The mysterious DwC walks among you all, down there, in the Disqus. Meanwhile, he plumbs the hidden depths so his fellow Outposters don’t have to, seeking never before appreciated nuance and creative excellence where it may have been previously overlooked for Masterpiece Theater. His secret identity remains a mystery to protect those closest to him. No secret identity is needed for the star of today’s installment. It’s only bloody Chuck Norris and Invasion USA.

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Invasion USA

Directed by Chuck Zito.  Starring Chuck Norris and Richard Lynch. Written by Chuck Norris and James Bruner. This analysis will contain spoilers.

Hundreds of Cuban and Russian terrorists, led by Mikhail Rostov (Richard Lynch), invade America and begin launching large-scale, mass casualty attacks on major cities nationwide. Just like in real life, the FBI is powerless to stop them, so it’s up to retired CIA operative Matt Hunter (Chuck Norris) to do the job.

But Hunter is hesitant to rejoin a government he no longer trusts and would rather remain retired, living in peace in the Florida Everglades with his pet armadillo and hanging out with his buddy, John Eagle (Dehl Berti). Rostov, however, doesn’t believe his devious plan will succeed if Hunter is alive, so before he launches the invasion, he tries to kill Hunter by blowing up his home in the Everglades.

Thinking he has succeeded, the invasion begins. But Hunter survived the attack that killed his best friend and agrees to step in to bring down Rostov, crush the commie terrorists, and restore order to the streets of the United States before American society collapses.

Sometimes, an action movie is just an action movie, with no messages, subtext, or pretenses of deeper meaning. They exist to do nothing other than get the blood racing with some cool explosions and car chases.

Invasion U.S.A. is not one of these films.

Yes, it boasts some of the best action set pieces ever filmed, but the socio-political themes expertly weaved throughout the narrative by screenwriter Chuck Norris are hard-hitting, to say the least. Right from the opening scene, in which a boat full of illegal immigrants from Cuba approaches the Florida coast, we know we are in the deft hands of a master storyteller firmly in tune with the geo-political landscape of the 80s and beyond, as the themes here are just as relevant today as they were in 1985, perhaps more so.

As the migrant boat drifts along, a child asks another older passenger how much longer they have to go just as a coast guard vessel approaches. As the Coast Guard boards the migrant boat, the captain gives them a hearty “Welcome to America!” as the migrants erupt in cheers. It’s very short-lived however, as the captain is Russian terrorist Mikhail Rostov in disguise. He shoots the closest Cuban in the head and orders his men to kill everyone on board.

With the killing done, his men board the vessel and open the hatch to the lower decks, revealing a huge shipment of cocaine. We’re barely five minutes into the film and screenwriter Chuck Norris is already courting controversy.

We are then introduced to Matt Hunter, buzzing around the marshes of the Florida Everglades on his fan boat without a care in the world and helping his pal John Eagle wrassle giant ‘gators. Jesus, why would anyone want to wake this sleeping giant?

In Miami, the FBI discovers the bodies of the Coast Guard members that Rostov and his men killed when they hijacked the vessel. They are being hounded by a reporter (Melissa Prophet). FBI director Cassidy (Eddie Jones) ignores her questions and orders her film destroyed. This is not the last time the FBI will be portrayed as bumbling, ineffectual morons in this film.

In order to fund his invasion of the USA, Rostov meets with arms dealer Mickey (Billy Drago) to exchange the cocaine for money and weapons. This scene expertly establishes just how dangerous and ruthless Rostov is. Billy Drago was one of the greatest villainous actors of the 80s, he killed Sean Connery in The Untouchables for God’s sake but, so was Richard Lynch. Lynch’s burn scars are a result of him taking a shit-ton of LSD and setting himself on fire in the 60s. The man was hardcore.

Mickey’s strung-out coke whore tests the cocaine and gives her stamp of approval while Drago makes the call to release the weapons to Rostov’s men. But, when he hangs up the phone, Rostov slams the broad’s head down onto her metal coke straw, burying it halfway into her brain. Drago jumps up and they tussle briefly before Rostov, I shit you not, sticks his gun down Drago’s pants and shoots his dick off. Then for good measure he tosses the screaming, bleeding woman out the window.

Back at Chuck Norris’ house, stuffed shirt CIA agent Adams (Martin Shakar) is creeping around the place looking for Chuck. But as we all know, if you don’t see Chuck Norris, you may be seconds away from death. Chuck Norris springs from the shadows and grabs him by the throat, presumably causing Adams to soil himself. Before he can even ask, Chuck Norris tells him he isn’t interested.

Adams tries to make his case, explaining that Chuck Norris’ old nemesis, Rostov, is in the country. Chuck Norris stares daggers into the man and coldly tells him:

“You should have let me kill him when I had the chance.  Now he’s your problem.”

The film cuts to Rostov wielding a grenade launcher and stalking around outside a compound of sorts. Just as he’s about to let it fly, a gun appears in the frame, pointing at Rostov’s temple. It’s Chuck Norris, and he tells Rostov:

“It’s time to die.”

Rostov wakes up screaming and soaked in sweat, clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the time Chuck Norris almost killed him but relented because he had to follow orders. In his terrified and panicked state, Rostov makes the biggest mistake of his life by ordering his men to kill Chuck Norris. His 2nd in command, Nikko (Alexander Zale) tries to talk some sense into him, but to no avail. Rostov packs it up and heads for the Everglades.

Outside his house, Chuck Norris has the chainsaw fired up for some wood cuttin’ and can’t hear the approaching airboats of Rostov and his men. Luckily, John Eagle is also nearby and shouts a warning to Chuck, then pulls out his shotgun and turns one of the commie’s guts into gazpacho before taking several rounds to the chest. Rostov fires a grenade launcher into Chuck Norris’ house just as Chuck jumps out the window to safety.

Thinking he killed Chuck Norris, Rostov celebrates and drives off with the rest of his men. Chuck Norris retrieves the body of John Eagle, places it gently on a mattress in his destroyed house, and sets the place ablaze, as is customary in the Everglades.

Rostov just killed the best friend and wounded the pet armadillo of the baddest man on the planet. Chuck Norris didn’t want to get involved, but now, it’s personal. He meets with Adams, tells that son of a bitch he’s in, makes him pay for his dinner, and gets to work.

Rostov continues to celebrate with Nikko over some hotdogs on the beach while discussing their plan and observing how soft and weak the other hotdog shack patrons are.

“In 18 hours America will be a very different place.”

That night on a quiet Miami beach, a young couple is getting frisky when a flair is launched overhead. Nikko emerges from the bushes and executes them both as a fleet of World War 2 personnel craft make landfall, the doors drop and hundreds of Ruskie and Cuban commies run out to the street where dozens of box vans are waiting. They find their assigned vans, each with a different destination city, and drive off into the night. The invasion of the USA has begun.

Rostov, never one to avoid getting his hands dirty, pulls into a suburban neighborhood full of people decorating for Christmas, kids playing football, and teenagers making out in cars. He grabs a grenade launcher from Nikko and blows up every single house in the neighborhood. This man is ice.

A few miles away, some Cuban nationals are enjoying a night of dancing at the community center when a police car rolls up and two officers exit the vehicle. Tonio (Michael Carmine) is none too happy about getting harassed by the cops again, so he starts with the sass mouth. This lasts for about 3 seconds before the cops pull out their shotguns and start shooting. They’re Commies in disguise!  Luckily, our plucky reporter is there for some reason and sees the whole thing.

She only survives because the Commie fake cops want witnesses to spread disinformation that will lead people to no longer trust the police. The plan works; when the real cops show up minutes later, they are greeted with rocks and liquor bottles.

Meanwhile, Chuck Norris needs some information. He heads into the most dangerous part of Miami, street thugs and hoodlums throwing bottles at his truck and shouting obscenities at him, while he casually rolls down the street.  He arrives at a bar where the bouncer makes the mistake of trying to throw Chuck Norris out. Chuck Norris grabs the bouncer’s hand, still clutching a beer bottle, and squeezes so hard the bottle shatters. Chuck Norris never breaks stride.

He gets the info he needs from an old war buddy. They part ways as his buddy tells him:

“I’ll see ya in Hell.”

To which Chuck Norris replies:

“Send me a postcard”

Up until now, Rostov’s plan has been succeeding rather impressively, but Chuck Norris is about to even the score. The tip he got at the bar is the location of Nikko’s right-hand man, Tomas (Alex Colon). Chuck Norris pulls up and runs over a bucket belonging to a man washing his car. He and his buddy don’t realize who ran over their bucket, so instead of saying thank you they get increasingly angry. Inside, Tomas goes to his room with an insanely ugly prostitute and is about to ride the nasty boat when Chuck Norris springs out of the closet and drives a dagger through Tomas’ hand, pinning it to the table.

Chuck Norris leans on the knife and starts asking questions. Just then, the car washer walks in to start some trouble. Chuck Norris stares at him for moment and delivers the single greatest line of dialogue in the history of human language:

“If you come back in here, I’m going to hit you with so many rights, you’ll beg for a left.”

Thoroughly intimidated, the dude leaves. Tomas spills the beans about a pending attack on a shopping mall when the car washer returns with his muscle-bound friend. Chuck Norris looks at them:

“You’re beginning to irritate me”

He leaps from his chair, kicking muscles in the stomach, dropping him instantly. Car wash boy shrinks away as Chuck Norris produces a grenade, pulls the pin, and forces it into Tomas’ good hand.

“If you live through this, tell Rostov: It’s time to die.”

Chuck Norris heads to the mall. He’s got some Christmas shopping to do.

At the mall, one of Rostov’s men is trying to plant a bomb, but a strangely determined shopper finds it and starts chasing him down to give him back his package.  A gunfight breaks out between the Commie and security, the bomb goes off, and Chuck Norris drives his truck right through the goddamn storefront.  He leaps out with two Uzis strapped to his chest and proceeds to turn the mall and every Commie in it into Swiss cheese in one of the greatest action scenes ever filmed.

The scene culminates in an astounding car chase, with the Commies holding a hostage on the outside of their truck with Chuck Norris and the mouthy reporter in hot pursuit.  They pull the woman into Chuck Norris’ truck and blow up the Commies.  Capitalism literally wins this round!

Back at his Lair, Rostov is questioning Tomas. Turns out, Tomas was supposed to join in on the mall attack, but since he didn’t show up and Chuck Norris did, Rostov is a little suspicious. After getting slapped around for a bit, Tomas spills the beans.  Yes, Chuck Norris is still alive and yes, Tomas told him about the pending attack. Rostov then asks Tomas what Chuck Norris said.

When Tomas repeats Chuck’s ominous warning, Rostov flips out, shoves his gun down Tomas’ pants, and shoots his dick off. The lesson: don’t be a dick in front of Rostov. Rostov really hates dicks.

As FBI director Cassidy surveys the aftermath of another attack they failed to prevent, one of his lackeys tells him people are arming themselves and taking to the streets in vigilante squads. Cassidy responds that they won’t be alone as the National Guard is being deployed across the country. Rostov uses this development to his advantage by sending his men out in National Guard uniforms. Unfortunately for several of them, they try to kill Chuck Norris, who immediately kills them instead.

Now, I’m no terrorist mastermind, but if you’re going to pretend to be the National Guard, maybe don’t have the most Cuban-looking guy with the poorest English taking the lead and barking orders at Chuck Norris. He sees you coming 100 miles away.

Before he kills the last guy, he gets more intel and I’m pretty sure he achieves a state of omnipotence at this point, because for the next 15 or 20 minutes, the film is just chuck Norris showing up right before an attack is launched and thwarting it. In one instance, some Commies plant a bomb on the front steps of a church and watch from across the street as they hit the detonator.  Nothing.  Then, Chuck Norris appears on the roof behind them with the bomb.

The only way to explain it is “he used magic” but at this point you don’t even question It because of how pants soilingly awesome it all is. Chuck says:

“Didn’t work, huh?… Now it will.”

He drops the bomb, re-connects the wires, and explodes the shit out of some Commies.

The next morning some people are lined up outside a grocery store for food while the owner is breaking it to them that he is still limiting the number of items they can buy due to supply chain problems. That’s when Nikko and some of his boys pull up, once again dressed as National Guardsmen. Just as they’re about to lay waste to everyone on the street, Chuck Norris appears and guns down every last one of them, except Nikko, who has taken our sassy reporter hostage (Jesus, this broad is everywhere). But where is Chuck Norris?

Nikko doesn’t see him, which means he’s as good as dead. Sure enough, Chuck Norris materializes out of thin air, grabs Nikko’s gun, and uses it to turn his head into a cloud of pink mist.  The reporter, unfamiliar with the concept of gratitude, throws a hub cap at Chuck Norris, who nonchalantly deflects it away with a wave of his hand and drives off to do some more Commie-killin, while the FBI continues to do nothing but lament the fact that they are totally powerless to prevent any of this.

Speaking of Commie killin, a car load of them pulls up next to a school bus full of kids who have obviously never seen Dirty Harry because if they had, they would know nothing good ever comes from singing Row, Row Your Boat while on a school bus. They plant a magnetic bomb on the side of the bus and the timer starts counting down as they drive off.

Enter Chuck Norris, who grabs the bomb and speeds off after the Commie car. Just as the timer hits 5 seconds, he pulls up next to the car, asks them if they lost something, and attaches the bomb. Scratch four more Commies off the list.

A little later, Chuck Norris and CIA desk jockey Adams are walking the ruins of the aftermath of an attack on an amusement park when Chuck hands him a letter detailing his new plan. It’s unknown if allowing the attack on the park to happen is part of this plan, so we’re forced to assume it is. Adams is apoplectic upon reading what Chuck Norris has in store, shouting that:

“…the agency will never go for it!”

Chuck tells him to see to it that they do. That night, Chuck Norris is relaxing in his hotel watching Earth vs The Flying Saucers when the FBI raids his room and arrests him. Cassidy walks in all smug and has the nerve to lecture Chuck Norris about vigilantism.

As Chuck Norris is being led away, a reporter sticks a camera in his face and asks if he has anything to say, and oh buddy, does he ever. He knows Rostov is watching, so he glares at the camera:

“Nikko was easy; you’re next. One night you’re going to close your eyes and when they open, I’ll be there… And it’ll be time to die.”

At this point, although he has killed hundreds of innocent men, women, and even children, I feel sympathy for Rostov.

Now that martial law is declared within the United States, Rostov sees an opportunity to strike a final blow. The governors of every state are convening to discuss how to best deal with this invasion of the USA and it just happens to be in the same vicinity where Chuck Norris is being kept in custody.  Rostov’s plan: infiltrate the meeting, kill all the governors, and finally kill Chuck Norris.

His army shoots their way into the building, killing several security guards who I guess weren’t important enough to be filled in on the plan. Once they’re inside it occurs to Rostov that there probably should be more people around, and it hits him that he’s been set up.  He delivers his best Admiral Akbar impression and yells:

“It’s a trap!”

Chuck Norris being arrested was a trick to lure Rostov’s entire army into one place where Chuck Norris could demolish them one by one. The National Guard also has the building surrounded for good measure. A massive firefight erupts between the guard and Rostov’s men while Chuck Norris stalks and kills the men inside the building using guns and a grenade launcher.

With his army surrendering outside and his henchmen inside all dead, Rostov is caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with Chuck Norris, who pops out of the shadows just long enough to punch Rostov a few times, or throw him through some cubicles, before vanishing again. But Rostov has one trick left up his sleeve: a rocket launcher.

As he’s creeping through the halls, Chuck Norris appears behind him like Michael fucking Meyers. Chuck slowly raises his rocket launcher and pulls it open to arm it.  Rostov hears the click; his face drops, he pisses and shits in his pants as Chuck Norris whispers:

“Itssss tiiime.”

Rostov lets out a cry and tries to turn around to blast Chuck Norris, but he’s too slow. Chuck pulls the trigger, the rocket tears down the hall, and Rostov gets blown to smithereens.  If you watch closely, you can see Rostov’s head flying out the window. Chuck Norris throws down his rocket launcher.  Roll fuckin’ credits.

I don’t know how Chuck Norris wrote this screenplay without resorting to black magic. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar: Illegal immigrants smuggling boatloads of narcotics into the United States. Terrorists and criminals taking advantage of insecure borders to infiltrate the country.

Criminal organizations utilize propaganda to undermine public trust in the police. The FBI failing catastrophically at everything except trampling the Constitution, vilifying American citizens, and silencing the press.

Being that this is a film from 1985 the only explanation is that Chuck Norris is psychic or capable of time travel. I am perfectly willing to accept either explanation.

From a technical standpoint the film is flawless. Chuck Zito is a stellar director, and this just might be his finest hour. The overhead shots of the war between the National Guard and the Commies during the climax rivals anything Francis Ford Coppola did in Apocalypse Now.

The score is so great you could get an adrenaline rush just from hearing someone whistle it, and the stunt work is jaw-droppingly sublime. And then there’s the performance from Chuck Norris; good God in Heaven is this a performance for the ages.  That this man doesn’t have a mantle full of Oscars tells you everything you need to know about that sham ceremony.

Chuck Norris was asked in 1985 about his motivations for writing this script. He said he meant it as a warning. It’s a shame; we could be living in a glorious Utopia by now. If only we had listened.

10 exploding Communists out of 10


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