This piece has me vexed. I honestly don’t know how to begin. Do I explain that I was obsessed with the very idea of this film before it even opened…do I write to you about how, for years after the film itself had come and gone, a furniture store in my old neighborhood had the iconic poster inexplicably framed and hanging in one of its bedroom set demo rooms – and my friends and I used to plot its liberation (and if you know me, then you know just how serious I’ve been about liberating movie memorabilia in the past)…do I tell you that this film was borne on the wings of a Hollywood legend?
What does any of that matter? It’s all just words on a page. And we all know – don’t we – that’s simply not enough. Here…in this moment – words don’t matter…
The deed will be done on Saturday, June 23rd at the incredible New Beverly Cinema, when Cosmic Hex, The Grindhouse Film Festival, and the New Bev join forces to bring us the MEGAFORCE 30th ANNIVERSARY EXTRAVAGANZA!
MEGAFORCE is the most potent rapid deployment fighting unit the world has ever known! Its MEN: The cream of the military elite of the free world! Its WEAPONS: The most advanced ever designed, anywhere! Its MISSION: To move into action wherever freedom is threatened or a cause is just. Its motto…yeah – you got it.
A goofy, energetic melding of G.I. Joe and The Road Warrior – coupled with your sick day-blanket fort Hot Wheels and Stomper-fueled shenanigans, Megaforce is filled with armored battle trucks, flying motorcycles with rocket launchers, dune buggies, lasers, Barry Bostwick’s powder-blue headband, gratuitous Henry Silva, and – in the words of Joe Bob Briggs - no plot to get in the way of the story. The film didn’t work out at the American box office upon its original release, but it wound up influencing so much of popular culture in the years to follow. I think NBC owed a great deal of its early ‘80s primetime linup to Megaforce. Seemed like everything on their schedule was about a secretive government organization fighting crime with high tech wheeled weaponry…
I usually do a job of arguing against rampant nostalgia – of just loving something because you loved it as a kid – but Megaforce is a film that actually got better since your blanket fort days. With a seasoned view of the art of moviemaking, you really can tell that everyone on this flick was just having a great time doing what they love. Exuberant performances, goofy/smarmy/charmy dialogue, and blowing everything up was the order of the day – and in the day, few did that with as much precision – and as much irrepressible joy – as Hal Needham.
There ain’t nothing like the life of a Hollywood stuntman – and Hal Needham is one of the absolute best. He’ll be on hand to talk about the film, his storied career (which he recently chronicled in the fantastic Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life) – and he’ll sign autographs for an adoring public.
Additionally…and again, I’m having trouble here…
VEHICLES FROM THE FILM WILL BE IN FRONT OF THE NEW BEVERLY CINEMA – READY TO SAVE THE WORLD!
A few years ago, I was staying in Cali with a friend, and he took me to a comic/collectibles shop where a flying moto from the film was on display. In a West Coast visit that saw me taking in wax museums, nerd conventions, Disneyland, and Universal Studios – seeing that bike was my solitary flip-out-like-a-tourist moment. If I could make it to the New Beverly Cinema that night…I’d probably sit in the street in front of the place and weep.
I can’t make it. I have to live vicariously through you. So do it. DO IT!
From the Event Press Release:
Megaforce was a truly unique blend of action, adventure, comedy and mayhem! It may have been a little before (and after) its time in 1982, but it has aged well and wears its period, fun, and sincerity on its sleeve. Come spend a truly unique evening with us at the famous New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles at this once in a lifetime film event with special guests, props, mingling and excitement! A full blown action convention and the event of the summer! Megaforce is a true crowd-pleaser and a goddamn guaranteed old-fashioned good time at the movies!
Featuring an ultra rare 35MM screening of the 1982 classic on its 30th anniversary! Legendary Director Hal Needham (Smokey & the Bandit, Hooper, Cannonball Run) will be on hand to introduce and discuss the movie, answer questions, as well as sign autographs. Original vehicles – loud and running – will be on display in front of the theater, and exclusive merchandise will be available in the lobby.
Saturday June 23
The New Beverly Cinema
7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
You can order your tickets in advance via BROWN PAPER TICKETS.