You Might Like
Theatrical release poster
Theatrical release poster

Hero and the Terror is a 1988 action film starring martial arts star Chuck Norris, directed by William Tannen. Produced by Menahem Golan, written by Michael Blodgett, and was distributed by Cannon Films. The film stars Norris as Danny O'Brien as a cop trying to stop a serial killer, Simon Moon known as "The Terror". [1]

It is based on Michael Blodgett's 1982 novel of the same name.


Danny O'Brien (Chuck Norris) is a cop who likes to work alone and never waits for his back up. In Los Angeles, O'Brien is trying to apprehend the notorious Simon Moon (Jack O'Halloran), also known as The Terror. Simon has been killing women by snapping their necks and taking them to his lair in an abandoned amusement park. O'Brien is attacked by Simon who almost kills him in the struggle. When the killer flees the scene and climbs up a ladder he slips and falls, knocking himself unconscious. When the backup arrives they think O'Brien caught The Terror and the people of L.A. call him "Hero". Simon is then arrested and taken to jail.

When Dr. Highwater (Billy Drago) goes to visit Simon he escapes by cutting through the bars of his cell. He then steals a laundry van by push starting it but loses control and falls straight down into a cliff face. When the media hears about this they pronounce Simon dead and the people of L.A. are relieved.

Three years later the murders start back up again and O'Brien thinks it's The Terror. He eventually finds his lair in a movie theater and heads in to confront Simon himself. He encounters an enclosed room not on the map and heads in. In there he finds the bodies of The Terror's victims and starts searching around for him. Simon jumps out and attacks him and Danny tries to fight him off. O'Brien eventually kills The Terror and the film ends, as he marries his girlfriend who gave birth to their daughter.



Hero and the Terror was Chuck Norris's first major attempt at diversifying from his traditional martial arts roles.[2][3]

"The success of the film is contingent on how reviewers, the media and the audience take to it. That determines everything in this business," Norris said. "I like the character of Danny O'Brien and I like the relationships I had in the film, especially with Kay (played by Brynn Thayer). I liked seeing not just the man in the arena or the fighting machine you see in many of my films, but to see the man outside the arena -- the guy who also has relationships."[4]

"I don't want people to think I'm just going to kick butt. There's a lot more here," siad Norris. "What makes this a different film is the vulnerability of the character I play. There are moments of humor, romance and compassion, and there are moments of terror, anguish and anxiety." A scene was filmed as a joke where Norris hyperventilates in the hospital and faints seeing a baby being born. The director, William Tannen, convinced Norris to test the film with the segment intact. "We did leave it in. And you know, women absolutely love that scene," he said.[5]

"O'Brien is a guy who must face his fear, even though he feels secure in his abilities as a police officer," Norris said. "He doesn't even wait for his backup unit and goes after the killer alone. Chuck Norris fans will see the intense, focused sort of man, sure; also, I hope they will identify with the other side of his character, the multiple side...I trained really hard for this film. Jack and I did all our own fighting, and he's really strong. I threw everything short of the kitchen sink at him and every type of kick imaginable. People will believe that O'Brien really is facing a demon."[4]


The movie had a mostly negative reception. It currently has a 0% rating on movie rating website Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the poor reception, Chuck Norris' acting was praised and it has a cult following. Most fans call it one of his better movies.[6][7][8]

Hero and the Terror grossed $1.84 million nationwide its first weekend at the box office, finishing in a disappointing 12th place.[9] It made $6 million over all.[10]


The film premiered on August 26, 1988 in the United States.[11] It was released on Blu-ray for the first time in June 2015, by Kino Lorber.[12]

See also

You Might Like