HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Invasion USA
HTS Overall Score:72
The world is a sadder place now that Chuck Norris has retired from film. We still have cancer and his tears can cure them (though Chuck Norris never cries so we’re still out of luck there), he has the strength of a god and without his roundhouse kicks to the face ISIS has been able to prevail. “Invasion USA” was made in a time of glorious 80s excess, a time that can never be recreated and a film like this one would never get made again. Gloriously gratuitous and insanely over the top, it has Chuck in his prime, with that bead of us in full view while he round kicks and two guns his way through a slew of bad guys that just act as cannon fodder. If you haven, read my review or, even better, WATCH the documentary “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films”. It will make the lunacy of “Invasion USA” so much clearer and adds a bit of depth to the backstory, so to speak. Cannon Films was famous for pushing out low budget schlock and with the addition of both Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson were able to push their films to new heights, even if the scripts behind them were total rubbish.
The best way to describe “Invasion USA” is that it’s basically “Red Dawn” if Chuck Norris was here. A crazed Russian terrorist known as Mikhail Rostov (Richard Lynch) has decided that the USA needs a wakeup call. We haven’t been invaded for over a century and it’s high time that this changed, in his twisted mind. Importing hundreds and hundreds of evil terrorists into the country, he sets the whole nation up for unmitigated disaster. Soon terrorist attacks start happening EVERYWHERE. At a wedding celebration, in the middle of a neighborhood as Rostov launches RPG’s around the place, a fair, a school bus, you name it they can hit it. The U.S. government is not prepared for Guerilla warfare and calls upon the skills of the one man who was able to defeat Rostov before, Matt Hunter (Chuck Norris).
Hunter is ex Special Forces with an emphasis on the EX part of the equation. Having no desire to get involved with the government, he decides to sit this one out. That is until his friend is murdered by Rostov who still has recurring nightmares about Hunters and his last encounter. This one little mistake may have cost the Russian the whole game, because when Hunter goes a hunting, no one is safe. Strapping on twin 9mm UZI sub machine guns to himself as well as his own lethal hands and feet, Hunter goes on a killing spree that will stem the tide of terrorist activities in the U.S., or he’ll at least make sure that the government will have a few hundred less bad guys to deal with.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66953[/img]“Invasion USA” is pure unadulterated cheese with a capital C. The cover of the movie pretty much says it all. Chuck Norris….with twin guns… and carnage behind him. Yup, that’s the premise and that’s EXACTLY what you get. The situation is absurd but the action and one liners is just as absurd with a sort of self-depreciating glee that could only come from an 80’s Chuck Norris film. There’s so much action, so many one liners and so many on the body count that action junkies are in for an overload on all senses.
1985 was a time when Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson were king of action movies. The grizzled Bronson and high kicking Norris had made a TON of action movies over the years, but this was also the time when they started to hand off the reins to Stallone and Arnold. Both actors had been doing well for the last 5 or 6 years, but this was the time when Norris and Bronson were on their way out and the day of the muscle bound actors started to take over. This and “Missing in Action III” were the last glory days of our wonderful heroes. A gonzo movie from start to finish, “Invasion USA” is a wonderfully fun film that passes the torch from this one straight to “Commando” which would unleash another era of great action movies on the general public.
Rated R by the MPAA For having Chuck Norris in It
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66961[/img]The 1.85:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray looks quite serviceable for an old dusty Cannon film archive. There’s some print damage here and there, but nothing too wild. Mostly just some flecks and speckles across the screen. The detail is pretty good, with that rusty sort of 80’s film look with heavy grain and slightly dulled colors. There is some contrast brightening and the image shows a shift from film strip to film strip, but overall the image is very pleasing. Black levels are good and compression artifacts are kept to a minimum. The 80’s always had a very UNIQUE look to their film stock, and “Invasion USA” ascribes to those clichés with gusto in its film source.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=66969[/img]Shout Factory has once again given us the choice of a bone crunching 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track, or a 2.0 track in the same format. Ironically I actually liked the 2.0 track a little better as there was some issues with the 5.1 surround channels fading in and out. I’ve noticed the issue on the old DVD from MGM back in the day so I can’t blame it on Shout, but rather on the old 5.1 remix from a 2.0 source that took place back in the day. I’d assume the audio master is the same one from the decade + old DVD. The 5.1 channel experience is still a good experience, it’s just that the surround issue is a bit annoying. The track is still naturally a fairly front heavy experience and the majority of the violent sound effects take place in the two mains while the dialog is locked to the center channel. LFE is nice and impressive, but never as hotly mixed as modern track. Both audio tracks are very serviceable tracks that mimic the simplicity of cheap 80s sound design, but do the job quite nicely.
• Audio Commentary With Director Joseph Zito
• Loose Cannons
• Cannon Carnage
• Theatrical Trailer
• TV Spot
• Still Gallery
• Braddock: Missing In Action III Theatrical Trailer
“Invasion USA” is nothing special on paper, but it’s a ridiculously fun piece of mid 80s entertainment that could only have been produced by the lunacy that was allowed due to Cannon films. Gory, violent, and almost exploitative in nature, it serves as the perfect popcorn movie for those of you who can spout Chuck Norris jokes like Bible verses and have an insatiable love for someone getting a roundhouse kick to the face, while holding a grenade. Combine that with a very serviceable encode and some nice extras and you just can’t lose! Definitely recommended.
Starring: Chuck Norris, Richard Lynch, Melissa Prophet
Directed by: Joseph Zito
Written by: James Bruner, Chuck Norris
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Studio: Shout Factory
Runtime: 107 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 15th 2016
Buy Invasion USA On Blu-ray at Amazon
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