Bullet Points: T-Force
Say the name Jack Scalia to most action movie fans and you probably won’t get much of a reaction. Say the name Jack Scalia to your sassy aunt with the sensible hair cut and an affinity for wearing jaunty tops and a sly smile would appear on her face and she would repeat his name with more than a tinge of lust in her voice.
Jack Scalia may primarily be known for his work in the type of made for television movies you would find on basic cable in the 1990’s, but PM Entertainment in their infinite wisdom saw Jack Scalia as more than an handsome leading man for your aunt to dream about after watching him on the USA World Premiere Movie. PM Entertainment saw Jack Scalia as an action star and cast him to be the lead in 1994’s T-Force…
- Who You Gonna Call?: A group of terrorists led by Samuel Washington (played by venerable action movie bad guy Vernon Wells) have targeted the British Ambassador at his office in downtown Los Angeles. The terrorists have the entire building under siege and they are not messing around. They are demanding that their imprisoned brothers in arms be released and brought to the them and to show the authorities that they mean business, Washington defenestrates a secretary out of one of the upper floor windows and the cops who have surrounded the building can do nothing but watch the innocent woman plunge to her death. Drastic situations call for drastic measures and the new experimental cyborg cops known as the T-Force are called into action. It was like Universal Soldier meets Die Hard, as the T-Force make their way into the building disguised as released prisoners and they instantly start kicking terrorist ass… they even manage to stop Samuel Washington from escaping via helicopter as they blow it up moments after he has taken off from the roof of the building… the only problem is, Washington took some hostages with him to guarantee his safe passage.
- Shitlist: After their lapse in judgment cost the lives of six hostages, the cyborg cops (or cybernauts as they are known in movie) are under scrutiny from city officials including the mayor and the chief of police. The creator of the cybernauts Dr. Gant pleads with the powers that be that like humans, his cybernauts can make a bad decision from time to time, he also points out that if they had not taken out Washington that the casualty count could have been much higher. The mayor is having none of it and she orders that the T-Force program be shut down and the cybernauts be dismantled immediately. This is music to the ears of our hero Lt. Jack Floyd (Jack Scalia, The Rift) who tried to stop the T-Force leader from blowing up the helicopter but to no avail. We learn that Jack’s issues with cybernauts aren’t just professional, but also personal. Jack has an issue with the cybernauts (or robots as he calls them) taking jobs from actual human beings (even the strippers in this movie are now cybernauts!) If Jack had his way “the robots” would all be melted down and turned into toaster ovens and can openers.
- Prime Objectives: Dr. Gant goes back to his lab and breaks the news to “his children” that he has been ordered to dismantle them. The T-Force leader Adam (Evan Lurie, Expect to Die) takes exception to his news… Adam points out that they were programmed to survive and by allowing themselves to be dismantled, they would be going against their programming. One of the other members of the T-Force team Cain (Bobby Johnston, Maximum Breakout) points out that they were also programmed to uphold the law and if the law is ordering them to be dismantled then so be it. Cain is the only member of the team that feels that way as Zeus (Deron McBee, The Killing Zone) and Mandragora (Jennifer MacDonald, Orion’s Key) side with Adam and then all hell breaks loose after Adam snaps the neck of his creator Dr. Gant and the trio of now rogue cybernauts kill the rest of the staff in the lab.
- Strange Bedfellows: Adam, Zeus and Mandragora (nice name by the way) have now declared war on the law that has ordered them to be terminated… their first target is the chief of police as they drive a squad car right into police headquarters and start shooting up the place and the cops who were inside. Realizing that Mayor Pendleton is likely their next target, Jack Floyd suggests something unorthodox, especially for him, he asks if he can enlist the assistance of the one member of T-Force that is still on the side of the law, Cain, to help him battle Adam, Zeus and Mandragora (again nice name). This development gave the movie an Alien Nation vibe and wouldn’t you know despite their differences, Jack and Cain ended up making a pretty formidable team.
T-Force is an example of PM Entertainment at their best. T-Force had all the bells and whistles that PM Entertainment was known for… action packed stunts (people flying out of windows) a little sexual content to make things sizzle, explosions (they blow up a helicopter in the first 10 minutes of the movie) and vehicular mayhem (three words: DUNE BUGGY CHASE).
But the action will only get you so far, the cast has to do their part too and that to me is where T-Force really shines… Jack Scalia brought just the right amount of swagger to his portrayal of Lt. Jack Floyd and was 100% believable as the set in his ways cop that is forced to change… The role of Adam was probably the biggest and most significant role I have ever seen Evan Lurie in and he nailed it… Deron McBee had the best performance I’ve ever seen out of him… But the real surprise was Bobby Johnston as Cain. Bobby was T-Force’s most valuable player and his character was the heart of the movie.
It is bells and whistles time Bulletproof Action style, here are your Bonus Bullet Points…
- Familiar Faces: Mayor Pendleton was played by Erin Gray of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and A Dangerous Place fame… Stefanos Miltsakakis of Legion of Iron fame played Mohawk, the leader of a post apocalyptic type group who now live in an abandoned steel mill on the outskirts of town. Mohawk and his followers do not last long as Adam decides that the old steel mill would be perfect as the T-Force hideout… The British Ambassador was played by Clement von Franckenstein, who you may remember from Lionheart as the rich guy who clapped funny and bet on Lyon in his fight with Atilla.
- Unexpected Scene #1: The technology hating Jack attempting to engage in some virtual reality sex.
- Jack’s Catchphrase: “Kiss my butt!”
- Unexpected Scene #2: The poorly named Mandragora finds a porno mag laying around and questions Adam what the people in the pictures are doing and then questions if they have the ability to do those things. So Adam takes her outside and they start to undress and experiment while Zeus watches from the window consulting the magazine to see if his friends are doing it right.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see a cybernetic Deron McBee flip someone the bird, then this is the movie for you!