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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Movie That Bombed – Superman IV: The Quest For Peace



Posted by Steve

superman4.jpgThe year was 1987.  I was ten years old and was super excited that a new Superman movie was on the horizon.  I had worn out our copies of  SUPERMAN THE MOVIE and SUPERMAN II that we recorded from the ABC Sunday night movie.   I had gone with some friends of our family to see SUPERMAN III and now we got a new a Superman movie?

In my book, Superman movies were just below Star Wars in my little guy geek spectrum.   So it was that my dad took me to see what would be Christopher Reeve’s final portrayal of The Man of Steel.

Even as a chunky ten year old kid I knew something was off about this movie.  There was too much humor.  Superman always looked just the same when he came flying onto the screen.  By “looked the same,” I mean that it appeared that someone had cut out a picture of Superman flying and pasted it onto the film.  (Apparently that’s exactly what they did.)

In the years that followed, whenever I talked to friends or fans about SUPERMAN IV, it was always the same thing.  “That’s the worst Superman movie EVER!”  “They should have stopped with three.” “It’s sooo bad.”

The problem is I could never not watch it.  If it happened to be on TV, or if it was in a video store to rent, I loved to watch it.  When I finally got the first set of Superman movie DVDs that were released back in 2001 I would often come home on a Sunday afternoon, pop in SUPERMAN IV and watch it again and again.

For a few years, this was something I would never admit to my geekier friends except jokingly.  Why?  Because everywhere I turned, whenever Superman IV was mentioned, it was mentioned in groans and moans.

I refuse to accept that SUPERMAN IV is a movie with NO redeeming qualities, and I refuse to believe that it’s simple childhood memories that fuel my love for SUPERMAN IV.  In fact, I maintain that were it not for the poor special effects, SUPERMAN IV may not be held in such disdain.