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When the Police Academy gang made a horror movie

Simon Brew Jun 20, 2017

Steve Guttenberg headlines what's supposed to be a reunion of the Police Academy cast. Life doesn't always work out as promised, though...

To the nearest $1m, the final Police Academy movie – Police Academy: Mission To Moscow – took a tidy $1m at the box office. It brought to a tragic end a movie franchise that had delighted surely a few people in its latter years, and certain given the office photocopiers a workout, as jokes were religiously recycled en masse. The Hangover series would put a better gloss on the recycling jokes schtick, and repeat the trick across its sequels many years later, to better commercial return.

See related Dunkirk: where you can see the IMAX preview in the UK Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk: filming started, cast confirmed Dunkirk: set video shows scale of Christopher Nolan’s new film

See also: What went wrong with Police Academy: Mission To Moscow.

Police Academy producer Paul Maslansky – who also tried to turn Ski Patrol into a series, foiled by the fact that barely anyone went to see the first and only one – has talked about rebooting Police Academy since. Most of the original cast are still with us, too, save for the brilliant David Graf (Tackleberry), Bubba Smith (Hightower), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard). Basically, a chunk of the core ensemble are available, and have been waiting for the call to return for a fresh Police Academy adventure. But the call, unfortunately, never came.

Hence, Lavalantula.

This is a film that centres on Steve Guttenberg, a washed-up movie star of the 90s who’s taken on a bug movie for $10,000. Going by the name of Colton West, we learn that he’s been the star of such movie franchises as Crazy Cops and Red Robot, and I know even typing this that nobody really cares. Instead, you’ve been drawn to this film for the same reason I was: it’s the cast of the Police Academy movies, just in a sort-of-horror film. Asda – and other supermarkets selling DVDs are available – had this next to Star Wars: Rogue One in my local store. One coin toss later, and Rogue One could wait.

It turns out, of course, that it’s a dose of trash that’s been doing the rounds for a little while. Spun out of the Sharknado series, Lavalantula was first shown on Syfy in the Us back in 2015, and I’ve barely found mention of it since. That notwithstanding, I armed myself with some of those new strawberry and vanilla Calippos (6/10 from me for them), and settled in.

Purveyors of The Asylum and Syfy attempts to recreate the feel of B-movies will know what they’re getting here. A perfunctory bit of plot, to get to some special effects that have been produced with second hand computers bought off Ilm. That’s less snooty than it sounds, mind. Lavalantula, a word that only seven of the 49 human beings who have ever tried managed to pronounce correctly the first time, is a solid audit as to what $20,000 or so’s worth of effects can buy you. Some lava and half-decent spiders is the answer. Given that London Has Fallen, for one, cost $105m to make and had effects that looked like Call Of Duty a generation back, Lavathingy does offer a decent recent in that sense. Don’t get carried away and start giving it awards or anything, though.

Thing is, it’s easy to look down on micro budget stuff like this. Yet who knows where the next big filmmaker is going to come from? Jennifer Yuh Nelson cut her teeth on the basic animated movies that used to go straight to bargain stores, and now she’s one of the highest grossing female directors of all time, courtesy of the Kung Fu Panda series. The late Jonathan Demme was one of many schooled by the low budget ways of Roger Corman – a model that Jason Blum has expanded on for his Blumhouse outfit, offering filmmakers low budgets in exchange for final cut – and whilst The Asylum has lower ambitions, everyone needs a break, right?

In this case, it’s director Mike Mendez, who worked on the likes of NCIS and CSI before giving the world Big Ass Spider! Here, he knows the trade off is he has to shoot lots of explanatory conversation scenes to stretch the budget (he does throw in a Raiders Of The Lost Ark boulder-rip-off at one moment, though, as well as a just on the right side of legal Pirates Of The Caribbean homage), reckoning he has but 10 minutes out of 80 that he can spend on effects. At one stage, he decides to have a man dressed as a spider fight a spider. Sadly, it’s less fun that it sounds.

The other concession to budget is you don’t actually get the cast of Police Academy for very long. This is less forgivable. Sure, you get shirtless Guttenberg stealing a bus, and in his own way giving us his own spin on Last Action Hero. His character also needs to reconnect with his son for reasons that are of no human interest. But everyone else? They’re shuttled in for quick cameos. You get them at the start, and then Winslow and Ramsey finally return an hour later. But by then, they’re plotting how to beat the big spiders, and – presumably fearing legal interest – the references to glories old are all but gone.

I can’t be the only person who put the DVD in to hear Michael Winslow recreate his collection of noises. But we get, what, five minutes with him in all? It’s like a Police Academy reunion where everyone but Steve Guttenberg got given the wrong time. There’s the odd concession and acknowledgement of the series elsewhere in the film - “they took out the Blue Oyster. I loved that place,” says pretend Captain Jack Sparrow (really) at one stage – but for Ramsey, Leslie Easterbrook and Winslow, the DVD packaging may as well provide you with a spotter book, so you can at least tick ‘em off once you see them.

Still, Ralph Garman is good fun here as the aforementioned Jack Sparrow knock-off, and 24 fans who wonder just what happened to that fella who played Tony Almeida Isn’t Dead Really will get their answer, as Carlos Bernard duly picks up his cheque. 24: Legacy couldn’t come along quickly enough, though.

On the plus side too, there’s little question that everyone’s in on the gag.

But when you yearn for the film to at least have an equitable number of laughs as a Police Academy sequel, it’d be fair to say a little alarm has long been going off. By the time the film is directly mirroring and quoting a moment from Jurassic Park, that old adage of invoke the memory of other, better films at your peril has long been proved.

The cheapest moment, incidentally, and this is a competitive contest, is the Basil Exposition-type Doctor/Professor/scientist character, clambering into a helicopter with the full chopper sound effect going. Only for the camera to leave the fact that the rotors aren’t turning fully in shot.

Yet I think I still want that horror movie with the Police Academy cast that I was sold. In fact, what I think what I’d like to see now is a big screen version of the PlayStation 4 game Until Dawn, but with Police Academy characters, to bring a bit of a choose your own adventure element to the fun. Plus, then you get to replay it, changing just a few plot elements next time you play, accurately reflecting one of the core components of the Police Academy business plan.

Guttenberg has since followed this up with a sequel, 2 Lava 2 Tarantula, where only two Police Academy alumni joined him. Another film is coming. But Lavalantula: Tokyo Drift is surely just a meeting and a beermat’s worth of plot away, where all of his co-stars will have deserted him, ready to rejoin him for the fourth film in the series. That’s how this stuff work, right? And then Statham will turn up two films later? Right?

Right?
See full article at Den of Geek »

Blu-ray Review – Suture (1993)

Suture, 1993.

Directed by David Siegel and Scott McGehee.

Starring Dennis Haysbert, Mel Harris, Sab Shimono, David Graf and Michael Harris.

Synopsis:

Two brothers meet up following the death of their father. The wealthier of the two plans to fake his own death by using his brother to escape suspicion. However, the brother survives and a deadly showdown become inevitable…

Suture is a resolutely smart film. The title refers to the film theorist’s view of a film stitching ideas and themes into an audience’s perception of a film so wholly and completely that all sorts of things can be accepted. We as humans love to look for order in chaos, to find patterns where there may be none and to create plausibility for all kinds of bizarre outcomes.

The neo-noir crime story takes this view of film and uses it to explore a variety of moral and philosophical questions.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Key And Peele Will Produce ‘Police Academy’ Reboot

Us comedy duo Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele are now on board to produce the Police Academy reboot. They’ll be teaming up with Paul Maslansky, the creator of the original franchise.

The original Police Academy film series was a big hit in the ’80s and ’90s. The comedy franchise follows the exploits of a group of academy misfits and recruits, centering around Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg). Other stars include Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, David Graf and Bobcat Goldthwait.

New Line Cinema has had the project in the pipe line for a while now, however Scott Zabielski is no longer attached to direct.

Key and Peele have been making audiences laugh on Us station Comedy Central since 2012, and their self-titled show Key and Peele has been renewed for a fourth season. We don’t know yet whether the pair will be acting in the reboot or just behind the camera.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘Police Academy’ Reboot Picking Up Steam with Key and Peele

‘Police Academy’ Reboot Picking Up Steam with Key and Peele
New Line is looking to revive its once-sturdy “Police Academy” franchise with Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele in talks to produce the reboot.

The comedians, who star in their eponymous Comedy Central sketch show, would produce with franchise creator Paul Maslansky.

New Line has been attempting to reboot the “Police Academy” franchise in recent years. ”Tosh.O’s” Scott Zabielski was attached to direct at one point, and Jeremy Garelick (“The Break-Up”) has written the most recent script.

New Line released seven “Police Academy” films between 1984 and 1994. Steve Guttenberg starred in the first four, along with Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, David Graf and Bobcat Goldthwait.

Key and Peele began on “MadTV.” They recently signed to appear in four episodes of FX’s TV series adaptation of “Fargo.”

The duo is repped by UTA and Principato-Young.

News was first reported by The Tracking Board.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The top 25 underappreciated films of 1995

Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 24 Oct 2013 - 06:46

Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 1995...

The year covered in this week's underrated movie rundown was significant for a number of reasons. It was the year that saw the release of Toy Story - the groundbreaking movie that would cement Pixar's reputation as an animation studio, and set the tempo for CG family movies for the next 18 years and counting. It was the year that saw James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan for the first time) emerge for GoldenEye after a six-year break. It was also the year of Michael Mann's Heat, Dogme 95, and the moment where Terry Gilliam scored a much-deserved hit with 12 Monkeys.

As ever, we're focusing on a few of the lesser-known films from this particular year, and we've had to think carefully about what's made the cut and what hasn't.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Top 50 underappreciated comedy films of the past 30 years

Odd List Simon Brew 20 Sep 2013 - 07:14

They don't make funny movies any more, right? Wrong. If you're looking for a laugh, then here are some you may have missed...

For this list, blame The Hangover Part III. It was whilst walking out of that film that I got into a chat with someone, who was bemoaning the lack of genuinely funny movie comedies. Certainly, big budget Hollywood comedies have no end of problems right now - with the occasional exception - but I couldn't help thinking of the many neglected gems that had gone through my DVD player over the past decade or so.

As such, I started to put this list together. It's inevitably subjective, as one person's comedy is another person's snore fest. But I've tried to dig out a mix of comedies from the past three decades that have either flown under the radar completely, or
See full article at Den of Geek »

Police Academy Reboot Finds A New Writer

  • TheMovieBit
Reports are doing the rounds that Jeremy Garelick is on board to do the screenwriting for the reboot which is dividing alot of opinion; Police Academy. his duties will involve re writes on the majority of the scripts which have been recently drafted by David Diamond and David Weissman. Scott Zabielskii will be directing in what will be his feature film debut. The original franchise of the hit comedy starred Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Marion Ramsey, Michael Winslow. Along the way future stars such as Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone featured as the love interests for Guttenberg. Don’t know about you guys but I’m not looking forward to the reboot, let us know what you think….. Via Comingsoon.net
See full article at TheMovieBit »

Jeremy Garelick to Draft Police Academy Reboot

The Break-Up screenwriter Jeremy Garelick has been brought aboard New Line's reboot of the Police Academy franchise, Deadline reports. He'll perform rewrites on the current script, most recently drafted by David Diamond and David Weissman. Scott Zabielski, best known for producing and directing episodes of "Tosh.0," will be making his feature film debut as the project's director. The original seven-film comedy series starred actors such Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Marion Ramsey, Michael Winslow, Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone and detailed the comical misadventures of police training.
See full article at Comingsoon.net »

Michael Winslow: the new Police Academy film, Shaquille O'Neal as Hightower?

A new director, a November shoot, and Shaquille O'Neal as Hightower? Michael Winslow has just given a big update on the plans for the new Police Academy...

We’re indebted to Den Of Geek reader Nicholas Higton for this one. Michael Winslow, the one-man noise machine from the Police Academy movies, is currently in the UK promoting his one man tour. And he appeared on TalkSport radio, specifically the Hawksbee and Jacobs show, yesterday afternoon.

While on the show, he was asked what the current status of the long-mooted new Police Academy movie was. Turns out, he had quite an update.

Asked whether the plan was to get the old team back together, Winslow admitted he’d spoken to Steve Guttenberg about this, and that the plans was “to try and get as many people as possible” back for the new film.

Then, Winslow noted that two major members of
See full article at Den of Geek »

Steve Zabielski To Direct Police Academy Remake

New Line are pushing forward with their reboot of the Police Academy franchise with the hiring of rookie filmmaker Scott Zabielski to direct a remake. Zabielski is best known for his work producing and directing episodes of the Comedy Central show “Tosh.0,” but will be making his feature film debut with the remake.

Released by Warner Bros (who now own New Line) in 1984, Police Academy was an outrageous comedy about a bunch of well to do but incompetent and unqualified misfits who are recruited due to a police shortage in an unnamed American city. The film starred Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Marion Ramsey, Michael Winslow, Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone.

Grossing $146 million worldwide, the success of the film spawned a seven film franchise. Warner Bros have been looking at cheap to produce films that can ignite franchises in the wake of the highly lucrative
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Part-time police officer to direct Police Academy reboot

Studio New Line confirms Scott Zabielski is to take charge of the 8th instalment of the love-it-or-hate-it rookie cops franchise

You might think that seven Police Academy films were more than enough, but somebody in Hollywood disagrees with you. Studio New Line has hired first-time director Scott Zabielski, a part-time reserve police officer in west Hollywood, to take charge of a new film which will aim to reboot the long-running and much-maligned comedy series.

There has been speculation for some time that a new Police Academy film – the first since 1994's ill-fated Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow – was in the works. The series made a total of $242m at the worldwide box office and also spawned two TV series. Original producer Paul Maslansky, who is on board for the new iteration, said in 2010 that he hoped to return the series to the big screen with an entirely new cast.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Scott Zabielski to Direct Police Academy Remake

New Line is moving forward with their planned remake of Police Academy and have placed Scott Zabielski at the helm. Known for producing and directing episodes of "Tosh.0," Zabielski will be making his feature film debut. The original seven-film comedy series starred actors such Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Marion Ramsey, Michael Winslow, Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone and detailed the comical misadventures of police training. Bizarrely, one bit of Zabielski's resume that seems to have helped him get the gig is the fact that he has actually trained in law enforcement and works to this day as a West Hollywood reserve officer.
See full article at Comingsoon.net »

New Line bringing back 'Police Academy'

New Line will reboot the "Police Academy" franchise with original producer Paul Maslansky returning. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there is no writer or director attached yet."Academy" was a seven-film comedy series from Warner Bros. that revolved around the premise of a new mayor announcing a policy requiring the police department to accept all willing recruits. The series followed a group of misfit recruits in their attempts to prove themselves capable of being police officers.The first film, "Police Academy," was released in 1984 and starred Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith, David Graf, George Gaynes and Michael Winslow. The series ended with 1994's "Mission to Moscow." The franchise took in about $240 million worldwide and inspired a pair of TV
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Police Academy Accepting New Recruits

Looks like Hollywood is ready to dust off another old series and give it a fresh makeover. This time the're taking in new recruits for a reboot of Police Academy, the original 1984 comedy with Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney and a cast of other screwballs like Michael Winslow and Bubba Smith.The original Police Academy is a goofy, fun movie. I'm not sure I need to see a remake of it starring today's "hot" young talent. More from THR:New Line is looking for recruits for a relaunched "Police Academy" movie. Original producer Paul Maslansky is back for the new iteration, which has no writer or director attached. "Academy" was a seven-film lowbrow comedy series from Warner Bros. that saw a city throw open the doors of its police force to any recruit, much to the chagrin of its serious officers. The misfit officers band together and, of course, save the city.
See full article at LRM Online »

As if Seven, yes Seven "Police Academy" Movies are Not Enough, Get Ready for a Reboot!

New Line Cinema wants to make a new "Police Academy" movie! Like other franchises ran to the ground because of multiple sequels, the solution to reinvigorate a tired property is to make a reboot aka remake the darn thing!

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that original producer Paul Maslansky is back for the new iteration, which has no writer or director attached.

The first film released in 1984 starred Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, a repeat offender who becomes the group's leader when he enters the academy. We also met other characters such as Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith), Tackleberry (David Graf), Hooks (Marion Ramsey), and my favorite, Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow), the sound effects, beat boxing dude.

Other notables: Bobcat Goldthwait joined for the second film released in 1985, and both hot blondes, Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone, were recruited as romantic leads. The last "Police Academy" film was released in 1994 called "Mission to Moscow.
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

'Police Academy' Reboot

According to The Hollywood Reporter, New Line has set out to reboot the "Police Academy."

"Academy" was a seven-film lowbrow comedy series from Warner Bros. that saw a city throw open the doors of its police force to any recruit, much to the chagrin of its serious officers. The misfit officers band together and, of course, save the city.

Original producer Paul Maslansky is aboard for the reboot as well.

Maslansky said the following:

"It's going to be very worthwhile to the people who remember it and to those who saw it on TV.  It's going to be a new class. We hope to discover new talent and season it with great comedians. It'll be anything but another movie with a numeral next to it. And we'll most probably retain the wonderful musical theme."

The first film, released in 1984, starred Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, a repeat offender who is forced
See full article at AMC - Script to Screen »

Police Academy is Coming Back

New Line/Warner Bros. is looking to relaunch "Police Academy" with original producer Paul Maslansky. The new film has no writer or director attached. The seven-film comedy series starred actors such as Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Marion Ramsey, Michael Winslow, Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone. "It's going to be very worthwhile to the people who remember it and to those who saw it on TV," Maslansky said. "It's going to be a new class. We hope to discover new talent and season it with great comedians. It'll be anything but another movie with a numeral next to it. And we'll most probably retain the wonderful musical theme." A full rundown of the film series can be found here .
See full article at Comingsoon.net »

Police Academy the Latest to Get a Reboot?

  • HeyUGuys
We all love a bit of Police Academy…. don’t we?! 7 films was a bit too much but the first couple were genius. It was new, riske and exciting. The cast which included Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, G.W. Bailey, Bubba Smith, George Gaynes, David Graf and Leslie Easterbrook as Sgt. Callahan, was excellent and the films were so successful that a kids TV cartoon was spawned from it.

THR have interviewed original producer, Paul Maslansky who has said that the movie is going to be given a reboot – heck, why not, everything else is!

“”It’s going to be very worthwhile to the people who remember it and to those who saw it on TV,” Maslansky said. “It’s going to be a new class. We hope to discover new talent and season it with great comedians. It’ll be anything but another movie with a numeral next to it.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Police Academy Films to be Rebooted

New Line Cinema is looking to reboot the "Police Academy" franchise. Original producer Paul Maslansky is back for the new iteration, which has no writer or director attached. "Academy" was a seven-film lowbrow comedy series from Warner Bros that saw a city throw open the doors of its police force to any recruit, much to the chagrin of its serious officers. The misfit officers band together and, of course, save the city. The first film, released in 1984, starred Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, a repeat offender who is forced to enter the academy and emerges as the group's leader. Other notable characters included Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith), gun-crazy Tackleberry (David Graf), mousy Hooks (Marion Ramsey) and sound effects-spewing Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow). Bobcat Goldthwait joined the cast for the second movie in 1985. The series, which included Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone as romantic leads, ended with the 1994's "Mission to Moscow.
See full article at Worst Previews »

'Police Academy' series to be relaunched

'Police Academy' series to be relaunched
Original Police Academy producer Paul Maslansky has announced plans to relaunch the comedy series with studio New Line. The franchise kicked off in 1984 with Steve Guttenberg playing a repeat offender who joins the police force. Kim Cattrall also starred in the movie, which introduced characters such as gentle giant Hightower (Bubba Smith), firearms-obsessed Tackleberry (David Graf) and human sound effects machine Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow). Later movies in the seven-film series starred stand-up comic Bobcat Goldthwait, Sharon Stone and Claire Forlani. "It's going to be very worthwhile (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »
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