This is Not an April Fool’s Joke.

Strap on your cape, because Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the DVD cover or the movie title above to download our review of the film, featuring Sean “Hollywood” Hunting.

Review in a Nutshell:  Far from being a ‘betrayal’ or ‘the worst Superman movie’, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is a movie with big ideas and a tiny, tiny budget.  It remains the favorite Superman of both cohosts, whose taste as we all know is impeccable.

This movie contains:

Amazing volcanic special effects!

RAWR!

WTF?

ERRATA:  The Jackie Chan movie we mention in which Jackie Chan dresses up as Chun Li from Streetfighter is actually the live-action Hong Kong version of City Hunter.

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12 Responses

  1. This movie is so godawful, and I have no interest in watching this mess.

  2. Paul, the game title you were looking for at around 31:00 isn’t Missile Defense but Missile Command

  3. The game title you’re looking for at around 31:00 isn’t Missile Defense but Missile Command.

  4. Paul (and Sean)-

    Cool to see The Lucky Stars mentioned on the podcast. I consider myself quite knowledgeable about The Lucky Stars group and love the movies, particularly parts 1 through 3.

    The first thing I’ll address is that Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao are not officially members of the group. The Lucky Stars consists primarily of Eric Tseng, John Shum, Stanley Fung, Richard Ng, and Sammo Hung, with a few other actors popping in and out of the series as the movies go on. These five characters stay pretty consistent, though Shum is not in Part 2 because of his political duties at the time (these movies were made when Hong Kong was still British-“owned” and Shum was pretty busy with political protests and activities). The films often feature cameos from popular actors like Chan, Biao, and also Andy Lau and Michelle Yeoh. Though again, these actors are not considered part of The Lucky Stars groups.

    One of the interesting things about these series of films is that, while they are sequels to each other, they’re not really totally 100% connected like we usually think of sequels. For example, names change from film to film with little explanation and characters don’t always stay totally consistent either. In the first film, the group opens up a cleaning business after being released from jail (members of the group are petty thieves and such). In the second, this is completely forgotten about. The characters are inexplicably back in jail and being released again. By the third, the whole “criminal” aspect of the characters is dropped, and the characters just help the police out with no explanation of their criminal past or even any mention of it whatsoever.

    The first three are the best of the series. I saw the third one first, which incidentally is my favorite, and then the first two years later. I ordered them online from somewhere (I know that’s not helpful). I tried finding my email receipt from the order, but I couldn’t find it. I paid like $15 for each of them, which is a good price considering these films beg to be re-watched. They’re just so entertaining.

    1. Winners and Sinners
    Basic plot synopsis: The Lucky Stars are released from prison and have nowhere to go, so they team up to form their own cleaning business. After getting involved with a local crime lord, hijinks ensue. Has a few great action/kung fu scenes but is primarily of a comedy film. Chan’s role is largely an extended cameo/supporting role as a Hong Kong cop (which would continue throughout the next two films).

    2. My Lucky Stars
    The origin of the group has been retconned a bit to say that they are orphans who grew up together. Chan, a friend of the group who is now a cop, is kidnapped by the Yakuza in Japan and the group must head there to rescue him. This film is a lot stronger than the first and obviously higher-budgeted. Chan has a more important role here, but again is more of a supporting actor.

    3. Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars
    This is by far the best of the three first films (the Lucky Stars films after this one aren’t of great quality). The Lucky Stars group heads to Thailand on a mission from the Hong Kong police to track down a criminal. They stumble upon a plot to kill an innocent woman and must head back to Hong Kong to protect her. This is the funniest of the three by far and is infinitely watchable. Chan again plays a cop who is friends with the group. The showdown between the assassins, one of whom is played by celebrity body guard Richard Norton, is fantastic. Can’t recommend this film enough. Also, it is currently streaming on Netflix. The Netflix quality is like 10 times better than the DVD I have too. There also seem to be added scenes, though this just might be my mind playing tricks on me. And you could watch this film without much knowledge of the two that came before it. You might scratch your head at a few parts in the beginning, but it’s largely uncomplicated.

    Hope this helps clear up some confusion about The Lucky Stars films.

    -Z-

  5. I’ve never understood the hate-on for Superman Returns. Sure, Brandon Routh was sort of milquetoast, but Kevin Spacey as Luthor was an act of genius. He’s the best thing about that movie.

    If you actually LIKED Superman IV, then you will probably LOVE Superman III. It has a scene where Annie Ross is transformed into a cyborg.

    Superman IV is a cobbled-together mess. There’s the totally unrealistic idea that solving the nuclear weapon crisis is as simple as everyone voluntarily disarming themselves. There’s the completely forgettable subplot of the Daily Planet being bought out.

    Also, there’s this…

    As it turns out, this film test-screened so poorly that they cut a large chunk of the film, including an entirely different Nuclear Man character.

  6. I’m listening to this, and a couple things:

    – Why doesn’t Superman fix the Big Things, like The Arms Race or World Hunger? Starting with Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN, comics has asked this very question – Mark Gruenwald’s SQUADRON SUPREME, J. Michael Straczynski’s reboot of that series, and THE AUTHORITY are what I can think of off the top of my head. The answer always is…because it’ll just make matters worse. WATCHMEN, of course, has a superhero destroying half of New York City as a way to convince the warmongering world leaders it’s time they united to fight a common enemy. Both versions of SS have a group of superheroes, with the best will in the world, creating a global dictatorship, and then proceeding (again, often with the best will in the world) to abuse their power in often horrifying ways. The Authority tries to be more like a UN With Real Teeth – and just about every story is about one government or another (usually the US or UK) trying to destroy them, so they can get back to preying on their citizens and other countries. (Sean, I personally think every nuclear nation was shooting their nukes at Superman in the hopes that one would kill him – the cheering in the UN was just for public consumption.)

    – Just about all of the Golden Age comic book writers and illustrators lived in New York City, and few had ever lived elsewhere in the US (at least back then), so it only stands to reason that they’d use NYC as a model for everything. (Marvel has so many superheroes in NYC that you can’t round a corner without tripping over one – something Tammy and I kidded when we wrote WHITE TIGER.) I always figured both Metropolis and Gotham City are New York City – Metropolis is the aspirational city the largely working-class immigrant creators wanted to live in, while crime-riddled shadowy Gotham was the city they knew best.

    – I didn’t like SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE at all, and never have. While the cheapness of the production was a factor, certainly, it’s like “Godfather of Gore” Herschel Gordon Lewis used to say – “Nobody ever walked out of a movie because of a raggedy panning shot.” What ultimately tears it for me is the laughably naive writing and direction, and the feeling that I wasted my time watching a movie with a world-changing event (Superman ends the Nuclear Arms Race!) where ultimately nothing changes – but it’s treated as a triumph for Truth, Justice and the American Way after all.

  7. Metropolis is Manhattan between 59th and 86th street on the most gorgeous day ever; Gotham is the East Village and Lower East Side on a bad weather day. Or so I’ve heard

  8. Thanks for not hating on Superman IV. It was my favorite of the franchise, and the only one I bothered to get on VHS. Make no mistake, it’s a bad film — but there’s a lot there to love. This was my favorite show in a long while because of the nostalgia and relatability factors.

  9. Great review of Superman 4. I had not watch this since i was a kid. Nuclear man was an interesting idea for a super villain. Too bad it was so campy and poorly executed. Don’t you guys think that NM would have been leaving some kind radioactive wake all over the world? The guy was a walking Chernobyl! Superman 5 Clark Kent battles thyroid cancer.

  10. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the GME bump! I dunno what else I can say about “My Lucky Stars” besides what CultureCast-Z has brought up, so I’ll just say that I really enjoyed this podcast and that it kinda made wanna watch Superman IV. I remember seeing previews for this film back in the day but never got around to seeing it (or Superman III for that matter.) But, let’s see if it holds up as well as you made it seem.

    Cheers!

  11. Great podcast guys. It’s not a movie I remember very fondly, but at least it actually had a battle with a supervillain.

    Best reason NOT to see Superman III? The “villains” poison Superman with kryptonite, causing him to turn “evil”. Leading to a fairly ridiculous sequence where Superman and Clark Kent separate and fight it out in a junkyard.

    And originally Joe Shuster based Metropolis on Toronto, though later artists and writers have certainly added in elements of other cities.

  12. Your comment about the nations of the world firing off their remaining arsenals not to prevent Superman taking them, but to get them out while they still can, reminded me of an old comic Larry Hama wrote called the Nth Man: a solitary superhuman with reality-altering powers, Alfie O’Meagan, comes up with a plan for world peace by disappearing the world’s nuclear arsenal. What happens is that, with no more nuclear deterrent and the fact that Alfie O’Meagan was American citizen, Russia is convinced that it’s an American plot and launches a conventional invasion of Europe and China, who are nominal American allies. The whole plot of the series is getting Alfie’s brother, a Steven Seagal-esque white ninja named John Doe, to stop him.

    Also, I couldn’t help but think that Nuclear Man was spawned after the credits of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine.

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