The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990 TV Movie)
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Bixby as David Banner had such pathos and dignity. Being older than most reviewers here, I remember fondly the late Bill Bixby in "My Favorite Martian" (another TV series unwisely and embarrassingly updated for the big screen....think "The Flintstones," "Mission Impossible," "Wild Wild West," "I Spy," etc - all complete and utter dead losses) But as I was saying, Bixby was an utter gentleman, and in this film he gives us the tortured scientist who carries this unwanted creature of destruction within him. He conveys vividly, his pain, his desperation and his regret for his wayward experimentation. Bana in the remake was a totally miscast idiotic wuss and with less credibility than the tea lady. Everything Bixby and Ferrigno stood for was washed down the plughole in two hours of split-screen insensitivity and dumbass special effects. Ferrigno...green and in tight beach shorts looks way better!
I recently bought this DVD for a miserable $2.95 in a bargain-bin. It is the only time I have ever felt saddened by the fact. This film and Bixby himself should never have been thus demeaned.This is a movie that is far better than its production values might otherwise suggest. Bixby directs (and acts) with commendable emotion.
At the end, it is almost as if he sensed his own approaching mortality. The Hulk had been such a huge part of his life, those two words "I'm free" might be seen as pretty much his epitaph.
If you laugh at this film, you should never have been watching it!
Bill Bixby directed this made-for-t.v.-movie. He also stars as the world weary David Banner. Lou Ferrigno reprises his most famous role, The Incredible Hulk. Even though Mr. Bixby has passed on, he'll always be remembered for his role as David B_ _ _!
Recommended for die-hard Incredible Hulk fans.
When you consider all the things the Hulk survived throughout the TV series (such as being buried alive, electrocutions, poisoning, car accidents, being shot, drowning, and even having a car collapse on him), it's implausible that he could die by simply falling from an airplane. In fact, he survived a similar incident on the show (episode "Free Fall")!
The story was good, though. However, since many believed that this was the end of the TV saga for our green hero, they must have been surprised that his nemesis, newspaper reporter Jack McGee, was nowhere to be seen. This meant that McGee missed his last chance for closure!
But it turned out that there were plans for a follow-up entitled The Revenge of the Incredible Hulk (a.k.a. The Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk). Unfortunately, it was never filmed because of Bill Bixby's untimely death (from prostate cancer). So when Bixby died, plans for another HULK TV-movie went with him. :(
Sadly, the Hulk's death also ended up meaning the death of David Banner, whose final words were: "I am free." To David Banner and the Hulk: may you both rest in peace.
Bill Bixby himself looks to be in top form, which is terribly ironic considering his tragic death of cancer 2 years later. But for what it's worth, this episode is like a time machine to that classic show from the 70s. Its only flaw is the lack of Jack Colvin ("Mr. McGee") as the third major character in the Hulk series.
About the story... everyone listen up. "The Incredible Hulk" is, was, and always shall be an adaptation of a comic book. It dwells in a surreal world where bizarre characters like Thor, Daredevil and evil Russian spies make their entrances and exits, and we the audience aren't supposed to get bent out of shape. It's a world where nothing is unbelievable. So if you're going to be a cynical, skeptical, stinky mcpoophead, then go watch "On Golden Pond" and leave the fun to the rest of us kiddies.
With that said, though, this is by far the most realistic of the Hulk trilogy. In plot, acting and direction, it shows a level of maturity unlike its predecessors. Some very sobering themes are touched upon here, made all the more tragic in the context of director/star Bill Bixby's real life battle with cancer. One can't help but wonder if, in this film, the creature was a metaphor for Mr. Bixby's own condition and his attempts to free himself. Keep that in mind as you watch the film and I promise it will leave you stunned and amazed.
The final scene is just breathtaking. I won't ruin it, but I'll just say it has to be one of the most memorable scenes in all of film. As you see it, pay attention to the darkness and surreal lighting, listen to song which is playing, consider the very last line (cliché as it may seem, it's absolutely perfect), and take your hat off to the great Bill Bixby.
The Incredible Hulk was one of the few 'adult' Tv shows that I would sit, watch and enjoy from around 4 years old.
Despite his size and rather odd colouring I found him rather charming with a vulnerability that made him rather cute...
Bill Bixby played Banner wonderfully...I had no idea he was dead until I read his bio...it's really quite sad
I will always associate him with The Hulk...I don't have a favourite episode as they were all brilliant...I cried when he died
I am glad that they didn't bring him back from the dead...Some say that the death of the Hulk bought about the death of Bixby...but I believe that maybe it was meant to be...that way the actor and character who he made truly real both went together...both finding the freedom that they had both deserved.
I like the fact that they made this kind of like a spy thriller. It was probably the last of the Cold War movies. Some of the scenes in this film were worthy of a good James Bond thriller, only not so many gadgets. All in all, a good but sad farewell to Bill Bixby. 7 out of 10.
A good conclusion to the Bixby/Ferrigno Hulk saga. This is a well written and acted finale which brings the story to an end, and while it's sad it's not disappointing. In fact it's quite fitting.
David's last words are "I am free" and that's the real truth. He was damned when he injected the gamma rays into his body and there was simply no other way of being free
End of spoiler
The story here is interesting, well written and suspenseful. This movie is a huge leap over the previous The Incredible Hulk Returns and The Trial of the Incredible Hulk which went for camp instead of drama. No such mistake made here as David's quest finally comes to an end.
As always Bixby is magnificent and Ferrigno as well. The other characters are well played by some very fine actors. The Incredible Hulk not only gets to have an ending but fortunately it's a good one as well.
Anyway I think this was a good final chapter to the Original Hulk and a new one will begin next Summer with the 2003 big budget outing. To answer you 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.
This is the third and final TV movie following on from the TV series. First came 'The Incredible Hulk Returns' which although nostalgic at the story continuing, it was quite laughable with the appearance of Thor. Then came 'The Trial of the Incredible Hulk', which I haven't seen for a long while. It featured Daredevil and from what I remember, it is that much cop either.
Now we come to this instalment, 'The Death of the Incredible Hulk'. This is a completely different kettle of fish. Gone are the usual opening titles and the first scenes see Bill Bixby's Dr David Banner (Bellamy) apparently a cleaner with a submissive perhaps with learning difficulties. It is uncomfortable viewing for the usual Hulk viewer as it is out of character. Watching the film soon shows you why he is acting like that.
The film itself is basically about the fight to make a perfect soldier, both to end all wars and to use within wars. This is probably classed as one of the last Cold war films. It is a simple good versus evil tale.
The tone is quite different from most Hulk work and Bixby, looking tired plays it to perfection. It is one of the few occasions where Banner reveals who he is to people. In fact, the scene where Banner see a video recording of The Hulk for the first time is moving. Hardly and dialogue, however the facial expression says it all. During the film Banner comes close to getting the cure he so desires.
The final scenes of the film are actually very moving. Especially for those who have followed the Hulk. (I have never seen the two new Hulk films, to me The Hulk is Bixby and Ferrigno and always will be). I had heard/read that The Hulk feel from a plane and died but what did happen came as a little surprise. As he clambered into a plane a gunshot goes off blowing it up. Now, we do see a conscious Hulk falling a very long way. Now I have read that he had survived a fall like this in the TV Series. However, you must question that perhaps being at ground zero so to speak of the explosion was enough to kill him. He was fully conscious though. It must be said the music used as he falls "And Something Ends' is truly beautiful and fits perfectly what is about to happen.
The stand out moments happen here. Firstly, during the music we see The Hulk talk! He mouthes the name 'Jasmine' who he had fallen in love with during the film. Sadly, we don't hear it as it is during the music. Then we see Banner say 'I am free'. Whether The Hulk within him died, then, he died as well or The Hulk died because Banner was dying is an interesting talking point. Either way, it was moving yet sad as Banner never got a chance to live without this demon.
One omission is that of Mr McGee. How poignant and touching would it have been to have him at The Hulk's death. Perhaps seeing for the first time what this creature had made Banner into and how it affected his life perhaps would have been a good resolution.
As a footnote, this wasn't meant to be the last film! The 4th in the series had two working titles: 'The Revenge of the Incredible Hulk' & 'The Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk'. The storyline would have seen The Hulk revived with Dr David Banner's mind. To me, I would have loved to have seen this. But due to Bixby's sad passing just three years later it never came to be. In hindsight, this ending now fits perfectly.
For those of you thinking of rewatching the TV series, make sure you make you way through the episodes and then end with this. A truly moving journey and highly recommended.
In February 1990, I was in my senior year of high school and was once again excited about a third Incredible Hulk reunion movie, but like Lou Ferrigno said in his book "My Incredible Life as the Hulk", I didn't like the title. After seeing Thor and Daredevil injected into the previous two reunion movies, I was expecting to see the She Hulk, which I'd heard about. Thankfully, there were no guests in this movie. Like I said, this was Back to Basics.
The late great Bill Bixby was my idol, hero, role model, whatever term you want to use and he truly gave us a wonderful but disappointing reunion movie. His final performance as Dr. David Banner alias David Bellamy I felt was worthy of a TV Emmy Award. In the beginning, he pretends to be a very shy, slow minded janitor. Lou Ferrigno also gave an unforgettable performance as the Hulk, even though this would be the last time he would literally get greened up for the role physically. I loved Elizabeth Gracen. A very beautiful actress and model. When I saw her in Playboy, I thought,man! Was Bix ever lucky to work with her!! Especially in that love scene. Dr. Ronald Pratt and Amy were very lovable. They became like surrogate parents to David Banner and I loved the closeness they shared since Banner had no one in the world at that point. I really enjoyed the Hulkout in the lab for study. Just before his Hulkout, we see brief flashback scenes from the 1977 pilot movie in Banner's mind.
Bill Bixby was the main man in this movie. not only was he the star, he was also the director and executive producer. As Lou Ferrigno said in his book, This movie was Bill Bixby's baby, more than any of the others. What really surprised me was that very brief soft core love scene between David Banner and Jasmine. That scene completely took me by surprise.
Finally, I felt the same way many Hulkaholics like myself feel regarding the ending. Our hero dies at the end. I felt like we got ripped off twice. We never got to see an appropriate ending for the series because the jackass running CBS at the time axed the show. And now in this final movie, The Hulk dies, but that also means David Banner dies.
This movie is truly sad to watch now knowing that Bill Bixby would die three years later and that plans to do the Revenge of the Incredible Hulk would never be. Just like the Psychic episode with Brenda Benet who would later commit suicide. The one thing that kills the movie for me is the unforgivable omission of Jack McGee. I can understand his absence from the Trial, but this movie should have had him in there. My idea would be for him to discover who John Doe is at the end and when Banner dies, Jack McGee finally loses his mind and probably winds up having to be placed in a mental institution after losing his story of the century forever.
But still the Death of the Incredible Hulk is a good way of going out with a blaze of glory, even though I would have preferred David Banner getting cured and marrying Jasmine. Bill Bixby, you will be forever missed. I give this final movie two thumbs up!
The plot is a straightforward adventure that pits the Hulk and a newfound love interest for David Banner against a group of nefarious spies for whom industrial sabotage, kidnapping, and murder are the order of the day. Of course, all this had to happen just when it seemed that Banner would finally rid himself of the Hulk curse, but then if everything had gone right it wouldn't have made for a very dramatic story.
This TV movie lacks the presence of the other superhero characters from the last two movies (Thor in THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS and Daredevil in THE TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK) but nevertheless proves to be a fun watch, thanks to plenty of Hulk-out action from the reliable Lou Ferrigno and a surprisingly decent turn from a thoughtful Bixby. It's no classic, but at least it brings closure to a much-loved phenomenon.
This is the best of the trilogy of Hulk movies since the series ended, a lot say why wasn't Jack McGee in this, the final Hulk movie? after all the years chasing him he should have been there at the end. I was one of those who thought that but after getting info from various sources i can understand why he wasn't there. It seems this wasn't meant to be the final Hulk movie.
There was talk of yet another Marvel character appearing in this movie, none other that Iron Man but it never happened. Another character was mentioned She-Hulk and i for one would love to have seen this but once again it never happened. but the Iron Man story was rumored to still go ahead in a later Hulk movie.
Whats really sad is with all the plans to keep this great Hulk movie series going ended with the very sad and untimely death of Bill Bixby. I would love to have seen what wonderful ideas they had planned and would have loved to have known what Bill would have thought about the new Hulk and Marvel movies. I'd like to think he would have been involved, either directing or a consultant or something like that.
A lot of Hulk fans from series and the early trilogy of movies have expressed how much they hated the modern version of the Hulk movie in the 2000's. I am a Hulk fan and love the series and all the movies old and new and so glad that Lou was involved in the new ones too.
I have to say that this movie has some great scenes, great action and a much darker feel to it with some great characters ad a new love interest for David (Jasmine). I'm not going to give away much of what happens but it all eventually heads towards what the title says but as they had plans for more Hulk movies it just can't be the death of the Incredible Hulk....can it??...noooo you cannot kill him off he's my hero lol. Anyway if you want to know more you gotta watch this, this one is a must see. Its a cracker and would have been a great twist in story back when this was 1st shown.
I just want to end on another idea i saw Lou mention in an interview. That was to have The Hulk talk and would have probably been in the next movie. This idea was strengthened by something that happened near the end of the movie. I read that the Hulk spoke near the end, i had to check it again and indeed we see...(not hear because for some reason the sound was taken off)...The Hulk mouth the name "Jasmine" and if you have the DVD and chose a non English dialog in the settings you will hear him say it. I wish they had kept it in the English version it would have added so much more to the movie.
So if you feel sad about the way this movie turned out, don't be because it was not going to end and the sad part is 2 of the main stars (Bill and Jack) we grew up watching in this awesome series are no longer with us.
Thank you to all involved with bringing The Hulk to our TV screens and the movie screens and a special thanks to Stan Lee from bringing The Hulk to life in the 1st place...long live The Hulk.
(SPOILERS AHEAD) This movie was mainly good except for one bad point which I will get to later. Firstly, it was good because it had all the usual things one expects from a Hulk show-action, intrigue and plenty of destruction.
It's also an extremely sad movie. I had watched the Hulk series from beginning to end and to be honest it was a little bit too emotional watching the Hulk/Banner die. I watched this movie in 1990 and I must admit that I felt like crying. The late Bill Bixby did a great job throughout the series conveying Banner's emotions to us. As he lay on the concrete at the end and muttered, "I am free..." before dying I was quite emotional. Seeing Banner pass away without every truly curing himself was a little bit too much. I suppose death was a cure for Banner but it was still one of the saddest scenes ever in a movie.
I only have one complaint with the film and I notice it is a complaint brought up by others who have reviewed this movie. It was the omission of Jack McGee from the movie. McGee was an integral part of the Hulk series. Throughout the series McGee followed the Hulk across the States and it was a bit hard to accept that McGee would not have followed the Hulk to this adventure. It was bad enough that Trial of the Incredible Hulk had omitted McGee but not having an integral character like McGee in the final film was quite bad. It is a crime committed by countless TV shows. The writers should have included McGee-even if they had to use a different actor. It would have been really interesting to see McGee standing over the dying body of David Banner exchanging words. Perhaps something like Banner saying, "You can't pursue me any more McGee" and McGee coming to realize that he had ruined a man's life for the sake of selling newspapers. The movie could have ended with McGee feeling remorse and apologizing to Banner before he passed away.
That may sound over the top but any fan of the Hulk will probably tell you that this final movie should have included McGee.
All in all, it wasn't a bad film. Rest in peace Hulk.
PLOT AND MAIN CAST: Masquerading as a mentally challenged custodian, David Banner (Bill Bixby) gains access to an Oregon research facility believing that the studies of one of the scientists there, Dr. Pratt (Philip Sterling), may hold the key to curing his gamma-induced curse. Unfortunately, a blackmailed Russian ex-spy named Jasmin (Elizabeth Gracen) inadvertently puts a wrench in Banner's plans. Lou Ferrigno plays the jade giant while Anna Katarina appears as Jasmin's sister. Barbara Tarbuck is on hand as Pratt's wife while Andreas Katsulas plays a Russian heavy.
This wasn't supposed to be the last Hulk movie with Bixby and Ferrigno. There were plans for a follow-up called "The Revenge of the Incredible Hulk" (otherwise known as "The Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk"). Regrettably, these plans were scrapped supposedly due to Bixby's diminishing health and unfortunate death in 1993 from prostate cancer while others claim that it was due to the disappointing ratings for this movie.
What I like about these Bixby/Ferrigno Hulk movies (and the series in general) is their serious, melancholic tone. You won't find any eye-rolling campiness, like in the 60's Batman series; the inclusion of Thor in "The Incredible Hulk Returns" (1988) is the closest it comes to that (which, by the way, is the most entertaining of the Bixby/Ferrigno Hulk movies). Of course these movies (and the series) are held back by their limited TV budget but, if you can handle that, they're worth checking out. I like the way Bixby shot for moving artistry with the final sequence in this movie and was partially successful.
THE FILM RUNS 95 minutes and was shot in the Vancouver, B.C., area. WRITER: Gerald Di Pego.
Unfortunately, international spies want the cure as well, and David must defeat them in order to finally bring his long journey to an end.
I don't want to reveal the ending, only that it did choke me up, since the last line spoken is so moving, and so well directed by Bill Bixby, that it pains me to pan the film overall, since the plot is uninspired and confused. Not to mention the absence of Jack Colvin as Mr. McGee was a real shame; fans deserved closure with this character, but didn't get it, nor was series creator Kenneth Johnson involved, and though this film is a big step-up from Thor & Daredevil misfires, there was still the undeniable soul of the series missing.
But that end is powerful indeed...Goodbye David; not the way I wanted to see closure to your story, but it's the best we'll ever get. You are free dear friend...