Earlier this week, in “You have GOT to be shitting me” news, sources confirmed that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett “isn’t ruling out” running for Wisconsin governor in 2018. This despite the fact that Barrett has failed to win the office not once, not twice, but three times in the past. And the fact that two of those losses were to Scott Walker. “Not everyone on the left is thrilled with the possibility of another matchup between Barrett and Republican Gov. Scott Walker,” said the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, before noting that water is wet and gravity exists.
So, as a time-wasting public service for both the left and the right, we’ve assembled a quick list of “part 4” movie sequels that are more enticing than this living embodiment of the old “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” axiom. (But seriously: You have GOT to be shitting us.)
Rocky IV (1985)
The original Rocky is a stone-cold classic. Creed is terrific. So is Rocky Balboa. But let’s be honest: your favorite Rocky movie is Rocky IV. You know, the one where Apollo dances to James Brown and dies, and where Rocky beats the juiced-up Russian and topples the entire Soviet Union in the process. It’s a film that practically defines ’80s ridiculousness: Cold War paranoia, rockin’ montages on top of rockin’ montages, and that giant robot Paulie gets for his birthday for some reason. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAULIE.
Tom Barrett, meanwhile, first ran for governor in 2002. Similar to Rocky in the original film, he lost in the Democratic primary to Jim Doyle. But unlike Rocky, Barrett kept losing—to then-County Executive Scott Walker in 2010, and to then-recalled Gov. Scott Walker in 2012. Does Barrett have a surprise win left in him? Can he finally take down Walker after a third shot? Even the Rocky franchise isn’t that crazy.
Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol (1987)
Quick: how many of the Police Academy movies can you name? There’s the original, of course, which was a solid entry in the hallowed “slobs vs. snobs” raunchy ’80s comedy genre. Then there was Their First Assignment, Back In Training, Citizens On Patrol, and…well, that’s about as far as anyone can go. (Assignment Miami Beach? City Under Siege? Mission To Moscow? Wha?) Anyway, if memory serves, Citizens On Patrol is actually kind of fun, with Capt. Harris showing up again as the villain, Sharon Stone showing up as Mahoney’s new squeeze, and a bunch of ’80s pro skaters popping up in bit parts (Tony Hawk! Lance Mountain!) Plus, um, David Spade. Oh, and the civilian training program of the title spells out COP, which is pretty clever for this series.
In an interview at City Hall on Wednesday, Barrett had this to say: “I’ve had people approach me saying, ‘We would like you to be mayor. We’d like you to stay mayor.’ [EDITOR’S NOTE: These people are correct.] I’ve had people approach me and say, ‘We’d like you to run for governor.’ And I’ve had people approach me and say, ‘We’d like you to move to Tahiti.’ So, it’s all on the board and we haven’t made any decisions.” Sub in Miami Beach for Tahiti and we’ve got another wacky farce just waiting to happen! (We’ll save the mission to Moscow for ex-Sheriff Clarke.)
A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
Freddy Krueger was well on his way to becoming a pop-culture joker before Nightmare 4 came along (remember in Dream Warriors when he appeared on a Dick Cavett talk show and killed Zsa Zsa Gabor?), but it was this not-as-terrible-as-you-might-remember entry that solidified him as a zany one-liner machine who also happened to be the evil spirit of a burned-to-death child killer. Directed by a then-unknown Renny Harlin, The Dream Master has plenty of gory flair (Debbie turns into a cockroach!) and some terrific set pieces (Freddy’s soul pizza!), but the sight of the always-game Robert Englund in full Freddy makeup on a tropical beach while slipping on some shades, CSI: Miami-style, is a step too far into self-parody.
Like Englund, Barrett is always game, too, and he’s done a ton of good for the City of Milwaukee. (Your streetcar miles may vary.) As for his never-ending gubernatorial bids, Nightmare 4‘s maddening time loop sequence seems apt.
A Nightmare on Circle Street from Erick C. on Vimeo.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Is the fourth (and final) installment in Warner Bros.’ original Batman film series really that bad? I’M AFRAID THAT MY CONDITION HAS LEFT ME COLD TO YOUR PLEAS OF MERCY. Yeah, it’s that bad. The Joel Schumacher-directed Batman & Robin finds George Clooney uncomfortably taking up the cowl, Chris O’Donnell returning as Robin, Alicia Silverstone debuting as Batgirl, Uma Thurman vamping it up as Poison Ivy, and, yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger tossing off some of the most tortured temperature-related puns of all time as Mr. Freeze. Add in some nipple suits and plenty of gratuitous ass and crotch shots, and you’ve got a solid-gold turkey that effectively ICED an entire franchise for nearly a decade.
Okay, so if Barrett doesn’t go up against Walker this fall, who will? FOX6 notes that “if he decides to run, Barrett would join a huge Democratic field of 16 other candidates. No one has emerged as a clear favorite to win the Aug. 14 primary.” No kidding. Like a long-in-the-tooth Batman series grasping for straws with B-list characters like Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze (didn’t Bane also show up for 10 seconds?), the Democratic candidates are looking pretty obscure. So yeah, with a COOL $621,937 in his campaign account, Barrett may be inevitable choice. Come November, it’ll either be LET’S KICK SOME ICE, or PREPARE FOR A BITTER HARVEST. WINTER HAS COME AT LAST AGAIN.