Import Corner: Megaforce (Umbrella Entertainment) Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

Megaforce has a reputation for being not only one of the worst films ever made, but also one of the biggest box office bombs of the 80s. Does the film live up to the reputation and does the blu-ray help dispel this reputation?

Studio: Umbrella
Release Date: June 25th, 1982 (theatrical) / August 3rd, 2022 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 39 minutes 39 seconds
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 1080p (1.78:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Slipcover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Barry Bostwick, Michael Beck, Persis Khambatta, Edward Mulhare, George Furth, Henry Silva
Written by James Whittaker, Albert S. Ruddy, Hal Needham, Andre Morgan
Directed by Hal Needham
Rating: AUS: G




What's It About?

Megaforce is an elite multi-national military unit that does the jobs that individual governments wont. When the peaceful Republic of Sardun in under threat from their more aggressive neighbour the beautiful Major Zara and General Byrne-White see the help of Ace Hunter and Megaforce.


I had high hopes for this release of MEGAFORCE. The film had been released a few times on blu-ray in Japan and Germany and those releases have looked ok at best. It's 2022, I figured that Umbrella would have gotten their hands on a new transfer, but they haven't. This is a lackluster transfer. It is dated as all hell and doesn't really look all that hot. The picture is flat with very little in the way of depth. Film grain is almost nonexistent. Detail is light at best with hair getting the most amount of detail. Colors are decent but seem off at times. Skin tones are off too with some actors looking really red while others look as white as a ghost. This transfer would have been ok at the beginning of blu-rays time on this Earth, but in 2022, it's pretty bad.


Ace Speaks! An All new 40 Minute Interview with Lead Actor Barry Bostwick (40m 55s, HD, 1.78:1) This is an audio-only interview. Starts out with the story of how he was cast in the film. He follows this up with his memories of working with Hal Needham. He says that he doesn't have any memories of Needham giving him any direction as he says that Needham trusted him and was more concerned with the stunts and other "manly things" This is a decent enough interview with Bostwick having a pretty good memory of his time on the set.
Audio Commentary with author and Mega-Fan Stephen Vagg
Audio Commentary with Barry Bostwick and Filmmaker Bob Lindenmayer
2019 Interview with actors Barry Bostwick and Michael Beck (34m 4s, HD, 1.78:1) Many of the same stories told in the other interviews are told here. Micahel Beck adds his own stories but this is clearly Bostwick's show.
Megaforce Atari 2600 Game (1m 38s, HD, 1.33:1) This is footage of the game being played followed by a TV commercial for the game.
Introvision Behind the Scenes Footage (11m 49s, SD, 1.33:1) This looks like a sales promotion telling us how great Introvision is and what films it was used on. I love that this thing exists. 
Life After Megaforce Interview with Barry Bostwick and Filmmaker Bob Lindenmayer (39m 24s, HD, 1.78:1) Bob Lindenmayer is the filmmaker behind Life After Megaforce and this is them talking about the documentary.
Life After Megaforce Documentary Trailer (5m 28s, HD, 1.78:1 windowboxed) This is a documentary that looks at the lives of the people who were involved in the making of Megaforce all these years later.
Mega-Destroyer Test Footage (3m 54s, HD, 1.85:1) It's exactly what the title implies.
Bob Rebuilds the Delta Mark IV (4m 27s, HD, 1.78:1) Again, it's exactly what the title says it is. We see the trials and tribulations of getting this thing built and tested.
Hal Needham Trailer Reel (15m 5s, HD/SD, 1.78:1/1.33:1/1.85:1) Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, Cannonball Run, Megaforce, Stroker Ace, Cannonball Run 2, Rad, and Bodyslam
Stills and Poster Gallery (3m 39s, HD)
Australian VHS Trailer (1m 46s, SD, 1.33:1)
TV Spots (48s, SD, 1.33:1) 2 TV Spots.
Teaser Trailer (43s, HD, 1.78:1)

I want to talk about the problems I had with this disc. I was able to watch the film and Hal Needham Trailer Reel just fine, but when I started to get into some of the other features, I ran into problems. When I tried to get out of the Stills Gallery, the disc froze my player to the point that I had to unplug the player to get back to the menu. When I did get back into the disc, I did the smart thing of trying to skip the company logo that plays before the disc menu and it froze again and I had to unplug the player to get things right. That is unplugging the player twice in the span of a few minutes just to get things going right. I hope that others don't have any of these problems.

The packaging is one of the best parts of this release. This is a part of Umbrella Entertainment's Beyond Genres line. We start with the slipcover. It is all black with a poster from the film in the middle of the cover art, the Beyond Genres logo at the top. Inside the slip is a double-wide clear blu-ray case. The front features another poster used for the film while the back features the Roadshow Home Video VHS cover. Inside the case, the Japanese poster is on the other side of the blu-ray artwork.

The disc is REGION FREE


MEGAFORCE is a terrible film. It is a wonder how this film even got made. It is so dull and boring. Sure, there is some stuff that you can laugh at, and the stunts in the final 10 minutes or so are very impressive, but the stuff leading up to that is so bad. The blu-ray, from Umbrella Entertainment, is very lackluster. The picture quality is not very good, but the audio is nice. The special features package is really nice, but I wish that they had spent that money on remastering the picture. There is a German release that features a brand new restoration, so I would say get that. I can not recommend this release. I actually kind of regret buying it.






Post a Comment


  1. Good review, but I personally disagree that the set is not worth buying. For fans of this terrible movie, this is no doubt the best the film will look on Western shores.

    Yes, the other disc you mention is better, but for fans that have wanted some sort of release of this for years, it’s a pretty good set. Also, if you’re not the owner of a region free Blu-Ray player, the R2 disc is unplayable anyway. Literally at this point, this is best option for those stuck with R1 Blu-Ray players.

    1. You make some good points. I am just giving my honest opinion on the disc. My view is that the disc is not worth buying but that doesn't mean its that way for others. Thank you for reading my review.

    2. I'd argue that there's literally no reason in this day and age to be concerned with the region of a bluray. Very few people *don't* own a computer of some sort.

      Before I go on note that I'm *not advocating piracy* here for the sake of overzealous moderators. If what I describe isn't legal in your area then don't do it.

      Although UHD bluray drives are still a bit pricey and the BDXL discs are both incredibly expensive and incompatible with most players since no official BDMV format for them was ever created, regular bluray doesn't have this problem. Get a drive, get free software like MakeMKV that will let you decrypt and remove region coding (this is legal in most countries for backup purposes and to allow purchased items to be used as intended, you're not doing anything wrong), and burn the now-region-free copy to a blank single layer or dual layer disk if you don't have storage to play it from.

      Now you have several advantages:
      1) You have a backup of your original disk that you'll be using instead of the original; if the backup fails, you can just copy the original again. If the original gets destroyed, you can still backup the backup. Recordable blurays don't last forever, but a couple bucks for a decade of backup is easy enough.
      2) You can play any region. UHD BD got rid of region coding entirely on the 4k discs; they still support it technically but none use it. Stupidly the included 1080p blurays are sometimes still region coded.
      3) Disks load faster. It varies, but the AACS encryption handshaking process takes a while. I used to have the Avatar BluRay and a burned duplicate of it (I had actually been paid to decrypt that disk with known methods by the AACS themselves as a third party expert auditor of software they thought hadn't conformed to their requirements for protection of keys, so nya if you want to complain about that) that I'd bring to people to show them how slow it was... the regular (encrypted) disk would take over a minute to load on older players. The unprotected disk loaded to the menu screen almost instantly.
      4) Finally, if you're not concerned with extras and such, you can often just save the main movie track on a disk as an MKV and then burn a few movies (in a series, or whatever) to a 50GB disk (the most expensive way) or put them on a thumb drive, SD card, or external USB HDD; most players and TVs will directly play files like that and each TB of space will hold anywhere from 20-60 regular blurays depending on how much space was used on them, etc. I do something similar and play them over the network since I don't care about disk menus, although my process is more complicated.