Film Seizure #138 – Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Super September hits the lowest of the low as Film Seizure slogs through Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Will they be able to withstand the treachery of Nuclear Man and Cannon Films?

3 comments

  1. You guys remember trade screenings? I saw Superman IV at a trade screening, always about 3 weeks to a few months ahead of a film’s release, where there could be effects unfinished or just missing. In 2000, X-Men had a shot in the sequence where Senator Kelly comes out of the water, frozen on a medium shot of him with text on screen saying “Senator Kelly begins morphing.” I saw Willow early, and one composite shot was still green, and Kevin Pollack’s “while you were taking a pee-pee” was “taking a dump.” It happened. They were running early prints and cuts.

    So I was 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚 I had just watched an unfinished edit of this film, with whole plot points missing, all of the effects at a very early stage, and what looked like 16mm film grain. Most of the visual effects shots had a layer that still leaned a little green, and had a Roger Corman level of optical credibility. It was still a miss, but I thought that once its visuals got finished, and with maybe some careful, last minute re-editing, it might only be another weak entry like III.

    Nope! That was a release print.

    It was released one week after Robocop, and I quickly learned that I’d had my expectations for each of these exactly swapped. One was an acceptably cheesy, sometimes comedic, politically angering, not wholly unpredictable adventure film with some pretty basic character types pulled off really well by a great cast.

    The other was Superman IV. Embarrassingly bad.

    Cryer talks about it in his book. It was the chance of a lifetime, but otherwise was utterly mystifying to him who this character was, and why people were okay with what he was doing. He knew it wasn’t even acceptable on an Otisburg level. If I remember right, he talked about getting to have a lunch with Reeve, script open at the table, who he said was quiet, depressed and almost apologetic to Cryer about what was happening to the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, I remember trade screenings. Or at least hearing about them. This is so bad. So misguided. Such a cash grab that I really do feel sorry for everyone in the movie. It’s something that had some potential to be an interesting story. You have Superman wanting to rid the world of something that could lead Earth down the same path as Krypton. That’s interesting. But it comes across as authoritarian. He’s telling us how WE are wrong and only HE can fix it, and the countries just bow to him. It’s kind of insane. I talk a little bit more about that when I covered it on B-Movie Enema in 2017 – https://bmovieenema.com/2017/07/21/superman-iv-the-quest-for-peace-1987/

      Like

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