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Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol

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Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
Police Academy 4.jpg
The time where Police Academy was turned from a funny cop movie, into a generic unfunny cop comedy.
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Jim Drake
Written By: Gene Quintano
Starring: Steve Guttenberg
Bubba Smith
Michael Winslow
David Graf
Tim Kazurinsky
Leslie Easterbrook
Marion Ramsey
Sharon Stone
Brian Tochi
Lance Kinsey
G.W. Bailey
George Gaynes
George R. Robertson
Bobcat Goldthwait
Colleen Camp
Derek McGrath
Scott Thomson
Billie Bird
David Spade
Brian Backer
Tab Thacker
Corinne Bohrer
Andrew Paris
Michèle Duquet
Steve Caballero
Chris Miller
Tommy Guerrero
Lance Mountain
Mike McGill
Tony Hawk
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: April 3, 1987
Runtime: 88 Minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $17 million
Box Office: $76.8 million
Prequel: Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986)
Sequel: Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988)

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is a 1987 American comedy film directed by Jim Drake and starring Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Marion Ramsey, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Bobcat Goldthwait, G.W. Bailey, Lance Kinsey, Sharon Stone, and George Gaynes, and is the fourth film in the Police Academy film series. This was the last Police Academy film to feature Steve Guttenberg as Carey Mahoney.


A new batch of recruits arrives at the police academy, this time a group of civilian volunteers who have joined Cmndt. Lassard's new Citizens on Patrol program. Although the community relations project has strong governmental support, a disgusted Capt. Harris is determined to see it fail.

Why It Sucks

Warning: don't put in the WIS reason that no one wanted this film!

  1. The humor is a huge step-down from the first three films as nothing funny or amusing at all happens.
  2. After being being funny in the previous two films, Zed is now an annoying and ear-bleeding character.
  3. The main storyline is just a rehash of that of the previous movie, except focusing on a civilian training course instead of actual police recruits.
  4. The gags were reused from the previous 3 films:
    1. Like The superglue joke but instead on the hair, it was used on the Thaddeus Harris's lips with a megaphone.
    2. The human instrument lip joke.
    3. The night-drive joke.
    4. The screaming joke but instead of a door it was on Sweetchuck's glasses.
  5. "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car" (the original song made for the film) is awful.
  6. False advertising: The poster shows the entire police squad on an air balloon, but it was only used at the climax and at the very end, not to mention not the entire police squad even used the balloon.
  7. Captain Harris is brought back from the first movie, but is turned from a jerkish-but-fair instructor into a complete asshole who tries to steal control of the academy from Lassard.
  8. The scene where Tackleberry is hidden in a bag dressed as Jason Voorhees with a chainsaw is stupid.
  9. The mall scene where 2 of the new members beat up a skateboarder is really fake, and in real-life that would probably be illegal.
  10. Bad and poorly-written story that makes the viewer easy to confuse.
  11. Awful pacing as the jokes happen way too fast.
  12. Blatant product placements.
  13. A pointless cameo of Tony Hawk.
  14. It's never actually clear what the "Citizens on Patrol" program is meant to accomplish. It just seems to be some kind of glorified neighborhood watch program.
  15. The scene where pigeons poop on everybody is extremely disgusting.
  16. The characters aren't interesting anymore and are unlikable.
  17. The scene where Moses dresses as a Jamaican voodoo man to scare 2 of the citizens is just playing stupid.
  18. Awful climax.
  19. The movie ends with a horrendous ending on the entire franchise.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The acting is still good, including David Spade and Sharon Stone.
  2. The soundtrack is decent (except for "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car")
  3. Also despite being awful, "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car" can be considered so bad it's good as the beat of the song is actually really nice and at times it can be catchy.
  4. Thankfully this was the last time Zed appeared in the franchise as he doesn't return in any of the sequels.


It was the first movie in the series to get a 0% rating on rotten tomatoes.

Awards and Nominations

The song "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car" was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song, making it the only movie in the Police Academy series to be nominated on any Razzie category, and a Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Picture.


  • When Jerry Paris fell ill, Gene Quintano was offered the chance to direct Citizens on Patrol, but turned it down, not feeling confident enough in his abilities, while the offer went to Jim Drake, and Quintano instead wrote the script. On the day of the film's premiere, Quintano told producer Paul Maslansky that he regretted turning down the director's chair. So, Maslansky offered Quintano the job of writing and directing Honeymoon Academy, which this time Quintano accepted immediately.
  • Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky were both brought on board at the last minute for Citizens on Patrol to replace Fackler, who was dropped from the film due to Bruce Mahler's negotiations over his pay falling apart.
  • The shot where Zed catches the golf ball in his mouth was filmed in reverse.
  • Lance Kinsey's pregnant wife Nancy was due to give birth during production. Kinsey asked director Jim Drake if it was in any way possible that they could have Proctor's scenes filmed early on, so Kinsey could go and be with his wife when she gave birth. Drake was happy to accommodate Kinsey's request, shuffling the schedule to wrap Proctor's scenes early. Lance caught a flight home on November 12th, just in time for the Kinseys to welcome their first son into the world on November 14th 1986.
  • In an early draft, Mr. Kirkland was enrolled in the COP program. His son Bud's role was originally meant to be bigger, but was cut down to only one scene after the death of Andrew Paris' father Jerry, who was originally scheduled to direct the film.
  • Tackleberry's wife Kathleen was not originally intended to appear in this film, as Colleen Camp was unavailable for the originally planned shooting dates, which were back-to-back with those of Police Academy 3: Back in Training. However, the delay resulting from having to hire a new director after the death of Jerry Paris meant that Camp ended up being available after all, and her character was given a one-scene cameo appearance in the film.
  • This was David Spade's first film role. According to Steve Guttenberg's biography, "The Guttenberg Bible", Guttenberg took Spade under his wing during the shooting of this movie in Toronto, Ontario. Guttenberg also bought Spade an expensive Rolex watch.
  • According to the script, the full names of David Spade's and Brian Backer's characters are Kyle Rumford and Arnie Lewis, though only their first names are mentioned in the film.
  • During the scene where Capt. Harris straddles the chain link fence, G.W. Bailey's stunt double willingly took a hard fall directly onto the pavement, with no mat to protect him.
  • G.W. Bailey once recalled with good humor how, while on-location for the courtroom scene, someone approached him and said, "Gee, did you ever think that this is where your career would lead you; doing a fart joke in a Toronto courtroom?"
  • The collapse of her first marriage contributed to Sharon Stone's decision to work on this movie. Of wanting to have some fun after a difficult period in her life, Sharon said, "Hanging out with a gang of comedians, it was the best therapy."
  • In 2015, G.W. Bailey was asked if any of the stunts from his Police Academy appearances had ever gone wrong. He reflected upon this film, and the scene dealing with the German shepherd that appeared to bite his crotch area. He said that the dog was only supposed to nuzzle in the general area, but it was actually a little more aggressive, of which Bailey reflected as a close call.
  • The scene featuring Harris and Proctor at the Blue Oyster Bar was originally written for Art Metrano (Cmndt. Mauser) and Lance Kinsey in the third film. However, the scene was removed from the final draft for that film, and used in this film instead, with Mauser's role being reassigned to Harris.
  • Despite being afraid of heights, David Graf agreed to be taken up in the biplane to have the necessary aerial shots filmed.
  • G.W. Bailey and Lance Kinsey first met each other just prior to the scene where their hot air balloon lands in the waterfalls. Stuntmen were positioned at the edge of the falls with a rope strung across to pull the actors out in the event they drifted too close to the edge. Kinsey described that moment as an immediate bonding experience. The two have become best friends ever since.
  • Steve Guttenberg and Sharon Stone were roughed up when their hot air balloon encountered a very bumpy landing after completion of the final scene.

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