In the years before Chuck Norris had his beard surgically implanted and moved his butt kicking operation over to Cannon he starred in a number of films with threatening titles. It’s been a while since I revisited a Norris flick so what better way to do so then pick one with Richard Roundtree, Matt Clark, the always enjoyable Mako and the legendary Sir Christopher Lee.
Chuck is a San Francisco cop whose partner Terry Kiser gets killed when the two are set up. From there Kiser’s girlfriend and daughter of Mako played by Rosalind Chao is strangled to death. Turns out she had some vital information she was hoping to get to Norris before her savage demise.
Norris and superior Roundtree don’t agree with Chuck’s tactics and he’s off the force. This will of course allow him to work on the case outside of the law with his mentor and teacher Mako. There’s practically an army of assassins awaiting the duo around every corner. What our duo are really trying to find is an overly large killer in the form of Professor Toru Tanaka. This guy is huge and I was surprised his name wasn’t Oddjob.
Naturally there is a master criminal behind a narcotics ring who rules it all from a desk and a false front. I’m not saying who it is but we do have an actor in the cast who just might be the screen’s greatest villain. Once again I’m not playing spoiler here.
Before the film ends the body count will be outrageous and it’s not entirely due to leaping back kicks from The Chuckster. Roundtree leads an army of police into battle that shoots anything in sight. You’d swear they were landing on Guadalcanal.
This one is directed by Steve Carver who also gave us what is probably the most enjoyable Norris flick. Lone Wolf McQuade.
This was made during Lee’s self imposed break with Hammer and horror films in general. He appeared in a wide variety of films during the late seventies and early eighties. Airport 77, Serial, 1941 to name a few.
As for Chuck, he delivers the fighting goods but falls flat when trying to emote and even sneaks in a love scene. With my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, see Lone Wolf McQuade for perhaps the sexiest love scene ever filmed between Chuck and the incredibly hot Barbara Carrera.
In case you are not familiar with the actor Terry Kiser who plays Chuck’s partner, he played the funniest corpse on film in Weekend at Bernies.
In closing I’ll let Mako have the final line. “I tried to question him…… he preferred to expire.”