Superman Summer - Superman 4: The Quest For Peace (1987)

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman and Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Jon Cryer, Sam Wanamaker, Mariel Hemingway, Mark Pillow, Jim Broadbent

Using a strand of Superman's hair, Lex Luthor creates Nuclear Man.
Cannon films were notorious for unleashing troubled productions on the eighties cinema-going public.They were responsible for such turkeys as "Death Wish 4", "Delta Force" and the Tobe Hooper remake of "Invaders From Mars". Oh and let's not forget "Lifeforce", the movie which pushed myself and my school friends through an early puberty thanks to the presence of a naked Matilda May. Cannon's biggest crime was in building up hype for their productions and promising directors elaborate budgets which suddenly shrank dramatically as soon as production began. A whopping $17 million was sliced off this film's budget, forcing location shooting to switch from New York to the provincial English city Milton Keynes. Presumably a large chunk of the remaining finances went into Hackman's bank account. He certainly didn't sign on for artistic reasons.
Reeve was disinterested in returning to the role but was persuaded by the offer of script input. Thus we get the nuclear disarmament plot-line, a cause close to Reeve's heart. It may not have turned out how he had envisioned. Superman's method of disposing of the planet's entire nuclear arsenal is to collect all the warheads in a giant onion bag which he then hurtles into the sun. I'm no scientist but I'm pretty sure this would destroy our entire universe. Way to go Superman!
Kidder's psychological problems are well documented and by the time she returned for this film the crazy eyes were well in effect. I kept expecting her to go all "Piano Teacher" at any given moment. Cooper returns as Perry White and wears a constant frown as though he knew exactly what he was caught up in. Attempting to capture the youth audience, Cryer is cast as Lex Luthor's supremely annoying nephew. Broadbent is cast but never gets one line of dialogue, just standing around the background looking deeply confused. The only cast member to come out with any dignity is Reeve, doing his best in vain to hold it all together. What a trooper!
As a kid I thought this was the worst movie my young eyes had ever witnessed. I've been scarred by worse over the years but "Superman 4" deserves it's infamous reputation. If you want to see how it could have been even worse then check out the deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray. That's right, footage was shot that was actually considered too bad for "Superman 4"!
1/10

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