Film: Megaforce

A 1982 movie directed by Hal Needham starring Barry Bostwick, Michael Beck, Persis Khambatta, Edward Mulhare, George Furth, Evan C. Kim, Ralph Wilcox, Robert Fuller and Henry Silva.

The film follows the titular "Megaforce", an elite multi-national "phantom army", equipped with "the most powerful weapons science can devise" and which mission is "to preserve freedom and justice, battling the forces of tyranny and evil on every corner of the globe".

Led by Commander Ace Hunter (Bostwick) and his friend Dallas (Beck), the Megaforce is sent to help a small (fictional) country in Africa address border incursions from its (equally fictional) neighbor, who has hired an old acquaintance of Hunter's, Duke Guerrera (Silva).

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), plus killing any chances of a projected sequel, titled "Deeds Not Words", from seeing the light of day.

Not to be confused with Power Rangers Megaforce.


The film features the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Major Zara... allegedly. She manages to pass Megaforce qualification training, but besides her best desires, doesn't gets to go on the mission.
  • Affably Evil: Guerrera to Hunter. Probably a bit too affable.
  • Badass Army: The titular "Megaforce". Guerrera's army is apparently one, considering that it constantly makes incursions into the Republic of Sardun and wrecks the place with little problem.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: A lot of the Megaforce's battle dialogue. As a crowning example, one of the Hercules meant for evacuation gets mission-killed by a direct hit from a tank's main gun and needs to fly off, and the pilot takes the time to ask one of the other pilots if he can call the latter's girlfriend.
  • Clown Car: The C-130 "Hercules" transports used for the operation, carrying sixty-plus men all riding a motorcycle, dune buggy or an Awesome Personnel Carrier. Subverted later on in that the mission-kill of one of the planes forces the group to leave behind their vehicles during evac.
  • Cool Car: The Mega-Destroyer dune buggy and the TAC-COM vehicle, both packing significant firepower, including laser cannons and disintegration beams.
  • Cool Bike: The "Delta Mark 4 Megafighter", with triple-barreled machine guns on the nose, multiple missiles, and the ability to fly.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: A collection of dune buggies and dirt bikes outfitted with a lot of guns, Frickin' Laser Beams and a veritable Macross Missile Massacre vs. a really big bunch of tanks.
  • Commanding Coolness: Ace Hunter.
  • '80s Hair: Hunter's mullet. Sweet GOD, Hunter's bandanna-wearing mullet.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Megaforce headquarters, a bunker deep in the Nevada desert built to withstand a direct hit from a 25-megaton nuke, with all the necessary elements for training and maintaining and leading the Megaforce, and with a Cool Garage full of extensive military hardware (and Dallas then mentions that said garage is just the one for the ground vehicles, as well as joking about needing $25,000 worth of floor wax to keep the place neat).
  • Good Ol' Boy: Dallas is a Southie and proud of it, wearing the Confederate flag on his bike and as a shoulder patch (while everybody else wears their respective countries'). Still pretty much a Nice Guy.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: So Asshole Took a Level in Badass, Swan decided to play war (with a Southern accent), and they were asked by Devon to deal with Bane. Well, that beats my fan-fiction all to hell.
  • Impossible Mission Collapse: "Operation Hook, Line And Sinker" manages to go smoothly on its first two steps (demolish Guerrera's main ammo depot and go to a designated rendezvous point for refueling and rearming), but the rest of the operation completely goes to Hell when the Gamibian government denounces the ammo depot raid as an act of war and the Sardun government closes its borders, trapping the Megaforce behind enemy lines.
  • It's Raining Men: The Megaforce's vehicles are capable of being air-dropped... while the driver's on it. Yes, even the bikes. This ability is used to put the team on the ground to start "Operation Hook, Line and Sinker".
  • Magical Computer: Megaforce has one on its headquarters, capable of intercepting and insta-decrypting/translating transmissions from all over the world, as well as having a rather thorough Omniscient Database.
  • Mildly Military: Also the Megaforce:
    Dallas: Ranks? Over here the only one with a rank is the Commander, but we call him "Hunter"!
  • The Mountains of Illinois: The entire film was shot on the Nevada Desert, standing in as itself and the desert countrysides of Sardun and Gamibia (which are on the other side of the world).
  • Multinational Team: The Megaforce. They explicitly say that all of the firepower they have (that is, aside from the ones they built themselves) fell off the back of the proverbial truck, with the governments' blessings, and every member is a volunteer.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: The first scene (the latest of the raids from Guerrera's army on Sardun) has a Gamibian political officer reading a speech about revolution and liberation... from a college notebook... and reading the punctuation out loud. Guerrera gets so fed up that he skips straight to the Stuff Blowing Up part of the raid.
  • Run for the Border: The entire third act-one way or another, the Megaforce is leaving the place.
  • Running the Blockade: The final battle scene.
  • Operation Blank: "Operation Hook, Line And Sinker", Hunter's plan to make Guerrera go through the Gamibia/Sardun border and right into the arms of Sardun justice.
  • Qurac: Both the Republic of Sardun (peaceful, powerless, asks for the Megaforce's help) and Gamibia (which is more in line with the Cold War "revolutionary" type and has raised a lot of hell on Sardun with Guerrera's leadership of the military).
  • Special Effects Failure: Pretty much every single blue-screen scene on this movie. Here is an example. The Sardunian "power plant" and APC that are blown up at the beginning are also clearly mock-ups.
  • Stab the Scorpion: The introduction of Dallas is him shooting a rattlesnake that was going to attack Major Zara and General Byrne-White.
  • The War Room: The Command Center at Megaforce H.Q., complete with a computerized version of The Big Board.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Tennessee-born Michael Beck's Southern/Texan accent for Dallas is a bit... hit-and-miss.