Review: Megaforce / Cert: PG / Director: Hal Needham / Screenplay: James Whittaker, Abert S.Ruddy, Hal Needham, Andre Morgan / Starring: Barry Bostwick, Michael Beck, Edward Mulhare, Persis Khambatta, Henry Silva, George Furth / Release Date: November 25th
A relic from the early '80s video age, Megaforce hits DVD in the UK for the first time, and proves to be as camp as every Christmas one could think of.
In a plot, which could be as relevant today as when it was made, the elite mercenary team of Megaforce, led by Ace Hunter (Rocky Horror's Bostwick), are sent into the middle of a battle between The Republic of Sardun and Gamibia. Head baddie General Guerera (Silva) is no stranger to Hunter, and with military leaders (represented by Knight Rider's Mulhare and Khambatta – best known as slap-headed Ilia in Star Trek: The Motion Picture) breathing down their necks to get the job done, Hunter's team must use all the hi-tech machinery at their disposal.
Megaforce boasts everything one would want from an 80s action movie: synthesizer soundtrack, explosions, stunts, stereotypical ethnic characters, really bad jokes and even worse blue-screen superimposing, and, despite a slight lull in the middle, pretty much delivers on every level – providing you set your standards really low. It's one of those films you laugh at rather than with. Directed by former stuntman Needham (later director of films such as Hooper and Smokey and the Bandit), it naturally is full of great action scenes, the souped-up motorbikes Megaforce ride put on arena-worthy displays at a moment's notice and, no matter how badly edited they may be, the set pieces are as spectacular as any Bond film of the time. The tanks shoot frikking lasers, what more do you want? Oh, how about action men like Bostwick, with bouffant hair, cute bandana and implausible beard, in (almost) skin-tight Lycra jumpsuits? There are so many standout (in a so-bad-it's-good way) scenes; a stylishly shot moment filmed entirely in silhouette, or an assault, which takes place with a countdown in the corner of the screen, for the film not to be fun. Grab a big bag of popcorn, some beers, and a few like-minded mates and enjoy how films used to be made.