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.)
(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)