrigno. His eyes would change colour and start madly staring and then there'd be this mad intense music and suddenly David Banner's nice shirt or sweater and jeans would start bursting off of his now green skin. 'Cause the Hulk is green, see.

Then it'd be all 'Rarr! Rarr! Rarr!' as the Incredible Hulk, bare-chested and wearing the remnants of David Banner's tattered pants, would pick up the offending asshole and throw him across the bar and out into the car park where he'd shit himself copiously in fright, excuse my French, before scrambling away to some kind of safety.

The tattered pants are actually sentient, believe it or not, imbued with the power to always know where exactly to stop ripping. As in, the Hulk is never left with his crucial bits immodestly uncovered. The pants tear only so far and then they stop. What do you take them for, mere pants or something? These pants know when enough is enough, by Jove.

Anyone, the broad-slash-damsel-in-distress would stand there in the bar, wide-eyed in fear but also admiration for the giant green man with the fantastic big diddies on him that bounce up and down once the Hulk starts running, which he always does when he hears the inevitable police sirens. Away he runs, the Incredible Hulk, away from the scene of justice-having-been-done, so that the cops don't rumble his 'incredible' secret. See what I did there...?

Then you'd see a half-nekkid David Banner, back to himself once more, sneaking a checked shirt in his exact size off some lady's washing-line but, get this! He's an honest bloke, see, and he always pins a couple-a five-dollar bills on the clothes-line as payment so that Mary-Beth or whoever it is can buy a replacement shirt for Harvey or Harv Junior, who's getting to be near as big and ungrateful as his alcoholic Pa, the little cuss.

David Banner would always keep on the move, always travelling to a different town or different city in each episode in search of a cure for his terrible affliction. People think he's dead so he has to assume a new identity in every episode, while keeping the name David and a surname that starts with a 'B.' 

So, he might be David Bannion, see, or David Barrington or David Bellamy. Anything so long as it's a B. It's a wonder that they didn't run out of surnames beginning with B on the show. I do like the sound of that David Bellamy chap, he sounds lovely and cultured. I could go to an art exhibition at a fancy gallery with a guy like that. He might even call me after we had all the sex.

David has a wee romance in every episode with a new lady friend but, of course, to avoid putting this dame in danger or allowing her to discover his terrible secret, he has to high-tail it out of town at the end of every episode. 'Bye-'bye, pretty lady. If I've gotten you pregnant, it's your own problem, lol.

Shouldering his dreadful inner suffering along with his battered backpack, David Banner walks away sadly forever to the famous sad-walking-away-forever-music-from-THE INCREDIBLE HULK that's so special and iconic that it's been parodied numerous times by other shows, for example the utterly brilliant FAMILY GUY.

Of course, Michael Landon (Pa Ingalls from LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE) used to walk sadly away too in his bulky leather jacket at the end of each episode of his show HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, but for sadly-walking-away-forever, I'm telling you, no-one does it like David Banner. 

He's got that market cornered so y'all might as well not even try it. If you want to do something different, you could try walking towards something in an upbeat manner at the beginning of a TV show. I don't know if that's ever been tried on a TV series.

Anyway, there's always this nosy detective in the show as well called Jack McGee who's always trying to uncover the truth about the Incredible Hulk. He thinks that this information will be the news story of the century and that he'll win a Pulitzer Prize for it and 'then he'll be successful in his mother's eyes,' a little joke from THE SIMPSONS there.

Of course, Snoopy Drawers always arrives at the scene of any Hulk-related carnage just in time to see the soles of the Hulk's feet as he runs away down the street, no doubt to find a quiet alley to change back into David Banner and pinch some strides off of the nearest clothes-line. That big news story will then just have to wait till the next episode.

The fantastic- or should I say fabulous- news is that FABULOUS FILMS are releasing a box-set of the three INCREDIBLE HULK feature-length made-for-TV films, made in 1988, 1989 and 1990 respectively. 

The films are entitled THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS, THE TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK (featuring a cameo from the MARVEL-lous Stan Lee!) and THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK. They'd better be kidding us with that last one there...

THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS sees David Banner's alter-ego teaming up with none other than the mighty Thor, hammer and all, from Norse mythology, to fight a bunch of really mean bad guys. 

The baddies have kidnapped David's girlfriend-du-jour (she owns a big fancy beach house, he should keep this one for a bit!) and a giant Gamma Transponder (wasn't Chandler from FRIENDS in the transponding business?) that might have been the key to curing David of his affliction.

Did you notice that if you change the a in Gamma to an e, you have Gemma, the Gemma Transponder? If someone made a nice nifty range of mini-transponders, all called by girls' names, wouldn't they make the dinkiest little stocking-fillers for Christmas? Say, the Mona Transponder or the Betty Transponder or the Vonda-Sue Transponder. Don't they sound simply scrummy? Get the mini-transponder with your name on it and be the envy of all your snotty little chums this Christmas.

Anyway, together, the Incredible Hulk and the attractive blonde giant that is Thor are an unstoppable team. They kick major ass and the newspapers are having a field day as not one but two giants are being spotted around town now, tearing up the place, kicking baddies' asses and generally 'rarring' to beat the band while flexing colossal muscles for the camera.

All the stuff we love from the TV series are present and correct here in this film. 'Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.' Some asshole yanking David's chain. Funny stare-y eyes and mad intense 'changing into the Hulk' music then it's 'Rarr! Rarr!' and the Incredible Hulk tearing up the place and putting manners on the riff-raff while his pants remain impeccably in place, just like good pants should.

Then there's the change back into mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, sorry, I mean mild-mannered scientist David Banner, the clothesline substitution of two five-dollar bills for a pre-loved checked shirt (Mary-Beth just can't seem to shift the smell of Harv's sweat from his clothes, Harv Senior's gotta lotta quite serious dietary issues he refuses to discuss or even acknowledge, Mary-Beth's really quite worried) and then, the piรจce de resistance, the sad-walking-away-forever-music we're all waiting to hear. There won't be a dry eye in the house by the time the credits finish rolling, especially if you're watching this for the first time since the 'Eighties.

A couple of excellent special features come with THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS. One is a wonderful or, should I say, MARVEL-lous interview with comic-book-and-superhero-royalty Stan Lee, who was looking amazingly well when the footage was shot.

The other interview is with Lou Ferrigno, who plays the Hulk to Bill Bixby's David Banner. This one is so poignant it had me and my kids in floods of tears. Lou Ferrigno is a lovely, deeply genuine man who suffered a lot in his youth because of his partial hearing loss.

The story of how he overcame his own disability to become Mr. Universe and a champion weight-lifter, body-builder, actor and personal trainer is so inspiring. Be your own best friend, he urges the viewers, and there's not much you can't achieve.

I was bawling my eyes out by the end of this interview. The two interviews are just wonderful- no, sorry, I blew it again, MARVEL-lous, lol. Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno are two of the nicest guys you could ever meet. They really do deserve their good fortune.

Bill Bixby: 1934-1993.
Lou Ferrigno: 1951- Present Day.
Stan Lee: 1922- Present Day.

FABULOUS FILMS: For the first time ever, all 3 Incredible Hulk TV movies in one collector’s edition box set. See Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby back in action in The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and The Death of the Incredible Hulk. Filmed in 1988,1989 and 1990, the films were directed by David Banner himself a.k.a Bill Bixby.

All three films are also being released individually.



AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com