Megaforce

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MegaForce
Megaforceposter.jpg
MegaForce movie poster
Directed by Hal Needham
Produced by Andre Morgan
Albert S. Ruddy
Written by Robert S. Kachler[1]
André Morgan
Hal Needham
Albert S. Ruddy
James Whittaker
Starring Barry Bostwick
Michael Beck
Persis Khambatta
Edward Mulhare
Music by Jerrold Immel
Cinematography Michael C. Butler
Editing by Patrick Roark
Skip Schoolnik
Studio Golden Harvest
Northshore Investments Ltd.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox (USA)
Toho-Towa (Japan)[2]
Release dates June 25, 1982
Running time 99 min.
Country United States
Hong Kong
Language English
Budget $20 million[3]
Box office $5,675,599

Megaforce (or MegaForce), is an action film made in 1982 directed by former stuntman Hal Needham. The film starred Barry Bostwick, Persis Khambatta, Michael Beck, Edward Mulhare, Evan C. Kim, Ralph Wilcox, and Henry Silva.

The film featured a "phantom Army of super elite fighting men whose weapons are the most powerful science can devise", including realistic 3-D holograms and combat vehicles such as a motorcycle called the "Delta MK 4 Megafighter" equipped with missile launchers. The movie included extreme scenarios such as motorcycles and dune buggies launching missiles which proved lethal for main battle tanks. The dune buggies, "megadestroyers" or "megacruisers", also had lasers that could destroy a tank in a single shot. The vehicles were also coated with a photo-sensitive paint that was a white, tan, and black lightning-bolt scheme during the day and darkened to a solid black camouflage at night. In the film finale, the main character's motorcycle activates small (~2 ft or 0.6 m) fold-out wings and flies.

The movie was made into a computer game most notably for the Atari 2600.

The film was a critical and commercial failure in its release and was nominated for three Razzie Awards, Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Supporting Actor (Michael Beck).

A sequel titled Deeds Not Words was considered, but it was scrapped due to poor performance of the original film. Delta Force, the 1986 Chuck Norris blockbuster, had a plot very similar to MegaForce, and in the movie, Norris rides a motorbike which fires missiles.

Plot synopsis[edit]

The story involves two fictional countries, the peaceful Republic of Sardun and their aggressive neighbor Gamibia. Unable to defend themselves from the Gamibia incursion, Sardun sends Major Zara (Persis Khambatta) and General Byrne-White (Edward Mulhare) to ask the help of MegaForce – a secret mercenary army composed of international soldiers of fortune, equipped with advanced weapons and vehicles. The MegaForce leader, Commander Ace Hunter (Barry Bostwick) accepts the peacekeeping mission when he learns his rival, and former military academy friend, Duke Gurerra (Henry Silva) is leading the Gamibia invasion.

While Hunter composes an elaborate battle plan to destroy Gurerra's forces, Zara tries out to become a member of MegaForce. Although she passes the tests, Hunter's growing feelings of love toward her prevent him from accepting her on for such a dangerous mission.

Eventually, MegaForce successfully para-drops its attack vehicles into Gamibia and Hunter mounts his sneak attack against Gurerra's forces. Although they manage to destroy his base, Gurerra has set a trap for them at the team's only means of escape – a dry lake bed where the cargo planes will pick them up. Gurerra sends his tanks to secure the lake bed while Hunter comes up with a plan to attack Gurerra from behind by crossing over a mountain range the enemy tanks had turned their backs toward.

The plan succeeds, and MegaForce manages to break through Gurerra's tanks, but one of MegaForce's cargo planes is damaged in the process. Having to abandon their hi-tech vehicles, (which they program to self-destruct), the team successfully makes it on foot to the last plane, except for Hunter. The commander, instead, makes his own dramatic escape on his motorcycle after it deploys airfoils and a rocket motor and catches up with the cargo plane in midair. Although he has lost the battle, Gurerra shows admiration for Hunter's cunning, and he gives his old friend a thumbs up.

In popular culture[edit]

In the DVD introduction to the season two South Park episode, "The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka", Trey Parker graphically describes MegaForce as if it were the plot for what the viewer is about to see. Matt Stone stops Parker mid-sentence and reminds him that he is describing the movie MegaForce and not their episode. A disappointed Parker remembers and says, "We should have done MegaForce, that was a sweet movie, we should have done that." Their film Team America: World Police includes a number of apparent references to the film, including similar scenes of a flying motorcycle and an underground base where the hero meets various specialists.

Mattel also produced a Vertibird and Hot Wheels play sets based on the MegaForce theme.

A video game based on the film was released in 1982 on the Atari 2600.

An album was released on Boardwalk Records, with the theme song done by the group 707, was released as a single reaching the mid level of the charts in the U.S.A. and Canada. The soundtrack was released on Compact Disc in 2011 by BSX Records.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Megaforce (1982) - Full cast and crew". Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p259

External links[edit]