I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Invasion U.S.A.

tn_invasionusaIn honor of the historic first ever ACTIONFEST going on right now in Asheville, North Carolina, I thought I should watch a Chuck Norris picture. Mr. Norris is the recipient of the Actionfest Lifetime Achievement Award (and coincidentally brother of Actionfest co-founder Aaron Norris). For their retrospective they’re showing CODE OF SILENCE (Seagalogy p. 13-14) and BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III. Since I’d already seen CODE and didn’t have time to catch up with MIA 1-2 yet I followed your recommendations and went with INVASION U.S.A. I think the deciding factor was that Drew Barnhardt told me it was “Norris’s DEATH WISH III.” And Drew loves DEATH WISH III, I don’t think he’d throw that comparison out there lightly. He would be completely aware of all its consequences and implications.

mp_invasionusaI think this was a good choice, probly pretty representative of Norris’s body of work. It’s basically RED DAWN vs. RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – down and dirty Golan and Globus ultra-violence with Norris playing the world’s most deadly semi-retired CIA asset. It definitely reflects Norris’s right-leaning politics as well as his reliance on every action trope besides the karate that made him famous (machine guns, bombs, bazookas, trucks). It treats him as regular folk, in this case a Florida gator wrangler. It even makes his beard look kind of cool, I guess. It’s a good movie for fueling both the sincere Chuck Norris fans and the annoying ironic ones.

Hunter (Chuck Norris) is first seen grimacing with the wind in his face as he zooms around on one of those swamp boats. Little does he know his old arch-nemesis who “you should’ve let me kill him when I had the chance” is currently staging an invasion of the USA, starting right there in Florida. I don’t really understand how this relatively small army intends to take over the whole country, but it involves making several Hispanic youths hate the police even more than usual, then blowing some shit up. They just find All-American places to target, like the beach where they execute some young people making out or the suburban neighborhood where they blow up the house where a family is decorating their Christmas tree. Luckily, Hunter starts going around to all these types of places and single-handedly interrupting the assaults. So he saves the church, the shopping mall, and the bus full of children singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” But not the merry-go-round.

Hunter says very little in the movie except the type of tough guy lines that inspire so many parodies, and we learn almost nothing about his character other than he knows how to go around killing bad guys real good. I guess about the only thing we know about his personality is that he likes old flying saucer movies, so he sits and smiles watching one in a hotel while waiting for a SWAT team to bust in on him. They bust him as part of his elaborate DARK KNIGHT style plan, but it’s kind of weird that the public doesn’t get mad that the authorities, who have openly admitted that they’ve completely lost control of the entire country and have no idea how to stop a massive wave of violent massacres on innocent civilians, are supposedly sending all their guys to stop one vigilante who has been killing terrorists. You know, because no one is above the law. That seems like something some people would get mad about, in my opinion.

Hunter’s skills have gotta be either supernatural or ludicrously lucky. He seems to just appear out of nowhere at every single place where a terrorist attack is about to happen. He just smells terrorism and follows the scent. He not only happens to drive by the school bus that has a bomb attached to it, he is able to reach over, pull off the bomb, then weave through traffic to find the guys who put it there, attach it to their car and ask, “Lose this?” He also has Voorheesian stalking abilities, able to appear suddenly standing next to somebody without them hearing him or seeing him in their peripheral vision. In a rare karate moment he seems to even have Plastic Man powers. The villain is creeping through a seemingly empty office building when somehow a foot just swings in from off screen and kicks him in the face. The next shot is Hunter stepping out from behind a corner. He kicked him from behind a corner!

It seems like we should just use this guy in place of the entire military, but when he shows up where some children have been killed he acknowledges the problem with fighting terrorists, that for every one you kill there’s gonna be a hundred more. In fact he’s so frustrated he grabs a guy by his collar to tell him about it. He proposes a plan that makes the cop or agency guy or whoever say, “Are you crazy?! Do you know how much cooperation that would take?” He’s worried about inter-agency politics, but not about convincing everybody to go along with a plan that hinges on the invaders being more concerned with Chuck Norris than with their invasion.

And in fact that is the case. The bad guy leader keeps risking everything to try to kill Hunter. Why? Because he still has nightmares about him. It’s not some personal vendetta, like Hunter killed his son, brother, wife or partner. No, it’s that Hunter is just so awesome that he scares the shit out of this guy and ruins his sleep. It’s such a problem that his henchmen know about it – he’s grumpy and they say, “The nightmare?” And Hunter even seems to know about it because he knows to keep saying, “It’s time to die,” because that’s what he says in the dream. The recurring catch phrase.

Ironically if the dude would’ve just let it go it would’ve been fine. Hunter turned down the assignment to go after him. Only when his gator-capturing partner gets blown up does he decide to get involved.

One unexpected twist I noticed: there’s a female reporter on the scene investigating the crimes before the police arrive. In most movies (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, DARKMAN 2 or 3 or something, etc.) this would be the love interest. But in INVASION U.S.A. she’s just some bitch that Hunter has to put up with. She immediately flips out on the cops, yells and swears at everybody, and maintains this tone through the rest of her scenes. She never turns nice. She also gives him probly his best moment in the movie. First she screams for him to do something, then he saves her life, and she starts yelling at him. He says, “I better leave before you get mad,” and struts away. This will not stand so she screams “YOU STUPID SONOFABITCH!” at his back and tosses a garbage can lid at him. It glides like a frisbee, missing his head by inches, and he doesn’t even flinch.

So that’s a funny character, but I’m not sure if they’re turning the cliche of the reporter love interest on its head or just showing their extreme hatred of journalists.

The director is Joseph Zito (THE PROWLER, FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER, RED SCORPION) but in some ways it’s really well directed. I liked the use of sound in some of these scenes, you hear voices and sounds going on in the distance, making the world seem more populated than some of these crappy Cannon movies do. Like there’s the laughably stupid scene where they bazooka the Christmas tree decorators, but then afterwards you hear the sounds of different survivors off in different directions, and it feels very real and horrifying.

But that’s about the only way this movie feels real. This is the kind of movie where the hero and the villain have an old fashioned gun drawing contest, but with bazookas. That’s what’s good about it, and I really enjoyed this stupid fucking movie. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who enjoys this sort of crap, but I can’t pretend it’s a legitimately good action movie. It’s just some funny shit.

Movies playing Actionfest that I’ve reviewed:

BORN TO FIGHT

CODE OF SILENCE

DISTRICT 13 ULTIMATUM

ONG BAK 2

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 17th, 2010 at 10:15 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

64 Responses to “Invasion U.S.A.”

  1. Dr. Peaches N. Herb

    April 17th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I’ll be honest, I do not even remotely understand how Chuck Norris became this cult icon, with the jokes, and the beard, and the whole deal. But I absolutely love this movie…

    “I’m gonna hit you with so many rights, you’ll be begging for a left.”

    Classic.

  2. Vern no mention of the bad guys hilarious tendency to shoot people in the balls?

  3. CaseyF*ckinRyback

    April 18th, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Chuck Norris’ Death Wish 3? That sums this flick up perfectly! This stripped-to-the-bone C-Movie ranks as one of my favorite pieces of Cannon fodder. Gotta dig Chuck’s all-American all-denim outfit and the twin uzis!

    Couple of interesting factoids – at the time this was a huge production for Golan Globus, I remember that they boasted about the amount of National Guard extras and tanks that were used in the final showdown as a marketing tool. It’s still kind of hilarious to me that they convinced themselves this was some sort of achievement in their careers.

    They planned to make a whole series of Matt Hunter flicks, but Chuck turned down the second installment which was made as ‘Avenging Force’ where he was replaced by the American Ninja himself Michael Dudikoff and they didn’t even bother changing the name of the lead character (how it would’ve worked I have no idea, ‘Force’ wasn’t even remotely on the scale of ‘Invasion’). That was the second time Dudikoff was a replacement for Chuck as American Ninja was originally written for the Bearded One.

    I seem to remember that Cannon also recycled the terribly cheesy music score on many of their following flicks without ever crediting Jay Chattaway.

    Honourable mention goes to the fact that the special effects crew was headed up by Tom Savini and featured Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger pre-KNB days. Why a make-up crew of this calibre was hired I have no idea, as the only decent bit of gore I recall was when the villain smashes some coke-whore’s head into a mirror as she’s doing a line, and the metal tube ends up causing a pretty nasty extra nasal cavity. Maybe it was in Zito’s contract that his old buddies from The Prowler and Friday 13th join him on set?

    Either way… fun times. Great review, as always!

  4. I feel bad that you havn’t seen MIA2, there is no Norris film I didn’t like, but MIA2 I watched once a week for 2 years. Invasion USA was a good movie for getting people into B action – I would tell them how he runs around with 2 bazooka’s and sell it sounds so crazy they have to see it, but then find it’s pretty cool and want to see more of Chuck (then I break out MIA2, possibly Eye for an Eye for the professor, Delta force if they need slightly more mature entry (first half of that is serious drama in many ways)), or Hellbound is great if they got the right imagination – I love when they mix it up, Hellbound is more what I was hoping Seagal’s Against the Dark would be like.

    Good review anyhow.

  5. this movie is unrealistic as hell, in real life Chuck Norris would be able to take on every single terrorist in the world single handily at the same time

  6. Woah. I just saw this movie for the first time yesterday. o_O
    Anyway, good review. I liked the ending of the film. When the main villain is dead, the movie is over. You don’t need to know what happend to the countrey or the rest of the characters or anything.

  7. Vern – Sorry man but I thought this movie sucked. I can and have liked some really really dumb actioneers, but they gotta offer me something in return. INVASION doesn’t much for me.

    That said, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the very best scene, when the villain is meeting the coke dealer and there is that girl snorting coke through a straw and the baddie SLAMS HER HEAD DOWN, the straw going through her nose and head.

    That was awesome.

  8. I would argue that Joseph Zito had some chops. Not many, but some. There were thousands of people making generic action and slasher movies in the eighties, but his somehow always felt sleazier than most. Everybody was trying for sleazy, but Zito actually pulled it off. That’s gotta take skill, right? That can’t just be an accident.

    And The Final Chapter is easily the best Friday the 13th movie. Discuss.

  9. I think the Chattaway score and the balls-shooting off scenes are the definitive moments of the film. Also, watched in widescreen, you can tell whoever was the DP had some chops, though IMDB seems to tell me otherwise (he went on to do all of Chuck Norris’ shit, including episodes of “Walker, Texas Ranger”)

  10. When you first mentioned the Actionfest , I finally decided to start a Chuck Norris retrospective . I rented Delta Force first , because I remembered it for the crazy motorcycle-mounted weapons I loved as a child , like an 80’s version of the G.I. Joe movie : a squad of special forces soldiers with semi-futuristic gadgets . With added Lee Marvin . The movie cover for Delta Force is amazing and it’s pure bazooka-love , almost bazooka-porn : 2 tough guy icons holding one with an explosion on the back . Then I’ve seen Code of Silence , not as good as Delta , but at least this time he’s using a remote controlled tank to fight Henry Silva . Now I’m a proud owner of the DVD of Missing in Action ( here in Italy , for some reason , called something like Sound of Thunder. The second one is the one simply called Missing in Action over here. Weird . ) and inside there is this little book called “The Code of Chuck” with his biography , quotes and personal code ( you can also find it in his Wikipedia page). A valuable action-fan artefact , no doubt .

    Now I will search for Invasion U.S.A. for sure. A movie with Chuck sniffing out terrorists and with a lot of balls-shooting ? I’m in.

  11. But first , it’s time for Carnosaur 3 !

  12. My only problem with Invasion USA (and a lot of Jospeh Zito’s movies) is that the pacing is a little too slow. And not 1980’s slow (i.e. edited in a normal fashion), but more like somebody said “Hey, let’s drag this out a little”.

    Other than that, it’s a lot of fun; I like the fact that the bad guy’s signature move is to shoot people in the crotch.

  13. Mr. Majestyk, good call on Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Impressive kills, interesting plot devices, Crispin Glover; that movie was loaded and easily my favorite of the series.

  14. It’s not a great action movie, and it isn’t Norris’s best. Missing in Action is the most distilled, pure Chuck Norris film of all time. And a lot of the credit goes to Zito for that one. It is very special.

  15. Ian: And Feldman does what everyone should always do at the end of every slasher movie: Keep chopping at that motherfucker until he lacks the structural integrity to come after you anymore. Yeah, it might just drive you insane, but short of nuking the whole site from space, it’s the only way to be sure.

  16. Personally, I prefer Delta Force 2 over DF 1. Sadly no Marvin if I recall, but the movie is much more ridiculous and the villain is the sleazy guy who played Frank Nitti in the Untouchables. The music in DF 1 is also maddening.

  17. Final Chapter also had the most nudity of any of the Fridays. I agree with Mr. M about it’s overall quality and the “kill the shit out of the bad guy” finale.

  18. marlow, I actually think that Part V, though a lesser film in every single other respect, might have more nudity than The Final Chapter — or any of the other Ft13s, for that matter. Tits were really the only thing it had going for it.

  19. I had always heard that IV had the most nudity per minute average, but V may have more variety. Someone around here has to know for sure.

    Either way, you’re right about V… And even though I love tits as much as the next guy (that is to say a lot) I have better delivery methods that that, so really it has nothing going for it not event Jason. Obviously it was all down hill from there.

  20. I disagree. Part V was a speed bump, not the beginning of the end. It suffered from being the transition from the early, scary Jason of the early 80s (The Brown Years) to the later, goofy Jason of the late 80s (The Spandex Era). I have great fondness for the more over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek later installments, particularly when Kane Hodder took over the role. That man turned Jason from a misguided mongoloid to a malevolent engine of slaughter, and he did it with just a cock of his head and a roll of his shoulders. Jason would probably not be my favorite slasher without the subtle touches Kane brought to the part.

  21. anthony : You mean B-movie actor extraordinaire Billy Drago , who has appeared in everything from the Cyborg movies to the Tremors. I’m always happy to see him work .

    And , sadly , Delta Force was Marvin’s last movie .

  22. Why has no one mentioned LONE WOLF MCQUADE? By far my favorite Chuck Norris picture. I definitely prefer his more Karate-centric pictures over the military style.
    THE OCTAGON, EYE FOR AN EYE (the violence shocked me as a kid), GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK. These were all pre-MIA and more concerned with personal vengeance and hand to hand showdowns. They usually involved drug cartels and possibly Texas Rangers.

    CallMeKermit – The way you described DELTA FORCE actually sounds more like MEGA FORCE. A very GI:JOE style picture but with gold spandex. If you haven’t seen it, track it down. It’s pretty awesome. I dare you to look away from Commander Ace Hunter’s golden junk.

  23. Well Mr. M, I’ll admit to liking part 7 because it’s just so dumb and berserk, and Jason in Space because it was totally aware of the fact that it was Jason in Space yet didn’t get all up its own ass about things. I suppose I’m just a real sucker for the earlier films because they are grainy and sleazy and of the era. The latter films seemed to be trying too hard to catch up with Freddy and just don’t have the same appeal for me. I don’t knock you for liking them as I can see why, I was speaking as far as my personal enjoyment goes.

  24. While I completely agree that The Final Chapter is the “Best” of the Paramount films, I have to say that my personal favorite to pull out and watch is “PART V: A NEW BEGINNING.” I love its crudeness, it’s sleaziness, it’s clunky bluntness. But most off all, I love how this installment is populated with the most bizarre and kooky collection of peripheral characters of the series, engaging in the most absurd over the top, ridiculous behavior of the series. That, and the wonderful excessive nudity, I attribute to the awesome Danny Steinmann. and PART V has got that Steinmann-Touch. That puts it to the top of my personal faves list.

  25. “And The Final Chapter is easily the best Friday the 13th movie.”

    Mr. Majestyk – That doesn’t exactly say much about that series, now does it?

    The first was, in terms of filmatics, the only truely good one. Remembered as a silly slasher like so many of the others, its actually a quite legitimate tense thriller in the formulaic precision sense.

    Of course such concerns went away in favor of the damn gore and titty quotas. Because fans care about that more you know.

  26. RRA, actually the series got less gory as it went along. And they all had roughly the same body count. It’s just that the first one was a mystery in the giallo sense, giving it some room for suspense, while the sequels were pretty cut-and-dry in terms of mystery. (SPOILER: Jason did it.) Jason also took the Godzilla route. He started out a fearsome monster but eventually became the hero. He became more akin to a lovable heel wrestler than someone you were supposed to be afraid of. Me, I’m not a one-or-the-other kind of guy, so I like the whole series for different reasons.

    Well, maybe not Jason Goes To Hell, expect for the first and last ten minutes. The intervening 80 minutes was just some random killer slug movie some joker spliced in, Tyler Durden style.

  27. Mr. M – Honestly the only thing that ever interested me in most if not all of those FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels was how Jason sent horny teenagers and nosey civilians to go meet their maker.

    And I suppose most of those crews thought the same.

    that said, I respect part V and JASON GOES TO HELL. No I wouldn’t necessarily call them good movies, but I liked that those filmmakers tried something different from the goddamn formula at least within that franchise. Like the widely hated HALLOWEEN 3.

    I mean if you’re making rubbish, at least go out and be wild, do something different with your opportunity. Don’t just job it as a basic remake because if you don’t give a crap about your movie, or think it with contempt, well why should the audience think otherwise?

    Also your Godzilla/Jason metaphor leaks water. After awhile, Godzilla was given monsters to threat that sought to take over the world or exterminate mankind or eat Japan or some shit. And yeah Godzilla was still a giant violent mother fucking menace, he became the ONLY guy on the block who could take out the space/interdimensional foreigners.

    Jason just kills. Not like he ever was made the hero of a movie.

    Well save FREDDY VS JASON which I like how he became the default Godzilla (as you would put it) against big bad Freddy, while still killing as Jason usually does.

    Anyway, I think most such 80s slasher pictures were just mindless and again, if they didn’t feature a creative demise….why care about them at all?

    Exceptions existed sure that succeeded at being worth watching at least once. Like SLEEPAWAY CAMP, PSYCHO 2-4….oh and FRIDAY THE 13TH numero uno.

  28. CallMeKermit: dang straight I meant Billy Drago! Totally spaced on his name. No one else could’ve said “he died like a pig” more sleaztastic than Drago.

  29. I watched The Prowler once and it was actually pretty creepy, something about that WW2 soldier costume creeps me out

    however I hated how they literally offer no explanation as to why the guy was killing people

  30. Griff – Because he was a prowler?

    Unless its something interesting, most such explanations are throwaway bullshit that alot of times seems to underhwhelm our imaginations.

    I mean FEAR CITY for example, did we need to know really why that martial artist serial killer targeted strippers? Maybe one of them refused to let him cum on them during a lap dance, maybe his mom was one, maybe one of them gave him VD…did it really matter beyond the fact that he was fucking mental crackers?

    And yes, I said Martial Artist serial killer.

  31. Friday V is one of the best Friday The 13th films, no doubt, and one of the best 80s B-Movies as well. What really elevates it is Cory Feldman horror nerd kid who idolizes Rick Baker and Rob Bottin and Savini. That’s almost an Inglorious Basterds-esque level of self-reflexive storytelling. And the actual Savini’s superb effects don’t hurt either! (Jason sliding down the machete–yikes.) That and the one where Jason fights Psychic Girl are almost really good episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. (Praise I’d also apply to Nightmare On Elm Street: Dream Warriors).

    Come to think of it, Whedon’s forthcoming Cabin In The Woods is in some ways a parody / homage to Friday 5….

  32. CC – You mean part 4 right?

    And for the record guys, I thought the fucking kid was annoying. In fact I was pissed knowing that the filmmakers would never have Jason kill him.

    BTW why do slasher monsters generally not kill kids? I mean it makes no sense.

    THE BLOB remake was awesome at the least for that one kid kill. You go jelly!

  33. I remember watching this over and over as a kid and thinking how great it was – I’m sure now if I watched it I’d pick up all the cliche quirks and logic holes – but damn if it wasn’t my favourite Chuck flick back in the day.

    The one scene that I remember standingh out as illogical – even as a kid – was a scene where Chuck is chasing the leader dude down a hallway and he fires off a burst from his M-16, which misses the bad guy as he rounds the corner – cut to the end of the hall and there’s like 200 plus bullet holes peppering the wall now – all from that single burst. That always made me laugh…

  34. I ordered this one (and the unfortunately full-frame Chuck Norris collection) through your Amazon search widget Vern, hope that method works! I probably saw it before as well as Missing in Action 2, but my memory is downright absent on the subject.

    Just to contribute to the discussion derailment, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is the best, followed by Jason X. Both of these go full-on camp mode (no pun intended) with bizarre kills and formula. Hell, even the classic sleeping bag beating against the tree from VII is paid homage in X. For those not as familiar with the numbering, VII is the one with Bernie playing the creepy doctor to the chick with psychic powers. In addition to the aforementioned sleeping bag kill you get a party horn through the eye, head crushing and more. For those who are just in it for the kills and the laughs, those are the two worth seeking out. I guess Freddy vs. Jason is the most rewatchable owing to the higher production values, but those other two I can pull out any time for some fun.

    For those lamenting the lesser gore of the later entries, most had plenty of explicit shit filmed but our dear old friend the MPAA had them excise it and Paramount has refused to include most of it on the DVDs, even as just bonus features.

  35. Speaking of which…

    Vern, when the bloody hell are you going to review REMO WILLIAMS?

  36. Darryll : Mega Force is the other movie I used to think as a “G.I. Joe of the 80’s”. It’s been a while since I saw that one , but I remember it because it was a special-forces-with-SF-gadgets movie with Michael Beck from The Warriors and , if I remember right , uhm…flying motorcycles ? I need to re-watch that one. And of course , I’m sorry I forgot to add him , but in Delta Force with Chuck and Marvin , there’s the always good Steve James , another nice addition to that movie.

    anthony : Billy Drago sleaziest performance , in my humble opinion , is in Cyborg 2 , alongside ..ehm..Angelina Jolie and Jack Palance. His character is a drug using killer obsessed with his looks. I think that part was created for him !

  37. Jareth Cutestory

    April 18th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Mr. Majestyk: I never really gave the Jason movies that much thought, but your spirited defense of the FINAL CHAPTER has me curious.

    I think I saw the first three around the time they came out on betamax; if I just watched FINAL CHAPTER, without refreshing my memory and without bothering with Part 4, would I have missed some crucial plot point that will make FINAL CHAPTER incomprehensible?

    Also, what did you think of the remake from last year?

  38. My two cents: Invasion USA is an OK Chuck flick. Pacing is too pokey and there are too many lulls in the lunacy to make it a true classic. My favorite Chuck movie is Missing in Action but the quintessential Chuck moment for me is Part 2 when he kills the rat with his teeth. Close second: Lone Wolf McQuade when Chuck and his truck mythically rise from the grave.

    Also, my favorite Friday has always been 3 because that was the only one in which Jason was actually scary. He RAN like a sonofabitch in that movie. 4-6-1 are close behind and run at about a dead heat. 4 has a great finale, 6 is the rare horror-comedy that succeeds in both areas, and 1 is the only entry that legitimately creates suspense (even if it does have a cheat ending).

  39. What’s so cheating about that ending?

    So it rips off CARRIE, but fuck its a good rip off.

  40. Nobody likes Friday the 13th Part 2? Not including part 3-D in the theater part 2 is my favorite. I think of it as the exact perfect version of the formula for that type of slasher movie. And it’s subtly clever in the way it sets up all these jokes in the beginning with the counselor’s speech about what not to do. I mean come on, don’t use perfrume because it will attract bears? And then a girl puts on perfume right before Jason shows up? This is good stuff.

  41. Also, F13 PART 2 has sack-head Jason. I’m a sucker for bag-masks.

  42. Once or twice I’ve read people say that they believe INVASION USA is actually meant to be a semi-parody of Reagan-era communism-related hysterical-paranoia. The only real evidence for this offered by the film is that it shares its title with a 1950s scaremongering programme-filler and the sci-fi movie from the same era Chuck watches on TV, so I don’t really buy it but I still prefer it to the “lol stupid film im much smarter than these guys lol chuck norris this film is awesome” line of thought.

    I think the scene where the carnival has been bombed is supposed to imply that Chuck is only able to intervene in a few of a larger number of terrorist attacks going on over America over the course of the film rather than just being super-lucky, but if so it’s poorly established. Chuck wanted the superflous reporter character to be played by a pre-COLOR PURPLE Whoopi Goldberg BTW but Zito disagreed with him.

    Anyway I don’t mind admitting I’m an unbashed INVASION USA fan, it’s become a festive tradition for me and I do think it’s Chuck’s DEATH WISH III (or maybe IV)/COMMANDO/FIRST BLOOD PART II.

    As for FT13ths I’d go for spandex-era Jason and in particular I’m a JASON LIVES man. I know it takes the easy road by going for self parody and with some other franchises that would annoy me (although curiously I’ve grown fonder and fonder of FREDDY’S DEAD over time) but I’m not a huge FT13th fan, and the first four FT13s all blend into one for me bar the 3-D one so to me the fresh-ish mix of… (laughs and scares would be going too far)… smiles and creative kills goes down well. Plus it’s better made than pretty much any of the other films, although I’ll grant with FT13 for many that might actually be a negative.

  43. RRA, I’m referring to the cheat reveal of the killer’s identity. There are no clues as to who is perpetrating the murders. There is a brief mention of a boy drowning but nothing about the mother. There are no red herrings as with
    most whodunits. Mrs. Vorhees just appears out of nowhere, acts nice to Alice, then tells her backstory and flips out.

  44. this is off topic, but does anyone know how to get avatars on here? I registered, but there’s no option for uploading a pic on my profile page

  45. CallMeKermiT: That’s awesome. I’ve only seen a bit part of Cyborg 2. Now i will have to hunt it down. Vern, you should add it to your amazon list thingy.

    It’s been said, but i love this place. How many talkbackers would be cool enough to share info on a sleaztastic actor like Drago? Not many, methinks.

  46. http://twitchfilm.net/news/2010/04/undisputed-3-14-blades-and-merantau-win-at-action-fest-2010-chuck-norris-declines-lifetime-acheiveme.php

    The Actionfest results are in!

    Best Fight Scene = 14 Blades
    Best Director = Isaac Florentine for Undisputed 3
    Best Choreography = Larnell Stovall for Undisputed 3
    Best Film = Merantau (AKA Merantau Warrior)

    Also apparantly Chuck Norris declined his life time achievement award and instead gave it to his stunt double, his brother! Classy move. Merantau is out in the UK later this week and everything I’ve read/seen of it looks fantastic.

  47. Anyone else ever see OVERKILL, that action movie which actually starred Aaron Norris? Decent premise (MOST DANGEROUS GAME varient number 5000), reasonable trailer, very funny back cover blurb, deathly dull film.

  48. anthony : If you want to watch it , for Drago ONLY , please remember that Cyborg 2 is not very good . Some cool bits here and there , but nothing special .

  49. Back in ’97 / ’98, one of my fellow film school student actually convinced Billy Drago to appear in his student film, LONELY SOLDIER 2. (yes, it was actually a part 2. It was a sequel to another one of this kid’s student films.) No kidding. Drago played the crime boss who starts out as the bad guy but becomes The Lonely Soldier’s ally by the end. My favorite line: Drago defends his porn empire by hissing / snarling: “I make, bitch fuck-ass movies!” 2nd favorite line: Watching the Lonely Soldier fight his character’s bodyguard in a parking lot, Drago mutters: “He sees through the eyes of a blind man….”

  50. “I make, bitch fuck-ass movies”

    now that is epic

  51. As a member of the on-line horror community, I have to bring in my two cents about Friday the 13th.

    Either you’re a Beatles fan or an Elvis fan and you’re either a Part IV fan or a Part VI fan. Those are actually these two best of the Friday films. I’m a Part VI guy. I think it’s a brilliant slasher movie.

    Part V is rubbish but it does have one of the creepiest kills in the entire series. I still can’t go into a porta potty without thinking somebody is going to stab me with a giant wood spear.

    Part 2? Well Vern and Crustaceanhate might be the only two people on Earth that like Part 2 is the best.

    A lot of people like Part 7 because it’s the first Kane Hodder movie.


    Also, based on the trailers alone I can’t see how Undispitued 3’s fights could be better than what I’ve seen from Merantau

  52. CC : Wow , thanks for sharing that story , man . That firts line up there is pure genius !

  53. Oh, I should note that F13 PART 2 isn’t my favourite in the series (I’m a PART IV man), I just like the bag-mask is all.

  54. I think Part II is underrated. It’s got likable characters, a strong build-up, and the extended finale is the last time the series was ever legitimately scary. But it doesn’t have Crispin Glover doing his little martian happy dance so Part IV will always have my heart.

  55. I always thought Part II had great atmosphere – much creepier than the others in my opinion. Also, gotta go with Lawrence on Part VI being my personal fave though – I love how it takes itself so damn seriously yet it’s so perfectly cheesy (Studio discussion: How do we bring back Jason this time guys? We friggin chopped him to pieces for crying out loud! …awww fuck it, we’ll hit him with lightning and make him a zombie. What’s next on the list?)

    Plus, you got a video and theme song from Alice Cooper, Thom “The Movie Lied?!” Matthews, and even Horshack gets his heart punched out at the beginning!

    Hell, I even read the novelization for it back in high school…

  56. Yeah, the writer / director of LONELY SOLDIER and LONELY SOLDIER 2 spoke (and wrote) English as a second language, which led to some highly memorable lines of dialogue in his scripts. The first LONELY SOLDIER had the lines, “You go to the hell!” and, “I’ll not marry you, you always out killing people.”

  57. Best Chuck Norris film is easily Lone Wolf McQuade

  58. I always hated Chuck Norris. There’s a smugness to him that’s just unbearable. And the anti-commie/anti-foreigners paranoia bullshit of the movie is botherline fascist.

    I once saw this Chuck Norris movie called “The Octagon”, and it’s one of the weirdest most surreal action movie i ever seen in my whole life. I saw it with my pals back in the late 80s on VHS, my friend Mario was in a whole ninja movies run, he was the only one with a VHS player and he rented ninja movies right and left, and one of them was “The Octagon”. Chuck Norris, Lee Van Cleef and ninjas sounded like a total winner. What we got instead was an art-house action/ninja movie, where most of the stuff spoken by Norris is from voice-over. Weird, weird movie.

  59. Chuck’s whispered, echoey internal monologue in that movie is so creepy. The last place you want to be is inside Chuck Norris’ head.

  60. “Ninjas-jas-jas-jas….. but they don’t exist-st-st-st-st….”

  61. Seesm i was not the only one who though that THE OCTAGON is a really weird movie.

    Another thing i never liked about Norris is this image of a blue collar guy he tries to sell. Yeah, right! Bluecollarspoitation! I really have a tremendous dislike for this action movie heros who pretend they are one of the people. What bullshit!

  62. I just watched it for the first time and I have to say that it’s the most fun I ever had watching anything with Chuck Norris in it (Not counting DODGEBALL.) Talking about balls, you have admire this movie’s for the fake out’s they do about kids in peril. In the first scene, they kill one on the immigrant boat, so you know it’s fair game to get worried about any other kid in this movie. Then they blow up the house of the christmas tree family but the family inside seemed to have survived. Then Chuck saves a damn schoolbus full of singing kids! And you think “Well, they just kill one. That’s okay.” And then they apparently blew up a whole carnival off screen.

    (Disclaimer: Dead kids are super horrifying in real life, but don’t act as if you don’t groan whenever a kid gets saved in the last moment in a movie or TV show.)

  63. “are supposedly sending all their guys to stop one vigilante who has been killing terrorists. You know, because no one is above the law.” This is exactly what would be going on in Europe states (namely Sweden and Germany) when some vigilante starts to bust those Arab terrorists.

  64. Shit is absolutly nuts over here. But it´s more like DEATH WISH 3 than INVASION U.S.A over here. Arab terrorists in crazy mohawks assaulting our elders….and all sorts of shenanigans you can imagine.

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