The Delta Force

Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!

I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Inspired By True Events” with a minor in “Justifiable Overkill”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!

From April of 2013, it’s the long lost speech for The Delta Force!

The Delta Force Poster

Major Scott McCoy is tired of politicians and the military hierarchy and has resigned his commission with Delta Force, an elite U.S. anti-terrorism Special Forces team, but when flight 282 from Cairo is hijacked by a group of Lebanese terrorists McCoy is recalled to duty for one last life-or-death mission. Can McCoy and Colonel Nick Alexander rescue the hostages from the machinations of Abdul Rifi and Mustafa, or will it become a repeat of the tragedy that convinced McCoy to retire in the first place? Chuck Norris stars in The Delta Force!

Released in 1986, The Delta Force is Chuck Norris’ 17th feature film and Lee Marvin’s last. One of Chuck Norris’ most notable films, Delta Force stars Norris as veteran soldier Scott McCoy, Lee Marvin as the grizzled Delta Force commander Nick Alexander, Robert Forster as the terrorist Abdul, Bo Scenson as the pilot Roger Campbell. Charles Bronson who acted alongside Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen and starred in classics like Once Upon a Time in the West, The Great Escape, and The Magnificent Seven, was originally supposed to play Col. Nick Alexander instead of Lee Marvin. Pre-shooting promotional posters produced from Cannon films (something Cannon was known to do) even feature Bronson with Chuck Norris.

The Delta Force Pre-Filming Poster

Delta Force was Produced and Directed by Menahem Golan, who also produced Van Damme’s Bloodsport, the god-awful Superman IV: The Quest for Peace as well as direct and produce the 80’s anomaly that is Over the Top starring Sylvester Stallone. With over 200 producing credits, and over 40 writing and directing credits, the Golan is no stranger to both success and failure. One of his films has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, he’s won awards from the Israeli film community for Lifetime Achievement and for his contribution to cinema, and three of his works have been nominated Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture: ‘Cannonball Run’, ‘Tough Guys Don’t Dance’, and ‘Cobra.’

"Pull my finger!" -Menahem Golan

“Pull my finger!” -Menahem Golan

The Delta Force is actually a not-so-subtle ‘inspired by true events’ film. The beginning of the film is a replication of Operation Eagle Claw, which was an attempt to rescue American hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1980. The hijacked flight in the movie bears many resemblances with the real-life hijack of TWA Flight 847 in 1985 in which a plane from Cairo is taken over by two terrorists who divert the flight to Beirut. Some of the events that take place on the plane such as the collection of passports are based on actual events that took place during the hijacking and the head flight attendant (portrayed in the film by Hanna Schygulla) is based on the real-life Ingrid Harding. Even the fictional Airline in the movie ATW (American Travelways), is an anagram of TWA (Trans World Airlines).

Chuck Norris

However, during the actual hijacking in 1985 Delta Force was dispatched to Algiers by President Ronald Reagan, but never received the go-ahead to assault the plane. The actual hostage rescue operation was inspired by Operation Entebbe conducted by Israeli commandos in 1976, which was the subject of an earlier film by Menahem Golan that was released in English as Operation Thunderbolt in 1977.

Alan Silvestri’s triumphant electronic score for The Delta Force gained new life when ABC Sports used it to intro their Indianapolis 500 broadcasts from 1988-1998 and again in 2001. It was also used for the intro of the Brickyard 400 until ABC lost the race rights to NBC Sports in 2001.

The Delta Force has a 5.5 on IMDB, a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, and with a budget of $9 million was able to rake in a modest $18 million (though it seems to have been enough to warrant two sequels: ‘The Columbian Connection’ and ‘The Killing Game’). Many critics questioned the film’s celebration of ‘eye-for an eye’ ethics and the over-the-top action that seems to capitalize on American revenge fantasies. Despite otherwise patchy response, Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars saying, “It’s a funny thing about action movies. When they don’t work, we have a lot of fun picking holes in them…When they do work, though, we forgive them their inconsistencies. ‘The Delta Force’ works. It is taut and exciting and well-tuned to the personalities of Marvin and Norris, who work together here like a couple of laconic veterans of lots of tough jobs.” Ebert goes on to praise the Robert Forster’s performance as the villain who manages to keep the threat real and the movie from becoming a comic book parody.

BUT! Behind all that historical and critical mumbo-jumbo, the bottom-line is that Delta Force is an unusually well crafted cheese fest in which Chuck Norris rides a rocket launching motorcycle through windows and roundhouse kicks terrorists in the face. In other words, it’s the perfect movie to just kick back, drink a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and congratulate yourself on being a hard-hitting, revenge-loving, terrorist-punching, freedom-distributing, red-blooded American! And really, that’s all any of us really need in life, AMIRITE?!

They don’t negotiate with terrorists… they blow them away!
The Supercult show presents: The Delta Force!

Chuck Norris


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