Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Megaforce (1982)

Megaforce – a phantom Army of super elite fighting men whose weapons are the most powerful science can devise

Megaforce was 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.

Their weapons included 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.

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A sequel titled Deeds Not Words was considered, but it was scrapped due to poor performance of the original film.

PLOT

The story involves two fictional countries, the peaceful Republic of Sardun and their aggressive neighbour – 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.

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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.

Categories: Cult Movies

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