Unwatchable #24: “Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow”Posted: May 20, 2011
It’s been six months since the last installment of Unwatchable, and while I could try to come up with some legitimate excuse for my prolonged absence – say, that I’ve been busy negotiating with HBO over the television rights to this blog – the truth is, I just sort of forgot. When I finally did stop to think, “Gee, I haven’t done Unwatchable in a while,” it turned out I couldn’t find any trace of the movie that was ranked number 24 on the list when I started this project back in the halcyon days of the late, lamented Screengrab. That would be 1997’s Glam, described thusly by the IMDb: “Traveling from the backwoods to Los Angeles to visit his cousin, a writer discovers a world of sex, drugs, crime and violence revolving around a beautiful young woman and her mobster boyfriend.” It stars Frank Whaley, Natasha Gregson Warner and Tony Danza (!), was rated NC-17 for “a scene of explicit sexuality and some sexual dialogue,” and is truly a movie the ’90s forgot, as all existing copies appear to have been wiped from the face of the earth.
This has happened a time or two before, and as is my custom in such instances, I have made a substitution by consulting the current version of the Bottom 100 and selecting the first available movie that does not also appear on the list I’ve been using all along. As you’re already well aware, the lucky winner is the seventh installment in the rollicking Police Academy series, Mission to Moscow. This selection presented some challenges of its own, in that I was not fully up to speed on the dense and intricate Police Academy mythology when I sat down to take in their Moscow mission. Sure, I saw the original Police Academy back in high school, and if I’m remembering correctly, I may even have had some fondness for the wacky adventures of Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith, and that guy who makes noises with his mouth. Unlikely as it seems now, I must have also seen Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, because I’m certain this franchise served as my introduction to Bobcat Goldthwait, and he wasn’t in the first movie.
But even if I could recall both those films with the crystal clarity of a Marcel Proust, that would still leave Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, and Police Academy 6: City Under Siege all unseen by me. What life-altering experiences had befallen Officer Eugene Tackleberry, Officer Moses Hightower and Officer Guy Who Makes Noises With His Mouth since last I’d checked in with them? Given that many of the original characters are absent from Mission to Moscow, I can only assume that they were tragically killed in the line of duty along the way. The only other explanation I can come up with is that Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall and Bubba Smith had better things to do with their time, and of course, that’s ridiculous.
Whatever the case, you may rest assured that the guy who makes noises with his mouth is still around to undertake this mission to Moscow. That much I remember. Unfortunately, it’s been a few weeks since I watched Police Academy 7, and much to my chagrin, I seem to have misplaced my notes. I think I may have left them in my former car, which broke down a few weeks ago, and which I sold for parts to a mechanic who may even now be poring over those very notes, wondering what kind of sick maniac sold him this automobile and its mysterious contents. I do know that the plot concerns the Russian government calling on the staff of an American police academy to take on a mob boss (Ron Perlman) who plans to hack into all the world’s computers with a worm implanted on a popular videogame. The movie must have supplied a very good reason for the Russian government to do this, but without my notes, I can’t tell you what it is. We’ll just have to trust that the makers of Police Academy 7 knew what they were doing.
Other things I vaguely remember: Commandant Eric Lassard (George Gaynes) somehow gets lost on the way to the mission and ends up spending the entire movie with a poor Russian family; a boring cadet (Charlie Schlatter) has a boring romance with an attractive but boring translator (Claire Forlani); the guy who makes noises with his mouth makes some noises with his mouth. There are also several ostensibly amusing references to borscht. Well, I can’t blame them for that. Borscht is always funny, and there’s no point making a comedy set in Moscow and leaving out the borscht jokes.
I wish I could tell you more, but in the absence of my notes, the only way I’d be able to do that would be to watch Police Academy 7 again. And that’s just not going to happen in this lifetime or any other.
Previously on Unwatchable: