There are a lot of “so-bad-it's-good” movies. From my count, there might be more “so-bad-it's-good” movies than actual “so-good-it's-good” movies. But not all of them are created equal. Take Megaforce. If the accolade weren't reserved for Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space, Megaforce could be called “the Citizen Kane of so-bad-it's-good.” Big talk, I know, but I can back it up. Without further ado, in no particular order, here are the top ten reasons to watch Megaforce on Network Awesome.
Commander Ace Hunter and company's rides of choice: a fleet of hogs that would put the Sons of Anarchy to shame. These bikes (designed, of course, by Megaforce's resident nerd, “The Egg”i) have some serious tricks up their sleeves. Oh, you've got some tanks to blow up? Piece of cake: a missile fired from one of these babies will send that enemy of democracy to kingdom come where he or she belongs. But mobile weaponry is just the tip of the icing on the cakeberg. Sure, rockets are cool and everything, but [spoiler alert] in a truly climactic scene, our hero's steed sprouts mechanical wings as he majestically takes to the blue-screened skies.
The on-screen romance between Ace Hunter and Major Zara just sizzles. Watch as they kiss... their thumbs? And then extend their thumbs at each other? Sexy! You’ll ooh, ahh, laugh, and cry (maybe just cry) during the literally unbelievable skydiving scene.
3. The Uniforms
The gold spandex jumpsuit, powder blue bandana, and knee-high boots that make up the official Megaforce uniform are groundbreaking in their combination of aesthetics and practicality. Sweat is conveniently banished from Hunter’s brow with a bandana headband that would make any rational person swoon with desire, no matter their sexual preferences. Spandex allows a full range of movement while accentuating the crew’s manly (and, in one case, womanly) good looks with bold gold. A deep V in the spandex allows chest hair to breath and keeps the Megaforce looking and feeling cool.
4 . Nostalgia
While scouring for the web for information on Megaforce, one fact became overwhelmingly clear: its number one audience is made up of men who were somewhere between the ages of eight and thirteen for the film's release in the summer of 1982. For months before it came out, the movie was promoted in a marketing blitz of a scope similar to that parodied in Spaceballs (it included a Megaforce Atari video game, Megaforce Hot Wheels, Megaforce action figures, Megaforce ads in Marvel comic books emblazoned with the Megaforce motto “Deeds Not Words,” and a Megaforce fan club) to insure that it's target audience would be chomping at the bit for what was sure be the summer blockbuster of the year. Needless to say, thanks to films like E.T., The Wrath of Khan, and Poltergeist, it wasn’t. However, the small audience that the film did reach (among whose ranks are Trey Stone and Matt Parker, who took more than a few cues from Megaforce for Team America: World Police) are seriously devoted.
5 . It’s not on DVD
That’s right. For some unfathomable reason, despite the digital cries of a thousand passionate nerds and die-hard Bostwick disciples, this gem has yet to be released on DVD in the US. Unless you have a VHS copy of it lying around or are willing to fork over the cash for one online, Network Awesome is, as usual, your best bet.
6 . Soundtrack
Behold, the synthesizer! That beloved, magical, rarely abused musical tool to which we owe pretty much every single great soundtrack (maybe even every great musical moment period) of the 1980s. Megaforce’s score is no exception. Jerrold Immel’s score lends even more drama and romance to the film’s most dramatic and romantic moments. Even better than the synth score, though, is the theme song that plays over the ending credits. Performed by a sub-Journey arena rock band that went by the name of 707, the Megaforce theme song is the archetype of the shiny-guitared, pumped up, rocked out action anthem. “Comin’ on like a Megaforce!”
7. The Cast
The cast list reads like a “who’s who” of... well, truth be told, it doesn’t read like a “who’s who” of anything. Most of the names may not impress, but there’s just something about this cast that makes for cult perfection. Here’s the rundown: Michael Beck, better known as Swan from The Warriors(!) Henry Silva, career silver screen bad guy whose legacy ranges from Dick Tracy to The Manchurian Candidate. Edward Mulhare, the British dude from Knight Rider. Persis Khambatta from the Star Trek movie. And of course, Barry Bostwick, of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Spin City fame.
8 . Hal Needham
Megaforce may not be his best work, but director Hal Needham is an interesting character. Needham is probably best known as the director of the massively successful and fondly-remembered Burt Reynolds vehicles Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit, but he has his finger in a few different pies. He began his career, believe it or not, as a prominent stuntman, and was very influential in the world of what might be called “stunting.” Not to mention, Needham owns the Budweiser Rocket, which is claimed to be the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier. Go figure!
9. Special Effects
Never before have old special effects standbys like wires, models, and blue screens been used together so effectively-ineffectively. I don’t believe that it's fair to hold antiquated special effects against a movie, but these have to be seen to be believed. They must have looked dated even in 1982. They’re incredible!
“The good guys always win. Even in the eighties.” The first one’s free. It wouldn’t be fair to ruin the rest.
So, there you have it. The top ten reasons to watch Megaforce. But trust me, there are more than ten.
i “And that's no yolk!”