Cannon Films and Golan-Globus productions push out this ultra-patriotic film in the middle of the 1980s whereby American elite commandos kick major butt when trying to secure the freedom of a plane full of hostages hijacked by a group of Lebanese terrorists. Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin head the super-soldiers to action on the hope of saving not only as many lives as they can, but their own reputation after a botched mission sees them go down in disgrace, they feel, due to bureaucratic missteps. Menahem Golan directs this quintessentially jingoistic but gloriously unabashed entry in the Chuck Norris filmography.
In Cannon Films’ Lifeforce, we find a space shuttle mission co-funded by American and British space agencies traveling to explore Halley’s Comet up close. They soon make a discovery of an alien ship hiding in the comet’s coma, so they go on board to investigate, only to find desiccated bat-like creatures and three naked humanoid beings, a woman and two men, seemingly in a perpetual state of sleep in their individual glass sarcophagus-like pods. They bring the pods aboard to bring to study, but things go awry in ways that we don’t quite learn about until the pods are brought down to the European Space Research Centre in London. The shuttle mission’s sole human survivor, Colonel Tom Carlsen (Steve Railsback) also makes his way to Earth to spin a crazy tale, and to help with the mission to track down the space vampires trying to make their escape and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting planet. Tobe Hooper directs this big-budget oddity from 1985.
In the future, New York, after the dreaded nuclear holocaust, is a wasteland of lawlessness and gangland thuggery. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a skilled martial arts warrior named Gibson Rickenbacker, a “slinger”(aka, a mercenary for hire helping refugees), who fights for and rescues a woman named Pearl Prophet from a horde of marauders. It turns out that the woman is a woman no longer, but rather, a cyborg transformed in order to gather information and transport it to Atlanta in the hope of turning the tide on the widespread plague that has threatened humanity with extinction. However, the leader of the marauders is the fearsome psychopath, Fender Tremolo, a man who has history with Gibson and has ruined his life in the past. Fender steals her back because he wants the cure for himself, and it’s up to Gibson, along with his newly found tag-along Nady Simmons, to become Earth’s last hope.
Somewhere underneath the never-ending music and dance numbers is a story about keeping Shabba-Doo’s community center for inner city youth (named “Miracles”) from falling into the hands of a slimy developer who wants to bulldoze it to erect a shopping center in the middle of the community. This would leave the kids nowhere else to go, so obviously they choose to fight the city council’s decision to shut it down, but a window of opportunity exists, which calls for $200,000 in necessary repairs.
Former “Solid Gold” dancer Lucinda Dickey stars as Kelly, a waitress by day, aspiring jazz dancer in her spare time. She has the looks and talent to go far, at least according to her dance instructor, but this move seems to come at a price, as he wants a little action on the side to help her career. She makes friends with a couple of local street dancers, aka break-dancers, Ozone and Turbo, and she becomes enamored of the mannerisms and moves of the street dancers. They agree to teach her some steps in order to gain street rep, while she has a crazy idea to make break-dancing more mainstream in the form of a staged musical about it. Alas, the conservative art crowd scoffs at the idea, as do the rival street-dancing crews who want to be prove they are the best of the bunch.