Sick of Waiting for the World to End (Dudes, 1987)

dudes_poster.jpgGrant, Biscuit and Milo are three young punk rockers who decide to drive cross country to California. But on the way, a gang robs them and kills Milo.  When the police blow them off, Grant is determined to get revenge on the gang.

Along the way, Grant meets a young woman who provides he and Biscuit with new outfits and a car.

Dudes has never quite been able to get outside it’s cult movie status, in large part because it is a amalgam  of genres.

The punk rock trio are fish out of water, and yet, the film follows the conventions of the western. To boot there is the supernatural element suggesting Milo and Biscuit are being helped by the long dead  spirits of a cowboy and a Native American tribe slaughters by the gang leader.  Is he re-incarnated? Is he a great grandson? Is it just a drug induced dream?

The tale takes Grant and Biscuit from nihilism to life with a purpose. Grant and Biscuit are both likable young guys.  And you really have got to try hard to not like Catherine Mary Stewart.

Dudes is a fun adventure with a group of surprisingly endearing characters.

The Quest for A Better Story (Superman IV: the Quest for Peace, 1987)

Superman-IV-posterSuperman III bombed heavily.  Eventually, the rights were sold to Canon Films.  Reeve had sworn off ever playing Superman again.  But four years later he was back.  In part, he was promised that he could be involved with the story.  And the story we got was Superman getting rid of all our nuclear weapons.  He puts them in a net and hurls them into the son.  Gene Hackman is back as Lex Luthor…he gets busted out of prison by his dope of a nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer, looking like he stepped on the set of Hiding Out).  His plan is to take advantage of Superman’s plan by using Superman’s DNA (from a strand of Superman’s hair) and get it in with the missiles.  He succeeds and creates the weirdest enemy for Superman the screen has seen.

Nuclear Man is Luthor’s creation…and has Luthor’s actual voice.  He is super strong, can fly, breathe in space, grow his fingernails long and sharp…he even scratches Superman and makes him sick.  Nuclear Man has one weakness

In addition, there is a subplot where businessman David Warfield (Sam Wanamaker)and his attractive daughter Lacy (Mariel Hemingway) are buying the Daily Planet and want to turn it into a tabloid paper.  Which would be a decent story-line if the Planet had ever shown itself interested in anything other than fluff pieces in the previous films.

Lacy starts to pursue Clark, while Lois still only has eyes for Superman.  This leads to a double date sequence where Reeve keeps switching personas based on which woman he is visiting.  Eventually Clark reveals himself to Superman (no worries, she forgets by the end through story magic).  This plot feels problematic and unnecessary.

The return of Hackman does not improve the film, his character feels like a cartoonish version of the character he was.  If Nuclear Man gave actor Mark Pillow any hope of a big movie career…it appears the film killed it.

This film is quite terrible, and using a plot where Superman solves such a real world issue as nuclear war…it just does not play effectively.  The performers all feel like they are sleepwalking through the roles, with little more to say about them.  The Quest for Peace really earned it’s terrible reputation.  And it killed the Superman Franchise for almost twenty years.

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