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BY DAVID BLUMENSTEIN
April 1, 2005
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Hey, you want to hear something tragic?
We've got this copy of Police Academy in my house which
was taped off TV, probably in the early '90s, the only copy of Police
Academy I ever watched in my formative years. Along with the Back
To The Future movies, this tape (and the tapes of P.A. 2, 3, 4, 5
and 6) form the foundation for my cinematic education, sad as that
may be to some. These are the films I know best.
So one night Police Academy comes on TV. I watch it,
stifling the little voice in my head which says, "But you have
it on tape! Why watch it on TV? That seems wrong, although I don't
We come to the famous scene in which Cmdt. Lassard steps
up to the podium to speak, and is given a blow job by the prostitute
Blanks and Copeland smuggled into Barbara's room to get him thrown
out of the Academy, but whom Mahoney subsequently removed and put
under the podium.
I have never watched this scene before. It's missing
from our tape copy.
Later, I say to my mother, "Hey, you know the version
of Police Academy we've got is censored?" She doesn't understand,
so I explain to her what I saw on TV.
She says, "Oh, I cut that out when I taped it.
You were only ten or so, and I didn't think it was appropriate for
you to see, so when I knew it was coming up, I just hit the pause
button, then unpaused the recording when it was over."
I am flabbergasted. This is like finding the lost ending
to Charles Dickens' unfinished The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, revealing
the murderer to be a fiendish, hyper-intelligent purple space monkey,
or being told that your favourite Queen album is missing an eight-minute
layered guitar masterpiece with lyrics revolving around Freddie Mercury's
experiences getting his knob polished by a middle-aged prostitute
under a podium.
And all I can think is, "Damn, this explains why
Lassard looks so confused!..."
I have since recovered. Now, back to the movie.
The other characters are not that interesting. Leslie
Barbara (Donovan Scott) is the requisite fat pathetic shlub, an archetype
often found in sophomoric comedies, especially ones dealing with "nerds"
and "jocks". Thankfully, Barbara did not return after Police
Academy, and the writers introduced a far more palatable fat character
in Police Academy 4: Tommy "House" Conklin (Tab Thacker),
who is much fatter than Barbara, but also much less pathetic. Scott
later appeared in Psycho III, Splash, Too and Back To The Future III
(as Marshal Strickland's deputy). Not his real name, the actor decided
on the pseudonym "Donovan Scott" as tribute to his two heroes,
writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and actor/singer Jason Donovan. No, I made
George Martin (Andrew Rubin) gets chicks by pretending
to be a Latino. He gets his comeuppance at the hands of Callahan,
who tears her shirt open (revealing her enormous breasts), lets her
blonde hair down and rapes the hapless cadet. This could very well
be a triumph for feminism, but I doubt you'll ever hear anyone other
than me say so.
So the party's hopping, and the jerks Blanks and Copeland
have been diverted to the gay bar, The Blue Oyster. A classic scene,
wherein the two ostensibly straight males with Number One haircuts
accidentally meander into a pleasant-looking bar which is filled with
burly homosexual bikers, who -- naturally -- just want to slow dance
with them. The Blue Oyster, as I think we all know, returned in most
of the other Academy movies, along with its contingent of dance-crazy
(and occasionally violent) gay men. Meanwhile, the real sex party
for sex cops is going on down at the beach, where there's saxophones,
nudity (although not in my copy -- another bit mum skilfully edited
out) and Mahoney gets it on, facially, with Thompson, who we know
will be good in the sack thanks to her insatiable character Samantha
in Sex & The City.
Blanks and Copeland are mad at having to face big, moustachioed reflections
of their own confused sexuality, so they smuggle a hooker (Georgina
Spelvin; see sidebar) into Barbara's quarters, leading to, as mentioned
earlier, the "hooker and Mahoney get stuck inside the podium
while Lassard speaks so the hooker blows Lassard and then Mahoney
sticks his head out of the podium so Lassard thinks Mahoney did it"
scene, which I won't bother going into here, since it's been so often
dissected in PhD theses, social theory textbooks and the like.
END PART THREE
In Part Four: we conclude our discussion of the original
Police Academy and dive head first into its upstart little brother,
Police Academy 2: Bobcat Goldthwait Arrives. Also, a comparative chart
of the ranks attained by our cadets in the Metropolitan Police Force.
Which is the only cast member whose character was ever demoted? The
answer may surprise you!