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Film / Legion (1998)

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A 1998 Action Horror Made-for-TV Movie directed by Jon Hess set in 2036 that follows a team lead by Major Doyle (Terry Farrell) of death row prisoners being formed for a life and death mission.

The movie also stars Parker Stevenson, Corey Feldman, Rick Springfield, Troy Donahue, Audie England, Trevor Goddard, Richmond Arquette, and Gretchen Palmer.

It aired on April 18, 1998.

Tropes for the film:

  • Boxed Crook: Doyle recruits a The Dirty Dozen-style team of death-row prisoners, only to find the enemy already dead on reaching their target. Turns out a Super-Soldier is being Tested on Humans, and their superiors have set them up to be the test subjects.
  • Doctor's Disgraceful Demotion: One of the team is a female Mad Doctor who's a religious maniac.
    Fleming: Jones, field MD. Served in a POW enemy hospital. Did unnecessary surgery on enemy soldiers, with lethal results. Eight died.
    Jones: I am a soldier of God. I just acted on command. The Angel of Death is my superior officer.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Aldrich, awaiting execution, overpowers his guards and bursts into a room waving a pistol, only to find Major Doyle waiting for him. Unsurprisingly, the gun is empty. "Good! I had to see if you still had the edge. Two years hard time can break any man's spirit." Aldrich lunges at him only to be disarmed and pistol-whipped by Doyle's aide.
  • Kangaroo Court: Aldrich is sentenced to death for desertion after he cancels a commando mission. Considering Flemming's view towards war, this sentence is a show trial. Also, the other convicts were sentenced to death for crimes such as going AWOL and computer hacking.
  • Ladies and Germs: The "ladies and gentlemen" line is delivered straight by Doyle, only for a prisoner to find this Actually Pretty Funny as "No one's ever called me a gentleman before." Doyle then addresses them as "scum", which is clearly his real opinion.
  • Lightswitch Surprise: After Aldrich overpowers his guards, he tries to hide in a dark room, only to find his former commanding officer Major Doyle there, who turns on the lights to reveal a line of handcuffed fellow prisoners.
  • One Last Smoke: Our introduction to Aldrich has him waiting in his cell on a Prison Spaceship for execution, smoking a cigarette. It's not a courtesy, as when the guards arrive to drag him off, they tell him there's no smoking in the incineration chamber and order him to hand over his stash. He jabs the lit cigarette into the guard and tries to escape instead.
  • One-Word Title: Legion.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Aldrich overpowers his guards and bursts into a darkened room waving a pistol. The room is empty as we hear a woman sniggering, "Is that a gun or is he just happy to see me?" The lights then come on to reveal a row of male and female prisoners lined up waiting for him to join their ranks.
  • Remote Vitals Monitoring: The Boxed Crook soldiers are told they'll be wearing black box data recorders to evaluate their combat performance. "If you perform well, you'll get an honorable discharge." Turns out they're being set up as test subject opponents for a Super-Soldier, so their superiors have a different reason for monitoring them.
  • Super-Soldier: The team full of death-row convicts are offered full pardons if they help take an enemy installation. They realize something is wrong when they find nothing but a pile of rotting bodies waiting for them. Then they start getting picked off one by one. It turns out that their entire mission was really a test of the military's prototype super soldier — the titular "Legion", who is actually one of the convicts who allowed himself to be a guinea pig to avoid execution. Legion was created by integrating lizard DNA into his genetic makeup and can shapeshift into his original human form, adapt to environments inimical to humans, and boasts enhanced strength and agility.