- Complete Monster: Mikhail Rostov is a Soviet terrorist who wants to destroy the United States because he despises its people. In his first scene, he and his men massacre a boat full of Cuban refugees to steal the cocaine which the captain was also smuggling. He uses it to buy weapons for his mercenary army from a drug kingpin named Mickey, then kills the guy by shooting him in the groin, and also throws Mickey's lady out of a window because she happened to be there. When Rostov has recurring nightmares of Matt Hunter, he organizes a strike team to kill Hunter. Rostov and his men kill Hunter's best friend in the process, which leads Hunter to go after Rostov. After his army lands on American soil, they disperse throughout the Southeastern U.S., slaughtering civilians en masse by blowing up residential areas, impersonating police officers and soldiers to gun people down in the streets, and planting bombs in shopping malls, churches, and on school buses. When important U.S. officials organize a meeting to discuss the situation, Rostov masses his entire army to kill everyone there.
- Funny Moments: After blowing two huge holes in the wall, Hunter calmly goes through the door in the middle of them.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In 1985, this film's depiction of terrorists infiltrating American society to cause random mayhem and destruction was gleefully silly (and, for the most part, still is). Nowadays, after numerous terrorist attacks towards civilians on American soil, it might be a little harder to watch for some people.
- Memetic Mutation: The image of Chuck Norris dual wielding uzis is one of the most used on the internet to exemplify the man's Memetic Badass status.
- Moment of Awesome: After the terrorists realize that they are in a trap, they rush out of the command centre... only to be greeted by the US army, tanks and helicopters and all. Cue the final battle.
- Moral Event Horizon: The very first scene has the bad guys pretending to be coast guards and telling to a bunch of innocent illegal immigrants that they can enter the US soil. Then they massacre them.
Hunter: (arms a rocket launcher) It's time....Rostov: nnn-raaaAAAAAHHH! (is blown up)
- The scene where the world's most whitebread middle-class family gathers around their Christmas tree Norman Rockwell-style to cap it with a star, only to have Godless Communists™ drive by in a pickup truck and abruptly blow it up with a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher. Made so much better by the movie playing the scene completely straight, even though it is indistinguishable from a satire of 80's Cold War propaganda. Indeed such scenes are a major part of the film's draw.
- The final confrontation between Hunter and Rostov.