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The Incredible Hulk Returns

USA 1988
produced by
Bill Bixby (executive), Nicholas Corea (executive) for New World/NBC
directed by Nicholas Corea
starring Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Eric Allan Kramer, Steve Levitt, Tim Thomerson, Lee Purcell, Charles Napier, John Gabriel, Jay Baker, Jack Colvin, William Riley, Tom Finnegan, Donald Willis, Carl Ciarfalio, Bob McLaughlin, Burke Denis, Nick Costa, Peisha McPhee (= Peisha Arten), William Malone, Joanie Allen (= Joan Douglas)
screenplay by Nicholas Corea, based on the Marvel Comics-character, created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, music by Lance Rubin, Hulk-makeup by John Goodwin, Norman T. Leavitt, special effects by Charles E. Dolan

Incredible Hulk, Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno), Thor, Marvel's Thor

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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For the last 2 years, David Banner (Bill Bixby) has worked at a top research institute, developinbg something called the Transponder. But of course, Banner had to work under an assumed identity, because he is wanted for a murder he didn't commit, and he even has a darker secret: Every time he gets angry, he turns into a green monster called the Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). But for these last two years, Banner has kept his alter ego under check, and working on the Transponder, he even thinks he might have found a cure for his condition, which he wants to test on himself, when ... Donald Blake (Steve Levitt) breaks into Banner's high security lab, but not with criminal intentions, but just to pay him a friendly visit (?).

You see, Banner was Blake's professor at Harvard years back, and now Blake has a problem he wants his professor to solve for him: Blake has found the hammer of Thor on an expedition to the North Pole, and now every time he grabs the hammer and shouts "Odin", ancient Norse warrior Thor (Eric Allan Kramer) appears and wants to drink beer and clobber some bad guys - apparently it hasn't appeared to Blake that the solution to that problem would just be not to grab the hammer and shout "Odin" (something that isn't something normal people do on a regular basis anyways, is it?), but oh well. Anyways, Banner does not believe Blake, so Blake summons Thor, who immediately picks on Banner, who turns into the Hulk, and it's clobbering time ... the fights ends in a tie though, and when the police shows up, both the Hulk and Thor take off.

Enter some criminals led by LeBeau (Tim Thomerson) and his right-hand man Fouche (Charles Napier), who desperately want to steal the Transponder, but they are chased away by the Hulk. So they decide to kidnap Banner's girlfriend (Lee Purcell) and try to force Banner to give up the machine that way. Banner does want to save his girlfriend of course, but he knows the Transponder can be a powerful weapon in the wrong hands, so he destroys the core of the machine for good, then calls upon Blake and Thor to help him save his girl - which of course can't be done without him turning into the Hulk again.

Of coujrse, in the end all the baddies get their just desserts and the girl is saved, but once again Banner's cover is blown, and he has to leave the woman he loves and wander the country some more.


Basically this is just stanbdard TV-fare, a predictable Hulk-story based on an ill-conceived script that puts too much emphasis on its set-up to sustain tension telling its feeble story, carried by a very bland directorial effort. However, the TV-movie has one saving grace: Eric Allan Kramer as The Mighty Thor. True, The Mighty Thor is one of the more ridiculous characters of the Marvel-pantheon of superheroes, and initially one is led to believe that this film makes the mistake to follow the character's depiction in the comics too closely - but it soon becomes clear that Kramer plays Thor for laughs, which might be the only way to bring the character across on screen anyways - and Kramer is really funny, too, milking all his scenes for maximum comedy. And you know what, he makes the whole thing pretty watchable, sure, watchable in a silly sort of way, but watchable still. Too bad he was never called back in the role ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD