Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Megaforce (Rifftrax)

This past Saturday night, we went to a friends' house to "enjoy" a Rifftrax experience. This time around, it was an abomination of everything wrong with 80s action movies known as Megaforce. The short version is, don't watch it. It is a truly terrible movie with no redeeming value. Even when riffed, it was terrible. The plot is utterly incoherent, the acting is weak at best, the effects are sad, and the costumes are, in a word, ridiculous.

First, I should probably let you know about Rifftrax. These are some of the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000. They came up with a way to provide you with a commentary track for regular movies. So you can download some excellent jokes for Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Twilight, etc. They also have the rights to release some low budget movies with the commentary track embedded, like Megaforce. (And if you want a really crazy experience, they also do live events through Fathom every couple of months, where they riff classics like The Room and Manos: Hand of Fate.)

So now that you understand that we were intentionally watching a bad movie to make fun of it, and to enjoy professionals making fun of it, you might understand the rest.

Megaforce is a Hal Needham production. Hal Needham is an icon of terrible movies. He used to be a stuntman, who decided that he knew how movies worked. So he started making some. It turns out that he didn't know how movies worked.

The plot behind Megaforce is a bit vague. Megaforce itself appears to be a top secret, self funded paramilitary strike force. Or they may work for the UN. All the top weapons manufacturers just send them prototypes to test out. In return, they use those weapons to solve problems that no one else can solve. Because they are awesome and stuff.

Megaforce is, of course, headed by that action movie impresario Barry Bostwick. (Wait, is that right? Yeah, yeah, that was definitely him.) After half an hour of watching vehicles move randomly around the screen, we finally see Persis Khambatta (best known as the bald woman from the first Star Trek movie) and Edward Mulhare (best known as Hasslehoff's boss and KITT's owner) come to Bostwick for help. We then endure half an hour of exposition about what Megaforce is, none of which is actually relevant to the rest of the movie. Megaforce comes up with a ridiculous plan to bomb the crap out of a terrorist? warlord? mercenary? bad guy.

Cue truly terrible action. I mean, wow.

Then things get wacky. It turns out that the bad guy and Bostwick are basically besties. And that Khambatta (who by this time has, of course, fallen in love with Bostwick) and Mulhare didn't actually have authority to order this strike, and have orders to shoot Megaforce if they cross the border. But the bad guy is going to shoot them if they don't cross the border. So they have to get creative.

"Creative" apparently involves spewing colored smoke out the back of their motorcycles. Because reasons.

Naturally Bostwick crashes his bike, creating something that vaguely resembles narrative tension. Except that his solution is to run back and taunt the bad guy. Like you do. Which of course means that he misses the rendezvous with the plane. How is he going to escape now? By activating the jet plane mode on his motorcycle. I'm not kidding.

(You know, it occurs to me now that I simply could have linked to that clip, and it would sum up the entire review.)

I honestly can not recommend this movie. Even as a "bad movie", or a Rifftrax. It is mostly sad and boring, instead of having the kind of zaniness that marks a truly good bad movie. It's kind of disappointing, because it had the potential to have a wacky cast of mavericks, a panoply of one-liners, and some actual fighting. But, it just fails across the board.

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