Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Recap

Jamie

The police captain of the 16th Precinct is in some hot water and needs to get gang violence under control before it’s too late. Begging for more manpower he is given the best recruits in The City, our friends from Police Academy. Can they clean up the streets and perhaps have a good time doing it before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.

How?! All our favorite characters (minus half of them) from the first film are back, Jack! And they’re ready to crush some criminals on the streetz. When the toughest precinct in The City is under scrutiny for their inability to control a dangerous street gang, the captain asks the academy for some extra manpower. The top graduates from the latest class are all called in for duty. Unbeknownst to them, though, Mauser, a sycophant ladder-climber, is hoping to sabotage the effort (*gasp* a saboteur!) as he is next in line to be captain. Hilarity ensues, of course, as our heroes botch investigations, razz Mauser with some zany pranks (classic Gutes), and perhaps even fall in love. Things come to a head when the captain orders the recruits to deal with the gang by any means necessary and they do a valiant job taking out a whole bunch of them. Enter Mauser, though, who purposefully allows them to walk free on technicalities. Feeling like his job is on the line, the captain puts on a community street fair as a last ditch effort but it backfires when the street gang, led by Zed, disrupts the affair. The captain is fired and Mauser is promoted leading to the firing of Mahoney as well due to his many well-planned and executed pranks against Mauser. In a final effort to take out the gang the captain and Mahoney organize an undercover operation to infiltrate the gang headquarters. They are able to locate the HQ, take them all out, and get back their jobs. Hooray. THE END.

Why?! Now this is an interesting question. This time Mahoney and the rest of the recruits don’t really have motivation. They are just doing their job come hell or high water. But as is usually the case the bad guy, Mauser, does have motivation. He wants to see the new recruits fail (along with the current captain) because he’s next in line for being promoted to captain. He doesn’t even care if that means putting some bad guys back out on the street. He’s just hungry for power, baby.

Who?! This will be a first as there is actually a very famous truck featured in the film. When Tackleberry and Kirkland get married at the end of the film they drive off in a monster truck. That monster truck? Bigfoot 3. I believe this is the only film that particular iteration of Bigfoot was featured in, but hard to say. The best is Bigfoot 7 that was built for Road House and then featured in Tango & Cash. Word up.

What?! Miller High Life is still the late-night drink of choice for our main characters but now that they are serious police officers they need the refreshment and energy provided by a nice cold Pepsi. Need to stop a street gang of anarchists? Grab a Pepsi. Much like the institutional staying power of a well-run government, Pepsi give you the staying power to keep the streetz clean of anarchists.

Where?! Still set in the city. Would be interesting if in the future they actually break and let slip where this is all set. Obviously far in the future Mission to Moscow will have a true setting, but I could imagine a director coming along and being like “this is kinda supposed to be Los Angeles anyway, right. Slap some CA license plates on those cars.” Anyway, the only added thing here is that at the beginning of the film Mahoney is on beach duty, so we know The City is on the coast somewhere. D-

When?! I also wonder whether there will come a time where they hit a holiday… like a July 4th riot or something just so I have something to say here. Much like the last film this seemed to not be concerned with the temporal setting. The officers are too focused on their job to note that the Memorial Day is coming up or anything like that. Lame. F.

You can tell that narratively the series will be in a slow descent downwards from a not particularly high starting point. It’s already a little looser and sloppier with how things are put together, particularly concerning Zed’s entire gang and the ending at an abandoned zoo which is lame. But speaking of Zed, I don’t say this lightly. I actually liked Bobcat Goldthwait and his character in this film. He is supposed to be a crazed and dangerous anarchist but given what he says and how he acts he’s actually seems like a nice person who just doesn’t know or adhere to norms of society and thus scares people. I actually found his entire character pretty funny and interesting. What I’m saying is that I can see why his character was brought back as a new recruit in the third film (oh you didn’t know that? Yes the main criminal in this film is then a police recruit in the next). Anyway, I felt like the film also lost a little of its edge in this one. A lot tamer which in some ways was good (less offensive) but also not quite as interesting as the first one was. Kinda settling in for the long haul. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember that film Police Academy? What if we did it again? No I mean, literally, what if we did it all exactly the same way again, but with Bobcat Goldthwait? Cool, Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – It is quite obvious that Kim Cattrall managed to sneak away from the franchise at this point, but it was a bit surprising they so suddenly took it to the streets instead of staying in the more comfortable confines of the Academy this early in the franchise. That was the main interesting thing. Making a film mostly on a single set is one thing, but how would everything translate when they were driving around an actual city?

The Good – Oof, this film might feel identical to the first film, but somehow that makes it all the worse that it is a complete garbage film that I hate. It was a pleasant surprise that they brought back most of the cast still. And there were a few solid call backs to the original film. But mainly Bobcat Goldthwait is the one and only bright spot in this horrid film. His character is weirdly nice, but obviously, to a degree that he lives as an anarchist, but seemingly accidentally? It is kind of nuts and I kind of love it.

The Bad – Ugh, most everything. The film feels like it doesn’t have a plot. It recycles one of the main ideas (the antagonist is tasked with sabotaging the Police Academy crew) when there is little to no reason to do so. The fact is that the crew sucks. They are objectively terrible police officers, at least for intercity work (I did like the idea that The Gutes is a fantastic beach cop). So why couldn’t the antagonist have just been Bobcat? Like … why do they need to battle both Bobcat and their own captain? Muddles the whole thing unnecessarily.

You Just Got Schooled – In the last recap I watched the pilot for the 1997 live action police academy television show. So why not watch an episode of the 1988 cartoon? For one it is horrible. Like downright terrible. Holy smokes. There were a few fun things. Like how all the voices aren’t even close to the actors in the films. And also the choices of which characters would be represented. Even just watching two films you actually see all of the characters but one, Thomas “House” Conklin who debuts in the fourth film and is fat and loves to eat. There is also a wacky professor character, but he is naturally only in the animated series (missed opportunity in my opinion). But really dire stuff. On the level of the Star Trek animated series, which was just as embarrassing.

The BMT – Again, just working our way through the franchise. At the moment the third does not qualify for BMT, so I would guess it’ll take two or three more rounds to finish off. That will be a great day indeed.

Welcome to Earf – Steve Guttenberg was in this and Police Academy, with Kim Cattrall who was in Bonfire of the Vanities with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator for Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the Kind: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – The lists of worst films from the 80s are hard to come by in the end. So I’ll say that I enjoyed the first Police Academy much much more than the second which immediately felt tired and overdone outside of Bobcat. This list, however, disagrees. Makes me rather intrigued by the third film. That could end up being the only one of the franchise I actually like? Maybe it’ll just the the one I don’t hate. Either way, it could be better.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

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Police Academy Recap

Jamie

When our hero Mahoney is given a choice between jail and entering the Police Academy he is dead set on flunking out as quickly as possible. When that is made impossible he is dead set on having as much fun and raising as much hell as possible. Can he have a super fun time before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy.

How?! Alright so that really isn’t the plot of this film. Really what happens is that The City has a new mayor who wants to bring down crime and part of that plan is to open up the police academy to all comers (and not just white straight macho males). The police don’t like this. They don’t want women or minorities being police officers and lament the days of yore where they couldn’t be (it’s all obviously very offensive). The police decide to force these misfits out of the academy by making their lives a living hell and forcing them to quit. Enter Mahoney. He is a slacker extraordinaire who specializes in razzing authority. When he has another run in with the law he is given the choice between jail and the academy. He obviously says yes to that dress and enters the police academy with the aim of getting kicked out (fat chance). The rest of the film is the zany antics of these kooky recruits as they run amok on campus and the police officer try to get them to quit. Too bad because these recruits have got guts and won’t give up because they legit want to be officers. Even Mahoney at a certain point realizes that he kinda like his pals and the potential love interest he has met there. Maybe he actually does want to be a police officer after all. Just at that moment though he ends up getting kicked out at the same time that a major riot breaks out downtown and the recruits are sent in as part of the peace keeping crew. Mistakenly sent to the heart of the riot Mahoney and a similarly dishonored recruit Hightower end up playing the heroes and are able to stop the ringleader of the riot. They end up graduating top of the class and gearing up for their First Assignment. THE END.

Why?! There is actually a very clear motivation in this film, which surprised me. Most of the characters truly want to be police officers and have finally been given this chance by the new mayor’s policy. The police officers mostly want to see these recruits quit because they don’t look or sound like the police officers of yesteryear (catch up with the times, bro). These two motivations are the driving force of a lot of the film. But really our main character is Mahoney and he doesn’t care about any of that. He floats around life with a smile on his face just looking to not be too serious and perhaps smooch with a lady here and there. When something gets in the way of his slacker lifestyle he tries to get out of it and quick by pranking people. His only clear motivating factor is to avoid jail and it’s only at the end of the film that he finally realizes that in fact he just might like this police business after all, thus setting up six sequels (duh).

Who?! The most obvious thing is that former NFL star Bubba Smith is one of the main characters in the film and is actually pretty good. Otherwise there are a couple uncredited things on IMDb that are throwing me for a loop. I saw that it was claimed that John Hawkes was in this film in an uncredited part and I was like “I don’t believe you.” But indeed there he was driving a truck and laughing like a maniac. Wow.

What?! Given that the sequel was chock full of product placement it’s a bit of a surprise that the first is not. When they do get the opportunity to get their party on about halfway through the film though the choice is obviously a refreshing Miller High Life. And that stays consistent in the second one as well, so that pretty much turns it around for me. I’m just really into narrative consistency. So now I guess I like Police Academy.

Where?! It’s been a while since we had one but this is purposefully no set anywhere. It is set in The City. None of the license plates have state names on them and it was all filmed in Canada so there isn’t even a place in the US you could say it looks like. There is a weird aspect to the sequel, but I’ll get to that in the other post. F

When?! You think this would be specified by the location would be totally hidden. What I think we’ll come to learn is that the Police Academy series exists outside of space and time. You can never pin down when for time is a flat circle for the police academy. It just is and will ever be. Over and over and over for all eternity.

This film was just as incredibly offensive as pretty much every 80’s comedy is at this point. A number of the established police officers are outspoken racists and sexists. The film is rife with gay panic. Even our hero Mahoney throws around a few homophobic slurs here and there. A major plot point is that the head of the academy mistakenly gets a blowjob from a prostitute hiding within a podium while he’s giving a speech (for real). It’s already crazy but then when he looks back at the podium Mahoney pops out and he goes into a tailspin. The thought that he received a mistaken blowjob from Mahoney makes this otherwise dumb and loveable character insist that they figure out some way to kick him out of the academy. It’s a bizarre and long gay panic joke. Anyway the only redeeming thing you could say about the humor was that generally the bad qualities are confined to the antagonists. The recruits are all colors and creeds after all, so they are pretty much fully tolerant of each other. Still, though, Mahoney does come off poorly as he spies on ladies in the shower and sexually harrasses a fellow cadet. Always strange to watch an 80’s comedy now. Other than I laughed a couple times and I can see why at the time some people liked it I guess. Funny enough it reminded me a lot of the film CHIPS… except that was made today and boy did it not work anymore. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember when the mayor allowed anyone into the police academy and we all became gross misogynists and homophobes? No? Well in the alternative universe of Police Academy we did apparently. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – When I told my father-in-law I was watching this film he was somewhat aghast. Because in his estimation Police Academy was on the same level of Airplane! The reviews disagree obviously, but it is definitely interesting. Bill Clinton apparently loves all of these films. Growing up things like Spaceballs (58% on Rotten Tomatoes) and Robin Hood Men in Tights (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) were films I watched multiple times a year, so it has to just be the times we live in. I guess I was ready to see why Police Academy because such a hit in that it spawned 6 sequels.

The Good – Guttenberg is very charming in the film, to the point where despite him being an objectively terrible person you still kind of like him. The ensemble cast is put together well and is well used top to bottom it feels like, they all serve a somewhat interesting purpose in the original film. This is less of an Airplane! and more of a discount-Stripes in reality. If you like Stripes, then this is a pretty good version of that type of movie I think. I also secretly love how Guttenberg plays to blowjob gag … you’d have to watch the movie to know what I mean, but that part holds up surprisingly well.

The Bad – My god, the homophobia, the misogyny. I know I shouldn’t be shocked, but it is shocking. Guttenberg sexually harasses and (possibly) assaults ladies throughout the film (but they love it don’t they? You salty dog you), everyone just cannot believe that there are gay clubs in Big City USA (and if you don’t watch out the big burly gay men will dance with you! The horror, the horror). It is on occasion played for a solid laugh, but mostly is just really dated and gross. The main issue otherwise is that the film just doesn’t seem to really have a plot. It is a cut rate Stripes. A bunch of jokers go to the Police Academy, shenanigans etc. etc., they are semi booted from the program, they have a big (somewhat self-inflicted) adventure where they become heroes. It just doesn’t have nearly the comedic chops to pull it off (and Stripes nearly doesn’t, the third act is an honest to god catastrophe!).

You Just Got Schooled – Did you know that they made two Police Academy television shows? Did you know you can watch the pilot for the 1997 live action one on YouTube complete with commercials? My main takeaway: Commercials from 1997 were wild, and also I watched too much television when I was like 10 because I remember every single one of these commercials (literally). Oh the show? Not shockingly terrible. I’m not surprised it got cancelled, but it isn’t actually as brutal as you might think. It is silly, but also kind of funny if you aren’t too concerned with it having any kind of continued story … well, except for the entire pilot hinging on the cadets beating a motorcycle gang in a ice hockey game. It is an hour long, the acting all sucks, the gags all suck, and the writing sucks. It is shocking what people would put on television in the 90s. This is 1997! Let’s just say it isn’t exactly competing with Frasier and Seinfeld for the Comedy awards.

The BMT – Of all of the franchises we could do, this is the one I think that is the most important. In the 80s there were plenty of franchises that were driven into the ground. The most notorious were horror franchises, like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. But comedy film franchises usually don’t grow so large. The Earnest films and Beethoven films are kids films and thus logically transition nicely to straight-to-DVD. The only equivalent I can think of is the American Pie franchise in the 2000s. Even then, it is beyond crazy that Guttenberg in particular is in the first six of these films! They were cash cows and everyone knew it and have openly stated that that is why they acted in them. It is kind of fantastic.

Welcome to Earf – Kim Cattrall is in both Police Academy and Bonfire of the Vanities with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator of Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – While not actually in the list Police Academy gets a shoutout in this 10 worst list of 1984, which suggests it is a possible borderline honorable mention. Its real claim to fame is as a franchise where it basically redefined what a “franchise” meant. The fact that it is on that list which is obviously heavily skewed towards recent films still mentioned it at number three says everything you need to know about how important Police Academy is as a bad franchise.

Still got one more of these to do. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Quiz

You were all still distracted by the three B’s: Beer, Boobs, and Bobcat Goldthwait. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t figure out the non-plot of this plotless garbage film.

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we see poor poor Sweetchuck locking up his shop and then getting assaulted by Zed and the gang of hoodlums at an ATM. But … what does Sweetchuck sell?

2) To take care of the hoodlums the city decides to try something difffffferent, and calls up the Academy for a batch of their best and brightest. Which of the recruits from the first film make the cut and what are their stereotypes … er, I mean defining characteristic?

3) Meanwhile the eeeevil Lt. Mauser is tasked with running the new recruits out of town. How does the gang get back at him twice?

4) As a final desperate act what does Lassard do in order to try and regain control of the streetz?

5) In a very Never Never Land Lost Boys type of situation Zed and the gang are holed up somewhere outside of the city. Where?

Answers

Police Academy Quiz

I know y’all were distracted by the three B’s: Beers, Boobs, and Buffalo Wings (fine, only the first two were in the film I think), but try desperately to remember what this plotless film is actually about.

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What did Mahoney do to get himself trapped in the Police Academy, either committing to complete the training, or get thrown in jail?

2) How many of the police academy crew can you name and their defining stereotype … er, I mean characteristic?

3) In one of the weirder gags the head of the Academy gets a blowjob while standing behind a podium giving a presentation. He thinks it is from the Gutes (he wishes), but it was actually by a prostitute. Why was there a prostitute in the Academy though?

4) Prior to the big finale both Hightower and Mahoney are kicked out of the Academy. Why?

5) In the grand finale a giant riot breaks out and Hightower (who had returned to his florist job in the area) and Mahoney save the day. How did the riot start?

Answers

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Preview

“That’s right. I’m going to resurrect the all-powerful demon Gigandet,” explains that piece of shit hack Manfred Long. “Legend tells of a great Book of Power that would allow for its resurrection. A book of such literary value that its destruction would leave the world a ruin for lack of artistic inspiration. Your agent has been in it for the long con. He was never sure you would be the one to create the BoP, but when we caught wind of your new YA novel on the Dark Web it became clear. Swamp Monster love interest? Genius. So he prepared to take the manuscript by force and find a buyer, I on the other hand prepared for the arrival of Gigandet. The greatest of all demons.” With that, Manfred Long (that hack) begins to laugh and laugh and laugh. Not willing to let this happen Patrick and Jamie use their twin powers to back flip their way over Manfred Long’s head and kick the gun out of his shitty hands. Manfred is stunned and suddenly another gunshot rings out. He falls as Patrick’s literary agent rises and pulls off his bulletproof vest. A quadruple agent! My God! “Patrick, I’m sorry. I know all along that Manfred Long was a hack and looking to double or triple cross us. His incredibly long expository statement and your fancy moves gave me just enough time to recover and put an end to this.” They shake hands. “There is still one thing I don’t understand,” says Patrick, but his literary agent stops him. “Officer Edwin O’Brien. FBI. Thirty-one years. Retiring tomorrow.” They all chuckle a bit. “I was serious, by the way,” says Officer O’Brien, “Those were some pretty serious moves you put on that piece of shit Manfred Long. If you ever want to give policing a try just give the academy a call and tell them Officer O’Brien sent yah.” That’s right! We’re finally doing it. We’re doing the Franchise-zzzzz cycle right by starting our journey through the Police Academy movies with both Police Academy (as a bonus) and Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. There are seven films and all of them are terrible enough for BMT. We’ve talked about it long enough! Let’s go!

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) – BMeTric: 41.4

policeacademy2theirfirstassignment_bmet

policeacademy2theirfirstassignment_rv

(Pretty consistent over the years, although did venture into 50+ territory for a while. For the IMDb rating 5.7 isn’t nearly as terrible as I’d imagine, although I don’t think people tend to watch it these days unless they are looking to specifically watch … y’know … a Police Academy film. Huge jump in rating though … very very weird, the films are straight up not good!)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dreadful follow-up to 1984 hit (with different writers and director responsible). There are Dragnet episodes with more laughs than this movie.

(Love the niche burn. For all I know Dragnet was a laugh-riot.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fs3W2Fqkds

(I kind of love that in both cases they end with a gun gag delivered by Tackleberry. But buckle up, another series of loose vignettes involving not particularly well known comedians from the 1980s … joy.)

Directors – Jerry Paris – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Won a Primetime Emmy for directing the Dick Van Dyke Show. His son appears in a bit part in the film.)

James Signorelli – (Known For: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark; Easy Money; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Worked on the film for three weeks before being fired and replaced by Jerry Paris.)

Writers – Neal Israel (characters created by) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Now mostly works in TV including a 2012 show called Dog with a Blog… I’d watch it.)

Pat Proft (characters created by) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Hot Shots!; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Brain Donors; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: While he wrote pretty much every spoof movie ever, he only directed Wrongfully Accused.)

Barry W. Blaustein (written by) (as Barry Blaustein) – (Known For: Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Primarily known as a writer, he did direct The Ringer.)

David Sheffield (written by) – (Known For: Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Brother of Buddy Sheffield who was the head writer of In Living Color.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Home for the Holidays; Cocoon; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Amazon Women on the Moon; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Affluenza; Surrender; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy; Notes: The Gutes. Apparently beat out Bruce Willis for the lead in Police Academy. Classic Gutes.)

Bubba Smith – (Known For: Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Silence of the Hams; Stroker Ace; Black Moon Rising; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Former professional football player that went on to have a pretty solid career in film. Died in 2011.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Guarding Tess; Citizen Ruth; Irreconcilable Differences; Jing wu ying xiong; Four Friends; The Enforcer; Suture; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Died suddenly at the age of 51 from a heart attack. It was the same age his father died at also from a heart attack.)

Budget/Gross – $7.5 million / Domestic: $55,600,000

(A hugh smash hit given the budget, that is nuts! Given the lists below I had kind of assumed it was a bomb!)

#11 for the Comedy – Bumbling genre

policeacademy2_bumblingcomedy

(So this is also known as the Kevin James genre. This is also by far the least revenue we’ve seen for BMT, but it is also quite old. Arguably once adjusted this is one of the most successful even made. Smashed it in the 80s and 00s, but seems to be waning a bit in popularity. Just wait another two years and it might just come back to be honest.)

#56 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

policeacademy2_comedysequel

(Surprisingly mid-table to borrow a British-ism. Rebounded in the last year, so I imagine will see a few more comedy franchises pop up and die completing the current sequel-cycle.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (4/14): No consensus yet.

(As usual pretty weak, but definitely a less positive take than the first. The consensus is basically “same old same old, although at least this one has Bobcat Goldthwait in it” Reviewer Highlight: They’re not movies so much as variety shows featuring talented young comics. – Paul Attanasio, Washington Post)

Poster – Sklog Skool 2: Flunkin’ Out (B-)

police_academy_two

(I like the darker blue overtone to the whole poster and the framing is more interesting (not to mention the slightly tilted subtitle). Still not the most interesting and they basically write a whole novel for the tagline.)

Tagline(s) – Watch out! They’ve got to clean up the worst crime district in the world. But that’s no problem. They’re the worst police force in the universe. (D-)

(Lol, what? It sounds like a placeholder that they ended up using because they got tired or forgot or something. At least it’s not offensive or something.)

Keyword(s) – blonde; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 90.9 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.0 The Hottie & the Nottie (2008); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.4 Crossroads (I) (2002); 85.6 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.6 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 82.5 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991);

(Smashing this list obviously. Kind of a weak list though … every movie will have a blond person in it presumably.)

Notes – G.W. Bailey had hoped to return as Lieutenant Harris, but was passed over in favor of Art Metrano as the antagonist in this film and Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986). Bailey instead took a job working with Director Hugh Wilson on Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985). On a day off, G.W. visited this movie’s set to film an uncredited cameo in the wedding reception scene. He appeared from behind, as the man having his picture taken by the photographer. (Fun fact)

Some original cast members had allegedly complained about losing screentime to the new cast members. At one point, shooting was shut down and a mediator was brought in to mellow the cast. (There weren’t that many new cast member though, just two and they kind of replaced two other cast members who left … I guess they expected to get more screentime than in the first one?)

Tim Kazurinsky was originally only to appear in the opening scene. But Director Jerry Paris enjoyed the chemistry between Kazurinsky and Bobcat Goldthwait, so the character of Sweetchuck was created during filming. (Interesting. Probably the only interesting part of the film)

The only movie in the original Police Academy heptalogy in which Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) does not appear. After the first film was completed, Leslie was pregnant with a baby daughter, which prevented her from working on this sequel. (That is pretty funny)

Tim Kazurinsky’s character was to be called Mr. Schewchuk, as the name appears on the store window. Jerry Paris changed the name to Sweetchuck, after Bubba Smith flubbed several takes trying to pronounce “Schewchuk”.

Screenwriter Barry W. Blaustein stated that he was approached during production by Bubba Smith (Hightower), who complained about being given a minimal amount of lines, compared to the other actors. The reason for this was that Blaustein had been told by producers that “Bubba couldn’t do dialogue”. (That’s kind of offensive, he’s not that much worse than someone like Winslow to be honest)

The only Police Academy movie to feature Commandant Eric Lassard’s brother, Pete (Howard Hesseman). Howard was asked to reprise his role in later sequels, but he outright refused, saying that he regretted doing this film in the first place. (Ayup, makes sense)

Bill Paxton was offered the role of Zed, but turned it down, because the contract required him to also work in the future sequels. He ended up doing Aliens (1986) instead. (Smoirt)

Despite the fact that no such character exists in the movie, a blonde policewoman appears on the official poster. This was an inside joke made by the producers, as they had also requested that the same “sexy girl” be included on an earlier version of the first film’s poster. (huh)

In an interview prior to the start of production, David Graf said that he would not mind doing a series of Police Academy movies. “I’d do it strictly for the money. (Wife) Kathy and I went to a party at Hugh Wilson’s, and it was all very ritzy, with valet parking, caviar, champagne, all that, and while we were there, surrounded by all that luxury, Kathy and I were talking about how we were going to pay the gas bill. The gas company had told us they were going to discontinue service the next day. I don’t want to be in that position again. So, yes, I would do a series of Police Academies, for money.” True to his word, Graf appeared in all seven of the original Police Academy movies. (Genuinely awesome. One of the better characters in the films IMO.)

Upon being cast as seamstress Chloe Daniels, the love interest of Mahoney, Julie Brown had been told her role was that of a major ensemble player. Julie was later disappointed to learn that several of her scenes with Steve Guttenberg, bar two nearly cameo appearances, had been cut from the final print. (Hmmm, it didn’t really even occur to me that he didn’t have a love interest storyline in this one, funny.)

According to Producer Paul Maslansky , the returning actors and actresses from the original Police Academy (1984) wanted more money to work on the sequel. The above-the-line (principal talent) costs were about one and a half million dollars, including Maslansky’s own fee. (That is incredibly low, I had figured they’d make six figured, but some of them probably didn’t even clear 100K considering how big the cast is, which is weird to think about.)

Steve Guttenberg almost did not return for the sequel, as he was not pleased with the script as originally presented to him. After some re-writes, and a bigger paycheck, Guttenberg was happy to reprise Mahoney. (And then he appeared for two more as well)

In an interview shortly after this film’s release, Steve Guttenberg said that being in a major hit like Police Academy (1984), that earned a lot of money and extremely nasty reviews, was both a help and a hindrance. “There’s an advantage because the film makes a lot of money. But the disadvantage is that they want you to keep doing it again and again. You can get stuck in them. I was very reluctant to do the sequel, but there’s a contract. They’ve got options on me forever, but they’re very understanding about my desires.”

According to Bubba Smith, he made more money from his work on this film alone, than he had earned in ten years of playing professional football. This was due to Bubba having requested a 2 percent piece of the movie’s profits, in lieu of a higher salary prior to shooting. (Noice)

According to Julie Brown, Steve Guttenberg was not very nice to her on set. While filming the street fair scene, where Mahoney takes Chloe on a date by riding the Ferris wheel, Steve refused to go through with their scripted kissing scene, telling Julie that his character would not kiss hers. At Guttenberg’s insistence, the entire romantic subplot with Mahoney and Chloe ended up being deleted from the final cut. (Wowzah, sounds like a dick. I hope there is a better second side to that story for Guttenberg’s sake)

(At around one hour and twenty-three minutes) The monster truck Tackleberry drives away in, with his bride, is Bigfoot 3, the third version of the first ever monster truck built. The truck returns (Bigfoot 6) in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), also driven by Tackleberry. (WHAT? That is awesome … does Bigfoot have an IMDb profile?! … It does not, boo)

Police Academy Preview

This film was watched as a BONUS along with Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. Look for that preview for the continued adventures of the Bad Movie Twins.

Police Academy (1984) – BMeTric: 14.4

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(Wow dropped from a 30 BMeTric to a sub-15 which is crazy. Why are people all of a sudden thinking this film is funny? Guttenberg is charming perhaps, but genuinely funny? I find it hard to believe.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Generally good-natured comedy (with typical ‘80s doses of sexism and tastelessness) about a group of weirdos and misfits who enroll in big-city police academy. Winslow’s comic sound effects are perfect antidote for slow spots in script. Followed by far too many sequels, a TV series, and an animated TV series.

(I think this is generally the accepted belief. Winslow and Guttenberg are both serviceable with Winslow’s machine gun sound effect stealing the show at times. Glad he shouted out the sexism and junk, it is fine that that was what the 80’s was like, but we can acknowledge that that shit ain’t funny anymore. Amazing homophobia though as well, gay panic up the wazoo.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FebYWUGucpA

(That is basically it. A series of 80s slapstick vignettes with no real discernible story. Have fun.)

Directors – Hugh Wilson – (Known For: The First Wives Club; Blast from the Past; Guarding Tess; Future BMT: Burglar; BMT: Dudley Do-Right; Police Academy; Notes: Just passed away this last year. Won a Primetime Emmy for writing a show he produced called Frank’s Place.)

Writers – Neal Israel (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; BMT: Police Academy; Notes: Previously married to Amy Heckerling who directed European Vacation, Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Look Who’s Talking Etc.)

Pat Proft (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Hot Shots!; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Brain Donors; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy; Notes: Actually wrote The Star Wars Holiday Special. Wow.)

Hugh Wilson (screenplay) – (Known For: Blast from the Past; Guarding Tess; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; Burglar; Down Periscope; BMT: Dudley Do-Right; Police Academy; Notes: There is a claim on IMDb that he has a screenplay that is going to be produced that is about the first police force assembled in the Middle Ages with an alternate title of Police Academy: 1123… chew on that.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Home for the Holidays; Cocoon; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Amazon Women on the Moon; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Affluenza; Surrender; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy; Notes: The Gutes. IMDb says he turned down the lead in Big and Ghostbusters. Classic Gutes.)

G.W. Bailey – (Known For: Goodfellas; Runaway; Short Circuit; Home on the Range; Q & A; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Mannequin; Burglar; Warning Sign; BMT: Police Academy; Notes: High school classmates of Janis Joplin and Jimmy Johnson.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: Big Trouble in Little China; Sex and the City; The Ghost; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Ice Princess; Masquerade; The Return of the Musketeers; Rosebud; Above Suspicion; Meet Monica Velour; Ticket to Heaven; Midnight Crossing; Future BMT:Sex and the City 2; Mannequin; 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Unforgettable; Turk 182; Live Nude Girls; BMT: Crossroads; Baby Geniuses; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Police Academy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1991; Notes: Do yourself a favor and read her IMDb trivia because it’s bonkers. I’ll just note that it claims she was one of the last actresses to work on a studio contract. Which is a little nuts.)

Budget/Gross – $4.1 million / Domestic: $81,198,894

(Jesus, hugh hit obviously. No wonder they kept going back to the well time and time and time and time and time and time and time again.)

#6 for the Comedy – Bumbling genre

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(This thing beats out modern Kevin James films like Paul Blart 2! That is crazy! It was made in 1984, once you adjust for inflation this must be one of the highest grossing bumbling comedies ever!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (7/18): No consensus yet.

(Juuuuust on the border. It actually just fell below the threshold after they added the Roger Ebert review in April. Given it was a pure 0-star Thumbs Down I suppose it is appropriate it finally gets its due. Reviewer Highlight: Now comes without any doubt the absolute pits of this genre, the least funny movie that could possibly have been inspired by Airplane! or any other movie. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Sklog Skool (C)

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(I do not like this. Not because I don’t like the animated stylings or anything (see my assessment of the sequel’s poster) but because I don’t like the white border, none of the police officers are really even doing anything interesting, and the amount of text is not good. The font is at least somewhat unique.)

Tagline(s) – The new police recruits. Call them slobs. Call them jerks. Call them gross. – Just don’t call them when you’re in trouble. (C)

What an institution! (B-)

(Obviously the first is just too long to give a decent grade. Can’t do it. But I like the repeat of “call” and it ends on a clever note. The second isn’t the most clever, but it is short and sweet with a slight double entendre. So best of the bunch.)

Keyword(s) – big breasts; Top Ten by BMeTric: 57.4 Derailed (2002); 53.7 Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986); 46.6 Three – III (I) (2005); 38.0 Sheena (1984); 37.7 Flesh Gordon (1974); 28.6 Gor (1987); 28.0 Greta – Haus ohne Männer (1977); 26.4 Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders (1990); 26.1 American Assassin (2017); 25.8 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982);

(Fun fact: Police Academy 3 doesn’t even qualify … yet. At some point they’ll add some extra review to move it down again. I actually assume that in about 3 years the BMeTric for Police Academy 3 will plummet, given that is what is happening to all the other Police Academy films.)

Notes – Director Hugh Wilson stated that when it came time to film the driving scene with Hightower at 4:30 a.m., the actor originally cast as the angry driver was found passed out drunk in the trailer, so Hugh himself ended up playing the role of the angry driver, into whom Hightower crashes.

In addition to playing Jones, Michael Winslow also supplied the voice for all public address announcements heard at the academy. (Fun Fact)

Producer Paul Maslansky got the idea for this movie during the production of The Right Stuff (1983). A group of police cadets arrived to help with crowd control for the filming of a street scene. When the cadets piled out of the buses to take their posts, they were diverse; men, women, tall, short, black, Asian. They did their jobs so terribly, that Maslansky found it humorous, asking the sergeant, “Are these all going to be future San Francisco’s finest?” The sergeant told him “We have to take anyone who applies into the academy for training–but we can flunk them out in two weeks.” It started Maslansky thinking, “What if they don’t want to be flunked out? What if some guy or girl wants to stay in?” That night, Paul wrote a two-page treatment and gave it to executive producer Alan Ladd Jr., who loved the idea and agreed to develop the movie. (That is pretty awesome. Basically how old Hollywood used to work, just randos writing treatments and making boatloads of cash.)

The location used as the Academy campus was known as the Mimico Lunatic Asylum or variations thereof until 1911, and Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital from 1964 to 1979. It was acquired by Humber College in 1991, after being mainly used as a site for filmmaking between 1979 and 1991. It is now a renovated and active educational institution. (Fun Fact)

In the DVD “Making of” documentary, Marion Ramsey says she came up with Hooks’ voice by reading the description of her character in the script, and recalling the time she met Michael Jackson. The voice is a parody of Jackson. She also recalls that in the moment where Hooks exclaims “Don’t move, Dirtbag!” the sound techs were used to recording the “meek” voice and were surprised when she said the line so loud. (Huh, that is actually a lot more thought that I thought would have went into it)

The “shoe polish on the megaphone” originated from a prank played on British Director Michael Winner on the set of one of his movies. Hugh Wilson decided to use the gag, after he heard the story from a crew member. (Coooooool)

This is one of few films, to which Roger Ebert gave zero stars, but it was also a very rare zero-star review where Ebert didn’t castigate the film for being depraved or immoral or diseased (something he had made a point of doing in most zero-star reviews, such as those for “Caligula”, “I Spit on your Grave”, and “Death Wish II”. He just said it was a would-be comedy that not only had zero laughs but didn’t even try to make the audience laugh. (Ha)

Marion Ramsey was asked to wear a fat suit for her role as Hooks, with the idea that Hooks’ boot camp training would have rendered her slim by the end of the film. Due to time constraints, the scene showing Hooks after her weight loss was removed from the final cut. By the time work on the sequel began, producers changed their minds, opting instead to have Marion remain wearing the fat suit, in order to garner audience sympathy for her character. A brief shot of “slim” Hooks remains in the film, however, as a close-up of Marion without the fat suit is seen during the graduates’ march at the end of the film. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?)

The only Police Academy movie that was given an R-rating, and also the most successful of the franchise at the box office.

The term “Tackleberry” has become a standard in the private security industry to denote an officer who is inordinately fond of firearms and other high-tech equipment. (Ha makes sense)

According to the cast and filmmaker commentary, it was Producer Alan Ladd, Jr. who came up with the idea of having Mahoney be the recipient of the “podium gag” at the end, after watching dailies of Lassard’s podium scene. (A very strange scene indeed)

Steve Guttenberg mentions in his biography, “The Guttenberg Bible”, that Donovan Scott filmed home-movies during filming. According to Guttenberg, there is a “very funny, touching, and unreleased documentary that he made of the shoot.”

Steve Guttenberg said of Mahoney in a 1984 interview, “I think he’s a party guy. He doesn’t really know what he is going to do with his life. But it is kind of hard to talk about him because he is not exactly a deep character. I really hate when actors get interviewed, and they have just starred in The Love Boat (1977) or something, and they go on for a month about motivation and character analysis. Police Academy set out to be light entertainment, and that is what it is.” (Boom. Roasted losers. Guttenberg is a gross but charming character which is probably the best part of the first two films)

Fackler’s wife riding the hood of her spouse’s car, to prohibit him from joining the police academy, (with Mrs. Fackler ultimately catapulted with an abrupt stop) was the start of a comedic tradition with the film series: The Parody On A Parody. Like so many gags, this one would be “recycled” for Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986): Now, with Fackler riding the hood of his car to prevent Mrs. Fackler from joining the Force; complete with the couple being spotted from the interior of a limousine, as well as a hubcap coming off of the car as it backed out of the driveway. (Ooooof. Parody of a parody is terrible)

In the party scene, Tackleberry is seen to play the saxophone. In real-life, David Graf actually was an accomplished saxophone player. (There is no other reason he would)

This film is regularly played on television in the United Kingdom, during the Christmas period. The film’s only Christmas reference is the tune heard during Hooks’ driving test; “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. (HA, Secret holiday film?)

The role of Commandant Eric Lassard was also written with Leslie Nielsen in mind. (Uh you can tell)falign

The Nun Recap

Jamie

When a nun at a remote monastery in Romania commits suicide The Vatican sends a priest and a young nun to investigate. There they find some truly evil shit going on and they are like “we better stop this.” Can they stop this before it’s too late? (no. Since The Nun is in The Conjuring 2). Find out in… The Nun.

How?! The Saint Cartha’s monastery is not a super fun place to be. That’s because an intense evil is being suppressed by the nuns there and hoooooo boy, let me tell you, it’s about to get out. When a nun there commits suicide the Vatican is like “we don’t like that” and sends Father Burke and Sister Irene there to investigate. When they get to Romania a French-Canadian villager named Frenchie, who discovered the body, leads them to the monastery and some crazy stuff starts to happen. First the French-Canadian dude almost gets killed by a crazy nun corpse. Then Father Burke is buried alive and has to be rescued by Irene. Finally, Irene is allowed to enter the monastery and learns that a demon, Valek, roams the halls. The original builder of the castle was totally into resurrecting demons but was stopped at the last minute by the Church. Since then they have kept the demon at bay until WWII damaged the monastery and released the evil. Since then the nuns have died one by one to prevent possession. When Father Burke and Frenchie reunite with Irene they realize all the nuns she’s talked to are actually dead and that they have to seal the demon’s portal before one of them is possessed and it escapes. They grab some of Jesus’s blood and totally take it down to the demon’s lair and almost die, but Irene spits some of it in its stupid demon face and it’s banished… or is it? (it’s not, because Valek is in basically all of The Conjuring movies which take place decades later). THE END.

Why?! Uh… I mean the demon is pure evil and Father Burke and Sister Irene and Frenchie all want to stop pure evil. Is there more motivation needed? I guess like Frenchie secretly wants to bone Sister Irene but it ain’t happening. Especially after he’s a totally gross possessed guy.

Who?! Usually I try to get a musician or someone playing a President or a Planchet (God willing) for this section but this film has none of those. What it does have is an IMDb Thanks credit to a certain Nikos Tsoup as a “Social Media Friend.” Looking him up he has Thanks credits for some of the biggest films of the last bunch of years like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Infinity Wars… so who is this person? I’m a pretty close watcher of credits and I didn’t even remember that there were special thanks in the film. You know why? Their weren’t. In fact, I can find little to no reference to Nikos Tsoup anywhere on the internet. It seems like maybe he’s involved in the background of social media promotion for film (maybe?) but then claims credits on all these big films as part of his job. It’s really weird and when we watch *checks Nikos Tsoup’s IMDb page* Johnny English Strikes Again you better believe I’ll be watching for his name… which won’t be there because he puts these up himself using IMDbPro or some shit.

What?! Obviously best case scenario here was the Valek could be warded off by the power and refreshment of a nice cold Coca-Cola, but alas. Not the case. I guess the closest we have to any of the normal stuff we look for is a bottle of Jesus’s blood that is used to banish Valek… which is kind of a MacGuffin though it seems like blasphemy to say so.

Where?! Really solid Romania film, although I’m guessing that the second Ghost Rider still tops this when it comes to the BMeTric scoring for a place on the map. I also like the added touch that they have a character named Frenchie that they go out of their way to say is actually French Canadian… only to make it even more weird and unlikely that he would be there. A-.

When?! I don’t think they say anything more than that this takes place in 1952. You could potentially guess a season from the weather and state of crops but why bother? Can’t we all just enjoy our lives and enjoy that this takes place specifically in 1952… in fact this almost seems like we need to start a new challenge for a BMT timeline. Rules TBD. C.

I saw The Conjuring in theaters and thought it was good and pretty scary. I personally thought Insidious was scarier, but it was a solid film. For some reason I thought The Conjuring 2 qualified for BMT so as I watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) that film I thought I was watching the greatest bad movie in history (perhaps only behind ahead-of-its-time Freddy Got Fingered). Then I looked it up and realized it got 80% on RT. Yeah, it’s good. Anyway, it made me excited to watch and see what seemingly went so wrong with this prequel. The answer was less exciting than I anticipated. They basically just made a muddled prequel with characters you didn’t really care about and an atmosphere that is more drab than anything else. They had to lose the whole “paranormal hunters” aspect of it, which took a lot of the fun out of it. Besides, we already knew from The Conjuring 2 that The Nun survives to the 70’s, so even when they are battling to defeat the demon it was presumed that it wouldn’t really be vanquished. Funny too since I actually thought The Nun character was a solid part of The Conjuring 2… but origin stories aren’t always the best way to use a character like that. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When I go on transcontinental flights the thing I always love to do is watch spooooooooky movies … not really, I find them unpleasant enough without being trapped in an unpleasant personal environment, but I was taking one for the team watching not only the The Nun, but also The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 on various plane trips this holiday season! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – In order to give it its due I’ll split up my short bonus recaps into two sections. So let’s talk about the original Conjuring. I loved this film. I liked the short introduction involving Annabelle, it was a great way to introduce the main characters and what they do, plus you get an idea of “there are hundreds of stories to explore here, this is a universe” right from the start. I loved how the story split between the struggling family and the Warrens. It had one of the most genuinely spooky moments I’ve seen recently (witch on the wardrobe). It didn’t over do it on jump scares and managed to give a solid template on how to do not only possession films, but also witch films. As far as modern horror films go this was one of the best I’ve seen personally and got me really excited for the sequel and The Nun right off the bat.

You Just Got Schooled – And as for the Conjuring 2, it was still pretty good, although here I kinda lost the thread a bit. The split method (here starting with Amityville, and then moving to the Lutz family in England) still worked really well. But I didn’t find the film as spooky. I loved the idea of Valak hiding behind the old man ghost, but The Crooked Man was kind of weak. There was a lot to like, but I just didn’t like it as much as the first. It didn’t really redefine the “demon” sub-genre like The Conjuring did the “witch” sub-genre in my mind. But still a very good “spooky” (as opposed to scary or gory) horror film in its own right. I am sufficiently excited for The Conjuring 3 and honestly am pretty game for any of the spin-off films in the universe. Easily the most consistently enjoyable horror franchise I’ve come across during my horror education over the past few years.

The Good – Finally onto The Nun. Unfortunately this is easily the weakest of the three films I watched. I did like the main actor, I thought she did a very good job (turns out that is the main character of The Conjuring’s 21-year-younger sister, which is nuts). I thought how they tied The Nun into the Conjuring universe was fine in the end, I was satisfied with the origin story they presented for Valak. There were some good horror moments, the young girl hanging herself and then attacking Frenchie comes to mind. I also like the time/place setting. It was nice to see things predate the Warrens in the timeline and continue the track record of globetrotting.

The Bad – Really weak introduction to the main characters. The possession of Daniel should have been presented as an introductory vignette to introduce us to Father Burke, instead of as a flashback. As presented we end up with about 20 minutes of introductory monologuing by honestly not-very-good actors. The Abbey seemed a little too supernatural for my liking. Given the Warren’s existence in a very real New England / England it is strange to see a legit haunted abbey with clockwork gates and other nonsense. It should have just been a regular abbey where the nuns worshipped Valak or something, defiling their vows etc. etc. And incredibly cliche horror element, just pop up scares and loud sounds, which were not featured heavily in the other two films I watched. Disappointing at the very very least.

The BMT – Oh, we’ll be watching more of the Conjuring franchise. As a matter of fact I’m much much more game to do some more franchises (like Paranormal Activity) as well, as those seemed to have redefined their respective sub-genres (found-footage), which is a sub-genre I tend to hate. And with Annabelle and multiple sequels / spin-offs in the works I think the franchise could produce more BMTs in the future as well which is fun.

Welcome to Earf – I needed some help here. You see Patrick Wilson at the end in the epilogue who was also in (I had to be reminded) Evening, which also stars Hugh Dancy, whose beautiful singing voice is heard in Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return which also had the melodious voice of Dan Aykroyd in it, who was in Nothing But Trouble with Demi Moore, who was in Striptease with Burt Reynolds, who was in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earth!

StreetCreditReport.com – It isn’t that surprising that this wouldn’t get too much play on end of the year lists, it was chosen for being from a franchise after all. I was somewhat surprised by it being featured 8th in Rolling Stone. But the criticism is real, it is incredibly recycled and cliche, which is a disappointment for a franchise which had seemed a breath of fresh air in the past half decade of horror.

I wrote a lot, but that is because I very much liked The Conjuring films I watched, and I very much look forward to watching the Annabelle spinoffs and upcoming sequel.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs