A pair of Chicago cops try to put the cuffs on Satan in this action/ horror hybrid that finds the unstoppable Chuck Norris pitting his martial arts acumen against the Devil himself.
We open with a scroll rolling up the screen, a la ‘Star Wars.” We are informed that the evil one is always ready to come back as long as there are greedy men around.
Next we are in the middle ages with Richard ‘The Lion Hearted” leading a crusade into Jerusalem. His royal highness is there to stop old scratch from sacrificing an infant in order to kick start a war of good against evil. Richard ,who sports a Norris-like moustache, is able to rout the devil and seal him in a tomb. He then breaks the evil being’s scepter into nine pieces and orders them strewn about the earth.
Cut to 1951 and we witness two thieves breaking into the tomb. Once they get the lid off a hand reaches out and pulls the grave robber inside. The evil being is back, and a wee bit hungry.
Now we cut to present day(circa 1994) Chicago where super cop Frank Shatter(an excellent handle for the Chuckster )is about to rain down on some thugs like a sea of fists. Afterwards he and his partner, Jackson, hear screams . Shatter races into a flophouse but is too late to save a Rabbi from getting his heart ripped out . It seems he had a piece of the scepter that Richard broke. Our villain manages to out fight Norris and makes good his escape.
Luckily the Israeli authorities want Shatter and Jackson to accompany the Rabbi’s remains to Jerusalem.
Once there Shatter promptly forgets he is a tourist and launches a spirited investigation. He tracks the Rabbi down to an antiquities expert named Lockley(actually the devil in a terrible disguise).
By the time Shatter figures out what is going on the Prosatanos has already killed the nine guys holding the pieces of the scepter. It all leads to a showdown in the same chamber where Richard the Lionhearted stormed in five hundred years earlier. He may have had a small army but Chuck has his hands, fist, and beard. The devil is going down!
Fun stuff that marked Norris’ last film at Cannon Studios before the company went bankrupt . By then Chuck had moved on to television alongside this film’s director(his brother Aaron) and co-star(Sheree J. Wilson) where he would reign for ten years as ‘Walker, Texas Ranger .”
It is a decent send off giving Norris a sizeable villain(you can’t beat the devil, well unless you’re Chuck)and some exotic locations. There are also a few decent fights choreographed by Benny ‘the Jet” Urgidez(who was featured in two of kung-fu cinema’s best battles against Jackie Chan).
Best Lines: “I’m Prosatanos, your passage to eternity.”
“I haven’t the time to lend credence to babbling morons.”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.