The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

INVASION USA (1985) **

In 1984, teenagers Charlie Sheen and Patrick Swayze fended off a Communist takeover of America in Red Dawn.  Chuck Norris got wind of this and said, “If those snot nosed little punks could do it, so can I!” 


The difference is that Red Dawn was an intense action film that depicted the Communist invasion of America as a cautionary “What if…?”  The idiotic Invasion USA delivers more of a perplexing “What the…?”


The plot has the scaly faced Richard (Sword and the Sorcerer) Lynch heading up a multi-national group of Communist terrorists who invade America.  The terrorists gun down a boat full of Cuban refugees, murder couples necking on the beach, bazooka houses that are all decorated for Christmas, and blow up shopping malls.


The government wants Chuck to help blow away Commie scum but he’s too busy riding his air boat around the Everglades.  Lynch has bad dreams about Big Chuck mucking things up for his operation so he sends a bunch of Commies to Chuck’s house where they blow up his shack, kill his trusted Indian advisor and nearly slaughter his pet armadillo.  (I’m not making that last part up.)  Homeless and friendless, Chuck finally decides to strap two Uzis onto his chest to singlehandedly wipe out terrorism for good.    


Even though Chuck saves a church and a school bus from being blown up, he still takes time to mourn the dozens who get massacred at a nearby carnival. 


“For every one I stop, a hundred succeed.” 


Maybe the government’s problem was sending in ONE guy to fight off hundreds of terrorists, instead of sending in, say… the Army. 


Actually the biggest problem with the movie is that the terrorist’s “plan” is thoroughly incomprehensible.  I mean they just show up arbitrarily in the south, killing people at random, hoping that the country will slowly throw itself into chaos.  They are so sloppily organized that we never really understand what their intended goal IS, except for maybe general anarchy and an excuse for Big Chuck to earn a paycheck for Cannon Pictures. 


Speaking of Big Chuck, he doesn’t express a single emotion in this flick, but that’s okay though because he lets his automatic weapons do all the talking.  Sadly, he never really gets a chance to use his patented kung fu skills much though. 


This movie severely suffers from Get On With It Syndrome.  If you’ve ever watched an action or horror movie, you’re aware of Get On With It Syndrome.  You know how every action or horror movie ever made always starts with a bang, then there’s that draggy section where not much happens except for “character development” and the laborious set-up of the “plot”?  You just sit there, munching on popcorn saying to yourself “Get on with it!  Show me some action!”  Well Invasion USA’s “G.O.W.I.e.S” takes up more than HALF the movie before Chuck reluctantly steps into action and Uzis a bunch of Commies to death.  The fact that the movie’s running time is 107 minutes, approximately 27 minutes longer than it really needed to be, doesn’t help any.   


There’s also a gratuitous female reporter character who says things like “Didn’t you bastards ever hear of the First Amendment?” and “Where did you learn to drive, cowboy?” who adds greatly to the movie’s G.O.W.I.e.S. 


That’s not to say that this movie is a complete waste of time.  There’s a great pre-G.O.W.I.e.S scene where Richard Lynch grabs a woman snorting cocaine by the back of the head and shoves her coke straw up her nose before shooting Billy Drago in the balls.  TWICE.  The movie also contains the best car chase through a shopping mall scene since The Blues Brothers and ends with the world’s only High Noon style quick draw shoot-out with rocket launchers, so that’s at least worth SOMETHING.


The director Joseph Zito, who also directed Chuck in Missing in Action as well as Friday the 13th Part 4, does a good job with the action, but if he had hired a better editor to trim this baby down, Invasion USA could’ve been a classic.


Even though Chuck only says about 47 words throughout the whole movie, he does at least get one memorable line:  “I’m going to hit you with so many rights; you’re going to beg for a left!”

Tags: action, cannon, chuck norris, i
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