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The Carol of the....

Chuck Norris is in this one! Sadly, I have just given away the high point of Bells of Innocence. Happily (?), I will continue to review it. Chuck Norris is personally responsible for the three best actors in this film, as they are himself, his son, and his granddaughter. But that doesn't surprise you, does it?

You ever notice how so many horror movies talk about evil and the devil but don't mention God? So did the makers of Bells of Innocence.

Your protagonists are three men flying bibles to a church in Mexico via a small plane. Two of the men are churchgoing family men. The third (Mike Norris, Chuck's son) used to have a family and go to church a lot ... until his daughter ran out in traffic and got killed, and his wife blamed him and left, and then he stopped going to church so much. In fact, after he wakes up, he puts a bullet in his handgun, spins the barrel, and fails to kill himself.

So these three guys and their plane o'bibles are mysteriously forced down in the desert. But they hear church bells nearby, and set out toward them.

What they find is a mysterious town. A town where the inhabitants have heard of neither beer nor football. As lunargeography said, "These guys are from Texas. They walk into a town with no beer where no one's even heard of football, and they don't immediately realize they're in hell?"

The town is run by a mysterious man named Legion Emeritus.

Mike Norris' character (named "Jux") is approached by the third-best actor in the film, Gabby Di Ciolli ("Lyric"), who is about the same age as his dead daughter. She's the agent of temptation.

Of course, there's a force for good. Chuck's character "Matthew" lives just outside the benighted town, and seems to know what's going on. Although he can't interfere directly, the townsfolk can't cross over onto his property without his permission.

For those who are slow on the uptake, Emeritus calls forth Satanic zombies in an ominous shot, as the sun sets, and they claw their way up from underground. Then it's daytime, and we never see them again.

There is also an Ominous (OMG! Literally "OMG") scene where the main characters see the town's church ... and its bellless steeple (dun dun dun!).

Chuck Norris utterly fails to kick anyone's ass in this movie (even though he's an Angel Confronted by Great Evil, and Possesses A Great Deal of Gravitas). There is just enough God in the movie to make you go "Oh! It's God! Hello, God!" but not so much to make you go "Just shut up about God already! He's so third-century!"

Although the only use for the Mexican church expecting the Bibles is for a scene when they discuss how the missing men might have ended up in a mysterious town named Ceres. One of the parishioners essentially says, "Ceres is unholy -- it's Hell!" and a cross falls off the wall. That's it. Not virtually it. Not kind of it or mostly it or almost entirely it. Literally it.

How does the movie end? Does good triumph over evil? Are you kidding me? What do you expect?

Not really good enough to be interesting, and not really bad enough to be entertaining, this movie falls into the wide fallow ground where Smithee overlaps listless on the Venn diagram.

This one is only for the Chuck Norris hardcore fans (*cough*lunargeography*cough*).