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One of the first jobs I ever had was with a catering company. Imagine
our excitement being hired on for the desert-location filming of
MEGAFORCE! Everyone involved with the film seemed quite confident that
it was going to become a smash summer hit.
Watching the filming at Nevada's dry lakes, it did feel like something monumentous was in the making, but nobody could have imagined just how negative a reaction this movie was going to receive. I almost didn't want to see it, but curiosity got the better of me. Truthfully, I don't think it's nearly as horrible as many have made it out to be, though it's certainly not *good*, either. There's enough vehicle stunts, random explosions, and weapons futurismo to keep average 12-year-olds very entertained, and I think that may be exactly what Hal Needham intended for this project.
I still have a box filled with t-shirts, ball-caps, and other promotional crap emblazoned with "DEEDS, NOT WORDS". It may not have the iconic carriage of, say, "MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU", but I'll keep these things for posterity, anyhow...
...and I hope everyone on the set enjoyed the food...
I was very excited as a kid when this movie was being released to the
theaters. The US Military was apparently on location studying this one
on location to design the future of warfare.
It was STUNNING when Leonard Maltin reviewed this film on television and was so offended by it that he gave it a ZERO out of ten.
My childhood friend and I went to see it on the opening weekend and were completely blown away by it's crazy energy. Adding to the amazement of the day was that the theater was almost totally empty. We 'owned' the place, as if the film was made totally for us.
Back then all we had was allowance money, but decided that we *HAD* to see it again. We considered rushing back that week, but decided to wait for the following weekend and to our horror it was gone! It was one of the tackiest movies ever made, but the energy was like Rambo II on steroids.
"Normal" people will probably never bother with this one, but if you do watch at *LEAST* the first 10 minutes, and see the ultra cool military-machinegun-rocket-motor bike intro scene. The music and editing made me want to join Megaforce.
Never before, and never again shall we see one like this...and but for we happy few, the whole world missed it. The audience for this one were as few and elite as the Megaforce itself! I still laugh with glee about this film.
I had a sculpture teacher in grad school who would have found MEGAFORCE
a working truistic proof of his revelatory comment one day during a
pointless, time-wasting studio critique of a student who obviously had
no interest in making art when he said "You have to approach art on the
level of Beavis & Butt-Head some days. Stuff either sucks, or it rules,
and I am sorry but your work this semester totally sucks."
Roger would have been a big fan of MEGAFORCE, which I have concluded does indeed rule. This movie represents a high point, a watershed mark in western culture which has never since been surpassed. I will leave plot & character issues to other commenter's -- This movie is either the dumbest piece of crap ever made by the worst director in history, or it is a form of kitsch masterpiece that is astoundingly honest about how utterly brainless it's concept & execution were. The movie has zero pretense to be anything other than exactly what it is -- a stupid, loud, moronic action movie with heroic music, explosions, vehicular stunts, funky looking high tech junk, tight spandexed jumpsuits, helicopters, jingoistic catch phrase dialog that seems to have been randomly chosen from old episodes of The Superfriends, and Henry Silva.
Henry Silva is one of those actors whom I marvel at with open admiration: His ability to make the ridiculous seem perfectly natural is on the same level as Boris Karloff, and every role he appears in becomes a Henry Silva performance. Here he is somewhat more animated than the usual cold as a railroad track on a frozen February morning hired killer seen in his more typical work as various paid assassins. You have not truly lived until you have seen Henry Silva blow up people with his bazooka in THE BOSS & DEATH COMMANDO. A lot of people may dismiss him as an "actor", but as a character performer he is right up there with Harry Dean Stanton and Ivor Francis as one of the most ubiquitously recognizable bad guys from decades of TV & movies. Mr. Silva, wherever you are, your work is invaluable, and MEGAFORCE is yet another stunning achievement.
Back to the movie, though, this is going to be one of those things you either "get" or don't, like The Three Stooges, Tom Waits, professional wrestling or Rush Limbaugh. You are either going to instantly love it or wonder why anyone on Earth would consider it to be entertaining, let alone having cultural value. Art should always be subjective though, and it should be up to those who consume it to evaluate culture for themselves rather than allow some idiot to do it for you. MEGAFORCE is a lesson in subjective taste: It is either a masterpiece or an embarrassment, will provoke extreme reaction both for and against -- and both sentiments are equally legitimate. It is only those who are not moved that I pity.
MEGAFORCE can also serve as a time capsule for people who want to remember what it was like to be 9 or so, and ranks up there with THE HUMANOID starring Richard "Jaws" Keil and YOR, HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE with Reb Brown as amongst the most stupid, ham-boned, addle minded but enjoyable science fiction movies from the 1980's. You are not supposed to learn anything at ALL, and if you do that's your own stupid fault. The movies exist as pure entertainment -- One sight of the Megaforce rolling into battle on their stupid mocked-up motorcycles and absurd missile launcher armored dune buggies while going against a column of military tanks was all it took for me to make my decision. The kinetic explosions & stunts afterward were just icing on the cake: This is easily one of the coolest movies ever made, and if you don't get it you never will.
This movie is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I was an 11 tomboy when it came out and lapped it up. The story's cheesy, the acting way over the top and Introvision left a lot to be desired as an effect process, but still it was fun. Barry Bostwick was a hottie in this film, which is not how I'd usually describe him. Although I had more of a crush on Michael Beck as Dallas. Even as an adult, I still enjoy the heck out of it as whey filled as it is. This is one film that I'm waiting with baited breath to come out on DVD, hopefully in widescreen so I can enjoy it on my 60" widescreen. Megaforce, in my opinion, followed by The Pirate Movie and The Ice Pirates would be the greatest 80's Cheese Ball movie festival ever.
This is my absolute favourite movie to watch to make fun of with
Have you ever seen an MST3K film? This movie would make great fodder. The stunts are cheesy, including possibly the worst blue screen ever, the acting is bad, the plot is laughable ... everything is so bad that it flips into being awesome.
I highly recommend this movie if you are in the mood to laugh AT a movie, not WITH it. Watching it by yourself is not really recommended. I had to rate it highly, even though it's not actually a "good" movie because I do think people will enjoy watching it.
This movie was definitely a big, fat, fun time...If you're on a low protein diet, watch out, 'cause this movie is chock full o' cheese, cheese, cheese. I really enjoyed watching this movie. The special effects are ok, especially given that the movie was made in 1982. But the gadgets are way,way cool(I want them all!), and the people who made this movie never take themselves or the movie too seriously. If you can imagine Barry Bostwick w/blond hair, then this is the movie for you! As previously stated, the cheese factor is high, but that's the best part of this movie. If you're looking for ground-breaking cinema, don't look here. But, if you want a good laugh & a good time, this film provides you with both.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Megaforce is another underrated gem, you had to be there to experience it.
Barry Bostwick is GOD. He plays Ace Hunter, the brash and daring leader of
the elite phantom army Megaforce. This flick was PC even before PC was the
in thing, by showing Megaforce as encompasing races and ethnicities of the
West (NATO). Hal Needham delivers non-stop, this movie is more noises,
bangs, rockets, explosions, guns, tanks, airplanes and cool music. The
great theme music by Jerrol Immel (of Dallas fame). Music note: Who ever
plays those drums are tearing up that drum kit when Ace is chasing the
C-130. The love scene rivals the GREATEST LOVE scene in a movie (which the
greatest love scene is in Superman: The Movie), this one takes place free
falling between Bostwick and Khambatta. Great ending credits song by 707
"Megaforce (Calling out to You).
Special Effects: okay, not the greatest but movies back then caused you to
use your imagination more. Megaforce's hangar looks like an airplane
museum, but hey, it works.
"You should see our other bases with our boats..." explains Dallas, hence a
Megaforce 2 being set up. Still waiting...
Please release this on DVD, widescreen. This is NOT MSTheater fodder. I miss your movies Mr. Needham.
I remember this film, because its the first film I ever walked out of. And for this-then action film-obsessed 14-year old, for a film to be so utterly bad that he felt his lack of intelligence being insulted, well that was like a 2 year old telling his mother that the Teletubbies were stupid. I remember when I was first getting into movies, and I would keep a log of what films I saw, when I saw em, and what I rated em (I think I used a scale of 1-to-10), I recall this one getting my first ZERO. More recently I am pleased to find that when I ask others about the film that most people have never heard of it. A few months ago I saw it late night on cable and finally saw the film's ending, and I must say that is as that two year old would say, "stupid". Utterly, embarrassingly, mind-boggingly stupid.
As noted, this movie isn't even really good for watching for the unintentional humor. Barry Bostwick is the least believable action hero of all time, and somewhere, someone seems to have thought Persis Khambatta was an interesting, attractive, exotic beauty with screen presence: Megaforce proves this theory, however unlikely, dead wrong. Basically an ego-vehicle for Hal Needham, who tries to cash in on the success the Smokey and the Bandit movies attached (undeservingly) to his name. Definite proof he should have stuck to stunt work.
Please remember that when you are judging this movie, you are doing so with the jaded eyes of a sophisticated 21st century movie-goer. The acting was bad (Barry Bostwick acted with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek and Michael Beck still had the taste of Xanadu in his mouth...ptuey!), the effects were cheesy and the plot could have been at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre! That being said, when I saw the movie in theaters I was 12 years old; the target audience. The movie was made for me because I lacked the ability to criticize something that just looked so cool! If there were motorcycles, tanks, dune buggies and lasers then how can it be a bad movie? Simple times, simple pleasures, simple movie. I only wish I could now sit and watch a movie with such abandon. Oh yea, the song at the end by 707 really rocked!
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