A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Megaforce

January 1, 2011

Megaforce

“The good guys always win – even in the Eighies.”

As sometimes happens with us this movie is not what we thought it was. When we bought this wonderful piece of cheese we thought it was the classic low-budget action film Warrior of the Lost World starring Persis Khambatta and the Paper Chase guy as featured on MST3K. In fact is is a marvelously eighties military fantasy starring Persis Khambatta and Brad from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And oh, is this movie awesome!

Apparently in 1982 the guy who directed Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run made a kind of live action G.I. Joe movie aimed at eleven year old boys. It involves a top secret military organization funded and staffed by the collective nations of the free world. Their job is to execute military maneuvers behind enemy lines using the most advanced technological machines known to man.

Using a collection of high tech dune buggies and motorcycles outfitted with chameleon paint, missile launchers, lasers, holograph projectors and other secret doodads the multi-racial and multi-national Megafoce gang are sent on a mission to lure a mercenary warlord out of the country of Gollybia by destroying an ammo dump and then leading him on a merry chase. The plan is that once they lure Guerera across the boarder allied troops (who are not allowed to cross the boarder for fear of creating an international incident) can fall upon him with their tanks and whatnot and destroy him. Unfortunately for Megaforce their strike is too overwhelmingly successful and as they approach the boarder they are told that they cannot return to allied soil because it would then be to obvious that the destruction they wrought was a blatant act of war. So they are trapped behind enemy lines and Guerera is waiting for them in the dry lake bed which is the only possible landing spot for their troop transports so they have no way to get out. Oh no!

It’s not much of a plot, but really it’s just an excuse for a whole bunch of stuff to explode in a desert. The first twenty minutes or so of the movie are the best part – with general Byrne-White (Edward Mulhare, the boss from Knight Rider) and Major Zara (Persis Khambatta from Star Trek: The Motion Picture) touring the secret underground Megaforce base. It’s a vast underground lair with multiple levels that include fine dining, residential areas and a cinema. If I, at eleven years old, had been told to design the secret underground lair of a secret fighting force with unlimited funds this is the lair I would have designed. We meet a few representatives of the Megaforce crew including country redneck Dallas (played by Michael Beck from The Warriors,) Zachary Taylor (the black one) and Suki (the Asian one – played by Evan Kim of Kentucky Fried Movie fame.) Oh, and their resident Q-analogue Dr. Eggman Eggstrom, who has invented all kinds of amazing tech – such as the computerised monitoring system that listens in on every conversation in every military base in the world. And of course there’s the hotshot leader of Megaforce, Ace Hunter. Ace Hunter wears a jumpsuit with his motorcycle helmet lashed to one leg and has a huge mop of blond hair held in a giant tower by a bandanna. Barry Bostwick seems to have some trouble walking in the getup a few times, but he doesn’t let it phase him – he just plays Ace as the biggest hammy G.I. Joe stereotype you can imagine.

The nefarious villain, Duke Guerera, is played by Henry Silva – who very clearly took this job for a quick buck. Duke and Ace used to be fast friends sometime in the past, but Duke stole Ace’s lighter, so now they’re bitter foes. I shit you not! That’s the actual explanation given for their falling out!

After the whole “meet the team” section of the movie it’s off to the desert to blow some stuff up. And for the next forty minutes or so there’s nothing but things blowing up. The stunts and action have an A-Team sort of quality to them with masses of enemy troops being completely unable to hit our heroes while the good guys destroy everything in their path. There is a vast army of stunt men on motorcycles here, and I kind of get the impression that Hal Needham (being a stuntman himself in addition to a writer and director) was sort of making a lot of work for his buddies. I also get the impression that much of the action was blocked out by kids crouching in the sand with action figures. If the words “pew-pew you’re dead now!” were not uttered during the production of this film I will be astonished.

I’m kind of flabbergasted by this movie. During the climax of the film, as the Megaforce team are making their escape and Ace literally flies his motorcycle off the ground and into the fleeing troop transport Henry Silva’s character Duke has this gobsmacked look of utter disbelief on his face – and it was that exact look that was on our faces as we watched. This movie clearly had a pretty large budget what with all the missiles, explosions, smokescreens, motorcycles and stunts. Somebody at 20th Century Fox shelled out an awful lot of dough to make this utterly unbelievably cheesy and awful movie. Thank goodness, because how else could treasures like this come into being. I’m shattered that they never made a sequel where we could see their ocean base and high tech boats (which Dallas mentions offhandedly at one point.)

January 1, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Does the lighter say “Love, Ann”?

    Comment by Doc Wheat | January 2, 2011 | Reply


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