The desaster called Superman 4:Superman IV is without a doubt the worst Superman movie made to date. Additionally, it is probably also one of the worst movies with a cinematic release ever made. Nothing feels right. After creating a box office bomb with the third Superman movie, Warner sold the movie rights to the B-movie-company Cannon, who at this point were already having financial problems. While they originally planned to film on a budget of 36 million dollars, they had to rely on 17 million dollars instead. In return, actors and contributors were granted a say for the final cut of the movie. So the movie is a proof of the proverb "too many cooks spoil the broth".
As a result, the effects and action scenes look ridiculous, even for the year 1987 - they were nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award. The acting is terrible and many scenes consist of bad slapstick routines. The script is a mess and even in the world of Supermen, where a lot of things can happen, too many plot holes do not add up at all (one example would be the ability to breathe in outer space). The climax of absurdity is the final battle of Superman vs. Nuclear Man. The whole movie does not feel like a complete peace, which might also be due to the fact that the original runtime of 134 minutes were cut down to 90 minutes. Everything that was cut out was supposed to be used for a fifth part which was never made due to the failure of part four. Thank god!
Even as a "so bad it's great"-movie it doesn't really hold up, a lot of trash movie fans are simply bored by the uneventful flick. Almost every scene of the first hour consists of fillers and uninteresting dialogue. So if you want to be entertained, make sure to bring some booze and skip ahead roughly 55 minutes to see the "final battle" of Superman and Nuclear Man along with the rematch. Even then you will have to sit through 10 to 15 minutes of pure boredom between the two fights. Bottom line: Super Man 4 super sucks. (1/10)
Versions:Despite the fact that 40 minutes of footage were cut out before the movie was released, there still exist two different versions of the movie. In the US version, two scenes were not shown that are included on the German VHS release. However, all later DVD and Blu-ray releases used the shorter US Master, thus the two scenes are missing as well. According to IMDB the longer version is a special TV version which was made for American TV channels. This wouldn't be an unusual thing, since several movies had a longer TV version so that the channels could air more commercials. The two scenes that used to be in the German version are also included in the deleted scenes section of the DVD.
This is a comparison between the DVD and Blu-Ray version released by Warner and the US TV version included on the German VHS released by Cannon VMP.
The labels at the beginning of the movie are different, since Warner received the rights for the movie after Cannon went bankrupt.
No difference in time.
A longer part of the "battle" between Superman and Nuclear Man was cut out for the DVD and Blu-Ray version. Due to circling around somewhere in the country, Nuclear Man forms a twister which then is in danger of destroying a farm. The farmer, his wife and his son run to their bomb shelter. The daughter, however, is still inside the house on the upper story. Due to the twister she gets pulled through the window with a crappy looking effect. The father wants to look for his daughter, however, is pushed over by the storm. Finally, Superman helps him up and the farmer tells him that his daughter is missing. Superman flies into the tornado where he finds the - unharmed - daughter. Another crappy effect makes her fly up in the air even higher. Superman finally stops this by circling in the other direction to end the twister. The girl - still unharmed - hovers in the air until Superman comes to pick her up who brings her back to her parents. Thanks to his special eyesight (which is underlined by a ridiculous sound) Superman sees Nuclear Man who apparently was waiting for him the whole time. He waves Superman nearer.
Another part of the battle was cut out: Nuclear Man flies do Moscow. Of course, there's a military parade. Nuclear Man shoots his beam at a nuclear missile which is driven past some Soviet generals. Thus, the launching platform moves and now faces the generals. When the engines start, Superman blows them back out and moves the platform back in the right direction (didn't he already throw all nuclear missiles in the sun anyway?). Then he continues chasing Nuclear Man. While Superman looks for him up in the air, Nuclear Man comes from below to hit Superman in the face. The latter flies around due to the force of the hit.