Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986, Jerry Paris)


In this good-enough third entry, the police academy has to fight for its survival when the Governor announces he might close it. Let’s list some more of the series’s running gags and clichés…

Mahoney flirts and pulls pranks! – He’s coaching a women’s basketball team in his first scene – one of the players bumps into and lands on top of him. He flirts with new police recruit Karen Adams, then tries to convince her they’re roommates. He and Jones trick Mauser into putting some sticky tape over his eyes – when removed, it pulls off his eyebrows.

Hightower uses his strength! – He poses undercover as a woman to catch a mugger (blonde wig, usual ’tache). A new recruit mistakes him for a porter, so he flings the guy’s suitcase over a building. He rips a taxi meter out of a car when the cabbie tries to rip someone off. He tells a dog to sit – everyone nearby immediately sits down. He holds onto a speedboat as it attempts to drive off.

Tackleberry shoots! – He’s turned his backyard into a Vietnam-style jungle. We meet his in-laws from film two, but not his wife. He shoots a TV when he hears dialogue he doesn’t like (“You’re dead meat, copper!”); shoots a crossbow into a rude man’s cigar; and shoots a public phone when a woman’s quarter gets swallowed.

Jonesey’s sound effects! – Mauser speaking nonsense; music and a pair of voices to welcome new recruits; sound-effects of high-speed driving as he and Karen sit in a parked car; two further run-outs for his badly dubbed kung-fu-movie dialogue; a malfunctioning till in a bar; hip-hop music when bored; a scanner as he chases bad guys; and submarine sounds as he goes underwater.

Hooks shouts ‘Dirtbag!’ – Her shouty bit comes early – telling a busload of recruits to “Zip your lips, slap your butts to the seat and listen hard!” She later punches both Blanks and Copeland at the same time.

Callahan’s chest! – Back after a one-film absence. She meets recruit Nogata (see Homophobia!/Racism!), who’s at tit-height and falls in love with her. He later goes to her room – while she’s working out in a leotard – and they get it on.

Harris shouts ‘Proctor!’ – He’s not in this one.

Lassard is a bit, um, vague! – He gets distracted by a fly while listening to a speech (when he sees it on a woman’s face, he slaps her off her chair); slaps his baton on his desk and his fish flies into the air; drives his golf buggy into a lake; and drops his fishbowl out of a window (Mahoney catches it).

Bobcat! – The bad guy from film two is now a student at the academy. He shares a room with meek shopkeeper Sweetchuck, who he terrorised in the earlier movie. As well as every line being delivered in strained raspy voice, he screams at a door to open it (it works).

Obvious replacement characters! – It’s still Mauser rather than Harris. For plotting reasons he now runs a rival academy. Proctor’s still his sidekick.

Homophobic!/Racist! – One of Mauser’s recruits is Tomoko Nogata (“of Tachikawa Nogatas”). He misreads from a translation guide, is referred to as Fu Manchu and “stir-fried shrimp from outta town”, and is soon shipped off to Lassard’s academy, where he sleeps on a, um, bed of nails. A naked Proctor wanders into gay haunt The Blue Oyster.

Bare breasts! – There’s a close-up of Karen’s arse as she walks away from Mahoney. The hooker from the first movie returns – Mahoney convinced her to get Proctor naked and then shut him out of his hotel room. Proctor then ends up wandering the street and walks into the Blue Oyster bar. (The producers had by now presumably realised how much more cash they could make if these films were PGs. We get neither proper swearing nor boobs.)

Famous totty! – None.

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