The year was 1982 and I was eleven years old. I was probably watching an episode of Star Blazers when I saw the T.V. spot for MegaForce. As an eleven year old boy who was into Star Wars and G.I. Joe, the trailer for MegaForce blew me away! What more could I have asked for? There were motorcycles with machine guns and rocket launchers, dune buggies with lasers and cool G.I. Joe looking characters kicking evil's butt! Sadly, I never made it to the theaters to see it. It seemed, however, that everywhere I looked there were posters and ads for this movie. I still remember playing the Atari 2600 game at a friends house and thinking it was the greatest thing ever.
Fast forward to 1989, I lived about a block down from a small strip mall that had a video rental store called Mr. Video (how I miss thee). I was always in there renting something and one day I decide to check out the action section. Low and behold there it is, MegaForce in all its VHS glory! I rented it and headed home to check it out. I cannot describe the complete shock I was in after viewing this. I just didn't expect it to be so bad!
MegaForce opens with a narrator telling us about MegaForce and how they are a "phantom Army of super elite fighting men whose weapons are the most powerful science can devise", the movie then plunges us into a completely 80's hard driving rock music piece. I would not have blinked an eye if The Ultimate Warrior had emerged on the screen and taken on the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Within the first fifteen minutes we get to see the famed MegaForce motorcycle team! They are basically dirt bikes with added plastic shielding but are equipped with machine guns and rocket launchers….YES! The riders are popping wheelies like 7th graders in a school parking lot and firing upon aerial targets with surprising accuracy. After this display of combatant excellence we are introduced to the leader of MegaForce, Ace Hunter. Hunter is played by Barry Bostwick (Spin City, Rocky Horror Picture Show) and looks like a G.I.Joe Barry Gibb. He is immediately smitten by Zara (Persis Khambatta or Star Trek fame) who is accompanied by Gen. Edward Byrne-White (Edward Mulhare of T.V.s Knight Rider).
MageForce is asked to help the Republic of Sardun defend itself against the country of Gamibia. Gamibia is led by the ruthless Duke Guerrera, played by the great Henry Silva. MegaForce is to lure the forces of Gamibia into a trap and then stamp out Guerrera which will free the people of Sardun from the tyranny they have been subjected to. The trap doesn’t go so well and MegaForce find themselves in Gamibian territory and about to be wiped out by Guerrera’s forces. The only way out is via an old dry lake in which Hunter and MegaForce rendezvous with their escape planes. An epic battle with all of the “most powerful weapons science can devise" ensues. MegaForce makes it to the escape planes but Hunter is running a little late since he had to stop and tell Duke “the good guys always win……even in the 80’s!” What happens next is PURE CINEMATIC GOLD!!
Ace Hunter jumps on his motorcycle and takes off across the dry lake to catch up with the escape plane which is already taxing down the desert. Duke is in hot pursuit with his plethora of tanks. Just when you think all is lost, Hunter’s motorcycle sprouts wings and flies! Yes ladies and gentlemen, the best is saved for last. This moment has to win the award for worst use of blue screen effects in a motion picture. It is the greatest payoff ever in the history of bad cinema and worth every ounce of time you might poor into finding this film for your own entertainment. Needless to say Ace lands the bike in the planes cargo hold and everyone has a happy ending.
Recently I was able to catch this on the big screen at the Chesapeake Central Library during an installment of Fantasmo Cult Cinema Explosion. I tip my hat to Team Fantasmo for bringing this title back into my cinematic conciseness!