50 thoughts we had while watching Superman IV: Quest for Peace

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Apr 24, 2018, 3:56 PM EDT (Updated)

In honor of Superman's 80th anniversary, we've been doing a lot of content about the man of steel. Most celebratory, some... well, sometimes we just have questions. Like "Did Lois NEED to try and marry Satan?" or "Did the Lois and Clark showrunners think Cat Grant was an actual cat?"

But this particular viewing takes the cake in terms of "seriously, I have questions" and then throws that cake into the sun and turns it into a blond man with fancy nails. Because I don't know if you've heard, but Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is a very not-good movie. And for this super edition of Deja View, we try to figure out why (spoiler: there are no answers, only questions).

  1. JON CRYER IS IN THIS. I know this came out in 1987 but it feels very strange that Duckie Dale is in the Superverse.
  2. Christopher Reeve is credited as Story By. Look. Not everyone can write. Not everyone has great ideas. You don’t *have* to make the movie your actors want.
  3. The movie, like 2018, starts with a bunch of Russians.
  4. Clark has to sell the Kent farm. He also has to make a stop at the green pod of Kryptontasticness and turn it off so it stops talking to him already. It does so with a green dagger crystal thing that looks like a light from a Christmas tree.


  5. Clark will only sell the farm to someone who wants to use it as a farm because the world doesn’t need another shopping mall (because this is 1987 and that’s very true, probably). 
  6. Clark is dweeb, Supes is not-dweeb. The movie is just making sure we know that.
  7. Lex is in prison and doing manual labor and wearing a kicky prison scarf. Just because you’re incarcerated doesn’t mean you can’t be dandy af. 


  8. Speaking of fancy, here’s Jon Cryer as Lenny Luthor.


  9. We know his name is Lenny because of reasons.

  10. I think the reason Jon Cryer is so off-putting in this movie is because it’s otherwise very ‘70s sitcom, right down to the goofball music. Like this could be from Dukes of Hazzard. It’s very collision-course-with-wackiness.


  12. OK, a lot is happening here. The train driver just had a heart attack—either that or something else made him clutch his heart suddenly and go “ugh, ugh!” and collapse on the controls. Lois starts screaming for help, which is the opposite of useful in an underground train where the only people who can hear you are in the same peril—UNLESS you’ve got the ear of a be-tighted hero who is specially tuned to hear your very cries. Supes saves the day with the power of his mind, because the movie clearly did not have the budget to even imply he was able to touch that train. He uses his Super-cardiology to determine the driver is totally fine and delivers this treatise:

  13. So Metropolis is definitely not NYC then. Also that all happened in maybe two minutes.
  14. Lois is learning French. We know because they have her talking in French, and earlier she was reading a book called FRENCH. Mariel Hemingway says LOL JK YOU DON’T NEED TO SPEAK FRENCH. Lois is sad. 
  16. But it’s also about wacky incidental music like we’re in goddamn Petticoat Junction while Lex tries to steal Superman’s hair from a museum. 
  17. This movie is also about workplace sexual harassment, apparently.


  18. Superman IV is very haphazardly edited, on account of it being a bad movie. OK so the world’s most irritating child actor wrote a letter to Superman asking him to end nuclear arms. Mariel Hemingway and the new Daily Planet owner run a headline saying “Superman says ‘drop dead’ to kid,” and now Clark has to consider… something. I don’t know. It’s either PR or disarmament. It seems more of a PR thing, honestly. 


  19. There’s a lot of Russian and dishonesty in media and tbh, I think this movie fell in a vat of radioactive waste and that’s how Donald Trump was created. 
  20. Clark tells Lois he’s Superman by throwing both of them off a building and then taking the time to change clothes before catching her. Also he lets her go over a snowy mountain just for lols. Also they’re flying through stock footage every now and then stopping to say “hey, look over there.” This movie’s entire budget was basically the same budget I set aside each month for takeout. 


  21. OK… so. Superman has the ability to give Lois amnesia, which he apparently does periodically just to have chit chats. And afterward she’s all dizzy and confused and she probably thinks she has brain cancer, so this movie is going well for everyone.


  22. Superman just announced he’s getting rid of all the nuclear weapons. Apparently he’s going to do that by, like, catching them and riding them like Slim Pickens.
  23. And now he's put them all into a space garbage bag to throw it into the sun. This is a dumb f-cking movie.


  24. Lex just said “nucular.” He said it again. He just keeps saying it. “A huge nucular bomb.” Nuclear. It’s nuclear. NU. CLEE. URR. Say it. 
  25. “A nucular man!” NOPE. STILL NOT GETTING IT.
  26. Lex and Jon Cryer are growing “Nu-cyoo-lurr Man” out of Superman’s museum hair and the science is sketchy at best but at least they have cool mad scientist coats on.
  27. I was about to get into how, somehow, the man in charge of the nuclear bomb is just listening to ANYONE in a jacket and firing nukes on command, but then this happened and I don’t even know who I am anymore.


  30. Lex is hanging out with an unexplained lady from the Renaissance.


  31. What the Rocky Horror Picture Sh-tshow is going on?


  32. Clark and Superman are on a double date with Lois and Mariel Hemingway. Oh, we’re gonna have some Mrs. Doubtfire shenanigans here. 
  33. Respected journalist Lois Lane has been reduced to drooling mess and Clark Kent has gone from awkward to full-on Magoo.


  34. Superman can ring the doorbell with his mind, so that’s fun. 
  35. Superman just told Lex he is in a “delusionary state,” and that’s not a word. At this point I don’t know what I was expecting from this movie, but actual words didn’t seem like a particularly high bar.
  36. This special effects are making me sad. I’m just embarrassed for everyone. 


  37. Can you believe I typed that *before* this moment?


  38. I feel like this movie used to be about world peace or something, but now it’s about men in their underwear flying into volcanoes and getting trapped in Swedish underarm crystals.
  39. Superman just made a cork out of a mountain to put into another mountain and froze lava with his mind.
  40. Siegfried over here is so mad his nails went EXTRA FLEEK about it.
  41. So Lenny and Lex are basically RIDDLED with cancers now, yes? After hanging out partying with Nu-cyoo-lurr Man? It was basically Chernobyl in that penthouse. 
  42. I can’t believe they got Terry Gilliam to do SFX.


  43. I just did a literal spittake.


  44. Either Lois knows Clark is Superman, or this movie is written badly. One or both of those two.
  45. So my limited understanding of whatever nonsense is going on is that Nu-cyoo-lurr Man wants to bang Mariel Hemingway because he saw a sad picture of her in the newspaper.
  46. This is how he feels about all this.


  47. I’ve been trying to figure out what the special effects and terrible music have been reminding me of, and I just realized it’s Puma Man.


  48. I realize this was an unfinished movie with all the odds against it. But this didn’t stand a chance. There is no making this good.
  49. Nu-cyoo-lurr Man just kidnapped Mariel Hemingway and took her to outer space and she didn’t immediately freeze and shatter like a human icicle and also I don’t care about either of these individuals. 
  50. And we end with a sense of social anxiety and secondhand humiliation we may never recover from. Huzzah.

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