THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK *** U.S.A. 1990 Dir: Bill Bixby. 95 mins
The third and final TV movie outing for Lou Ferrigno’s trouser stretching, shirt ripping Hulk. Bill Bixby is back as the unfortunate Dr David Bruce Banner who when he gets angry turns into the Hulk. This time around Banner goes by the name David Bellamy and masquerades as a mentally challenged janitor at a scientific research facility. At this facility there is a scientist who may hold the key to helping Bellamy cure him of his Gamma induced stress problem. Bellamy isn’t the only one who has a keen interest in this research as a Russian spy known as Jasmin is sent to infiltrate the facility and steal the research.
Though Jasmin was blackmailed into doing this one final job she gets turned on by the Russian group when things don’t go right. They in turn break into the facility and kidnap the scientist who holds the answer to Bellamy’s cure. Jasmin eventually teams up with Bellamy to help him save the scientist and his wife but at an unfortunate cost of Bellamy’s own life.
Bill Bixby stepped behind the camera once again to direct this TV movie and it features more scientific research then the previous two TV movies. Despite the previous two TV movies having good ratings this third outing saw disappointing ratings and is often considered the weaker of the three movies. Hulk appears stronger in this TV movie then he ever did in the television series and the previous two TV movies, giving a good showing for Ferrigno’s impressive physique. The title of this movie is in fact correct as it does feature the death of the Hulk but it is a fitting end (if a little lacklustre) to a character that live action career started in 1978. Rumours of a fourth TV movie titled ‘The Revenge Of The Incredible Hulk‘ in the works was put to rest due to Bill Bixby’s death in 1993. This would have saw the rebirth of the Hulk character but of course this never happened. The next time Hulk would appear in live-action form would be in the 2003 Ang Lee film HULK starring Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, notable for the cameo appearances of Lou Ferrigno and Stan Lee as security guards.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins