Hard to Kill Recap

Jamie

Mason Storm is… hard to kill. That’s right! After an attempt on his life kills his wife and leaves him in a coma, things are looking bleak for Mason. But seven years later he’s awake and ready to take out the scumbags that are trying to finish the job. Can he get the baddies (and maybe even reconnect with his son) before it’s too late? Find out in… Hard to Kill.

How?! Mason Storm is a police officer extraordinaire (and Academy Awards aficionado) hot on the trail of a corrupt bigwig looking to use the mob to take out a political opponent. After fleeing with evidence of the plot, Mason is ambushed at home. His wife is killed, his son flees into the night, and Mason is left in a coma. Knowing that he’s a target, a friend of Storm’s help fake his death and keep him safe at the obviously not fake LA Coma Center. Seven Oscar ceremonies later and Mason awakens to a changed world… mostly changed by the fact that a hot nurse is now super into him. Nice. The nurse, Andy, tries to contact Mason’s friend but inadvertently alerts a group of corrupt cops that Mason is alive and awake. They storm the hospital, but even in his weakened state Mason is able to escape with the help of Andy. She takes him to a friend’s house where he recuperates through martial arts, acupuncture, meditation and sweet sweet lovemaking with Andy (that also makes him sad, so he goes to pray at his wife’s grave… like for real). One day Mason recognizes the voice of big time Senator Trent as the voice of the corrupt bigwig from seven years ago. Mind like a steel trap! Realizing that this goes extremely high up, Mason recruits his friend to get his long lost son while he gets the evidence needed to put away Trent. They are supposed to meet at the train station, but things start to get crazy as Trent’s forces close in. Mason is snapping necks and taking no names, eventually arriving at Trent’s mansion where he dispatches a whole mess of people before confronting Trent. As the police stream in it becomes clear that Mason already sent them the evidence against the Senator and he’s arrested. Mason wins again! THE END

Why?! Mason Storm just wants justice… and his family to be safe… and to totally get with Andy. But mostly justice. Senator Trent wants power by any means necessary. At the beginning of the film he’s like some lowly city council member who needs someone dead to move on up in the world. So with seven years having passed and Trent becoming a Senator you’d think he’s got at least four or five assassinations under his belt when Mason wakes up.

Who?! We got a Senator… too bad he wasn’t VP Trent by the end. They even show a newspaper where he’s touted as VP for 1992. Gah! Just hold off for a second Seagal! Really I have to give a shout to the local LA newscaster Jerry Dunphy who legitimately plays a role in the plot of the film. This is his second BMT film after Beverly Hills Cop III.

What?! There is a fair amount of Miller High Life in the film. Like sodas, it’s always fun to find what brand a film represents. Patrick also noted a crazy thing where there is just a bunch of spearmint gum in a character’s briefcase. It’s things like that where I wish every movie had a ten part podcast or was required by law to have several DVD commentaries made… we need to really drill down into why the gum was in the briefcase.

Where?! Good LA picture, particularly since we get the legendary intertitle telling us that Seagal has spent seven years in the “LA Coma Center.” That… that’s not a thing. There is no such thing as a coma center and again… I want to know if everyone involved knows how crazy that is. Bring on the ten part podcast! B+.

When?! While the LA Coma Center is legendary, the 1983 Academy Awards setting for the beginning of the film is off the charts. Pretty easily my favorite setting I can remember and I’m only sad they didn’t have him later watch a bunch of movies during his recovery and then express dismay when Dances With Wolves wins Best Picture. A++++++

This is a pretty borderline BMT film in the end, but we felt like it was appropriate to start from the beginning with his first BMT qualifying film. Boy, we weren’t disappointed. Even his first, better regarded film, Above the Law is totally crazy and he continues his descent into martial arts mayhem with this entry. This starts out like a normal film (minus a truly hilarious setting centered around the 1983 Academy Awards) but then we wake up in a coma center (what?) to a totally changed world ourselves. That’s because Seagal is back, Jack, and he’s snapping necks left and right. It’s a pretty entertaining film in the end as long as you’re just looking for a whole mess of action and some pretty dumb stuff. Oh and I’m pretty sure the entire sequence where Mason has sex with Andy and then sadly visits his wife’s grave to pray is spoofed in MacGruber. You gotta be doing something right if you’re what a spoof film is spoofing. As for The Patriot… wow. I mean… that is basically not a movie. On occasion this happens. We will watch something so terrible that it is simply not a film. The Patriot is pretty much not a film. Sure there is an outbreak of a deadly flu and they ultimately solve it with flower power (literally), but most of the film is spent meandering around with Seagal specifically not fighting people. It’s almost like it was in his contract that they couldn’t have him do anything cool or interesting the whole time. It feels like you are peering into Seagal’s mind and it doesn’t feel good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got Seagal! We got ponytails! We’ve got seven year comas! He’s Hard. To. Kill. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Hard to Kill baby! We’re finally on our way to watching all of Seagal’s 90s releases, and this week we hammered out three of them. In no way is that depressing. I definitely didn’t have a ton of better things to do this week … anyways, funny that Seagal was a cop in his first three films. What were my expectations? I just hoped Seagal actually did some sweet Aikido in his early films. It is a bit sad later on that he mostly shoots people.

The Good – Aikido babyyyyyy! He was genuinely good at it. And he also showed off a bit of how it worked. Early on he basically has to goad the guy we just saw in Wishmaster II into attacking him so he could Aikido him. Yeah, that is basically how it works, using your opponent’s momentum and body weight against them. At least that is a part of it. And a halfway decent storyline as well. The film (and his first film as well) are surprisingly good, despite Seagal not being a particularly good actor. Best Bit: AIKIDO.

The Bad – It is juuuuuuuuust a tad self-indulgent. Having your wife say “Steven Seagal has a giant penis” directly into the camera is just a whole other level of writing a film for yourself. Then he goes to someone else’s house and fucks up all of their trees and makes their guest bedroom into a Buddhist temple? And don’t get me started on how much he was exercising in Los Angeles with a blazing fire burning. Everything Seagal-y in the film is a little bit off, although fun to some degree. Oh, and the first two Seagal films he runs on screen and it is Leelee Sobieski level perfect. He cannot run. Fatal Flaw: Steven Seagal just cannot run, there is no way he was a track star like they suggested in the film. Took me right out of it.

The BMT – The first two Seagal films (and probably all of them up through Under Siege) are quite good. I understand why the critics were skeptical of the new brand of action hero, which tended to take rote storylines and insert whomever was available at the time, but even being not very good this was at least fun on a “police procedural two-parter from 1993” level. Did it meet my expectations? Yes. I finally managed to watch a Seagal film where he did Aikido, looked fit, and it wasn’t all played as a comedy (I’m looking at you Under Siege with your random Playboy Playmate running around cracking jokes).

Roast-radamus – I have to give the Product Placement (What?) to Spearmint Gum which you can see multiple packs of in a briefcase at one point. Why? Who knows, he never chews on the gum, he never offers it to someone. Presumably it was a character choice, like he was planning on quitting smoking. Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles, and specifically you seem them venture out to Malibu and Venice Beach among other locales. Closest to Good for sure.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – There has never been a movie that was better suited for a BMT Crossover Episode than this. Sasha Petrosevich has found himself outnumbered and outgunned. Only a person as good as him at Aikido could get him out of this jam. But surely in this universe, such a person couldn’t exist! “Not in this universe,” Sasha says. Taking his infinity gauntlet he opens a portal to an alternate universe and pulls out Mason Storm, who (as luck would have it) is also half past dead. They aren’t twins, but they can kick some ass. Aikido-ing around like whirling dervishes they dispatch the bad guys and save their terrified families. “Hey brother, you can come to my universe anytime.” Once back in the world of Hard to Kill Mason Storm starts his own agency, Hard Past Dead. “That’s a portmanteau.” Mason Storm says with a smirk. Oooooooooh boy, the ladies love cool Mason. These crossover episodes are starting to really get deconstructed. Very dadaist.

Friend or Fiend – We went for a curious one, a Seagal film that was released straight-to-video, but which was released prior to his last film to be released theatrically, The Patriot (1998) (yeah not the Mel Gibson one). The film is about Seagal (a Montana rancher and *checks notes* leading military doctor for infectious diseases?) as he tries to find the cure for a military-developed virus when it is intentionally released by an eeeeeevil militia leader. Yep … that’s the storyline. And guess what the cure is that they take literally forever trying to develop? Flowers. Just some of the Eastern / Native American medicine that these idiot doctors would never think of. But Seagal does, and then the military drops flowers on the town and everyone is saved (I’m not joking, that’s the conclusion to the film, here’s some flowers, it is the best anti-viral in the world?). The film is a joke. It is so so weird. And in a way that is interesting and pretty funny, but those moments are few and far between. And the Eastern medicine is better than Western medicine garbage, and also the characters being mealy mouthed about condemning the violent ideology of the militia left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m putting this squarely in the Fiend territory.

You Just Got Schooled – Uh oh, turns out that the first ever Seagal film (which was just prior to Hard to Kill) was (vaguely) good! That’s right, I watched Above the Law (that’s three Seagal films this week, may God have mercy on my soul). The film is fun, as expected. Seagal is looking fit, and he’s hitting people hard and they are falling hard and you can immediately understand why he was such a magnetic character/actor at the time. The first hour of the film operates mainly as a normal buddy cop film, except the one of the buddies is Steven Seagal and all of the weird whispering baggage that entails. The last thirty minutes of the film? Pure comedy. Actually one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. Seagal can’t run in this film either, and everything devolved into pure lunacy right when he sends his wife away to protect his family from his poor decision making skills. I think if you watch Above the Law, Hard to Kill, Under Siege, and Fire Down Below you’ll know exactly what Seagal was bringing to the table in the 90s. B+. Enjoyed watching it despite it ultimately being very very Seagal at the end.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hard to Kill Quiz

Oh man, so I just woke up from a coma and I need to take down the guy who put me into it … one second, I need to go through years of physical therapy to heal my atrophied body. Also I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Hard to Kill?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Seagal catches a criminal conspiring with a city assemblyman to commit a crime. What crime were they planning on committing? And why didn’t Seagal get them arrested?

2) How long was Seagal in a coma? And where does he hide out while getting into shape?

3) How did Seagal’s old buddy O’Malley find him in the end?

4) How was Seagal’s hideout discovered?

5) Before their plans were waylaid, what was the plan for Seagal and his son to get away?

Bonus Question: How long does Mason and Andy’s relationship last after the events of the film?

Answers

Hard to Kill Preview

As Clutch parachutes into the VP’s residence he asks himself whether he has any chance of changing the man his brother has become? A booming voice tells him to stop. “My my my, Clutch. I never thought they’d dig you up for this job,” McGuire Guthrie says, applauding sarcastically. “Last time I heard you were drunk off your ass in Peru.” Clutch clenches his fists and sneers, “Last time I heard you were an asshole.” McGuire laughs, “Same old Clutch. Now where’s my gold?” Clutch shakes his head and McGuire frowns. “Pity,” he says and takes his signature samurai sword. Facing certain death Clutch reaches up his hand and catches a sword of his own, perfectly thrown from the shadows by Kat. A super sweet battle ensues ultimately ending with them both knocking the sword from the other’s hand. “Twin chop,” they shout and the blows land in unison. They fall into each other’s arms, mortally wounded. “I… I…” McGuire stammers, but Clutch shushes him. “I know,” and the power of their twin love heals their wounds and McGuire realizes the error of his ways. Clutch’s ex-wife hugs him and tells him she’s glad he found love with Kat. VP Jack Parrot shakes his hand and tells him he’s going to win the Nobel Prize for Heroism. But he brushes past all of them to lift McGuire from the ground and reach his hand out for a twin Predator high five. THE END.

Patrick closes his novel. It’s amazing, obviously. When he looks up that piece of shit hack Manfred Long is out of his quickening. “I knew I’d never win,” he says sadly, “but with the power of the Dongle I know I can kill you.” But Patrick shakes his head. “I think you’ll find I’m a little…” That’s right! We are going way back to 1990 to watch the first qualifying Steven Seagal film ever, Hard to Kill. It barely qualifies, so that would seem to indicate it’s actually not that bad, but I doubt it. Let’s go!

With a snap of his fingers Kyle fills the dance floor with bodacious babes and he and Jamie flee to the back room while the cyborgs are preoccupied. “What was all that about a cyber jack?” Kyle asks, but Jamie shakes his head. “Just a distraction, Kyle. Remember when we bought the club we had two rules.” Kyle nods, “Every night starts with the national anthem and…” suddenly his eyes light up. That’s right! We are pairing the first BMT qualifying Steven Seagal film with his first straight-to-video fare. The Patriot where he plays a *checks notes* doctor. Oh, come on! Let’s go!

Hard to Kill (1990) – BMeTric: 36.1; Notability: 35

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 7.2%; Notability: top 12.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 23.3%; Higher BMeT: Captain America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Rocky V, Ghost Dad, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Repossessed, Graveyard Shift, Soultaker, Problem Child, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Wings of the Apache, 3 Men and a Little Lady, The Bonfire of the Vanities, RoboCop 2, Loose Cannons, Navy Seals, Ernest Goes to Jail, Death Warrant; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, Jetsons: The Movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Air America, Captain America, Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory, Marked for Death, 3 Men and a Little Lady, The Rookie, Stella, Rocky V, Revenge, Bird on a Wire, Another 48 Hrs., Ghost Dad, Mr. Destiny, Havana, and 11 more; Lower RT: Problem Child, Death Warrant, Graveyard Shift, Repossessed, Madhouse, Loose Cannons, Coupe de Ville, Funny About Love, Soultaker, Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders, Wings of the Apache, Heart Condition, Meet the Applegates, Where the Heart Is, Ernest Goes to Jail, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Captain America, Opportunity Knocks, Air America, and 35 more; Notes: I’m a bit surprised at how high the rating is, I wouldn’t think that it would have necessarily followed the usual trend.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Police detective Seagal uncovers a major political corruption ring and is shot and left for dead; when he awakens from a seven-year coma, he’s ripe for revenge. Full of the usual violence and shades for this genre, but Seagal is fun to watch. LeBrock, who nurses him back to health, was then the real-life Mrs. Seagal.

(This is also pretty high … wait … is this film good? I’m down to the usual violence from Seagal. I assume by “usual violence” they don’t mean an obese Seagal shooting people in the face with a high powered rifle. I assume he does actual Aikido in this one.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy54Q4rcJuk/

(The slow motion is excessive in this trailer. So apparently Seagal saying “take that to the bank” is only in the trailer because in the original Seagal kills the bad guy in the end … yeah that would have been a nuts ending.)

DirectorsBruce Malmuth – ( Known For: Nighthawks; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Where Are the Children?; Pentathlon; Foreplay; BMT: Hard to Kill; Notes: Started in commercials. Put on a play in Los Angeles that starred the yet-unknown Toby Maguire.)

WritersSteven McKay – ( Known For: Midnight Sting; BMT: Hard to Kill; Notes: Bookended his career with The Magic of Christmas and its sequel nearly 30 years later.)

ActorsSteven Seagal – ( Known For: Under Siege; Machete; Executive Decision; Above the Law; Beyond the Law; Sniper: Special Ops; Code of Honor; General Commander; The Patriot; China Salesman; Attrition; The Onion Movie; The Foreigner; Mercenary: Absolution; Killing Salazar; Maximum Conviction; Contract to Kill; Gutshot; The Perfect Weapon; The Asian Connection; Future BMT: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Out for Justice; Marked for Death; BMT: Hard to Kill; Exit Wounds; Fire Down Below; On Deadly Ground; Half Past Dead; The Glimmer Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1995 for On Deadly Ground; in 1998 for Fire Down Below; and in 2003 for Half Past Dead; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Executive Decision in 1997; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song for Fire Down Below in 1998; Notes: Allegedly is starring in a sequel to his first film Above the Law over 30 years after the original … yeah, I’ll bet a dollar that doesn’t happen.)

Kelly LeBrock – ( Known For: Weird Science; Zerophilia; 10 Days in a Madhouse; Hard Bounty; Betrayal of the Dove; Gamers; Future BMT: The Woman in Red; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Hard to Kill; Notes: Was married to Seagal at the time and ultimately had three children with him before they divorced in 1996.)

William Sadler – ( Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile; The Mist; Iron Man Three; Bill & Ted Face the Music; Die Hard 2; The Highwaymen; The Hot Spot; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Kinsey; Rush; Freaked; The Duel; Being Flynn; Project X; Trespass; Freeheld; The Good Student; Ava’s Possessions; Freedom; Future BMT: The Unholy; Eagle Eye; Grudge; Machete Kills; August Rush; Disturbing Behavior; Man on a Ledge; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Bordello of Blood; RocketMan; Hanky Panky; BMT: Hard to Kill; K-9; Solo; Notes: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist are all directed by Frank Darabont and all originally stories by Stephen King.)

Budget/Gross – $11.5 million / Domestic: $47,410,827 (Worldwide: $47,410,827)

(That’s pretty good. You see, this is why martial arts films were booming in the late-80s/early-90s, easy money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 36% (5/14)

(The consensus is pretty positive: Undoubtedly one of Seagal’s best, and a decently entertaining actioner.)

Reviewer Highlight: With his ponytail and velvet voice, Steven Seagal makes an ironically gentle kamikaze gunslinger — he’s like a cross between Clint Eastwood and Mickey Rourke. For all that, his presence is paper thin. He’s part of a new breed of action hero: the nonstar star. These lightweight vigilantes — they include Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme — have zero charisma and sell millions of tickets. Why? It must be because they’re exactly as generic as their movies. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Hard to Sklog

(My god. If I asked someone to make a joke poster that hit every poster grading point on my rubric this very well might be it. It’s got a weird artistic sketch thing going. A nice overall red tone and black and white for the people. The font is legit. What is there not to like?! A.)

Tagline(s) – He’s L.A. Detective Mason Storm. Three hired assassins left him for dead. And he’s waited seven years to even the score. (D-)

(Well that’s something not to like. No way. Not into it. I started reading it and then stopped and just jumped straight down here to write this. I’m calling it right here: Steven Seagal wrote this tagline.)

Keyword(s) – coma

Top 10: Nobody (2021), Soul (2020), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Suspiria (2018), Jack Reacher (2012), Insidious (2010), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Annihilation (2018), Batman & Robin (1997)

Future BMT: 76.8 Superhero Movie (2008), 56.0 Ghost Dad (1990), 54.2 Hanging Up (2000), 51.3 Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007), 43.6 Life of the Party (2018), 42.8 The Brothers Solomon (2007), 39.5 Jigsaw (2017), 37.2 Saw IV (2007), 35.0 Paparazzi (2004), 28.1 Dragonfly (2002)

BMT: Batman & Robin (1997), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Vanilla Sky (2001), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Countdown (2019), Death Wish (2018), The Choice (2016), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Replicas (2018), Hard to Kill (1990), Monkeybone (2001), Swimfan (2002), Miss March (2009), Soul Survivors (2001)

Matches: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Jack Reacher (2012), Insidious (2010), Fast & Furious 7 (2015), The Cell (2000), The Big Sick (2017), Fracture (2007), The Descendants (2011), While You Were Sleeping (1995), The Dead Zone (1983), Unknown (2011), If I Stay (2014), Dave (1993), Forever Young (1992), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), Columbus (2017), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Hard to Kill (1990), Amityville: The Awakening (2017), Monkeybone (2001), Sex and Death 101 (2007), The Brave One (2007), Miss March (2009), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), Possession (2009), 18 Again! (1988), Bad Dreams (1988), The Brothers Solomon (2007), Catfight (2016), Pit Stop (2013), Paparazzi (2004), Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007), Timeless Love (2019), The Safety of Objects (2001), Until Death (2007), Lonesome Jim (2005), Touched (2005), BrainWaves (1982), Wonderful World (2009), The Dark Place (2014), Lying in Wait (2001), Black Eyed Dog (2014), Seven Hours to Judgment (1988), Forgiving the Franklins (2006), To the Other Shore (2020), Will and Testament (2012)

(Only one more from 1990, Ghost Dad (ooooooof). I can’t wait to watch through the Saw series, it is going to be awful.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Steven Seagal is No. 1 billed in Hard to Kill and No. 1 billed in Exit Wounds, which also stars Isaiah Washington (No. 3 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 5 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 1) + (3 + 5) + (2 + 3) = 15. If we were to watch Out for Justice we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Steven Seagal and Kelly LeBrock were married at that time.

Kelly Le Brock had pretty much retired from acting at the time and only did the movie as a favor for her husband.

Steven Seagal did not get along with Bruce Malmuth and considered him to be a very poor director. Chief among Seagal’s complaints included dissatisfaction with filming the action scenes and being excluded from the editing process.

Was filmed with the title “Seven Year Storm” and publicized in several trade magazines with that name. Warner Bros. decided to re title the finished pic “Hard to Kill” to make it sound more like a slam-bang action film.

Reportedly, an alternate ending was also filmed where Storm kills Trent and says “Take that to the bank”. Storm is shown saying this line in the theatrical trailer, which indicates that there indeed was an alternate ending where Trent dies.

The 17 February 1989 draft of the screenplay credits Steven Pressfield & Ronald Shusett & Steven Seagal as writers. Pressfield & Shusett are not credited in the final film and Seagal only received an acting credit. (YES I knew he had to have written this film! And it had to have been written by him and two friends because it is so Seagal-y)

Craig R. Baxley was offered to direct it by Steven Seagal. Baxley passed because he didn’t want to work with Seagal.

Based on several references to the Academy Awards being broadcast on the same night, the events in the first part of the film would’ve taken place on April 11, 1983.

Seagal’s pistol is a Colt Series 80 1911 with a commander hammer and Herrett skip checkered grips. Similar grips are seen in the movie poster but the gun is a Colt Series 80 Gold Cup.

Master Pistolsmith Terry Tussey built a number of custom 1911’s for Steven Seagal.

The inside of the mansion was also used in the Cohen Brothers comedy The Big Lebowski

Seagal’s gun handling and technique strongly suggest that he may have spent some time at Gunsite in Paulden, AZ. His use of the 1911, the press check, weaver stance, finger on trigger, are indicative of legacy training techniques at Gunsite, which was founded by Col. Jeff Cooper as the American Pistol Institute in 1976. When he began making his films in the late 80’s, there were only a mere handful of civilian firearms training centers in the U.S. and Gunsite is widely credited with being the first.

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