HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK – HAUNTED

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MAIN CAST

Bill Bixby (My Favorite MArtian)
Lou Ferrigno (The Scorpion King 4)

GUEST CAST

Carol Baxter (The Ladies Club)

David helps a young woman move back into an old house where she lived many years ago. David soon learns that the woman had a twin sister who drowned there years before and that strange events may bring about more death and mayhem.

A Great Halloween episode It plays like an Edgar Allen Poe story. A little more intellectual than many other Hulk episodes, it really delves into psychology and insanity. It is the closest Hulk episode to the horror genre.

REVIEW: THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK

CAST

Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (The Scorpion King 4)
Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander: The Raven)
Philip Sterling (Another World)
Barbara Tarbuck (Walking Tall)
Anna Katarina (Batman Returns)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5)
Chilton Crane (Final Destination 2)

imagesDavid Banner masquerades as David Bellamy, a mentally challenged janitor, to gain access to a scientific research facility in Portland, Oregon. He believes that the studies of one of the scientists there, Dr. Ronald Pratt (Philip Sterling), may hold the key to curing his gamma-induced condition that, in times of stress, turns him into a superhuman green creature known as the Hulk. Pratt takes a liking to the man he sees only as a building custodian.Image result for the death of the incredible hulkOne night after making a transaction at the bank, David is trapped by street thieves and is beaten and robbed. The stress of his injuries induces another transformation. The Hulk makes short work of the criminals but attracts the attention of authorities before escaping.02The next day, bypassing security, Banner enters Pratt’s laboratory and examines the formula on his blackboard, making corrections and filling in gaps. At the same time, a beautiful Russian spy named Jasmin (Elizabeth Gracen), thinking she has completed her last act of espionage, is approached again by former superior Kasha for one last job: infiltrate Pratt’s lab and steal the files on his experiments. When she refuses, Kasha blackmails Jasmin with her sister Bella’s life. Jasmin then disguises herself as a club hopper and gets a fingerprint from one of the security guards.Image result for the death of the incredible hulkThe following morning, Pratt examines the formula on his blackboard and discovers that it is now correct. Determined to find out who is guiding him, he hides out in the lab in wait for his would-be mentor. This time he catches David in the act and asks him to tell him something that would keep him from sounding the security alarm.

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Banner reveals his true identity and goes over the events that led to his self-experimentation that resulted in the Hulk. He notes that his condition also dives into Pratt’s own research on a human’s capacity to heal, for in Hulk-form David’s accelerated metabolism allows any wound to close in seconds, leaving him with hardly a scar. Pratt believes he can cure David, but he needs to first study the creature. Over the course of a week, both scientists, with the help of Pratt’s scientist wife, Amy (Barbara Tarbuck), construct a force field cage and sensors to track Banner’s vitals. On the night of the observation, David is rigged with a tranquilizer to sedate him once the readings have been recorded. Banner shocks himself with an electrical rod and Hulks-out. The energy cage holds the creature back until Pratt has his readings and Amy activates the tranquilizer. Banner reverts to normal and Pratt and Amy photograph the closing puncture wound from the tranquilizer. Banner later watches the video of his transformation – claiming it is the first time he has seen the Hulk – and fails to see any humanity in him despite Amy’s beliefs.DeathHulk-thumb-860xauto-26829The next day, the facility’s board announces to Pratt that they are pulling his funding for his lack of results, which forces him to move up his proposed cure for David. An eastern European spy network dedicated to using Pratt’s (and Banner’s) work for corrupt purposes breaks into the lab, halting the experiment and kidnapping Pratt and Amy. Banner has fallen in love with Jasmin, who returns his affections, and with her help, he helps the Pratts. While pursuing the kidnappers, Banner and Jasmin learn that her sister, Bella (Anna Katarina), is the true leader of the spy network, and Banner turns into the Hulk, who tries to protect Pratt and Jasmin. The Hulk runs towards the plane, on which Bella and Zed are attempting to escape, and breaks it open. He climbs aboard before it can take off, enters and stops the two spies. But the plane explodes and the Hulk is thrown into the night, falling onto the concrete. After one last return transformation, Banner dies, telling Jasmin he is free.MV5BNjJmMmQ4NTctZjBlYS00MWY0LTgxZGYtNzRhNWE1NWRmMWM2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjk5MTI0NTY@._V1_I think this was a good final chapter to the Original Hulk. To answer your questions about how this fall from that airplane could kill the Hulk, the answer is simple. He was in the process of changing back to Dr. Banner, so by the time he hit the ground, the good doctor took the full force.

REVIEW: THE TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK

CAST

Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man)
Marta DuBois (Luminarias)
Nancy Everhard (The Punisher 1989)
Nicholas Hormann (Peep World)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Rex Smith (Street Hawk)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Michael O’Hare (Babylon 5)

Lou Ferrigno in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989)On the run again after the events of the previous TV movie, David Banner is working up north under the name David Belson. Disenchanted and at the end of his rope, David makes his way towards a large city with the hopes of renting a room and staying buried. Unbeknownst to him, the city he arrives in is under the control of a powerful underworld kingpin named Wilson Fisk but is also protected by a mysterious black-clad crimefighter known as Daredevil. When two of Fisk’s men come onto the commuter subway train after having committed a jewel robbery, one of them takes an interest in a beautiful woman also riding the train and she rejects him. David witnesses an attempted sexual assault by one of Fisk’s men, he transforms into the Hulk and things go haywire. A short while later, David is arrested by the police and wrongfully charged with the crime.20525208_900478620092777_5179234308726820861_nWhile awaiting trial, blind defense attorney Matt Murdock is assigned to David’s case. David is uncooperative but Murdock has faith that he is innocent and is determined to prove so. One night while fast asleep, David has a nightmare about his upcoming trial and dreams about transforming into the Hulk on the witness stand. The stress of this causes him to transform in reality and the Hulk subsequently breaks free of the prison.47295534_1202288816578421_2510412700954132480_nSubsequent events see David Banner team up with Daredevil who reveals his identity as Matt Murdock. Matt tells David about his origins which David has trouble accepting at first. Daredevil also reveals that he has an ally on the Police force who provides him with information relating to criminal activity. As Daredevil, Matt goes to investigate a tip provided by his informant. The tip turns out to have been planted by the Kingpin and Daredevil is badly hurt in an ambush by the Kingpin’s men. David rushes to save Matt but he is too late to help, becomes angry, and transforms into Hulk. The Hulk, in turn, smashes in and saves Matt and Kingpin and his men flee. Matt who is barely conscious, traces the Hulk’s face as he transforms back to David, thus learning his secret.HulkDeath-02Kingpin, in the meantime, has the witness to events on the subway abducted from protective custody in order to have her killed but she is saved by the Kingpin’s assistant who finds her attractive. The Kingpin is also planning a major meeting of underworld crime lords in order to propose the consolidation of their operations into a big syndicate with himself as chairman. David who is trained as a medical doctor, treats Matt’s injuries and spreads the cover story that Matt got hurt falling down the stairs. Matt’s self-confidence is seriously shaken. David’s confidence on the other hand has been restored by seeing how Matt has embraced his unique gifts also caused by exposure to radiation. After a little coaxing from David, Matt begins to recover and retrain his body. Soon enough, the two return to work and go to save the captured woman. The two engage the Kingpin and his men and ultimately succeed in beating him. Kingpin and his assistant escape and the prisoner is freed. The two part ways as friends and allies with David planning to head in search of a cure for himself and Matt will stay in the city and protect it.MV5BZmNmZDUxYjUtMzRmMS00YjViLWI2ZTItMDQzOTJlOGUyOWRkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjk5MTI0NTY@._V1_SY375_SX667_AL_The late, great Bill Bixby is in top form as the strained David Banner, and his brutish counterpart, the Hulk, is again portrayed intensely by the legendary Lou Ferrigno. Rex Smith, veteran of a variety of television shows and soap operas, is excellent as Matt Murdock, and his athletic alter ego, Daredevil. Smith delivers most of the best lines in this film, and might have been a good lead in a spin-off Daredevil series. Character actor John Rhys-Davies is Wilson Fisk, the cool and calculated crime boss, known by the moniker, the Kingpin, in the comics. The film’s effects and action sequences are standard television fare — done quickly and cheaply — but still, it is a very promising and uplifting film, right down to its exciting climax and positive ending.

REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS

CAST

Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man)
Jack Colvin (Child’s Play)
Lee Purcell (Valley Girl)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
John Gabriel (General Hospital)
Jay Baker (April fool’s Day)
Tim Thomerson (Dollman)
Eric Allan Kramer (American Pie 3)

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Two years after the episode “A Minor Problem”, Dr. David Banner has been gainfully employed at the Joshua-Lambert Research Institute (as David Bannion) where he and a team of scientists are putting the final touches on a Gamma Transponder, which he intends to use to cure him of his ability to turn into the Hulk. He has not changed into the Hulk for two years since he met a young widow, Maggie Shaw, with whom he is romantically involved. By chance, he is recognized by a former student of his, Donald Blake. Blake claims that, on an expedition in the Norwegian mountains, he found an enchanted hammer containing the soul of Thor, an immortal Norse warrior banished by Odin to Earth to earn worthiness into Valhalla.
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Thor is reluctantly compelled to serve Blake, who is unnerved by this. Banner does not believe him, so Blake summons Thor into Banner’s laboratory. Thor damages equipment and angers Banner until he turns into the Hulk, who easily fights him off and leaves.Image result for the incredible hulk returnsIn the morning, Banner scolds Blake for setting back his experiment and demands that he and Thor make amends. Journalist Jack McGee, who once spent years chasing the Hulk, hears about the sightings of the Hulk and Thor and vows to expose them. Thor laments the misery of his banishment and he and Blake attend a tavern where he can fight, drink and embrace the company of women as he would do so in Valhalla. The two become friends and briefly entertain the possibility of Thor using his powers to fight crime. A criminal organisation within the Joshua-Lambert Institute seek to kidnap Banner and the Transponder, but the Hulk effortlessly dispatches them. The mob leader LeBeau targets Dr. Shaw instead of Banner. Mob members disguised as police officers ambush Banner and Shaw and kidnap Shaw despite the combined efforts of the Hulk and Thor.
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LeBeau blackmails Banner into handing over the Transponder in return for Shaw’s life. Banner sabotages the Transponder so it cannot be used as a weapon, essentially destroying his chance of curing his condition. Lambert, a mob informant within the company, outlives his usefulness and is shot, but asks to see Banner, revealing where Shaw is being held, in an abandoned warehouse. Hulk, Blake and Thor ambush the warehouse and fight off a small army of gunmen to rescue Shaw. McGee is once again the subject of ridicule for his obsession with the Hulk and now Thor. Blake and Banner both agree that Shaw has likely figured out that Banner and the Hulk are one and the same and that Banner should leave to protect her. Thor and Blake, now at peace with each other, say their goodbyes to Banner. Banner is forced to end his relationship with Shaw and, as ever, walks alone into the distance.Bill Bixby once again delivers nothing short of superb excellence in his performance as Dr. David Banner (or David Banyon to everyone around him).
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Lou Ferrigno was bigger and bulkier than ever as the Hulk and gave an outstanding performance. I enjoyed seeing Jack Colvin one more time as Jack McGee, but only wished he had been in there more. Noteworthy villains were Tim Thomerson and veteran Hulk guest actor Charles Napier. Lance Rubin was the right man to succeed Joe Harnell in the musical score and gave it a more technological late 80’s sound. What I didn’t care for was the addition of Thor and Donald Blake. This movie did not need that. But for what it’s worth, Eric Allen Kramer was fun and amusing as Thor, the Norse God and Steve Levitt’s Don Blake was pretty much a geek. It was like the Geek and the Jock as best friends.Image result for the incredible hulk returnsI would definitely recommend this reunion movie to anybody who has never seen it. Even though it’s a little more comic bookish in story than the old series, it’s still worth watching. I give it two thumbs up.

REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1977) – SEASON 5

Starring

Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man)
Jack Colvin (Child’s Play)

Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Anne Lockhart (Battlestar Galactica)
Paul Koslo (Stargate SG.1)
James Saito (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Jerry Hardin (The X-Files)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday The 13th 8)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Mickey Jones (V: The FInal Battle)
Lewis Arquette (Little Nicky)
Faye Grant (V)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)

Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)After watching the fourth season it’s not too difficult to see why the series was cancelled early on in the fifth. With only seven episodes to its name, the final year is a sore spot compared to the earlier ones, which featured many highlights.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)The episodes here simply weren’t very entertaining, most were poorly written, and even the actors didn’t seem as invested in it. It’s a shame that the series couldn’t have found a suitable ending and that it ended with such a whimper, but while it lasted it was a comic lovers dream come true.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Even if you weren’t into the comic, The Incredible Hulk was quite a show for the time it was released. The dark nature of the program coupled with Bixby’s acting skills and some “decent” writing presented a unique television experience that became an icon. While the later seasons of the show definitely weren’t the best, the first three seasons were rock-solid entertainment.Tuning in each week to see David turn into the Hulk was a hoot and reliving the show again thirty years later proves to be a nice nostalgic trip into the history of everyone’s favorite green giant.

REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1977) – SEASON 4

Starring

Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man)
Jack Colvin (Child’s Play)

Bill Bixby and Laurie Prange in The Incredible Hulk (1978)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Carol Baxter (The Curse of Dracula)
Rosemary Forsyth (Ghosts of Mars)
William Lucking (Red Dragon)
Robert F. Lyons (Roswell)
John Finn (Cold Case)
Christine Belford (Wonder Woman)
Billy Green Bush (Critters)
Dick Durock (Swamp Thing)

Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Up through the third season the thing that really kept The Incredible Hulk going was solid character development. Though each tale was more or less episodic, traveling with David every week provided a much needed amount of humanity to counterbalance the hulking insanity.

Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)The third year started a slide in quality with more gonzo episodes leading the way. Unfortunately that trend continues with the eighteen episodes included in this season.Despite the overall lacking nature of the fourth season, there are still plenty of enjoyable adventures for David and his big angry friend.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)The most notable episode here is the season opener which is a two-part story that has David getting stuck mid-transformation. The military gets involved as they think David is actually an alien so they take him back to the lab for further examination. Another two-part episode in this season sees David tracking down another “monsters”. This one has plenty to appreciate for fans of the show and it even offers the Hulk something other than a thug, brick wall, or car to beat up on! Other than the extended episodes here this season more or less splits right down the middle in terms of quality.

REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1977) – SEASON 3

Starring

Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man)
Jack Colvin (Child’s Play)

Bill Bixby in The Incredible Hulk (1978)

 

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Katherine Cannon (Magnum P.I.)
Gary Graham (Alien Nation)
Marc Alaimo (Star Trek: DS9)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Ray Walston (Star Trek: Voyager)
Joan Leslie (High Sierra)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Robert Alda (Secret File, U.S.A.)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TS)
Fred Ward (Tremors)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Guy Boyd (Bones)
Stanley Kamel (Domino)
Anne Lockhart (Battlestar Galactica)
Mark Lenard (Star Trek)
Allan Rich (Quiz Show)
Paul Koslo (Stargate SG.1)
Mickey Jones (V: The Final Battle)
Melendy Britt (She-Ra)
Gerald McRaney (Focus)
Henry Polic II (Might Max)
Sheila Larken (The X-Files)
Dennis Haysbert (Far From Heaven)
Peter Jason (Mortal Kombat)

Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)For the third season no multi-part episodes were included, so there really wasn’t much continuity here by comparison to the previous year. That serious tone that helped the series out in the second season was back for this one, but there were still some bits that just didn’t feel right. Having the Hulk freak out on an acid trip, party at a disco, and David fight his moustache wearing evil twin proved to be moments that were really hard to take. Little bits and pieces like this invaded just about every episode and some of the plots get downright ridiculous.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Even so there were still some good episodes all around this season, but they were slightly harder to find.Of the good stuff “Homecoming” definitely stands out as one of the best here. In this episode David goes home to his family for Thanksgiving. While there he spends a little time trying to help out with a problem on the farm, but that’s not what makes this episode so entertaining. For the entire time we’ve known David, we haven’t really learned much about his history prior to being big and green. This episode provides plenty of opportunity for the writers to explore his character and some of his background.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Another solid episode from this season include “The Snare” which has David being invited to an island where he’s hunted by a madman. “The Psychic” is an interesting episode that puts David’s morality on the line when he learns that Jack McGee is going to die. David’s life sure would be a heck of a lot easier if the nosey reported wasn’t around, but could he live with that? This episode really got into David’s head and we got a nice glimpse at how he ticks.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Aside from these episodes, most of the other ones here are simply passable. In all honesty it seemed as though by this point the show had already begun to slip though it still retained most of the quality.