Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987, Jim Drake)


In this shambolically awful film – which appears to have been edited by a 10-year-old with ADHD – members of the public are given police training. For some reason. Here are more of the series’s running gags and clichés…

Mahoney flirts and pulls pranks! – He drives along with Jones, both enjoying jiggling along to the movie’s theme tune. He tricks Harris and Proctor into visiting the Blue Oyster bar. When Proctor uses a Portaloo, Mahoney arranges for it to be lifted into the air by a crane and – inexplicably – dropped into the middle of sports stadium. He helps Jones con three slapdash recruits into thinking their lives are in danger, and later puts superglue on the mouthpiece of Harris’s loud-hailer.

Hightower uses his strength! – He pushes against a locker, which domino-like knocks a whole series of them over; slam-dunks a basketball so hard it breaks the hoop; and pretends to be a big, scary Voodoo priest as part of a prank.

Tackleberry shoots! – He considers ‘not carrying grenades’ as his biggest frustration about his job. He finds a comrade-in-arms in gun-loving pensioner Lois Feldman; wears a Dirty Harry T-shirt in one scene; and revels in the gun-range training session.

Jonesey’s sound effects! – Hip-hop shakes; gulps and a belch as Mahoney mimes drinking; a crowd going wild; the revs of an engine when Harris calls him ‘Motormouth Jones’; a huge fart to embarrass Harris; music for an aerobics class; two more run-outs of his kung-fu-movie dialogue; a basketball commentator; feedback when Proctor uses a loud-hailer; a creaking door, a Dracula voice and a wolf’s howl; gunfire to scare recruits; sound of someone seasoning meat; and triumphant trumpets.

Hooks shouts ‘Dirtbag!’ – She struggles to control a crowd; and is flustered when a ghettoblaster is missing its tape. Her only shouty moment is telling Callaghan that “There’s been a jailbreak!”

Callahan’s chest! – Her biggest job frustration is “separate locker rooms”. Tackleberry tells her to “cover her rear” in an OAP home when men approach in wheelchairs. She jumps into a swimming pool in a T-shirt as part of a training session. When she pops up out of the water, she shouts “Who’s gonna save me?” and everyone enthusiastically jumps in. Her Japanese boyfriend is back from film three: she pins him to the ground, her crotch in his face.

Harris shouts ‘Proctor!’ – He’s back, polishing his baton a lot and having – with no explanation – Proctor as his sidekick. His catchphrase “Move it, move it, move it!” occurs five times. Hightower’s dog takes a liking to his crotch. After he pisses off Zed, Zed switches his deodorant for mace.

Lassard is a bit, um, vague! – He plays golf in his office, hitting balls out of the (closed) window, bouncing off the walls and into Zed’s mouth. When giving a speech, he has Zed next to him carrying his goldfish bowl and prompting him. He goes to a police conference in England: all his peers have goldfish bowls of their own.

Bobcat! – He gives an eccentric talk to a sedate poetry club, and gets teary. He still has an old-couple double act with Sweetchuck. He intimidates people into being interested in the COP programme. He thinks about eating Lassard’s fish. He gets a romance subplot.

Homophobic!/Racist! – “They’re gonna send me to jail and some fat, hairy guy is gonna–” says a skaterboarder found guilty of vandalism before Mahoney shuts him up. There’s another iteration of the Blue Oyster gag: straight characters nervously having to dance with leather-clad bears.

Bare breasts! – “Don’t you ever touch my balls without asking!” shouts Harris to Proctor after the latter fiddles with his Newton’s cradle. There’s a few mild swears but it’s noticeably less rude – though Lassard does obliquely refer to the prostitute from films one and three.

Famous totty! – Sharon Stone plays journalist Claire Mattson. She’s barely in the film, though, and the reason why she’s in most scenes is never explained. The character is just occasionally *there* with no real logic. She is, however, in a couple of deleted scenes available on the DVD, which actually contain some plot missing from the finished film.

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