Police Academy 6: City Under Siege Recap

Jamie

Police Academy is back, Jack! When the city is hit with a crime wave, Lassard and his officers are called in to stop the baddies. Hijinks ensue and it looks like the police will fail until the officers figure out that the robberies are connected to a new train line. Can they find the gang and take them out before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.

How?! There is a big ol’ crime wave in the city and the mayor is concerned. He gets Capt. Harris in there to try to take them out, but being the bumbling fool that he is, he totally botches it. The mayor and the commissioner are furious and bring in Lassard and all our favorite former cadets to clean up the mess. Meanwhile we see that the crime wave is being caused by three ridiculous criminals who are really just doing whatever a shadowy figure known as The Mastermind tells them. With Lassard in charge things… go pretty much just as badly. They botch a sting operation and let a giant diamond get stolen on their watch. Despite these failures The Mastermind still wants the police out of the way and plants diamonds in Lassard’s office, leading to their suspension from the case. Knowing that time is running out and wanting to clear Lassard’s name, Nick gets everyone together and tells them that he’s noticed something odd about the robberies: they follow an old bus line. Wait a second! That’s no bus line! That’s a new train line! Knowing where they will strike next they are able to corner the baddies and do battle. Ultimately after a classic Police Academy Chase they subdue the baddies and chase The Mastermind to the Commissioner’s office where he’s revealed to be… the Commissioner? No, really it’s just the Mayor in disguise. With that our friends are once again honored for their bravery. THE END.

Why?! You see, the Mayor had inside information about the train line and knew that the properties along the route were going to be bought for big bucks by the city. By getting the robberies to hit up all the places along the route he could drive down property values and snap them up and make a big ol’ profit. It’s really a classic case of corruption.

Who?! Two interesting things in this one. One is that Robert Folk goes uncredited on the music. I can’t recall seeing that before, but he seems to have done it a number of times in his career. But maybe here it’s more because they just keep reusing the Police Academy music for every film. The other thing is that Billie Bird shows up in this film as Mrs. Stanwyck… just two movies after she was a titular Citizen on Patrol in Police Academy 4.

What?! Dunkin’ Donuts and Coca-Cola have some fantastic product placement in the fifth film and at least Coca-Cola said “sign me up for some more of that Police Academy action.” They show up once again as the drink of choice for our group of misfits. It’s what gives them the power to take out dirtbags while also tickling our funny bones. Put that on the bluray cover.

Where?! Sigh, back in our anonymous city. I think I speculated back in some other recap that this might be set in Jacksonville or something, but it’s all just a mishmash of random places (but mostly Canada). This one had a weird scene at the end where Harris is sent flying into the sky after Nick ties a bunch of balloons to his chair. We then see him float over the skyline of Boston. But, why? F.

When?! Just give me another F. They barely put any effort into giving these films a general plot, let alone putting things together to give an idea of when things are set. Let’s see if we can narrow it down. There is a blackout in the city and people aren’t going absolutely crazy so we can probably rule out summer. That’s all I got.

It’s also a classic case of a film with an actual plot?! Patrick and I were stunned when we watched this film and it read like an episode of Law and Order or something. They were picking up clues, tracking down criminals, and putting the baddies in jail. Where are the pratfalls? Where is Harris getting pooped on by a bird or something? It’s actually kind of amazing how straight it’s all played. I can’t tell if this makes it the best of the Gutesless Trilogy (all rights reserved) or the worst. On the one hand, I followed along with an actual plot. On the other, no one said any jokes. Well I guess at one point Winslow literally got on stage in a comedy club and started doing his act… but as I said… no jokes (zang). It’s a very odd entry in the series. Almost like they momentarily jumped back on the rails and transported back in time to Police Academy 2 or something. As for the poor, sad Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, it totally fell apart. No wonder they attempted a lackluster limited release, but ultimately shuttled it off to straight-to-video. It’s not just barely a movie, you can almost feel the anxiety of the actors as they attempt to carry out their duties. Well, at least Moscow was interesting to look at in the film. Crazy they shot there at that time. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The whole gang is back … uh, again! We have Tackleberry! We have Hightower! Wait … now House is gone? You’re supposed to add more characters to the ensemble cast, not less! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Out of all of the Police Academy films, this feels like the odd man out. You go from taking the gang to Miami (fun!) to … a rehash of the second film? At least let the gang go undercover or something. Police Academy 6: Undercover is not a bad idea actually. That might come up in the Sequel, Prequel, Remake section. Anyways, just thought this was an odd direction for the franchise this late in the game. What were my expectations? I was really hoping this would be the one where I was like “this is kind of okay actually” just to throw a curveball into these recaps.

The Good – The film actually has a storyline which is an interesting departure for the series (zing). There is a bad guy (obviously the Mayor, spoilers), a plot, a police investigation, and the inevitable chase using a silly vehicle (in this case a cherry picker and monster truck). I kind of liked the Three Stooges-esque bad guys. That type of bad guy works really well with the goofy cops. Best Bit: It is interesting to watch a Police Academy film with the plot of a 70s police procedural episode.

The Bad – Still not funny. Weird that they didn’t manage to one up themselves after taking the gags to Miami, instead it is just the second film again (with a plot). The twist … my god, there is literally only one person it could be the entire time. I was very skeptical they would have the Mayor actually be the bad guy because it was so obvious (and he’s a doofus), but there was no one else it could have been! I would have had mad respect for the film if they had Captain Harris steal a bunch of stuff to frame Lassard? That would have been great. Fatal Flaw: Still not funny.

The BMT – We did it boys! This isn’t the most impressive franchise we’ve done (the saga of Friday the 13th is still the best), but it is amazing we did it in like two years. Seven films, and at one point or another all of them qualified for BMT. And the back half is all 0% and BOMB films. It really does set the bar for just how bad a franchise can be, at least for comedies. Did it meet my expectations? Honestly, the film is dull. It is more amusing when the whole thing just explodes in a ball of fire. It was probably the best of the non-Guttenberg films, but that isn’t saying much.

Roast-radamus – Decent Product Placement (What?) for Coca-Cola being prominently displayed (oddly the seventh film was clearly brought to you by Pepsi, what happened?). And this might be the leader out of the gate for Worst Twist (How?) for the inevitable reveal that the only person in the film who wasn’t in a previous Police Academy film was the bad guy … This film is closest to BMT.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – You heard it above, let’s make the Remake of the sixth film to make it like it should have been. The gang is going undercover. They are tossing off their blues and donning their sweater vests because they are going to an actual academy to investigate a drug ring on a college campus! Hightower is an astrophysics professor, Hicks is a brash economics professor, tackleberry is undercover as a pacifist political science professor … you get the gist, I’m trying to cast them against types for the goofs, but it is now occurring to me that that is tough. Anyways, they think they know the bad guys are the frat bros, but boy are their faces red when it turns out they are just trying to raise money for the local hospital, and they are “taken off the case”. Not so fast! They figure out that actually it is the math club that is doing it, those dastardly nerd alerts! They have a big chase scene in the school’s solar cars (which run out of juice when a cloud floats by, doh!). In the end they get their guys, solve the case, and prove once again that a rag tag group of goofs can still do good. Police Academy 6: Undercover University.

Bring a Friend Analysis – Obviously, in order to finish up the series we just had to watch the seventh, and final (for now), Police Academy film, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. Interestingly, this is also the only sequel to not officially have the number in the title. I should probably get this out of the way: the film is hot garbage. It is a shadow of the already-not-very-good Police Academy films, and is mostly fueled by bad ADR and sound effects (and not the faintly amusing sound effects from Winslow, sound effects from a 90s morning zoo program). It also very notably was filmed during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis (you can see the damaged White House clearly during the final chase scene) which caused all kinds of issues with the schedule. If not for that I’m willing to bet the series would have successfully transitioned to straight-to-video and there would have been ten films in total, just based on how cheap this should have been to make. A solid friend though, a trip to see just how much the series fell apart with the four year break. C+. Not amusing to watch, but amusing in the context of the series as a whole. The issue is you have to watch seven films to get there, and the film itself is pretty aggravating.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Recap

Jamie

Police Academy’s back, Jack! And boy are they ready for some fun in the sun. When Cmdt. Lassard is the honored guest at the big Miami police convention, the gang is invited along. But when they inadvertently get in the way of some diamond smugglers, things get hairy. Can they stop the burglars before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.

How?! I think I just kinda summarized it. Cmdt. Lassard is wildly popular at this point, thanks to the success of his academy and his adoring pupils. But Capt. Harris (boooo) finds a law on the books that suggests Lassard is past the age for required retirement (double booo). But no before he gets honored with the Police Officer of the Decade (yay). He insists that his best officers come along (minus the Gutes) and so they are ready to live it up in Miami Beach. Hijinks ensue as Lassard inadvertently picks up a bag of stolen diamonds from a gang of burglars. Uh oh! Arriving in Miami they meet Nick, Lassard’s nephew and a definite Gutes type character, and partake in all kinds of beach/police convention fun. Oh and Harris totally embarrassing himself like a bozo, naturally. Anyway, the jewel thieves try all kinds of ways to get the diamonds back, but with their necks on the line they eventually resort to kidnapping Lassard, who mistakes it as the annual police procedure demonstration. Lassard totally charms the thieves, who start to regret their kidnapping ways, and even helps them acquire a helicopter to get them to the everglades where they are meant to hand off the diamonds. Fortunately our gang is there and they jump on some fan boats and totally take out all the baddies. Due to his heroics Lassard is allowed to stay on as Commandant and Hightower is promoted. THE END.

Why?! The films certainly fluctuate between entries that are more like regular films (having some gang the police must take out or something like that) and then those that are more just things happening around the academy. This is certainly the latter. This mostly involves the impending retirement of Lassard and everyone celebrating him in Miami. The diamond plot is really tangential to all this, but creates enough drama to give us the classic chase/fight climax we know and love from Police Academy.

Who?! The Producer of the film makes a few uncredited appearances in the film. Here he shows up as a homeless man. IMDb also lists Jerry O’Connell as having appeared as a kid on the beach… not sure I believe that. That feels very much like someone saw a kid that looked like Jerry O’Connell in the beach scene and added him to IMDb.

What?! I would dare to say that this is likely the best MacGuffin of the series in the stolen diamonds. I wonder if there is a reverse correlation between strength of plot and strength of MacGuffin. This really, really needed that MacGuffin to get the tissue paper thin plot from Point A to Point Miami Beach.

Where?! This whole series has been a disaster in terms of settings since they have always purposefully set it in an anonymous US city. Not so fast, says Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach. May as well call it Assignment A+ Setting Alert cause that’s what we got on our hands.

When?! Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Who knows when any of these things are set. I guess I could see when the national police convention is… oh, now I guess. Like literally starting as I type this. That’s a weird coincidence. So there you have it. This is set in early September. Nailed it. F.

This is probably the closest the series came to dropping the pretense of plot in favor of people tripping over golf balls and Capt. Harris being lit on fire and stuff. If this was the first in the series I probably would have been like “WTF, mate? Put more shrimp on the barbie,” but this represents exactly why I like watching franchises so much. You get so deep into Police Academy that you just let it wash over you and wait for Winslow to pull out his problematic kung fu impression for the third straight movie. They clearly got to the point where they had so many characters and repeat gags that they could pretty much craft an entire film from just that. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it BMT? I’m not sure what it is really… it just exists. It’s kind of crazy that it does. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The whole gang is back. We’ve got Tackleberry! We’ve got Hightower! We’ve got … wait … uh oh, where’s Mahoney? Uh, this ain’t good. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I don’t think I realized until we got to these last three films in the series just how much cred the series as a whole has. These last three films all have a BMeTric over 70. They all have a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. And they all got BOMBs from Leonard Maltin. That is mind-bending. What it must have been like to actually experience the six straight years of Police Academy films coming out … it must have been like some sick joke. What were my expectations? I think for the fifth one I expected it to be Police Academy in Miami and thus have a ton of bad Miami jokes and not much else. These films really aren’t that complicated.

The Good – Huh, maybe some bits of the ending where Lassard thinks the whole thing is just a simulation and so he’s getting along with the mafia guys? That was faintly amusing. The few times where you could see Lassard physically press down on a fake golf club to deploy a dumb golf ball goof. Wait … do I just like Commandant Lassard? Best Bit: Commandant Lassard I guess, it is kind of the only amusing thing in the film.

The Bad – I mean … is this a movie? I swear to god there was a 30 minute stretch in the middle of the film where they just roll out the greatest hits of Police Academy’s past but in Miami. I affectionately refer to this as: Hightower smashes, Hicks yells, Tackleberry shoots, and Jones does a racist impression of a Japanese person. Usually there would also be a “Mahoney sexually assaults”, but he wasn’t in this film, that part was instead given to the new character Nick Lassard (and assaults he does!). Anyways, the film basically doesn’t have a plot. I can describe it in a sentence: Lassard is retiring and so is given an award in Miami where he accidentally steals a diamond from the mafia, nonsense ensues. Fatal Flaw: Written on a napkin during the Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol premiere afterparty.

The BMT – At a point while contemplating the Police Academy franchise I transcended the plane of existence and saw it all. It must be the quintessential bad comedy franchise. Even the progression is cliche: (1) Initial blockbuster, (2) on the streetz, (3) back to the academy, (4) new blood, (5) different city, (6)???, (7) foreign country. Only six is an anomaly, but we’ll get to that in that recap. There is something very pure about the fact that they released the first six films in six years. That will never ever be replicated again. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah. In a way it exceeded them, because watching a few in a short period of time really allows you to see just how odd the whole endeavor was.

Roast-radamus – Obviously a great A+ Setting (Where?) for Miami, which snuck into the title. And a really solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the stolen diamonds that Lassard accidentally gets ahold of and the bad guys chase throughout the film. Definitely closest to BMT, you can’t deny the franchise is so bizarre as to be amusing.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Uh oh … how do you do a sequel or prequel to a franchise with seven entries. I guess here I’ll think through the Remake since the eighth film only makes sense within the context of reviewing the sixth and seventh. I have to imagine you could remake Police Academy by making it like 21 Jump Street … actually, that’s the answer right? You make it the third 21 Jump Street film! Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube are put in charge of the Police Academy in their city because they think there is a drug ring operating out of it. Unfortunately, since Hill and Tatum are now famous cops in the Jump Street crew, they can’t go undercover, but instead are installed as teachers. Inside, a rag tag set of recruits tagged as “unacceptable” (Jones, Hicks, Hightower, and Mahoney) are their eyes and ears on the ground. All the while they are fighting the nefarious Lieutenant Harris who is trying to oust an increasingly annoyed Ice Cube (who is undercover as Commandant Lassard, the head of the Police Academy). I dare say? Does it work? 23 Jump Street: Police Academy. I think “fans” of the franchise would be angry, but that is maybe the best option for an actual Police Academy “remake” possible.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege Quiz

Oh man, so here I was, back on the streetz trying to get a handle on a crime spree sweeping the city, when these three jokers pop out of a jewelry store and bop me right on the head! Needless to say I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film a crime wave has gripped the city with the Wilson Heights Gang robbing stores at will. Oh no! And during the latest robbery Captain Harris has a front row seat. Where did the Wilson Heights Gang strike this time, and where did Harris think they were going to strike?

2) After a bank robbery the officers figure out that the bad guys are being paid by someone to commit the robberies. How do they figure this out?

3) After all of their “old-fashioned police work” falls flat, a trap is devised. What is the plan?

4) Eventually the team is dismissed from the case (oh no! Won’t these people ever learn that the Police Academy recruits are the best?). Why?

5) So … who’s the bad guy and why did he do it?

Bonus Question: Again, where was Mahoney during all of this?

Answers

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Quiz

Oh man, so I was supposed to go to Miami for an award ceremony for my best friend / commandant, and wouldn’t you know it? I bumped into a mafiosi and got bopped right on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Commandant Lassard is going to be forced to retire. Why?

2) Smash cut to Miami! And some bad dude robbers and … well they’re robbing! A museum specifically. What do they steal, and how do they later lose their bounty?

3) Time for some real trivia. We see the police officers participate in three sports while chilling in Miami Beach. What are they?

4) Remember the bag switcheroo? Well the diamonds aren’t just sitting out in the open. They are hidden somehow within the bag as well. How are they hidden?

5) What is the bad guy’s plan to get away, and why do the recruits decide to rescue Lassard in the end?

Bonus Question: Where do they say Mahoney was during all of this?

Answers

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege Preview

Having jacked in to hack jack port, Patrick swims through cyberspace like a beautiful otter. “Have you done this before?” asks Kyle, struggling to figure out the physics of this strange new world. “Yeah,” starts Patrick, remembering back to Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D, “kinda… when Jamie and I were Rich and Poe,” he continues but stops and shrugs. It’s all pretty confusing at this point. Their task, on the other hand, should be pretty simple, just find the trash folder (probably) and hack the planet and get Kyle’s website approved as an official reviewer. But as they look around they suddenly hear a booming voice, “Bad Movie Twin, where is your stupider half? Or are you the stupid one, I always forget.” A bead of sweat forms on Patrick’s forehead. I can’t be. “What is it?” asks Kyle, eyes wide. “Gruber,” Patrick says in a whisper as Gruber’s laughter begins to echo through cyberspace. Patrick clenches his eyes closed. “It can’t be. He’s not real. He was never real.” He lets out a bellow and when he opens his eyes he finds himself in a police station. On his chest is a name tag, “Rich.” Kyle is pale with fear and jumps when a man angrily screams for Rich and Gruber to get the hell in his office. Kyle holds up his own name tag, “Gruber,” and Patrick’s mouth runs dry. “It’s just a simulation, playing on my fears” he reassures Kyle (but mostly himself), “we just have to break the mainframe and everything will be OK.” When they get to his office, the Captain throws a couple of pieces of paper at them. Airline tickets… to Party Town, USA? The captain scowls, “The city’s under siege… and the Vice President has been taken hostage.” That’s right! We are doing double duty this week by watching not one, but three Police Academy films! We are officially finishing the series with Police Academy’s 5, 6, and 7, all three of which got a BOMB rating from Leonard and the last of which (Mission to Moscow) failed to make it to a wide theatrical release. It is perfection for the Bring a Friend entry in the cycle. Let’s go!

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) – BMeTric: 75.0; Notability: 44

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher Notability: Tango & Cash, Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Fletch Lives, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Family Business, Lock Up; Notes: Only 124 films with BMeTrics above 75, and we’ve seen about 70% of them. This series is just a bounty of incredible cred.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Those wacky cops are back to solve a crime wave perpetrated by a trio that makes The Three Stooges look like Nobel laureates. This entry is only – repeat only – for those who thought Police Academy 5 was robbed at Oscar time.

(Or it is for people who are watching the entire series in a weird weekly bad movie thing …)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f52e7LNT474/

(The return of the monster truck! They really do just need a few things to make one of these. A rag-tag group of police officers, and something to drive around at the end for a big chase scene. That’s it.)

DirectorsPeter Bonerz – (Known For: Nobody’s Perfekt; BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for directing Murphy Brown. And yeah, everyone notes that the guy who directed Police Academy 6 is names “Bonerz”.)

WritersNeal Israel – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Again, just has a character credit from the first film. The move recent thing he has a writing credit for is Jinxed a TV movie from 2013.)

Pat Proft – (Known For: Real Genius; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Bachelor Party; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Scary Movie 4; Wrongfully Accused; Mr. Magoo; High School High; BMT: Police Academy; Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: And again, just has a credit for the first film. Interestingly, he wrote several episodes of Police Squad!)

Stephen Curwick – (BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Wrote five episodes of Family Ties. Interestingly, given the credits on the film, it would appear that the sixth film only has characters who appeared in the original Police Academy.)

ActorsBubba Smith – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Black Moon Rising; The Silence of the Hams; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Again, a former NFL player turned actor. Refused to appear in the seventh film because they wouldn’t bring the character of Hooks back.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Guarding Tess; Irreconcilable Differences; Fist of Legend; Citizen Ruth; Georgia’s Friends; Suture; Love at Stake; The Enforcer; American Kickboxer 2; Future BMT: Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Did a good amount of voice work including Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and several Star Trek video games.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Nice Dreams; Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie; Grandview, U.S.A.; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Starchaser: The Legend of Orin; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; Think Big; The Trumpet of the Swan; Lovelines; Gingerclown; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Going Under; Lenny the Wonder Dog; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Still tours. You can effectively see his original Gong Show skit near the end of this film.)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $11,567,217 (Worldwide: $11,567,217)

(Yeah, that explains the fact that they didn’t initially try to extend this to the 90s. That is a pitiful take and suggests the franchise was a money loser in general from that point forward.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/8)

(Time to make a consensus: The franchise was never really that funny, but now even the action scenes are boring.)

Reviewer Highlight: oof… One more to go. – Letterboxd review by Mario

(There aren’t really any critical reviews of note here. And I would like to wrap in more Letterboxd reviews whenever possible because they are often amusing for a soundbite (like this one). It certainly reflects my attitude towards the franchise.)

Poster – Cop School: Bad Guys, Lies, and Thighs

(This is even better than the last one. Look at that silhouette with the cityscape. Beautiful. I’m giving this one a full A despite the faults. Someone drew this and I want to know who… on an initial pass it seems maybe Morgan Weistling, who also did the Innerspace poster amongst many others. It’s cool stuff.)

Tagline(s) – The Grads are going undercover in the city to unmask the mastermind of crime. (D-)

(Somehow both terrible and yet better than the fifth one’s tagline. It should still be an F, but I’ll give it a D- just for that fact. God, this are really terrible.)

Keyword(s) – police-academy

Top 10: The Departed (2006), 21 Jump Street (2012), Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Empire State (2013)

Future BMT: 45.1 National Security (2003), 27.0 Kuffs (1992)

BMT: Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)

Matches: Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Empire State (2013), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)

(I chose the same keyword as the fifth as well because, honestly, this film in particular doesn’t really doesn’t have any good keywords in my opinion. The two future BMTs are fun, Kuffs in particular is just a totally forgotten police film from the 90s … would have been good to pencil in for the upcoming 90s cycle actually.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bubba Smith is No. 1 billed in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege and No. 2 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, which also stars Sharon Stone (No. 4 billed) who is in The Specialist (No. 2 billed) which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (4 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 18. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – The “monster truck” being driven by Tackleberry is the same type of truck he drove away on his honeymoon in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985). However, it is not the exact same truck, as the one in “Police Academy 2” was the third Bigfoot truck built, known as “Bigfoot 3”. The one in this movie is Bigfoot 7, a slightly bigger and more powerful truck.

Consideration was given to the possibility of shooting this sequel in the USSR, with the working title “Police Academy 6: Operation Glasnost”. However, permission to film in Russia would not be granted until five years later, with the seventh film in the series, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994).

In an interview, regarding the “Police Academy” movies, G.W. Bailey (Capt. Harris) stated, “There is a place for that kind of silliness, that kind of stupid escapism. But don’t think we didn’t retch when the writers came up with some of those gags for ‘Police Academy.’ We would argue and argue and argue with Paul Maslansky. He would win the war, but we won the battles sometimes.”

At one stage producers considered having the story line revolve around the Academy graduates travelling to England. British comedy writing duo Richard Curtis and Ben Elton (The Black Adder (1982)) were approached with an offer to write the script for “Police Academy 6: The London Beat”, but the pair refused, saying they don’t work to hire.

The first “Police Academy” movie not to place first in the US weekend box office.

According to Proctor and Harris’ stakeout conversation in the opening scene, this film is set in August 1989. Christmas being “four months” away.

In the scene in which Hooks gives a parking ticket to a man, who then rips it up, the two businessmen accompanying him are played by Alan Hunter and Mark J. Goodman, two of MTV’s original line-up of VJs.

Daniel Ben Wilson (Tackleberry Jr.) is the brother of Mara Wilson, of Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and Matilda (1996) fame.

Beans Morocco’s second appearance in a “Police Academy” film. He played Bob the Janitor in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988) (credited as Dan Barrows), and appears in this movie as the bank president.

The following year Paul Maslansky produced Ski Patrol (1990), which he had hoped to follow with future sequels. This did not catch on with moviegoers, and plans for further films were scrapped.

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach Preview

Having jacked in to hack jack port, Patrick swims through cyberspace like a beautiful otter. “Have you done this before?” asks Kyle, struggling to figure out the physics of this strange new world. “Yeah,” starts Patrick, remembering back to Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D, “kinda… when Jamie and I were Rich and Poe,” he continues but stops and shrugs. It’s all pretty confusing at this point. Their task, on the other hand, should be pretty simple, just find the trash folder (probably) and hack the planet and get Kyle’s website approved as an official reviewer. But as they look around they suddenly hear a booming voice, “Bad Movie Twin, where is your stupider half? Or are you the stupid one, I always forget.” A bead of sweat forms on Patrick’s forehead. I can’t be. “What is it?” asks Kyle, eyes wide. “Gruber,” Patrick says in a whisper as Gruber’s laughter begins to echo through cyberspace. Patrick clenches his eyes closed. “It can’t be. He’s not real. He was never real.” He lets out a bellow and when he opens his eyes he finds himself in a police station. On his chest is a name tag, “Rich.” Kyle is pale with fear and jumps when a man angrily screams for Rich and Gruber to get the hell in his office. Kyle holds up his own name tag, “Gruber,” and Patrick’s mouth runs dry. “It’s just a simulation, playing on my fears” he reassures Kyle (but mostly himself), “we just have to break the mainframe and everything will be OK.” When they get to his office, the Captain throws a couple of pieces of paper at them. Airline tickets… to Party Town, USA? The captain scowls, “The city’s under siege… and the Vice President has been taken hostage.” That’s right! We are doing double duty this week by watching not one, but three Police Academy films! We are officially finishing the series with Police Academy’s 5, 6, and 7, all three of which got a BOMB rating from Leonard and the last of which (Mission to Moscow) failed to make it to a wide theatrical release. It is perfection for the Bring a Friend entry in the cycle. Let’s go!

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988) – BMeTric: 72.5; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Mac and Me, Caddyshack II; Higher Notability: Action Jackson, Sunset, High Spirits, Big Top Pee-wee, Caddyshack II, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Moving, Cocoon: The Return, The Couch Trip, Vibes, License to Drive, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Hot to Trot, Cocktail, Mac and Me, The Seventh Sign; Notes: The cred on these films are off the hook and only get better and better as the series goes along. We’ve seen the top three BMeTric for 1988. BMeTrics of 70+ are incredibly rare. There are only 184 out of over 2000 qualified films, so less than 10%. Amazingly we’ve seen around 65% of those so far. We legitimately could finish those off in like five years, twelve a year (two a cycle) … easy.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Gaynes is in Miami to receive an award before his mandatory retirement; arch-rival Bailey comes along to gum up the works. Fourth attempt to improve on imperfection is no charm; what can you say about a sequel that Steve Guttenberg won’t even appear in.

(Hey hey hey … Guttenberg for some reason claims he regrets that. I don’t really see why. Also two semi-colons? You know me well Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKEspwO4vHA/

(Wow, this is quite the 80s comedy spot. Wow they put the fart joke directly into the trailer … I guess you have the lead with your funniest joke (ba-dum-ch). The trailer is just “these zany character you love are doing all the same things you love but in Miami.” I mean … fair.)

DirectorsAlan Myerson – (Known For: Private Lessons; Steelyard Blues; BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Scottish. Was a huuuuuge television director throughout the 90s. Ended up getting nominated for an Emmy for directing the Larry Sanders Show.)

WritersNeal Israel – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Just has a character credit here. Was a big director as well, directing such classics as Surf Ninjas.)

Pat Proft – (Known For: Real Genius; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Bachelor Party; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Scary Movie 4; Wrongfully Accused; Mr. Magoo; High School High; BMT: Police Academy; Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy for the variety special Van Dyke and Company. He worked a ton with the Scary Movie guys (including the last three movies in that series).)

Stephen Curwick – (BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Claims that he wrote a video game called Bad TV in the 2010s, but it is hard to search for due to the name.)

David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Only wrote the second. I guess the series is interesting since they added characters throughout and so a ton of people get “character” credits.)

Gene Quintano – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Sudden Death; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Making the Grade; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; King Solomon’s Mines; Operation Dumbo Drop; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Musketeer; Notes: Here’s the main guy for the third and fourth films. He directed Loaded Weapon 1.)

ActorsBubba Smith – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Black Moon Rising; The Silence of the Hams; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Played in the NFL prior to his acting career. He believed that Superbowl III was rigged.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Guarding Tess; Irreconcilable Differences; Fist of Legend; Citizen Ruth; Georgia’s Friends; Suture; Love at Stake; The Enforcer; American Kickboxer 2; Future BMT: Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: In interviews he talked about how he was struggling financially when he got the part in the first film, and so he never refused to appear in any of the subsequent films.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Nice Dreams; Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie; Grandview, U.S.A.; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Starchaser: The Legend of Orin; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; Think Big; The Trumpet of the Swan; Lovelines; Gingerclown; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Going Under; Lenny the Wonder Dog; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Still performs standup and has a multitude of apps which emit Winslow-produced sound effects.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $19,510,371 (Worldwide: $19,510,371)

(This isn’t so bad. I could definitely see why they thought they just needed to being it back to “nameless city” and allow the gang to hit the streetz again to get the money rolling in … they were wrong, but I could see why they may have thought that.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/8)

(Consensus time: The usual, except now it reeks of desperation, resorting to fart jokes with a neon-pink Miami background.)

Reviewer Highlight: Miami field trip only brings a pastel backdrop to the insipid infighting of the boobs in blue. – Variety Staff

Poster – Cop School: Destination: Tokyo

(Still got it, baby! This style of poster never really went out of style. Look at the details. It’s really a work of art. Makes me want to find out who drew it. In some respects it doesn’t totally work as a poster (color scheme, all the white space), but it’s hard for me not to like it. B.)

Tagline(s) – Hold everything! The cadets are dropping in on Miami Beach for an all new adventure. (F)

(No.)

Keyword(s) – police-academy

Top 10: The Departed (2006), 21 Jump Street (2012), Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Empire State (2013)

Future BMT: 45.1 National Security (2003), 27.0 Kuffs (1992)

BMT: Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)

Matches: Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

(I’ve changed this plot up, and I think it is a lot cooler. The y-axis is the total notability for each year. Blue is all films, green is wide release films, red is qualifying films (with the filled in portion being films we’ve seen), and gold is the amount being filled in by the film this week (in this case both BMT films this week). “Matches” at the bottom are films with the keyword in the IMDb plotline, so it isn’t a surprise that we’ve now seen all “police academy” films. Fun that we’ve seen another legit film in CHIPS.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bubba Smith is No. 1 billed in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach and No. 2 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, which also stars Sharon Stone (No. 4 billed) who is in The Specialist (No. 2 billed) which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (4 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 18. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Steve Guttenberg turned down the lead role and gave a firm “no” to any other Police Academy sequels that might turn up (and they did). He turned them all down. Two decades later, he expressed in an interview that he regretted turning down the chance to star in the later sequels, and was among the main people trying to make another Police Academy movie.

When Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was released, acerbic critic Rex Reed swore, “If they make another Police Academy movie, I’ll leave the business.” At the time, Paul Maslansky said, “Reed’s one of the reasons I’m making Police Academy 5. I expect him to be a man of his word.” To Maslansky’s disappointment, Reed was not.

Regarding his experience working on this film, Rene Auberjonois (Tony) stated, “Why I choose to do things is a mystery to me sometimes. I’ve done things that, on the face of it, you think, ‘why would anybody do Police Academy 5?’ I had to look at the role, and see if there’s a reason to do it. I did it because it was an opportunity to play a character that nobody else was ever going to let me play. I had a great time doing it, don’t regret it for a moment, and I’d do it again in a minute.”

Had Steve Guttenberg agreed to appear in the movie, his character Mahoney was to be promoted to Lieutenant at the end of the film. (Instead it was Hightower)

Bobcat Goldthwait did not reprise his role of Zed due to not being able to come to a financial agreement with the producers. Because of this, the filmmakers believed that there was no point in bringing back Sweetchuck without Zed, and so Tim Kazurinsky ended up not being involved either. Bobcat later said that he skipped this sequel because the script lost focus and his character “would never talk like that.”

The movie’s script and some promotional materials list Tony’s full name as Tony Stark. The surname was edited out of the film after Warner Brothers discovered that “Tony Stark” was a registered trademark owned by Marvel, for use in their Iron Man comics.

The book that Captain Harris is seen holding whilst “congratulating” Commandant Lassard on his mandatory retirement is a hardback copy of “3 Cheers for Me”, the first novel in the Bandy Papers series written by Donald Jack.

Janet Jones (Officer Kate) wed hockey player Wayne Gretzky four months after this movie’s release.

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven Police Academy movies. Winslow also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Matt McCoy’s character of Commandant Eric Lassard’s nephew, Nick, marks the fourth member of the Lassard family to be in a Police Academy movie. Previously, we’ve seen Lassard’s wife in Police Academy (1984) and Lassard’s brother, Captain Pete Lassard in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985).

Early drafts featured a canine character called Clancy, a Miami police dog.

At one point, David Spade’s Kyle Rumford character from Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was being considered as a possible replacement for the departing Steve Guttenberg.

Halloween II (1981) Recap

Jamie

Michael Myers is back, Jack! And boy is he angry at his sister (spoiler alert). After the events of the first film, the unstoppable Myers continues his horror spree in the town of Haddonfield. He eventually tracks his ultimate victim, Laurie Strode, to the hospital. Can she stop the maniac before it’s too late? Find out in… Halloween II.

How?! Following the events of the first film, Haddonfield, Illinois is scrambling to figure out what happened. Laurie Strode is in shock and is transported to the local hospital where she is quickly sedated. Forget about her for the next hour, cause it’s the Loomis show everyone. He’s scrambling aroundt being like “he’s goddamn evil!” and “we gotta stop him” and basically acting like a total maniac. Good news and bad news comes with the Loomis show. The bad news is that he inadvertently kills a kid in town that he thinks is Myers. Ooops. The good news is that he does convince people that he’s still alive and they track down Myers. They find that he broke into a school and left curious occult markings and stuff. Suddenly he realizes it! Laurie is Michael Myers younger sister who was put up for adoption after Michael killed her older sister. Her name was changed and no one ever talked about the fact that she was a Myers. Myers is tracking Laurie, which can mean only one thing: the hospital. There, Myers is already killing pretty much everyone. Eventually Laurie wakes up and in a panic begins to evade the killer. She eventually gets out but can’t get a car started to leave. Just then she sees the police and Loomis show up and they are able to save her from Myers before leading him into an operating room. Loomis is stabbed while Laurie is able to blind Myers. In his dying moments (or are they?) Loomis tells Laurie to flee and lights a tank of gas on fire, totally exploding Michael Myers. THE END.

Why?! With the revelation that Laurie was in fact adopted and was the sister of Michael, this colors almost all the motivations from not only this film, but also the original film. In the original it is set up that Michael Myers is mostly interested in the memory of the sister that he killed and the family home that Laurie is seen dropping a key off at. It appears he becomes fixated on Laurie as a result of the random happenstance, right? Wrong, apparently. Just a coincidence… and maybe he just kinda magically is drawn to her by pure evil will. Otherwise it seems to make little sense that he would actually know that Laurie is his sister (secret adoption and name change and all)… this is all to say that Laurie just wants to survive and Myers just wants to kill (but more specifically wants to kill he remaining sister (which still makes no sense)).

Who?! I do like to talk a little bit about the monsters when we watch the entries of horror films, just to note how they change. I think I kinda forgot how consistent Myers was (besides the sister thing). Always an unstoppable force of evil from the get go. The one minor thing they add, that becomes a major thing, is a connection to Celtic occult lore… which ends up kinda ruining everything. Besides that, Dana Carvey shows up in a non-speaking role for like five seconds.

What?! Love it when a sequel really embraces the product placement. Here everyone is constantly asking each other if they might like a refreshing Coke. What does the guy in the hospital do to try to be sweet to Laurie? “Hey, I’m gonna go grab you a Coke.” Honestly, don’t blame them. What’s the only thing that can stop Michael Myers in his tracks? That cool refreshing taste of a Coca-Cola.

Where?! Unlike the revisionist history of Nightmare on Elm Street, this series was always set in the midwest, specifically the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. I wouldn’t say Illinois is required for the plot or anything, but it is made clear, so I’ll say a B+. It really makes it lame that Nightmare went Ohio at the end. Would have been nice if the major horror franchises were East Coast (Friday the 13th), West Coast, and Midwest. Zombies would eventually take the Southern region as their own.

When?! Right off the bat we can throw out an A+ Time Setting Alert on this guy. Set on Halloween and cha, it just might be important to the plot. It is a different kind of horror franchise though, since usually the films still sorta stick the everything being set in the year that the film is actually released. Obviously not the case here. If the first film was set in 1978, then the second one is as well. So really a period piece.

This is certainly a worse movie than I remember from the first time I watched it. It has far too much Loomis (who really started to annoy me even by the end of the first film) and far too little Jamie Lee Curtis, who spends much of the film in a coma. I also still can’t really understand why they made Laurie his sister. It has never made sense and never will make sense. But at least Carpenter doesn’t pretend like it was the plan the whole time. Even he kinda thinks the twist is dumb and only did it because they needed a new storyline for the sequel. Despite this, I think overall the film comes out on the plus side as far as horror films go (not to mention horror sequels). I still like the hospital setting quite a lot and the kills are a nice mix of gory and silly. It makes me wish they made one more for a trilogy to finish the full Halloween night of mayhem. As for The Birds II: Land’s End, it actually lived up to expectations a bit. It’s a little slow going at first, but you can get by with just how much of a total dick one of the characters is and also just how much of a rip-off of Jaws the whole set up is. Shame, really, for a classic film to have a sequel reduced to a boilerplate rip-off decades later. But really the payoff is the end, which is just a batshit crazy scene of mayhem where people are full body burning left and right. Wasn’t expecting how enjoyable the experience would be. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are continuing to collect the films I’ve already seen before. I think I’ve seen Halloween II a few times. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – At one point I decided I just wanted to watch a full horror series without waiting for BMT and so I consumed most of the Halloween series in the span of a few months. The preview is a revelation about the second Halloween though. At the time I was like “oh weird they continued the story and it was okay”, but the preview makes it clear Carpenter mostly did the film reluctantly and also forced them to make it gorier because he figured that was the direction horror in particular had gone between 1978 and 1981. I was genuinely surprised at how much of a hand Carpenter had with the odd direction the franchise took after the classic first film. What were my expectations? Well, I had seen the film before and mostly liked it. Given that it is, in fact, a bad movie, I figured with more horror franchise knowledge under my belt I would probably think it was a bad film like the critics did.

The Good – I do like the setting a lot. The setting of the hospital was a genius maneuver instead of running back the same suburban setting from the first film. I was somewhat surprised to realize just how much connective tissue from the first to the second there is, in particular the surprisingly varied methods of killing people and the way Michael displays the bodies all are very similar to the first film. The final full body burn is very impressive. Best Bit: The hospital setting.

The Bad – I cannot understand or believe how little they give Jamie Lee Curtis to do in this film. She basically doesn’t move or talk in the first hour of the film, and then mostly limps around barely being able to scream for the rest. Loomis is a jerk and dumb and I had forgotten how lame his character was until he ended up being the star of the film when outside of the hospital. Speaking of which, too much of the film takes place outside of the hospital, it should have all been inside the hospital with Loomis only showing up at the end. The kills in this one feel far more exploitative, and I think the entire thing would have been better served by a similarly slow and methodical pace of the first. Fatal Flaw: Too little Curtis.

The BMT – Yup, I can transparently see all of the issues this film had now that I know the rhythms of an 80s horror franchise. It tries to ratchet up the gore, but it feels exploitative. It fails to leverage its star, favoring a dialogue-less monster instead, which never works. It has far too much filler with Loomis wandering around. And then the twist is awful. And amazingly, from what I can glean, all of those decisions were Carpenter’s … I guess it makes sense given he didn’t want to so a second Halloween film, he wanted to do an anthology series instead. Did it meet my expectations? Absolutely. I kind of liked this film the first time I watched it. This time? I can transparently see all of the things they failed to do to keep the franchise going.

Roast-radamus – A solid Product Placement (What?) for the obviously placed Coca-Cola machines seen in the hospital. A very excellent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield, Illinois which is where all of the original Halloween films take place (as that is where Michael Myers grew up and where he killed his sister in 1963). And an A+ Temporal Setting (When?) for the film taking place mostly on Halloween Night, 1978 (explicitly that year as it is explained that it is precisely 15 years after he killed his sister). Mostly closest to BMT I think, in that isn’t isn’t unpleasant to watch, just bemusing.

Prequel, Sequel, Remake – I think with a lot of sequels your best bet is a Remake. Mainly I think the key is setting it entirely in the hospital. Show Loomis finding the body missing and telling Laurie that the killer is still out there and to not let the doctors knock her out, that he’ll get there as soon as possible to prevent Michael from finding her. Then introduce the late-night skeleton crew at the hospital. From that point it is mostly the same as the film, except now Laurie is conscious and actively trying to rally the staff to defeat Michael because she knows he’s there somewhere. We see the staff picked off one by one (after they find the security guard missing … curious), and the remaining survivors corralled further and further into the dark hospital unable to escape. In the end Laurie and the young EMT friend find the staff killed and displayed like the girls in the first film, and just as Michael finds them Loomis comes bursting through the door and incapacitates Michael once again. Loomis explains that the police arrested him, suspicious as to how much he knew about Michael during the events of the first film, but they were convinced once the hospital’s phone lines were found to be cut. This sets up a concluding sequel which would take place entirely within the Myers home. Still called Halloween II.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously I had to rewatch the classic Halloween (1978) prior to watching this film. And yeah, it is a classic for a reason. It is a lot different than the other films in the series though (even the second). It basically invents the Unstoppable Force as far as killers go (that might not be precisely true, but I think it is a plausible claim at least). But then the film takes absolute ages before anyone is killed. Mostly Myers can be seen stalking some of his victims and waiting around before finally starting to kill them. It works because it is not really a “slasher” film as the genre has now been defined. I also get why later entries in the series ended up going with the more early kills and more evenly paced kills. A. The film is, as I said, a classic and is probably one of my favorite horror films. Curtis is, in particular, amazing in the film.

Bring a Friend Analysis – Wow, this is getting long, but I can’t not talk about The Birds II: Land’s End. I hadn’t seen the original prior to the viewing, but did catch up on that as well (obviously a great film and quite a bit different than I imagined, I thought it took place on an island like Jaws). I think the makers of Birds II took to heart the idea of animals attacking during an otherwise intriguing family drama a little too much. The sequel is 95% the story of a family dealing with tragedy, and 5% “oh, wait, I forgot about the birds, quick put some birds in there for a second.” The film would have been boring except that the local newspaper editor/photographer, Frank, is an insatiable horndog who can’t stop hitting on Ted’s wife May even after being told multiple times about Ted’s difficulties dealing with the death of Ted and May’s son. It is just an incredibly aggressive and unyielding display which captured my interest in the most BMT way. B. Unusually high, but I think the combination of it being a made-for-tv sequel to a beloved film, and Frank makes for a film that as crazy as it sounds I would willingly watch again. Wild stuff.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Halloween II (1981) Quiz

Oh man, so I was in the hospital for a totally unrelated issue with a severe concussion I received at the big high school football game (I’m the star quarterback / running back natch), when this slasher just starts slashing everyone! Well, that’s what I was told since I coldn’t remember anything because of the concussion I had received. Do you remember what happened in Halloween II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Soon after getting shot six times by Loomis, Michael reappears and steals a new knife. Where does he get it?

2) Initially the police think Michael Myers is dead, despite Loomis insisting he is inhuman, able to walk away from being shot six times. Why do they think he’s dead?

3) How does Michael Myers get into the hospital? 

4) During the night Laurie Strode has an emergency!! They need a doctor. Why?

5) How do they kill Michael Myers? 

Bonus Question: What do the good guys ultimately do with Michael Myers’ charred remains?

Answers

Halloween II (1981) Preview

“Where is everyone?” Patrick says in exasperation with a look at his watch. The set is empty and today was supposed to be the big zeppelin chase sequence. Just then Jamie runs up. He’s out of breath, but manages to gasp out news of an impending disaster. The TikTok teenyboppers playing Richie and PJ are holding out for a stand alone series of their own: The R&P Saga: Young Guns II – Part 1 of 4. “And we can’t get rid of them,” Jamie says with a shake of his head, “it’s in their contract that they are the only actors allowed to pilot the airships… and we’ve already spent $40 million on the state-of-the-art zeppelin technology.” Patrick throws his hands up in despair. Advances in zeppelin technology may prevent any future disasters like the Hindenburg, but apparently it can still be the reason a film production goes down in flames. They settle in their chairs and ponder the mess they’re in. “Kids these days,” Patrick thinks ruefully. “Don’t give a damn about baseball or good ol’ apple pie. Just want to twerk and dab and somesuch,” he thinks stroking his previously unmentioned goatee he grew for production. Suddenly he jumps out of his chair. Eureka! He grabs Jamie by the elbow and starts to lead him away. “Get makeup and wardrobe on the phone, they have a long night ahead of them,” he tells Jamie who is thoroughly confused. Sighing in exasperation he lets him in on the plan. “Kids these days. We gotta scare them straight and you and I both know what that means.” Jamie is already pale with horror. “No, not… not him,” he stammers, but Patrick just nods. “Get me Michael Myers,” he says, but the quaver in his voice belies his own fear. That’s right, we are starting in on one of the major horror franchises that has probably the best first entry in the series, but some pretty dire sequels in the mix. Little known BMT fact is that Halloween II is a BMT qualifier, while the very odd Halloween 3 (which doesn’t even feature Michael Myers) somehow has escaped BMT by some quirk of nostalgia. Oh well, bring on #2. Let’s go!

“It’s a disaster,” the mastermind notes, cackling with glee. “Release the film, for it’s too late for them to stop us.” The cyborgs grin and leave the office to do his bidding. The mastermind hobbles over to a large birdcage housing his award winning pigeons. “Yes, my pretties. Just a matter of time before you are feasting on the flesh of the bad movie twins.” That’s right! Obviously everyone knows that the director of Halloween II also directed The Birds II: Land’s End, the TV movie sequel to the Hitchcock classic that was only released on VHS and I definitely didn’t buy off of ebay for probably (definitely) too much money… … Let’s go!

Halloween II (1981) – BMeTric: 18.6; Notability: 47

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 23.9%; Notability: top 12.1%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.0% Higher BMeT: Endless Love, Galaxy of Terror, The Final Conflict, Saturday the 14th, Final Exam, Madman, The Hand, Friday the 13th: Part 2, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Student Bodies, Deadly Blessing, Caveman, The Cannonball Run, Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, The Boogens; Higher Notability: The Cannonball Run, The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Lower RT: Saturday the 14th, Final Exam, Deadly Blessing, Death Hunt, The Devil and Max Devlin, The Hand, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Student Bodies, Caveman, Endless Love, Friday the 13th: Part 2, Tattoo, The Final Conflict, The Cannonball Run, Galaxy of Terror; Notes: You know what? That sounds right. The film is arguably a genuine cult hit. I liked it when I saw it years ago, entirely because of the setting. I am not surprised it is in the mid-6’s on IMDb.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – This can get monotonous. But since most of this movie takes place in a hospital, the killer has lots of props to work with. I’ve already mentioned the whirlpool bath and the needles. Another particularly nasty gimmick is the intravenous tube. The killer uses it to drain the blood from one of his victims. That’s gruesome, but give the filmmakers credit. They use that gimmick to deliver the one scene I’ve been impatiently expecting for years and years in gore films: Finally, one of the characters kills himself by slipping on the wet blood and hitting his head on the floor. Sooner or later, it had to happen.

(Yup, the hospital does all of the heavy lifting in the film. You get interesting kills. It is spooky and quiet. You have a protagonist who is vulnerable being held against her will in the location with a killer. I can see why critics wouldn’t like it at the time though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEo5m2VEprI/

(Old 80s horror trailers like this are hard to get a grip on because Halloween has been so pervasive throughout my life … it was already a notorious long-running horror franchise by the time I would have even considered watching it. So it is weird to think of teenagers in 1980 sitting in a theater watching that trailer and being amped to FINALLY get to see Michael Myers again … was that a thing? It must have been.)

Directors – Rick Rosenthal – (Known For: Bad Boys; Just a Little Harmless Sex; Nearing Grace; Distant Thunder; Drones; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Russkies, American Dreamer; BMT: Halloween II; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for the show Transparent. Since the late 80’s he’s been doing pretty much exclusively television as far as directing is concerned.)

Writers – John Carpenter (written by) – (Known For: They Live; Halloween; Halloween; Escape from New York; Assault on Precinct 13; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Assault on Precinct 13; Prince of Darkness; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Dark Star; Black Moon Rising; Eyes of Laura Mars; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween; Lockout; BMT: The Fog; Ghosts of Mars; Halloween II; Notes: His father was a professor of music, and he, in turn, composed many of the synth-heavy soundtracks to the horror films he wrote.)

Debra Hill (written by) – (Known For: Halloween; Halloween; Escape from L.A.; The Fog; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween; BMT: The Fog; Halloween II; Notes: Worked with Carpenter on many of his early films, and one of the bigger female producers of the time.)

Actors – Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Knives Out; True Lies; Halloween; A Fish Called Wanda; Halloween; Trading Places; Escape from New York; My Girl; Freaky Friday; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; The Fog; Forever Young; Veronica Mars; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; From Up on Poppy Hill; Prom Night; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Terror Train; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; The Tailor of Panama; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; My Girl 2; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; BMT: Virus; Christmas with the Kranks; Perfect; Halloween II; Notes: Tony Curtis’ daughter, she was the original Scream Queen. Has been married to Christopher Quest for nearly 40 years.)

Donald Pleasence – (Known For: Halloween; The Great Escape; Escape from New York; You Only Live Twice; Prince of Darkness; THX 1138; Phenomena; Tales That Witness Madness; The Eagle Has Landed; Escape to Witch Mountain; Wake in Fright; The Greatest Story Ever Told; Fantastic Voyage; Death Line; Dracula; Cul-de-sac; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Alone in the Dark; The Night of the Generals; The Last Tycoon; Future BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; BMT: Halloween II; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy for The Defection of Simas Kudirka. One of the only actors to appear in the five original Michael Meyers Halloween films.)

Charles Cyphers – (Known For: Halloween; Major League; Escape from New York; Grizzly II: The Concert; The Fog; Assault on Precinct 13; Coming Home; Death Wish II; Murder in the First; Gleaming the Cube; Truck Turner; The Onion Field; Big Bad Mama II; A Force of One; MacArthur; Honkytonk Man; Borderline; Gray Lady Down; Vigilante Force; Hunter’s Blood; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: Halloween II; Notes: A decently big television actor, including a starring role in Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher. He appeared in many Carpenter films at the time.)

Budget/Gross – $2.5 million / Domestic: $25,533,818 (Worldwide: $25,533,818)

(Horror films at the time were easy money. You could make a crap horror film in a weekend and make $10 million dollars easy peasy, just have Carpenter fire up his synth and you are set.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (13/41): Halloween II picks up where its predecessor left off – and quickly wanders into a dead end that the franchise would spend decades struggling to find its way out of.

(Yeah, basically. I’ve seen it before, and I like the second film, but it is true that they end up painting themselves into a corner with Myers as the main villain. Out of the three main horror mega-franchises they struggled the most with the lore. Reviewer Highlight: This uninspired version amounts to lukewarm sloppy seconds in comparison to the original film that made director John Carpenter a hot property. – Variety)

Poster – Ballerween II: Big Time Scares

(This almost looks like a spoof poster. The “All New” in the corner and “from the makers of Halloween”.. Uh duh. Otherwise it’s a nice looking poster with some mildly interesting font. Not as iconic as the first one, but I like the artistry. B+.)

Tagline(s) – More Of The Night He Came Home (C-)

(That… is what it is. It does its job, but in a not at all clever way. Fine.)

Keyword – halloween

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Deadpool (2016), Mean Girls (2004), The Karate Kid (1984), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Wonder (2017), Zodiac (2007), The Predator (2018), Hocus Pocus (1993), Our Friend (2019)

Future BMT: 92.3 Son of the Mask (2005), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 63.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 60.7 Skinwalkers (2006), 58.9 Pet Sematary II (1992), 57.7 The Next Best Thing (2000);

BMT: The Predator (2018), Batman Forever (1995), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), Halloween II (1981), Made of Honour (2008), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Deadly Friend (1986), Town & Country (2001)

(I love that they, correctly, have The Predator there. A very Halloween film, weirdly. I can’t wait to watch all of the Halloweens, they are terrible with really weird lore. I think the plot is right … America was weirdly obsessed with ghosts and ghouls and Halloween in the late 90s … or is that just because I was a kid in the 90s watching Nickelodeon?)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jamie Lee Curtis is No. 1 billed in Halloween II and No. 2 billed in Christmas with the Kranks, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The mask Michael wears is the exact same mask (a repainted and modified Captain Kirk mask) worn in the original Halloween (1978) film. It looks different in the sequel because the paint had faded due to a few reasons, first because Nick Castle, the original Michael, kept it in his back pocket during shoots. Also, Debra Hill kept the mask under her bed for several years until the filming of Halloween II, causing it to collect dust and yellow because Hill was a heavy smoker. Also, the mask appears wider because Dick Warlock is shorter and stockier than Nick Castle, so the mask fit his head differently. As the producers thought it would be the final sequel in the series, they let Warlock keep the mask, scalpel, boots, jumpsuit, and knife used in filming. When they decided to revive Michael in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), the producers realized they had made a mistake and never again gave props out to the cast and crew, therefore subsequent sequels used different masks that looked rather different.

Producer/writer John Carpenter didn’t like director Rick Rosenthal’s first version of the film, believing it to be as scary as an episode of Quincy M.E. (1976). A re-edit was done, but Carpenter still found it too tame, so he took over the editing process and sped up the action. He also shot a few gory scenes that were added into the film despite Rosenthal’s objections. This annoyed Rosenthal because he had wanted the sequel to emulate the way the original avoided explicit violence and gore in favor of well-crafted suspense and terror. In fact, Carpenter had intended for “Halloween II” to do just that, but the success of the new wave of slasher films in 1979 and 1980 made him afraid that a film which was scary and R-rated but lacked bloodshed and nudity would do poorly at the box office, leading to the extra graphic material inclusions. He later said that he thought that Rosenthal didn’t have a “feeling for what was going on” with the film”. Rosenthal would go on to direct Halloween: Resurrection (2002).

John Carpenter and Debra Hill had no interest in making a sequel as they believed the original Halloween (1978) was a standalone movie. When the studio offered them more money to write the script, Carpenter took the job so he could earn back what he believes was his owed pay (at the time, Carpenter had seen little earnings from the original movie. He admitted that he received a significant back-end salary much later). However, the script was not forming out as well as he thought, and he has personally stated that the only thing helping him through the screenplay process was a six-pack of Budweiser every day, which led to what he believes an inferior script and bad choices in the movie’s story. He later called Halloween II “an abomination and a horrible movie”.

This is the only Halloween film to show the morning after the 31st. Every other movie ends on Halloween night.

“Halloween II” was originally written to take place in a high rise apartment building. Later in script meetings, however, the setting was changed to Haddonfield Hospital.

John Carpenter turned down an offer to direct, as he initially had no desire to become involved in the project anyway. However, several of his people convinced him to stay involved in some capacity, like executive producer, so that he could at least earn some money from it. He also liked the fact that he could help give a new director a chance to make a movie, as the first film had done for him. He ended up producing and writing the screenplay, and later got involved in editing and re-shoots as well. He was then asked by NBC to shoot additional footage for the TV version of Halloween (1978), since the original version was too short for the network, so he also oversaw the filming of those scenes while Halloween II was being shot.

In a 1981 interview in Fangoria magazine, Debra Hill told of how there was consideration of making the movie in 3D. Hill said: “We investigated a number of 3-D processes . . . but they were far too expensive for this particular project. Also, most of the projects we do involve a lot of night shooting-evil lurks at night. It’s hard to do that in 3D”.

Debra Hill years later knocked Dick Warlock’s portrayal as Michael Myers, claiming he didn’t move as well as Nick Castle or have his body language. Dick defended himself saying he followed her instructions all the time while she was on the set and she never showed any dissatisfaction with his work at the time of filming.

John Carpenter himself admits that while writing Halloween II, the idea of Laurie being Michael’s sister came to him “at 2:00 in the morning in front of a typewriter with a six pack of beer.”

Jimmy’s fate is left unclear in the theatrical cut, as he simply collapses in his car, from a concussion after he slipped on the pool of blood. However, in the alternate ending, he is revealed to have survived, with bandages over his head, and sharing an ambulance with Laurie to be transported to another hospital.

This sequel was originally intended to be the final film to feature Michael Myers, Dr Sam Loomis and Laurie Strode. Producer/writer John Carpenter purposely killed off Myers and Dr. Loomis because he wanted to end the Haddonfield storyline. When he was asked to do a second sequel, he wanted to continue as an anthology of non-related horror stories that take place during Halloween. He co-wrote and produced Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) as a stand-alone movie, but fans were disappointed because they saw Halloween and Michael Myers as synonymous. The studio chose to revive both Myers and Dr. Loomis without Carpenter for the aptly titled Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), which retcons the events of Halloween II, and completely ignores Halloween III.

Xanadu Recap

Jamie

Sonny is an artist with a little painter’s block. He’s lost his inspiration and sadly heads back to his dead-end advertising job. That is until a beautiful muse (literally) comes along and inspires him to the true heights of artistic achievement: teaming up with an old man to open a roller disco. Can he achieve his dreams (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Xanadu.

How?! Sonny is a pure artist. Unfortunately he’s lost his inspiration and in a fit of despair throws his work out the window. This work blows over to a painting of the Greek muses, which breathes life into them and brings them into the world. One of the muses, Kira, heads Sonny’s way and just as he is about to return to his dead-end advertising job she kisses him. Struck by this beautiful woman who randomly kissed him, Sonny is even more perplexed when the first advertisement he is asked to paint has her picture on it! He begins to try to track down who she is, but no one seems to remember. During his search he befriends a former big band musician, Danny, who has made a fortune in construction and the two artists strike up a friendship, recognizing in each other similar artistic qualities. Eventually Sonny catches up to Kira at the rundown Pan-Pacific Auditorium where they fall in love, but Kira still resists telling him anything about her. They have a magical time together, eventually inspiring Sonny to quit his job and go into business with Danny to try to revamp the auditorium into a roller disco club. With her job done Kira reveals that she’s a muse and they can’t be together and leaves Earth. However, through the power of love Sonny follows her to her home where she reveals to her father that despite the rules, she has indeed fallen in love with Sonny and wishes to go to Earth to be with him. Initially she is refused and Sonny sadly returns to Earth to open the club, but he’s soon delighted to find Kira has returned for the big night and they probably smooch and shit. THE END.

Why?! Art and love, duh. It is a literal metaphor for the power of love to inspire artistic greatness. Kira is Sonny’s muse, literally, and through her he is able to achieve the pinnacle of artistic achievement… a roller disco… which obviously is the pinnacle of artistic achievement. Goes without saying.

Who?! This is a fun one. The Tubes were the band that showed up in a dream sequence for this film. Still active. There is also a film-within-a-film which starred David Tress and Madison Arnold. A classic 40’s gangster film, which seems to be a trend when people make fake film-within-films. Then, while he isn’t credited as Zeus, I believe Wilfred Hyde-White voiced him. Best known for My Fair Lady.

What?! Like all films of the late 70’s into the 80’s, this could be perceived as an advertisement for rollerskating. Everyone is quite into it. Because this does hold some cult attraction it’s not surprising that legit memorabilia shows up on ebay here and there. Like these original wardrobe drawings. You’d actually think more would be around, but probably the failure at the time got most of the props trashed. Who would think they’d eventually have value?

Where?! Kind of an incredible LA film. You got the beach, you got the boardwalk, and the big time roller disco they open up is in the old Pan-Pacific Auditorium. At the time it was just declared a historic building and so seemed to have some local standing as a place of note. I’m sure the idea of it being transformed into something shiny and new was appealing to the filmmakers. Alas, nine years later it was destroyed in a fire. A.

When?! Patrick helped with this one. At one point in a dinner you can see a calendar. The exact year and month is not discernable (until I purchase the original print and get it remastered), but it seems likely that the film is portraying events in July 1980, approximately when the film was released. Not solid, but interesting possibility. C-.

There is a joy to this film where I believe if you open yourself up to it (and ignore some obvious shortcomings) you can honestly have a ball. It reminds me a little of Cats. Obviously the crazy cat monsters and ridididiculous everything about that film can’t possibly translate into it being actually, unironically good. But… doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat prance about with a smile on my face. I enjoyed the pure enthusiasm for rollerskating and dance that I was seeing. I enjoyed Olivia Newton-John singing nicely and looking beautiful. I even enjoyed weirdo Gene Kelly trying on a series of crazy 80’s outfits in his Pretty Woman turn. It’s a fun bad movie that is weird enough that I could imagine pretty confidently showing the film off at a bad movie screening. Few will have seen it, many will be bewildered by what they are seeing, while most will still get some laughs and enjoyment out of it. Overall I was surprised by Xanadu. Particularly since Xanadu was one of the films that inspired the Razzies. The other? Can’t Stop the Music, another weird musical from 1980. But that one is terrible. This is not. As for Punmpkinhead II: Blood Wings, what is there to say about a cheap sequel to a pretty fun original horror film. Not much. It’s cheap and filled with actors that scream “this is a direct-to-video movie so maybe the presence of Bill Clinton’s half-brother will be juuuust enough for you to watch this.” At times it feels like they didn’t even really understand (or even possibly watch) the original film before embarking on the sequel, which is a shame. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are on a streak of good films, so Xanadu will obviously break that cycle … or will it? Did I secretly love Xanadu? You’ll have to read the recap to find out! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Ever since watching Can’t Stop the Music the next big BMT musical sensation was obviously going to be … Cats, and it still is Cats actually because Cats is the greatest film ever made. But before Cats it was supposed to be Xanadu! An absolute classic in bad movie circles, not least of which because it was one of the original films that inspired the Razzie awards. What were my expectations? Disco singing sensation? I assumed it would be like Can’t Stop the Music which was a ludicrous barely-movie that I don’t even really remember. So … that.

The Good – Wait for it … I kind of dug this film. It isn’t a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but with Gene Kelly and the whole story about big band nightclubs, all mixed together with 80s disco and rollerskating, something about it was maybe the most unique film I’ve seen in a long long time. Unlike Can’t Stop the Music I would happily watch this film again some time. This is a bad film, but it is also an interesting and mostly harmless film. Best Bit: The wild 15 minute long musical sequence that ends the film incoherently.

The Bad – The reviews naturally nail it. The direction was rough, the film looked cheap, the actors weren’t very good (although I liked Olivia Newton-John), and the musical numbers couldn’t save it. The films ends like seventeen times near the end, there is a whole story about Greek muses. And then three words: sexy animated animals. Somehow, among the madness that is this film, the two main characters become cartoon characters and then transform into two fish and two birds, and Olivia Newton-John is, for lack of a better description, a sexy fish and a sexy bird. What is with animators and the insistence on drawing sexy animals. It is so weird. Fatal Flaw: Sexy animals as usual … naw I’m joking, it is a crap special effects that undermine the actual decent music.

The BMT – Out of all of the 80s musicals this is by far the most interesting for BMT, and I just can’t see how any other film takes that crown from Xanadu. Do I dare? Do I dare call this film a good movie? No. I mustn’t. But it is darn close, and that is a shock! I would have never imagined Xanadu would be anything by a catastrophe. Did it meet my expectations? It wildly exceeded them. I expected Can’t Stop the Music, but instead kind of got like … Newsies maybe? Like Newsies but with ELO, bad effects, and a dumb Greek muse story.

Roast-radamus – A decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles, where Gene Kelly plays jazz clarinet on the beach, natch. And a borderline Exact Date (When?) for maybe like … July 1980? There was a calendar and you can see that the month has 31 days and the 13th is a Sunday, so I assume it is July. Maybe it is Fourth of July and this is a holiday film? I think the weird mix of good and bad from the film makes this a decent BMT in the end.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Definitely a Sequel. Bring back Olivia Newton John and Michael Beck and now they are the ones in the Gene Kelly role. Retired long ago and living happily together, Xanadu was sold off, replaced, and forgotten, its place in the world lost along with the 80s … that is until 80s nostalgia hits hard! The old site of Xanadu becomes an ironic pilgrimage site for those rad hipsters who love all things Stranger Things. Olivia Newton-John, aka Terpsichore, is invariably drawn to Xanadu. There’s dancing, and signing, and eventually Michael Beck and Olivia Newton-John team up with Twitch star LolXanadu4Life (played by a real like Twitch streamer who I’m not going to name since I don’t know any of them) to create a cross between an arcade and microbrewery all wrapped up in a Twitch themes ESPN Zone situation. It’s super sweet, and super ironic, and all the rad hipsters love it. It ends with a 45 minute 80s themes song and dance number. Xana2: Legacy.

Bring a Friend Analysis – Naturally for Xanadu we brought along … Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings? Obviously I had to watch both of the Pumpkinhead films for this bit. The first? Is quite good. It is a really cool contained story about witch’s curses and the regret a good man has for unleashing the demon Pumpkinhead on a group of mostly innocent teenagers. The practical effects are incredibly impressive, and as a self-contained story it is really cool. And then they made a pointless direct-to-video sequel. The sequel looks like absolute trash. It stars the star of Hellraiser, and has multiple cameos by horror villains (e.g. Kane Hodder, the best Jason), but eventually as the creature starts really killing people it just goes over a cliff and all of the characters go insane and … I didn’t know what was happening anymore. Apparently filmed in 23 days with a director hired the day before shooting essentially, I have a feeling they realized they were doomed from the start and just decided to have fun with it. Guess who didn’t have fun with it? This guy. D. Much like the sequels to Basket Case this just couldn’t capture the charm and raison d’etre of the first to make it worth my while.

You Just Got Schooled – And now to reveal why Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings is the friend for Xanadu … it’s because Pumpkinhead II has a video game tie-in! Against all odds they made Blood Wings: Pumkinhead’s Revenge, a PC game which, first, barely works, and second, appears to just be a rip-off of Doom? It is a really weird game that I couldn’t quite figure out. Like, you are fighting skeletons (not in the film) and then travelling to the Netherworld (not in the film) to capture crystals (not in the film), which then allow you to I guess watch FMV video from the movie? I wouldn’t know about the last bit because the game basically doesn’t work and I couldn’t figure out how to capture the crystals. Unfortunately, the one video I could find of someone playing they had about as much luck getting crystals as I did … how do I keep playing the worst games ever made for this section? How is Little Nicky by far the best movie tie-in for a BMT film we could find? F.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs