Highlander: Endgame Recap

Jamie

Kell is the new immortal on the block gaining power by quickening up the wazoo. But Conner MacLeod and his best bro Duncan have plan. Can’t get killed by Kell if you’re already dead (think about it) and if you’re dead then the other can gain your quickening skillz. Can Duncan stop Kell (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Highlander: Endgame.

How?! This shall be my greatest challenge ever. Remember the whole prize thing, well once again forget that Conner ever won that. Instead let’s start at the beginning where Conner, newly immortal, returns to his hometown. Considered a monster he is captured and his mother is burned at the stake. Enraged, Conner escapes and destroys the whole village, including the local priest, Kell. Years later he befriends a fellow immortal from the clan MacLeod, Duncan, and they begin decades of adventure together, obviously never mentioned in any previous installments of the franchise. Anywho, they meet up in NYC and are best bros, but tragically Conner’s adopted daughter is killed in an explosion set off by *gasp* the also immortal Kell (what a twist!). A grief stricken Conner then hides away in The Sanctuary, a place where The Watchers lock away immortals to keep Kell from winning the ultimate prize. But that doesn’t exactly work as Kell breaks into The Sanctuary and murders everyone (or does he?). Our boy Duncs goes to investigate but has to battle Kell and his army of immortals and is nearly killed. Instead he is captured by The Watchers who want to compel him to stay locked away like Conner. Duncs is like no way and with the help of some friends he escapes. Once freed he finds that Conner is actually alive, being saved for last by Kell as a form of revenge. Duncan also now knows that his former boo Kate is amongst Kell’s army and they flirt and stuff, but Kate can’t forgive him for the eternity of pain Duncan inflicted on her by turning her immortal (wait, what?). While Kell gathers strength by Quickening to the x-treme via the beheading of his army, Conner and Duncan fight one last time so that Conner, tired of his immortal life, can sacrifice himself to give his Quickening strength to Duncan. In a final climactic fight, Kell and Duncan face off and, duh, Duncs tots wins for sure. In the end we see that Kate has also survived and is ready to bone Duncan for the next 1000 years or whatever. THE END.

Why?! To win the prize allegedly. Although no matter how many times someone wins the prize they don’t seem to actually win the prize and then eventually they die. Makes you wonder whether there is even a prize… or is the ultimate prize really the friendships Conner made along the way (awww).

Who?! Two interesting casting choices here. Damon Dash, cofounder of Roc-A-Fella Records, made his screen debut in the film as one of Kell’s immortals. Probably ended up being his biggest film too, which is interesting. The wrestler The Edge also made a brief appearance in his feature debut… also the biggest thing he ever did.

What?! The Prize and the general immortal storyline is vague enough to probably constitute a MacGuffin on their own. Although not in the traditional sense. And hold up… you’re seriously telling me that Kell’s fake decapitated head went up for auction and didn’t get sold?! I can’t wait until I’m rich enough to need subjects of conversation for my rich person cocktail parties. “You know what this is?” I will say, pointing to a prop head that looks startlingly like Damodar from Dungeons & Dragons.

Where?! A lot of the film is set in New York City and Scotland, like the original. Some brief moments in Europe, but really the NYC aspect of Highlander is fun to have preserved. I have such nostalgia for the first one and the kinda grimy Madison Square Garden wrestling match in the beginning and stuff. It’s great. B

When?! Superb Secret Holiday Film Alert as this is explicitly set during Christmas. At first I was like “hmm, is that a Christmas tree in the background?” and then a minute later a character was quipping “Merry Christmas” to a dude just before he killed him. It is glorious. It’s just too bad that the film is such a piece of shit or I would say pair it up with Cobra and Turbulence and have a very merry Christmas trilogy. Also interesting the Highlander wiki has the film set in 2004… probably something to do with the TV timeline or whatever. A- just for Xmas sake.

I cannot accept that this film was actually released to theaters. It is straight up incomprehensible. Even for giant Highlander fans it would be incomprehensible. I have watched the critically reviled second entry enough to have actual opinions on it… like I have a whole theory that a good cut of Highlander 2 could be made, but in fact has never been made. But despite how much I have thought about the franchise, this fourth entry had me scratching my head wondering whether I was supposed to already know the subtle nuances of highlander lore they seemed to take as a given. Had I overestimated my Highlander acumen? Well I soon learned this was supposed to bridge nearly a decade of the Highlander tv series and finally bring Conner and Duncan MacLeod together. Ah! What everyone across the country was clamoring for! A continuation of the straight-to-syndication show that people probably caught momentarily while taking a sick day that one time. No wonder they released it to 1500+ theaters. Anyway, the movie makes no sense and looks exactly like what it is… a 90’s straight-to-syndication TV series. On a positive note, I actually didn’t mind the final Conner and Duncan fight, it was kind of sweet to show how Conner was ready to die for the fate of humanity after years of losing so many people he loved, and there was some surprisingly good martial arts, but I just can’t shake the fact that they thought this was a good idea. Highlander’s greatest strength was rising from the ashes to reset and forget the tragically misguided last entry in the series… it’s the only way you can get through something like Highlander 2 to claim the vaunted prize: a syndicated TV show. And yet once that prize was attained they decided we must remember everything forever. No wonder the immortal series finally died. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! There can only be one! … left, there is only one Highlander movie left to do, and it is Endgame. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – There can only be one! Or four or whatever. The most intriguing thing about the film was just how much of the film seemed like Highlander: The Series: The Movie. That, that seems crazy. Because there was six seasons of that show and it ended two years before this film was made … so they wouldn’t actually do that right? What were my expectations? Totally incomprehensible nonsense. There is no other way you can make a Highlander sequel and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Good – There is a genuinely good martial arts scene in the middle of this film. So good, in fact, that I’m fairly convinced that Donnie Yen choreographed it. This isn’t the worst of the bunch, surprisingly. Luckily I brushed up on the lore from the television series so I didn’t have too much trouble following what was actually an impossible to follow plot. And Lambert and even Adrian Paul I think were quite good, or at least, it wouldn’t have really felt like a Highlander film without them. Best Bit: That one fight scene.

The Bad – The madmen did it, they made a movie that was the fourth in a franchise, but also the direct sequel to a six season syndicated television series, and then they released it to 1500 theaters. How is such a thing possible? What were they doing in the 90s where they thought releasing a sequel to a television show to kick off another television show required a theatrical release. Bananas. As a theatrical film it looks bad, it is directed poorly, most of the actors are bad, most of the fight scenes are bad, and the whole thing makes no sense unless you had happened to watch the television show. What the hell is happening?! That’s some wild stuff. Fatal Flaw: Six seasons of television as required viewing for a sequel to an 80s film …

The BMT – In many ways this film is legendary. A late sequel to a series we’ve done in three parts to finish it off. It is maybe the only direct sequel to a television series where you have to watch the show first or else it makes no sense. Martial arts, and Christopher Lambert, and quickenings. The whole thing is just a wild ride while also impossible to recommend. How do you tell someone “man, if you think about just how weird it is that the television show is required to watch this movie … then you’ll get it.” Hard sell. Did it meet my expectations? I think it exceeded them in every way. And after all that you want to hear a wild thing? I kind of dug the film! Or at least I liked it better than the third, and it is more well put together than the second. Really weird.

Roast-radamus – A for real deal Secret Holiday Film (When?) because the climax of this film is set during Christmas in maybe the best way possible! There is an extremely quick moment where a guy is going to interfere with the immortals, and you can see Christmas decorations in the background, and then another guy shoots him and is like “Merry Christmas”!!!!!!! Great stuff. Highlanders are always good for a MacGuffin (Why?) because you know they all are looking for the sweet Quickening. And also a genuine Worst Twist (How?) for Conner sacrificing himself to Duncan to give him a level up Quickening right before his super Kell Quickening at the end. Duncan is a super Highlander now I think. Definitely right in there for BMT, it is a highly amusing film.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I don’t think you necessarily need to remake anything, it would be more like a retcon to fix the lore (I do love lore). But let’s call it a Remake for clarity. I think the first film is perfect, even though it makes it a bit more complicated. MacLeod versus the Kurgan to become the last Immortal. But here’s the twist. He’s won the game, and the final quickening happens, and then … the game starts anew with MacLeod as an Immortal outside of the game, a new batch of Immortals born into the world. Being outside of the game he founds The Watchers, an organization which observes and reports on the happenings of the game to gently help good Immortals (like Duncan, whom Conner takes under his wing as an apprentice), hoping to prevent another Kurgan from gaining the ultimate immortality. Eventually, as the game cycles, new Immortals win the game (Duncan being the second), until a final film where a fourth is set to join and it is revealed (much to our heroes’ chagrin) that they are, in fact, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and that is the point of the game, to mark the end of the Earth. So it becomes a race to prevent the completion of the last game. There must be two! The end. Tight stuff, I’m open to discussing the option terms Netflix.

You Just Got Schooled – Lots of good stuff here as well. First, the film was supposed to tie in heavily with Highlander: The Raven which was running in 1998-1999 when the film would have at least been in pre-production (but it was then canceled). I did watch the pilot called Reborn. Have to say … kind of okay, better than I remember the original series being, which I think makes sense, one was a syndicated show from 1992 and the other from 1998. This was cheesy, but mostly seemed like it was going to be a procedural cop show involving Immortals and all that jazz which is a pretty cool idea actually. I’m going to give it a B-, entertaining for a syndicated show from the 90s.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Highlander: Endgame Quiz

Oh boy, so here’s the thing. I’m an immortal and I’m just chopping off heads and quickening and stuff all the time. Like, I quickened maybe twice last week (not to brag). Anyways, I was fighting this guy and do you know what he does, he hits me right in the head! I chopped his head off, but also sustained a severe concussion and now can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Highlander: Endgame?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Conner MacLeod’s daughter is murdered most foul. How is she killed?

2) Why does Jacon Kell want to Kill Conner MacLeod … well beyond that there can only be one?

3) What is the purpose of the Sanctuary which is run by rogue watchers?

4) How does an Immortal become immortal?

5) Why does Conner let Duncan kill him (basically forces him to)?

Bonus Question: I do love relationship questions. So how long do Kate and Duncan version 2.0 stay together?

Answers

Highlander: Endgame Preview

Having woken from their slumber, Jamie and Patrick rush to the computer. The internet is poppin’ and full of newly minted reviews for The FMV Rich & Poe: The Music Video Game VR Experience: Legends Never Die starring Jason Derulo. They hold their collective breaths and sigh in relief as they gather the consensus: it’s a smash. “This ironic twist on the tragedy that was the monster cat themed previous entry in the Rich & Poe saga certainly has this reviewer singing a different tune when thinking about the latest entry. While definitely not canon, no matter how much the creators insist, we welcome even more ironic sendups of these beloved characters we had thought wore out their welcome.” Jamie and Patrick predator high five, tears shimmering in their eyes. But wait, what’s this other chatter burning up the R&P message boards? “Release Date Postponed!” it screams and Jamie and Patrick’s shoulders slump. All this work on the hype machine and their cyborg nemeses got ahead of it. “The end of August,” Patrick says in despair, “classic dump month.” Jamie slams closed the internet window and falls heavily into a chair. “What do we do now? We can’t just keep pumping out FMV gold!” But Patrick’s mind is already turning. If the FMV game isn’t canon, then maybe only films are… and if only films are then… “Preemptive sequel,” he mutters and Jamie sits up straight in his chair. They’ll turn the new movie into a prequel and show that Rich and Poe never died. If their film is bad, Rich and Poe survive. If it’s gold, like usual, they keep the hype machine going. “So we have a plan. Now we just need an endgame,” Patrick says cryptically, leaning on the entirely useless box that’s not even worth mentioning. That’s right! We’re taking the final (?) baby step on the journey of finishing Highlander with the fourth entry in the series, Highlander: Endgame. With a title like that you are assured it’s the last Highlander ever released (hint: this is not true). Or at least the last one you’ll have to watch for BMT (now that is true). Let’s go!

Highlander: Endgame (2000) – BMeTric: 64.3; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 46.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 7.2% Higher BMeT: Battlefield Earth, Dungeons & Dragons, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Urban Legends: Final Cut, 102 Dalmatians; Higher Notability: Little Nicky, Gone in Sixty Seconds, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Coyote Ugly, Mission to Mars, Ready to Rumble, Lost Souls, Proof of Life, 102 Dalmatians, Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Reindeer Games, Rules of Engagement, Bless the Child, Hollow Man, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Isn’t She Great, Final Destination, Pay It Forward, Supernova, Dude, Where’s My Car?, and 25 more; Lower RT: The in Crowd, Battlefield Earth, Bless the Child, Lost Souls, Turn It Up, Circus, The Skulls, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Dungeons & Dragons, Supernova, I Dreamed of Africa, Ed Gein, Screwed, The Ladies’ Man, The Watcher; Notes: Loving the sup-5.0 on IMDb, that is obviously a huge number. It is astonishing that Highlander IV is above 30 Notability. At this point it was borderline straight-to-video and they were still pumping money into it, just amazing.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Tedious sequel in which 500-year-old Lambert goes up against fellow immortal Payne, a vengeance-seeking, power-hungry rogue. Also involved is Lambert’s clan brother (Paul, from the TV series). Of interest only to die-hard series fans.

(Another BOMB?! We are racking them up now. Of interest only to die-hard Highlander fans … great, so this movie was made for us.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7mqpGNx8FI/

(Basically this is Highlander: The Series: The Movie!!! The television show is terrible, and this looks just as terrible. And then they bust out what appears to be the Hackers soundtrack at the end? Just incredible. Looks like nonsense.)

Directors – Douglas Aarniokoski – (Known For: Nurse; The Day; BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Notes: He wrote the fourth and fifth Puppet Master films, and currently he produces a ton of television (including Star Trek: Picard). Was previously married to producer Suzanne Todd.)

Writers – Gregory Widen (characters) – (Known For: Highlander; Backdraft; The Prophecy; OtherLife; BMT: Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Wrote the sequel to Backdraft as well. He wrote the original Highlander while in school. Still writing, he’s attached to an upcoming film called Yasuke.)

Eric Bernt (story) – (Known For: The Echo; Future BMT: The Hitcher; Virtuosity; Surviving the Game; BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Romeo Must Die; Notes: Was a writer and producer on the television show Z Nation in the mid-2010s.)

Gillian Horvath (story) – (Known For: On the Other Hand, Death; BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Was a creative consultant on the Highlander television. She seems to have been a freelance sci-fi writer for a ton of shows including Xena.)

William N. Panzer (story) (as Bill Panzer) – (Known For: Steel; BMT: Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Was the original producer of the series and has been executive producer on basically all of the Highlander stuff forever. Has a story credit on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th films.)

Joel Soisson (screenplay) – (Known For: Piranha 3DD; Cam2Cam; Trick or Treat; Children of the Corn: Genesis; Blue Tiger; The Supernaturals; Pulse 2: Afterlife; Pulse 3; Hambone and Hillie; BMT: Dracula 2001; Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Has written dozens of films, mostly straight-to-video horror sequels, has directed a number of films, and was a producer on Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Clearly very involved in moviemaking.)

Actors – Christopher Lambert – (Known For: Highlander; Beowulf; Hail, Caesar!; Southland Tales; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Sobibor; Subway; Bel Canto; White Material; Resurrection; The Sicilian; Knight Moves; Nirvana; Fortress 2; Un + une; 10 Days in a Madhouse; Why Me?; Vercingétorix; Future BMT: Fortress; Gunmen; Loaded Weapon 1; The Hunted; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Highlander: Endgame; Mortal Kombat; Notes: By all accounts and incredibly nice person. Apparently he has a puppet on the satirical French show Les Guignols de l’info.)

Adrian Paul – (Known For: Love Potion No. 9; Black Rose; Susan’s Plan; Outpost 37; Merlin: The Return; Apocalypse Pompeii; Last Rites; The Heavy; Nine Miles Down; Eyeborgs; The Breed; Dikaya liga; Kids vs Monsters; War of the Worlds: Goliath; Nemesis Game; Seance; Moscow Heat; Masque of the Red Death; Throttle; Code Hunter; BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Has become involved in a few different production companies and also has written several scripts (although from what I can tell they weren’t produced, or he wasn’t ultimately credited on them). Started as a dancer and appeared in a few music videos in the 80s.)

Bruce Payne – (Known For: The Keep; Necronomicon; Absolute Beginners; Sweepers; Creators: The Past; For Queen & Country; Vendetta; One Point O; Steal; Prowl; One Tough Bastard; Ripper; Re-Kill; Pyrates; The Rizen; Brothel; Breakdown; Age of Kill; The Fruit Machine; Privates on Parade; Future BMT: Passenger 57; Switch; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Getaway; Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Apparently was considered for the lead role in Burton’s Batman, which usually I wouldn’t mention, but he would have played Bruce Wayne … and his name is Bruce Payne. That’s crazy.)

Budget/Gross – $25,000,000 / Domestic: $12,811,858 (Worldwide: $15,843,608)

(No, that is no good. Something tells me this film did not, in fact, cost $25 million to make though. Although, then again, maybe that is why the sequel went straight-to-video. It is pretty unbelievable this ended up in thousands of theaters in the first place.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (6/54): The fourth and supposedly last Highlander movie is a confusing mess, complete with bad acting and dialogue.

(So, I guess at the time maybe they were claiming this was going to be the conclusion to the franchise? Didn’t happen, they made a fifth which apparently is worse than even the second one! Reviewer Highlight: Highlander: Endgame looks sensational, moves like lightning. But its script (by Joel Soisson) makes no pretense about being logical or even comprehensible. – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Highlander 4: Found Another Highlander

(Hmmmm, this does the job. The framing and stuff is good and the big ol’ sword is fun. Got a slight highlander font to boot. Not bad. B.)

Tagline(s) – It will take two immortals to defeat the ultimate evil. But in the end, there can be only one. (D)

(You literally keep saying that but it hasn’t been true yet. The highlander doth protest too much and we are three entries past the point where they should have just rewritten the lore. It should just be that a bunch of highlanders crop up periodically to fight evil that threatens the Earth. Once the evil is gone the highlanders compete to be the only one left for the centuries between the next evil. Is that so hard? Anyway this is trash and it’s too long. I hate it, but it is comprehensible so not the worst.)

Keyword – immortality

Top 10: Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), Suicide Squad (2016), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Death Becomes Her (1992), Deadpool 2 (2018), Deadpool (2016)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 89.1 House of the Dead (2003), 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 71.1 The Spirit (2008), 61.9 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 52.0 Green Lantern (2011), 51.1 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007), 42.2 Pan (2015);

BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Gods of Egypt (2016), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), The Mummy (2017), Hellboy (2019), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Dragonball Evolution (2009), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Queen of the Damned (2002), Dracula 2001 (2000), I, Frankenstein (2014), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Bulletproof Monk (2003), The Medallion (2003), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994)

(Lots of vampire stuff here. Humans really fear death huh? Look at all these things which posit the consequences of a lack of mortality. Anyways, The Spirit is a giant piece of garbage, I’ve seen like thirty minutes before and it is astonishingly bad, so I can’t wait to see that one in full.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Christopher Lambert is No. 1 billed in Highlander: Endgame and No. 1 billed in Mortal Kombat, which also stars Robin Shou (No. 2 billed) who is in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li (No. 6 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 14. If we were to watch Passenger 57, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The film’s trailer contained many sequences and elements not in the film, including scenes suggesting that the villain Jacob Kell possessed supernatural abilities, and a scene showing Connor and Duncan leaping through a “magical portal.” It was later revealed that certain scenes were shot exclusively for the trailer, to make the film look more interesting.

The original trailer featured Connor MacLeod splitting Jacob Kell in two with his sword and becoming two people. This never happened in the film.

Billy Idol and Jean-Claude Van Damme were both considered for the role of Jacob Kell.

As Duncan travels toward his rendezvous with Connor, there is a shot of his vehicle passing Silvercup Studios, the scene of the final battle between Connor and Kurgan in the original Highlander.

The interior of the Sanctuary was an abandoned salt mine 200 yards underground in Romania. The only access was a single elevator, and the crew had to be transported down a few at a time.

The film was intended as a bridge between Highlander (1992) and Highlander: The Raven (1998). The TV series was cancelled, and cast availability problems caused production delays. Dimension Films soon realized that their plans for the film were not going to meet expectations, and scaled back on its release.

Other titles at various stages of production included “Highlander IV: The Immortals” and “Highlander: The Search for Connor”.

Connor MacLeod’s “Trophy Room” from the first film was reconstructed in detail here, though the hardwood floor is different. The original set had a radial central floor which supported the weight of MacLeod’s old blacksmith’s anvil in the middle.

Earlier drafts of the script differed greatly from the final cut in several aspects. The character of Kate was originally named Alexis, most of the flashbacks occurred in Shanghai instead of Ireland. Methos and Duncan were living in Paris rather than London as they did in the end of the TV series. Hugh Fitzcairn and May Ling Shen were to appear in the Shanghai flashbacks.

Lucy Lawless was unable to take the role of Kate/Faith due to her commitment on the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (1995).

Not screened for critics prior to release.

Earlier versions of the screenplay had a subplot whereby Kell would gain an unholy power when he had killed 666 immortals, and would become too strong for any immortal, or even an army of immortals, to kill. In this version Kell’s wiping out his own followers was an attempt to quickly reach that number, but he was foiled after Jin Ke took his own life before Kell could behead him, leaving him needing to kill Duncan in order to reach 666 kills. This subplot was deleted from the final version of the film, though allusions to it remain, with Kell’s kill count halfway through being 661.

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Recap

Jamie

The Gutes is back, Jack! This time Commandant Lassard has been given the chance to start Citizens on Patrol, a program where regular citizens get police training. But things quickly go sour when Capt. Harris comes back to head the program. Can Mahoney and the gang save the program and the day before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol.

How?! Considering his long history of success with the police academy, Commandant Lassard is given the opportunity to test out his pet project: C.O.P, Citizens on Patrol. It’s a program where regular citizens take the law into their own hands by training at the academy. All of our Police Academy friends are called back into action to help make the program work, but unfortunately Lassard is sent off to promote the program at a police seminar, leaving Capt. Harris in charge. Oh no! Harris thinks C.O.P. is real dumb, particularly after a couple of skateboarders (what jokesters) are thrown in the program in lieu of being sent to jail. Despite the program generally running OK, even sparking a love interest for Zed, Harris is the brunt of a series of pranks that makes him even more determined to shut the program down. Really, though, he doesn’t do anything to stop the program. Instead on the very first day that C.O.P. is out on the streets the citizens spoil a long running undercover police operation. Just as Lassard triumphantly returns to show off the program to a bunch of international police bigwigs he is informed that C.O.P. is donzo. Everyone is real sad. That is until Harris’ precinct allows for a number of hardened criminals/ninjas (this is real) to escape their jail. The C.O.Ps and our police academy friends team up to track down the criminals using jet skis and hot air balloons (naturally). Harris comes off looking like a total loser, duh, while Lassard and the police academics are heroes once again. Oh and the Gutes smooches his latest love interest (Sharon Stone!). Hooray. THE END. 

Why?! By the fourth one they are really struggling to keep a coherent plot together. Lassard wants to improve police-community relations and so C.O.P. is his idea to do that. The Police Academy crew seem to just want to help out their friend. Harris is just a dick and thinks police work shouldn’t be handled by the community. It’s all very vague and constantly interrupted by whatever prank the police academy jokesters are playing on their latest victim.

Who?! The presence of NFL player Bubba Smith has to be noted. Pro boxer Tex Cobb also had a cameo appearance. He’s better known (to me) as Lyle in Ernest Goes to Jail. Finally, we get some rad skateboarding scenes that are some of my favorite images put to film. Apparently a number of pro skateboarders were used for that including Tony Hawk.

What?! I am truly at a loss for anything for this section. So I’m just going to go on a tear regarding the prank that plays a huge part in the Where?! and When?! sections. That’s the 1986 Mazda Gator Bowl. Sure it’s not really a product placement because it’s neither seen nor heard in the film, but it was the first time the Gator Bowl was sponsored in any capacity, so that’s kind of a fun fact.

Where?! This is a little strange because pretty much everything the Police Academy world is built on has them operating in an anonymous American city. However, as mentioned above we have a prank that distinctly features the 1986 Gator Bowl between Clemson and Stanford in Jacksonville, FL… so is Police Academy set in Jacksonville? Possibly. C-.

When?! Police Academy doesn’t just exist outside of space. It also exists outside of time. It is useless to dive too deep into this or waste effort on it. However… much like above if the events were to coincide with the 1986 Gator Bowl then we would have a Super Secret Almost Too Secret to Count Holiday Film Alert as that game took place two days after Christmas, so likely portions of the film would occur on Christmas. And before you even entertain any other possibilities: yes, that is the only time Clemson and Stanford have ever played. C-.

I really enjoy watching franchises. There are so many flavors. Last week we had a classic horror franchise that built lore while bringing the monster to the forefront. This time we have a classic megahit stretched for all its worth. Every film in the series basically rehashes the same formula that struck gold in the first, low-budget entry. Gutes is smirking, Winslow is beeping and booping, and somebody wants to stop them from succeeding. The further you get into the franchise the more the plot becomes tissue thin. Just squashed between random pranks, jokes, and Winslow’s sound effects (which I’m not sure actually counts as a joke). At this point Guttenberg’s love interest barely says a word or is given the time of day before she’s riding off into the sunset with him in a hot air balloon. They don’t need her to… you already know Gutes will be smooching on her, so who needs character development? You can really feel that by the fourth entry they simply had a series of dots that they were connecting in order to move onto the next one. No wonder they were able to make the first six films in less than five years (!). Overall I wasn’t offended by how terrible the film was or anything (although there are numerous actually offensive things in the series), but it is a terrible film. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Police Academy series is something of a marvel, four films with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Five films given a BOMB by Leonard Maltin. It might actually be the worst franchise ever made. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – We’re back babyyyyyy. We watched the first two Police Academy’s two years ago (I think, if you told me it was five years ago I probably wouldn’t be shocked, BMT just blends together at this point), and it was high time we started back in. By all accounts the later sequels are just the same unfunny garbage over and over with little plot. Excellent. What were my expectations? The same unfunny garbage over and over with little plot.

The Good – As far as an ensemble cast is concerned there is a good mix of 80s charm (Guttenberg), 80s tropes (Bubba Smith as a generic sports figure turned comedy actor, Sweetchuck as the nerd), and off the wall comedians like Bobcat and Winslow. As a first credit for David Spade he is quite good and you can see why he ended up being a solid comedy actor soon after. I wonder, given that he has the same origin as Guttenberg in the original police academy, put in the program in lieu of prison, if the intention was for the character to come back in the sequels … that didn’t work out. I guess what I’m saying is the only good thing in this film is the cast. Best Bit: The cast.

The Bad – I mean, it is unfunny garbage that is the same jokes over and over and there literally isn’t a plot. The Commandant wants to create a citizen police force because he feels like the police and citizens have a bad relationship. They do, despite the meddling of people who want the Commandant to fail. It blows up in their faces, but then, once some ninjas escape (totally true) they realize it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. The end. That’s the story. And I honestly can’t think of a single joke in the entire film I found funny. I can’t even think of a single joke from the film period. Fatal Flaw: It isn’t funny despite apparently being a comedy.

The BMT – We are getting there. By all accounts the fourth film is the jumping off point for the series to really go downhill. The next one is Miami, then City Under Siege, and then Russia … so they are really just blowing it out after this one. This can be remembered in BMT legend as the last reasonably sane Police Academy film. Oh and also for having the raddest skateboarding montage in history! It is out of nowhere and completely amazing. Do yourself a favor and watch this thing:

Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, it was unfunny garbage which drove the same bad jokes into the ground over and over until it unceremoniously ended.

Roast-radamus – I genuinely think this doesn’t qualify for any superlatives which is quite interesting, it is even in what is described as an unnamed city according to Wikipedia (it seems like Los Angeles, but that is probably not the case considering the giant waterfall nearby … so it is like a cross between Los Angeles and Toronto?). It is closest to BMT I think.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think it is time for the long awaited Prequel to the entire Police Academy. We knew Mahoney as a lackadaisical petty-criminal-turned-prized-officer in the series, but what about those petty criminal days? Mahoney prowls the bodacious bods of the beach by day, and hustles the mean streets of Unnamed City by night. But when he witnesses a murder most foul, he gets roped into the detective business with straightlaced beat cop Carmichael Treech. What an odd couple! With Treech’s world weary tenacity, and Mahoney’s street smarts, they get all the baddies and save the day, hooray! No explanation is provided as to why, given Mahoney actually worked with the police department before, that this is never mentioned in any of the films. Don’t worry about it. That’s Mahoney: A Police Academy Story.

You Just Got Schooled – So previously on BMT we watched the first two films. This time around the third didn’t qualify (barely, hitting exactly 40%), so Police Academy 3: Back in Training had to be viewed separately. All of these films are the same. The third and fourth film are basically just the first film except with different motivations for why they are at the academy. Here they are there because Lessard needs them to help him save the Academy in a competition. Inexplicably both Zed (the bad guy from the second film) and Sweetchuck (an antiques dealer if memory serves) have now joined the force and are quite the odd couple / secret best friends. Literally, not a moment of this film is funny, but that isn’t much different than any of the sequels to the first film so … I guess carry on. This was merely an appetizer for the main course of four straight Police Academy films with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. D+. Not funny, but also not annoying enough to give an F I think.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Quiz

Oh man, so as I’ve done several times before, I joined the police force (such is my life) and hit the mean streets ready to bust some heads and solve crimes. Well, wouldn’t you know, but a bunch of baddies pop out and bopped me right on the head and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does the Commandant want to create Citizens on Patrol (COP)?

2) Randomly David Spade is in this film. What do the bad guy cops want to arrest him for and what is he sentenced for?

3) Bobcat Goldthwait does not like Captain Harris. So what does he replace his deodorant with?

4) What event screws up the launch of COP?

5) And what event saves COP from certain disaster?

Bonus Question: As we all know The Gutes left the Police Academy series after this film, but do you know why his character leaves the LAPD (or at least stops returning the Commandant’s phone calls)?

Answers

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Preview

Jamie and Patrick walk down a dark alley, steam spewing from the sewer grates. Patrick twirls a baton and Jamie mutters, “if I wanted to chase after aliums I would have joined the Alium Brigade,” getting a chuckle from Patrick. They stop in their tracks and look at each other in confusion. Why are they suddenly cops again? They look down at their uniforms and see the shiny nametags declaring them Det. Rich and Poe. Wait a tick, that can’t be right? They aren’t Rich and Poe… they’re trying to save Rich and Poe. And yet this dream is so real. They can smell the hot summer stench of the city. They can feel the sweat soaking through their slightly too-tight uniforms. They can hear the dusky chuckle of a nearby fiend. “Who-who’s that?” stammers Jamie. From the shadows steps a horrible fiend. Oh! He’s terrifying and oh boy… I mean, if you could see him you would def be totally scared for sure. Just check this out: “Get ready for some action, bitches,” the monster lisps as he proceeds to do a dumbo somersault into some trash cans like a dope. Jamie and Patrick shrug and help the big stupid monster up. He seems a bit embarrassed and assures them that he is definitely scary, it’s just that he hasn’t been sleeping super great. “Probably cause you’re haunting our dreams,” Patrick suggests helpfully, “so maybe stop that.” The monster shrugs in agreement. “Yeah and try this Rich and Poe Blanket and Tea set. It might help and is pretty rad.” But the monster seems ambivalent, “I don’t care for that… seems like odd branding.” 

Jamie and Patrick wake up screaming in a cold sweat. What a nightmare. They’re just glad they’re back in the real world as regular citizens. That’s right! We are catching another entry in the classic comedy series Police Academy by hitting the fourth film, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. The third film barely doesn’t qualify, which helps simplify things. Bring on the Gutes! Let’s go!

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) – BMeTric: 60.4; Notability: 54

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0% Higher BMeT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Teen Wolf Too; Higher Notability: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Who’s That Girl; Notes: … You know normally I would be like “whatever, 5.0 is pretty bad”, but this film has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it got a BOMB from Leonard, just look at his six word review! I would have imagined this would be much lower, even in the 3.0s. The Notability is incredibly high … I guess there are like 40 people in this super ensemble cast.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  More of the same, only worse.

(My God, Leonard! The writers had families! This series is a marvel. 2.5 stars, BOMB, 1.5 stars, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB … five of Leonard’s BOMB reviews are for this series alone. Leonard mostly follows along with critics in general, the first is the best, the third is the closest to being fine for the sequels, everything else is awful.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adlo9hJpemE/

(Looks brutal. But can we expect anything less from the late entries to this franchise? I think it is probably not great that almost no screen time is devoted to the actual Citizens on Patrol. And that is despite that fact that at least one of them is definitely in the cartoon series, so they were likely intent on carrying through popular characters across the sequels. What a weird and wild series this is.)

Directors – Jim Drake – (Future BMT: Cannonball Fever; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Speed Zone in 1990; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for directing episodes of The Golden Girls and Buffalo Bill.)

Writers – Neal Israel (characters) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Helped raise Mollie Heckerling who was the biological daughter of Harold Ramis, something she details in her book Ghostbuster’s Daughter.)

Pat Proft (characters) – (Known For: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Hot Shots! Part Deux; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Van Dyke and Company, he was good friends with Zucker and wrote on basically all of their spoof films as well.)

Gene Quintano (written by) – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Sudden Death; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; Future BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Operation Dumbo Drop; King Solomon’s Mines; Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Musketeer; Notes: Was offered the directing role for this film, but turned it down. Regretting it he eventually debuted with Honeymoon Academy starring Kim Catrall which went straight to video.)

Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield (characters) (uncredited) – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Both were writers on SNL in the early 80s and ended up writing on a bunch of Eddie Murphy films as a result.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Cocoon; Roe v. Wade; Rifkin’s Festival; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Bigger; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Trauma Center; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Amazon Women on the Moon; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Home for the Holidays; Don’t Tell Her It’s Me; Lez Bomb; Major Movie Star; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Surrender; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: You know The Gutes! I would highly recommend his episode of Party Down, I think it probably reflects what appears to be the genuine kindness of Steve Guttenberg.)

Bubba Smith – (Known For: Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Silence of the Hams; Black Moon Rising; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Played in the NFL for ten years before switching to acting. Was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2011.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Nice Dreams; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Gingerclown; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; The Trumpet of the Swan; CHARACTERz; Think Big; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Lovelines; Buy & Cell; Underground Aces; Going Under; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Decided to pursue standup as the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects. He moved to Los Angeles and ended up winning The Gong Show twice.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $28,061,343 (Worldwide: $28,061,343)

(Just printed money. And according to some of the actors in it (Graf in particular) a decent paycheck, so I guess rest assured that that $17 million did make its way into the stars’ pockets. Is there an equivalent to this kind of stuff these days? Or was it all absorbed into like … web series or something?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/20): Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.

(Wow a 0%. Actually that isn’t nearly as impressive as you think. The first three films are fairly normal (55%, 31%, 40%) review wise … and then the last four all have 0%!! That is just … well, that is something else. Reviewer Highlight: Script is merely a collection of gags tied together by the slightest suggestion of a story. – Variety Staff)

Poster – The Gute’s Big Balloon Adventure

(I really like this. I know there are some recent comedies that have played on the tradition of comedy posters, but there isn’t anything quite like an original. Just look at those cartoon renditions of real people all doing zany things in a balloon! Look at the font! The biggest problem really is that it makes it seem like a film about hot air balloon cops, which is honestly better than the actual plot of Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol. A)

Tagline(s) – Take off with the original cast… and some new civilian recruits as they take to the streets and the skies to fight crime. (D+)

(They really are leaning on the final hot air balloon/stunt plane finale. They mostly in fact do not take to the skies. Otherwise this is an accurate and disastrously long tagline. D+. A bump for the little “take off” pun at the beginning but that’s about it.)

Keyword – police chase

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), Knives Out (2019), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Birds of Prey (2020), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), The Goonies (1985), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Future BMT: 73.8 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), 65.1 The Cold Light of Day (2012), 57.4 First Sunday (2008), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 53.4 Meet the Browns (2008), 51.9 The Eye (2008), 50.8 The Watcher (2000), 49.1 Showtime (2002), 48.6 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.5 Feel the Noise (2007);

BMT: Armageddon (1998), Angel Has Fallen (2019), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), CHIPS (2017), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Need for Speed (2014), Battleship (2012), A Walk to Remember (2002), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Swordfish (2001), R.I.P.D. (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Daylight (1996), The Pacifier (2005), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Ride Along (2014), Cobra (1986), Exit Wounds (2001), Paycheck (2003), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Alex Cross (2012), Getaway (2013), Kangaroo Jack (2003), Ride Along 2 (2016), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Twisted (2004), Steel (1997)

(I did wonder if it would increase over time. It does seem to be the case. I guess with things like 3D printing and fabricating fake cars and CGI it’ll eventually reach a saturation point. Police chases look cool, but there is only so many films which can have them. Our brains are going to melt when we watch Police Academy 5, 6, and 7 all in one weekend.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sharon Stone is No. 4 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and No. 2 billed in The Specialist, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The collapse of her first marriage contributed to Sharon Stone’s decision to work on this movie. Of wanting to have some fun after a difficult period in her life, she said that “hanging out with a gang of comedians, it was the best therapy.” (That’s nice)

Final appearance of the Mimico Lunatic Asylum. The iconic location was used as the Academy campus in the first, third and fourth films in the series.

Tony Hawk said this was the only job, from which he was ever fired. Most of the stunt doubles were from the Bones Brigade because their manager, former pro skateboarder Stacy Peralta, worked as a second-unit director on the film. As it turned out, Hawk was replaced as a stunt double for David Spade, because he was too tall. (Huh, he’s in the credits. That’s interesting)

Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky were brought on-board at the last minute to replace Bruce Mahler (Fackler), who was dropped from the film, due to negotiations falling apart over his pay. As a result of this, the Fackler character ended up being omitted from Police Academy: The Series (1988), and the comic book. (That is interesting, I had to look him up to remind me of who he was. He eventually returns in number six)

Film debut of David Spade. According to Steve Guttenberg’s biography, “The Guttenberg Bible”, Guttenberg took Spade under his wing during shooting in Toronto, Ontario. He also bought Spade an expensive Rolex watch. (Cool)

The last “Police Academy” movie to feature the Blue Oyster Bar. (Nooooooooooooo as gross and offensive as it was I was really hoping they’d have The Blue Oyster Bar in cyrillic when they went to Russia)

Despite the entire series’ negative critical reception, this was the only “Police Academy” movie to get a Razzie Award nomination. Brian Wilson’s “Let’s Go to Heaven in My Car” was nominated for Worst Original Song. It lost to “I Want Your Sex” from Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).

During the scene where Capt. Harris straddles the chain link fence, G.W. Bailey’s stunt double willingly took a hard fall directly onto the pavement, with no mat to protect him. (It looks like it really really hurt, I gasped when I saw it)

Steve Guttenberg’s final appearance as Mahoney, until his announced return to the franchise over three decades later in the eighth Police Academy movie. (Oh … why did I think he was in all of them except for the seventh? I might have been thinking of Graf).

A “Police Academy” spin-off titled “Commando School” was being planned at the time of this movie’s initial release, but it never made it to the production phase.

Was to be filmed immediately after Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), but production was held up by the death of that film’s director, Jerry Paris.

Tackleberry’s wife was not initially intended to appear in the film; Colleen Camp was unavailable for the initial shooting dates, which were back-to-back with those of the third film. However, the delay resulting from having to hire a new director after the death of Jerry Paris resulted in Camp being available after all, and her character was given a one-scene cameo appearance.

Two versions of the pool scene were filmed. One had Leslie Easterbrook in a wet T-shirt with her breasts exposed. In the “family friendly” version, Callahan’s T-shirt was not see-through. The latter version was used in the official trailer. (I noticed)

Around the time this movie was made, a full-motion Police Academy video game was also filmed with the original cast, for Hasbro’s NEMO console. According to developer Mark Turmell, the game was “essentially a lost Police Academy movie” which had multiple story paths that the player could choose. Unfortunately, the funding ceased when Hasbro decided not to proceed with the console. Some believe this unused footage could still potentially be made into a Police Academy interactive movie for a streaming service, if fan demand proved enough to convince Hasbro and Warner Bros. to complete the project, over three decades later. This would set a record for the longest time ever, in between a video game project’s conception and completion.

After it became clear that Jerry Paris would not be able to direct the film, screenwriter Gene Quintano was offered the chance to take over as director. He turned the offer down, not feeling confident enough in his abilities, and so Jim Drake directed it instead. On the day of the film’s premiere, Quintano told Paul Maslansky that he regretted turning down the director’s chair, and so Maslansky offered him the job of writing and directing Honeymoon Academy (1989), which this time Quintano accepted immediately.

The scene where Copeland chases Arnie and Kyle through the shopping mall was filmed at Woodbine Centre in Toronto, which is also the shopping mall where the Komodo dragon chase scene in The Freshman (1990) was filmed.

The last time we see Mahoney, Nogata, Copeland, Sweetchuck and Zed, though Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck) had a guest appearance on Police Academy: The Series (1997) as a janitor. (Oh wow, so the rest of the series I guess must be quite different)

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

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher, 1988)

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Recap

Jamie

Freddy’s back, Jack! And for the final time (not really). This time Freddy had turned Springwood into a wasteland, having killed all the children across generations. Now, in order to escape to kill again, he must lure his child (!) back to the town. Can a new gang of dream warriors subdue Freddy for the final time? Find out in… Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

How?! When a kid with amnesia stumbles into town, the police quickly collect him and send him to a home for troubled children. The kids there are all battling demons from their past and using all kinds of therapy techniques to try to help. For example one of therapists is an expert in dreams, which I’m sure won’t come in handy. Anyway, one of the therapists, Maggie, notices that the new John Doe has a newspaper clipping from Springwood and decides to take him back there. Incidentally a few other kids stow away in the van and are discovered after arriving in town. Weirdly, Springwood is a ghost town and the teens are met with fear and curiosity. The stowaways are sent home, while Maggie and John investigate. In a nearby school they discover that Freddy had a child! This must be the key to what’s going on and John is convinced that he is that child. Meanwhile the teens can’t seem to escape Springwood, so settling into a recognizable house on Elm Street they try to get through the night. Not likely as one-by-one they are pulled into the dream world by Freddy. One of the teens, Tracy, escapes and gets Maggie and John to come help. John and Tracy enter into the dream world to help the other kids but it’s too late and they are almost killed. As they try to leave Springwood, Freddy corners John and tells him that he’s not the child, rather it’s a girl. As he is killed by Freddy, John awakens and tells this to Maggie. Back home, Maggie finds that she’s adopted and that she is actually Katherine Kreuger and has inadvertently brought Freddy with her to a new town. With the help of the dream therapist, Maggie enters the dream world and is able to get into his head and pull him into the real world. There they have a climactic battle which ends with him stabbed by his own glove and blown up with a pipe bomb, thus finally killing Freddy Kreuger. THE END (or is it? (no, not really)). 

Why?! I guess this is probably the most interesting motivation for Kreuger as he has turned Springwood into an isolated, crazy mess with no more kids to kill. So looking for a way to get to a new town he sends John Doe out for the express purpose of bringing Maggie back to him. With their connection, Freddy knows that he can use Maggie as a vessel to get out of Springwood.

Who?! There’s some weird shit in this one. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold are credited as Mr. and Mrs. Tom Arnold, which is odd. Then Johnny Depp has a cameo and got credited as Oprah Noodlemantra. Finally, in a flashback we see Freddy kill his abusive adoptive father. Who’s his daddio? The musician Alice Cooper. The hits keep coming in these films.

What?! Oh man. One of the best product placements in a while as one of Freddy’s lamest kills of all time comes when he traps one of the kids in a video game. He’s playing it (poorly I might add) trying to kill the kid when John Doe and Tracy come and snatch the controls away. Not so fast says Freddy… cause he’s got dat sweet Nintendo Power Glove like a real video game Wizard. Unfortunately I don’t think there is an unironic entry in a Power Glove Trilogy, so it’ll have to remain a Power Glove Duology. As for the MacGuffin-ish way of killing Freddy? They go for a classic with bringing him out of the dream world and into the real world to make him mortal.

Where?! This opened with a map and on it appears Springwood, Ohio as the location where the action is taking place. I audibly gasped when it showed up on the screen. As I mentioned in the 5th film’s recap I had firmly settled into Nightmare being the Westcoast entry in the horror franchise canon. All of a sudden it joined Halloween in the midwest set. They claim they had it as Ohio from the jump, having changed parts of the first film’s original script to remove mention of California, but I don’t totally buy it. Still this is a solid B.

When?! This is a funny one where they also put on the screen that the action of the film takes place “ten years in the future” when Freddy has destroyed Springwood. Apparently ten years from the end of the fifth film. This would place it in 1999 and makes parts of the film totally incomprehensible. John Doe thinks he’s Freddy’s kid who was taken from him 33 years before… So you’re almost 40, kid? Really? B.

Boy oh boy, this movie is terrible. Really an ignominious final entry in the main series. You’re much better off just jumping straight to the reboot New Nightmare rather than suffer through the straight-to-video level trash that they ended up making here. God, it’s a real shame given how surprisingly solid and mostly fresh and interesting the first and then third through fifth films are. You can’t blame them for a little stumble on the second, but you can definitely blame them for this one. Not only is the entire film a big step backwards in production, with only a couple visually pleasing scenes, but Freddy Kreuger enters full self-parody as he comes off like a lame old man constantly spouting terrible one-liners and calling everyone a bitch. At one point he’s getting ready to fight and is all like “check this out,” and proceeds to do a super lame-o cartwheel and immediately gets kicked in the face like a dumbo. What a dumb, terrible idiot Freddy has become. And what dumb terrible idiots we are for watching this dumb terrible entry in an otherwise fun horror franchise. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The big 600 babyyyyy! That’s right, 600 films watched for BMT. And what better way than with the only truly dire Nightmare film? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The director of this film has a wild story. She was a mathematician who worked at Johns Hopkins when she met John Waters. She then, through that connection, ended up doing various jobs on all but the fifth Nightmare film. And then she was asked to direct the last one (and ended up using a bunch of people from John Waters’ regular film crew to do it). Apparently, in the writers’ room she was known for coming up with truly outlanding dream kills for Freddy to do. What were my expectations? I knew in my heart that the film must be bad, but I also hoped that at the very least you would get some really cool kills out of it.

The Good – Not much. I would say I can kind of see the allure of some of the kills for some people. Someone involved in production said their favorite kill in the entire franchise is the Q-tip kill with Carlos which is in this film. I can appreciate how long and elaborate the nightmarish torture scene is … but it still seems a bit too silly to me. The idea of Springwood being a ghost town is interesting. The idea of Freddy being able to branch out to the wider world is a little interesting. There are tiny bits of interesting stuff, that’s probably the best thing you can say about it. Best Bit: Some practical kills.

The Bad – This movie is the one genuine trash film of the bunch. It is dog poo in my face. It completes the transition of Freddy into a complete joke, adds an unnecessary (or at least sub-par) lore element of the Dream Worms into the mythos, and adds in a confounding aspect to Freddy himself which shows up in none of the other movies. Even the idea of Springwood being a ghost town, which I guess is kind of cool if you ignore some of the elements of earlier films, is completely wasted by making that a joke too. It goes too far, the movie slips too far into irony, and its only saing grace is that it was intended as a finale so it didn’t leave any handing threads that needed to be resolved by further sequels and retconning. Fatal Flaw: Freddy, and the series, fully becomes a joke.

The BMT – And there it is, the first six films of the Nightmare franchise are kind of their own thing so that is now cemented into the BMT record. There will be a few more to do (New Nightmare doesn’t qualify, but will be done alongside the 2010 remake), but like with Friday the 13th that is another mega-franchise for the books! Did it meet my expectations? Yes, this film is the only in the entire series where it is completely confounding as to how it was made. It just smashes the lore apart with no regard for human life. So yeah, definitely an amusingly bad film in context.

Roast-radamus – Really good Product Placement (What?) for Nintendo in what is bar none the worst kill of the entire franchise. Decent Setting as a Character (Where?)  for Springwood, Ohio, where the entire franchise takes place, although I think they only really make it explicit in this one for the first time. Borderline MacGuffin (Why?) for Freddy’s daughter, a mystery that everyone is desperately trying to solve throughout the film. And speaking of which, Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Freddy’s kid isn’t, in fact, the young man whom Freddy would have had to father after his death, but instead it is the older woman who is juuuuust the right age. This is a quintessential bad slasher sequel, and thus has to be a BMT contender.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I can’t help myself, I have to go with Remake here because I think there is a decently obvious path from the fifth film to what should have been the conclusion to the series. Borrow the Krueger as Dream Master idea from the comic book (see below) and like in this film smash cut to the future, about 17 years, to focus on Alice’s son Jacob. With no Elm Street children left to kill, and no Dream Masters to use, Freddy has been locked away in the dream world. Alice has trained her son in the art of the Dream Master, but due to Hypnocil abuse is now confined to an asylum. While trying to communicate with his mother in the dream world, a slip up by Jacob gives Freddy a chance. He uses his Dream Master ability to commit a string of dream murders with the ultimate plan to use Jacob to get pulled out of the dream world and back into the real world. He will be mortal again, but will instigate a new group of vigilantes to kill him once more, generating a fresh set of Springwood children to haunt and give him power for another generation. Ultimately, Jacob goes into the dream world and pulls Freddy in, Alice kills Freddy during a nightmare severing Freddy’s connection to the dream world, killing him in real life, and condemning him to hell. The end … or is it? It is, much like what happened with the actual sixth film Freddy v Jason and other sequels would occur in the time between the fifth (1990) and sixth (2007 in this case) films.

You Just Got Schooled – There is a ton of extra stuff with Nightmare on Elm Street. There was a NES game, A Nightmare on Elm Street. I didn’t play it, it seems like a straightforward platformer, instead I watched the Games Done Quick co-op speedrun which is quick and pretty entertaining, B+ for the GDQ run, but I would guess a C- for the platformer itself. There was also a series of comics. I read the two Marvel comics released as Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. There was supposed to be four, but Marvel got skittish about protests about violence in the media and they cut it off. B+, the second one is quite good especially for a black and white comic book. I wish they had gone with the idea of Freddy Krueger being a Dream Master instead of the dream worms or whatever, but c’est la vie. Finally there was a television show called Freddy’s Nightmares which was direct to syndication. This ended up causing a lot of problems (specifically, due to syndication a show involving a child murderer haunting people’s dreams and killing them would be on at like 3PM in some places), but despite that it got two seasons. Only eight episodes feature Freddy himself out of the 44 that were produced. I watched the pilot and it was awful. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t even end up finishing the second episode I tried to watch (episode 4 featuring a very young Mariska Hargitay). Reminded me very much of The Highlander television show (which was also direct to syndication, and also awful). D. If this was done today it would have definitely been four two-part episodes per season focusing on Freddy versus a single person, but that isn’t how they rolled in 1988.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child Recap

Jamie

Freddy’s back, Jack! And boy howdy does he still like to kill teenagers. In this entry Alice is still the dream master, but uh oh! So is her unborn child! And he’s now helping Freddy bring people into his dream domain. Can Alice stop Freddy and save her unborn child before it’s too late? Find out in… A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.

How?! After subduing Freddy in the fourth film through her combined dream powers as the Dream Master, Alice and her beau Dan are living it up. They plan to travel the world after graduation, much to the dismay of Dan’s parents, but they don’t care! They’re young and alive… well, that is until Freddy returns to kill Dan by turning him into a motorcycle (this is real). But that doesn’t make sense. Alice wasn’t asleep to bring Dan into the dream world, although she did seem to have a premonition when she dreamt of Freddy’s birth (rebirth?) just prior. She soon gets news that starts to clarify things when it’s revealed that she’s pregnant. Uh oh! Alice’s friends are mostly supportive, even if they think she’s a little crazy. One of her friends soon dies in a very Freddy-esque way and Alice figures out that Freddy is using her child’s dreams to bring new souls to him. Jacob is a future dream master and Freddy is feeding him souls to try to corrupt him. Her friend Mark helps discover a possible way to fight Freddy by finding and helping his mother Amanda who is trapped in the asylum where Freddy was conceived. But when they go to the asylum in the dream world, Freddy uses their friend Yvonne to distract them and ultimately kills Mark. Now fully convinced Yvonne goes to the asylum while Alice battles Freddy and finds and frees Amanda. Amanda comes to Alice’s aid just in time and helps her and Jacob escape. With Freddy safely locked away Alice settles into a life raising Jacob. THE END… or is it? (it never is). 

Why?! In many genres the motivations of the bad guys are more interesting and/or nonsensical, while the good guys just kinda want love and justice (not necessarily in that order). In horror they often throw out the antagonist’s motivations as well, particularly as the series goes on. Freddy is and always was just an insane maniac. It’s a little vague exactly why or who he is in the first film but by the fifth entry he’s the progeny of a hundred maniacs and he lives forever in the dream world. An immortal killing machine. The protagonists just want to survive, mostly to no avail, although in this one Alice also wants to save the soul of her unborn child. So that’s a little wrinkle.

Who?! Very very very briefly there is a cameo by a conservative talk show host named Wally George who shows up on Mark’s TV with his show Hot Seat. On it there is a band which consists of Ted Nugent, Rudy Sarzo, Eric Singer, and Ron Armstrong… the first three are very famous musicians. I don’t know who Ron Armstrong is. Interesting factoid is that Wally George is the father of Rebecca De Mornay. Also interesting given the setting of the Nightmare franchise because Hot Seat was a local broadcast only available in Southern California… hmmmmm.

What?! In some ways the Nightmare films are always playing with some form of MacGuffin, mostly because they are always coming up with a new reason that Freddy is still alive in the dream world and how they can finally (and likely unsuccessfully) kill him once and for all. In this one it turns out that Freddy was able to be reborn because his mom wasn’t there to keep him in check since she wasn’t properly buried. By releasing her from her prison within the asylum she is able to absorb and imprison Freddy.

Where?! Up until the sixth entry in the film I assumed the whole series took place in LA. The first film has palm trees and California license plates and just feels very LA suburbs. After that it gets hazy and I guess they decided to switch more to an anywhere USA vibe with an Ohio setting. So this is set in Ohio, but not super up front about it. In fact online sources suggest it really wasn’t made explicit until the sixth film, so I wasn’t wrong in assuming it continued to be LA. D-. 

When?! This is one of the clearer time frames of any of the entries as it coincides with Alice’s graduation from high school. Almost certainly starts in May or June and then proceeds quickly through the plot in a matter of what feels like is a few weeks. Not really sure why it needed to be set at the end of the school year other than to ratchet up the tension between Dan and his parents at the start of the film. B.

After four relatively highly rated films in the franchise (which are actually somewhat hit or miss), the first entry that qualified for BMT is a little confusing. Definitely not my least favorite of the first five (that would be the second one), this one might even be slightly higher on my list than the fourth one. Although really, I thought the 3rd, 4th, and 5th were all pretty solid entries in a genre that often goes off the rails pretty quickly when it comes to franchises. The first is still my favorite mostly because Freddy is still a serious character at that point and it’s genuinely creepy. By the fifth, Freddy is already a bit too much of a chatterbox and starting in on the sexist “Bitch” gag that comes to define parodies of the character. The films also become borderline fantasy films more than horror films as the scares start to wane. But the entry is still consistent with the series and the visuals continued to be mostly effective and interesting. Just from a pure artistry point of view the middle three films are pretty interesting to look at. The sixth? Well… I guess just go to that recap for that one to see what I think, but it’ll just say that you may as well stop here. The mere fact that I would recommend watching the fifth one as part of the series, though, probably means it’s not as bad as the reviews suggest. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! In the run up to the big 600 in BMT we set out to finish a full horror mega-franchise. Amazingly the first Nightmare film to qualify is the fifth. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – It is indeed quite shocking to realize the first four Nightmare films were all at least reasonably well received. Given that I hated the second film, it does make me wonder about the quality of this film. Then again, critics tend to be quite hard on horror films, so maybe this was actually secretly good. What were my expectations? A ridiculously vulgar Freddy, and nonsensical and non-scary thrills and kills. You know, all I care about is some sweet dream kills though and practical effects, so I hoped it would have that in spades.

The Good – The lore in A Nightmare on Elm Street is, by far in my opinion, the best of the three big 80s horror franchises. Halloween had the dumb Cult of Thorn. And Friday the 13th … well it was a mess and zombie Jason is fun, but I wouldn’t call it good. This is the culmination of that lore, with the Dream Child born of a Dream Master with characters who at least knew genuine Elm Street kids. The effects are okay, not as good as some of the previous films, but still they are decent practical effects. And the main actress was quite a good actress. Best Bit: Practical effects.

The Bad – Borrows heavily from the third film as far as “we must find someone’s body and consecrate it, it is the only way to stop Freddy!” Spoiler alert, it didn’t actually stop him in either case. The overeating kill looks bad and is gross and I didn’t like it. And, as usual with the later sequels, the main character is Freddy Krueger (a gross child murderer) who talks way too much, says “bitch” multiple times for no reason, and is starting to just come across as silly this time around. Fatal Flaw: Silly Freddy Krueger.

The BMT – Just the Halloween franchise to go no really. Interesting to watch a full franchise basically straight out, and especially in the context of Friday the 13th. Both Jason and Freddy become silly as their franchises wear one, but Jason in in an amusing tongue-in-cheek way, and Freddy in an annoying way. Michael Myers is just flat nothing and becomes boring eventually. An interesting trichotomy. Did it meet my expectations? I had heard of the motorcycle kill prior to the film and it didn’t disappoint. Freddy, though, was as unpleasant as expected … so yeah, it met my expectations.

Roast-radamus – Not much, as usually a decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Springwood, Ohio, although I’m not sure you really explicitly know that until the sixth film really. And an okay MacGuffin (Why?) for Freddy’s mother’s bones which I guess need to be consecrated and buried to put them to rest to help lock Freddy away? Definitely closest to Good in my opinion, I think this is about on par with the fourth film which was also quite good for a late-series sequel to an 80s horror franchise. 

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – In the end I think I would like to Remake the lore of the franchise as a whole. It is pretty good, especially compared to Halloween or Friday the 13th. But still it feels like that drop the ball a bit with the Dream Master idea later on. The first, third, and fourth to an extent concern the systematic murder of all of the children of the vigilantes who killed Freddy (and the numbers kind of make sense). The second I think I would change only slightly to make Freddy’s goal to get Jesse killed by a vigilante mob after possessing him and forcing him to murder people, thus bringing in more children to kill. The fourth and fifth, with the Dream Master, I would make it far clearer that Freddy is a Dream Master, and due to abuse as a child he retreated so far into the Dream World that he was able to construct a form of immortality whereby when he died his soul survived there, but that he can only kill the children of his murderers, or people connected to other Dream Masters. The sixth I would change completely, but I’ll get into that during that recap. I guess the main problem is that Freddy is immortal, and also his power limitless. I think they didn’t do a good job explaining a good weakness, and the good Dream Masters were a perfect opportunity.

You Just Got Schooled – There is obviously a ton of stuff with this so between the two recaps I’ll try and hit the main series, and then extracurriculars separately. I naturally had to watch the four original films. A Nightmare on Elm Street: Amazing film with some really cool technical achievements as well. I can tell I’m quite close to being acclimated to the genre because this movie freaked me out when I first saw it ten years ago, but now I just stare at it and wonder how they did the effects and grade each kill. A, solidly. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge: quite bad with almost no dream kills which defeats the entire purpose, if not for the sixth film this would be my least favourite. C-, not horrendous, but a below average slasher. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: The best of the sequels. Despite not being a super great actress, bringing back the lead from the first was a good idea, and the idea of the Dream Warriors is great and rightfully carried through the bulk of the sequels. B+, enjoyable with probably the best lore building of the major three slasher franchises. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: Loved how the story carries through from three to four. Some weak kills and poorer effects, but, again, maybe the best core background given for a slasher killer. B-. The main issue you can see carrying through all of the sequels is that slowly but surely Freddy becomes the main character, he starts talking more and more, he becomes more vulgar, and finally he becomes a parody of himself because guess what? A child murderer doesn’t have much to say beyond “bitch”, who would have thought. Overall the best series as far as slashers go and very painless to get through. The lore was shockingly good, usually long running horror franchises cult-of-thorn it quickly, but these were pretty okay.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Quiz

Oh boy, so last time I said that I hadn’t slept in 10 days. Well, now it has been 11 days and I set a new world record for staying up. Go me, but also my brain is dying and despite just watching it I don’t remember anything that happened in this film. Do you remember what happened in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Who is John Doe, a fact that even he doesn’t know in the beginning of the film?

2) Along for the ride are Tracy, Carlos, and Spenser. Why are they all in the juvenile center?

3) Who is Freddy’s child?

4) Why, is it revealed, can’t Freddy be killed?

5) In the final confrontation how do they, in fact, kill Freddy?

Bonus Questions: So, what happens to Springwood, Ohio?

Answers

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child Quiz

Oh boy, so here’s the thing. I live in a town which is haunted by a Dream Master who is killing all the teenagers. No problem, I just started to not sleep. Well, it’s been 10 days and I’m feeling a bit loopy, and honestly … I don’t remember anything, not even my name. I think I’m going insane. So, uh … do you remember what happened in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) It’s graduation time for Alice, the star of the fourth Nightmare film and bonafide Dream Master, and her and her boyfriend, Dan, are gearing up for their big trip! Where are they going?

2) That night Dan gets a call from Alice to come over quick. Where was Dan, where was Alice, and ultimately what happens to Dan?

3) How is Freddy killing these kids considering none of them are the progeny of the Springwood residents who originally torched him?

4) Why is unborn Jacob helping Freddy?

5) What is the key (a plan implemented by Yvonne in the end) to defeating Freddy and once again condemning him to hell?

Bonus Question: What did Jacob end up doing once he grew up?

Answers