The Substitute: Failure Is Not an Option

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The Substitute:
Failure Is Not An Option
Substitute 4.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byRobert Radler
Produced byRobert Radler
Written byDan Gurskis
Based onCharacters
by Roy Frumkes
Rocco Simonelli
Alan Ormsby
Music byStephen Edwards
CinematographyRichard M. Rawlings Jr.
Edited byLou Angelo
Distributed byArtisan Entertainment
Release date
  • April 24, 2001 (2001-04-24)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Substitute: Failure Is Not An Option (also known as The Substitute 4) is a 2001 action thriller film directed by Robert Radler and starring Treat Williams as Karl Thomasson, a former mercenary who must infiltrate a military school's faculty to stop the actions of a white supremacist cult. The film is the fourth and final installment in The Substitute series and was released direct-to-video.


Karl Thomasson, an ex-Special Forces soldier and retired mercenary, is approached by his old army buddy Teague who gives him a mission: working undercover at a military school where Ted, Teague's nephew, is one of the cadets. Teague believes that the cadets and the student faculty are part of a white supremacist cult being run at the school. Karl accepts the mission and begins working as a history teacher at the school, seeking to expose and eradicate the cult.

While investigating, Karl teams up with Devlin, who served with Karl in the U.S. Army, who works at the school as a martial arts teacher. They learn that Colonel Brack is leader of the cult and Ted is one of the cult members.


  • Treat Williams as Karl Thomasson,a former U.S. Special Forces soldiers and mercenary.
  • Angie Everhart as Jenny, a beautiful doctor at the academy and Karl's love interest.
  • Patrick Kilpatrick as Col J.C. Brack, the military academy's Commanding officer and founder of the Werewolf Cult.
  • Bill Nunn as Luther, an ex-soldier who works as a janitor at the military academy.
  • Tim Abell as Devlin, an ex-soldier who works as a martial arts teacher at the academy.
  • Grayson Fricke as Ted Teague, a cadet and Werewolf cult member who later regrets joining it.
  • Simon Rhee as Lim, a Korean soldier who is a Drill Instructor of the Werewolf cult.
  • Scott Miles as Buckner, an arrogant, racist cadet and the cadet commander of the academy and of the Werewolf cult.
  • Brian Beegle as Frey, Ted's best friend and Werewolf cult member.
  • Samantha Thomas as Harmon, a bossy, loud-mouthed female cadet.
  • Jonathan Michael Weatherly as Malik, a cadet.
  • Lori Beth Edgeman as Cunningham, a female cadet who is picked on at by Harmon.
  • Moe Michaels as Robson, a cadet.
  • J. Don Ferguson as Colonel Teague, Karl's old war buddy and Ted's uncle.
  • K. C. Powe as Sissy, a waitress at a bar and Brack's daughter.


Robert Pardi of TV Guide rated it 2/4 stars and wrote that the film, though preposterous, is tolerable if one lowers their expectations.[1] Aaron Beirle of DVD Talk rated it 0.5/5 stars and wrote, "Even for the low-budget action (or, as I call it 'cable action') genre, Substitute 4 remains a pretty dull actioner."[2]


  1. ^ Pardi, Robert. "Substitute: Failure Is Not An Option". TV Guide. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  2. ^ Bierle, Aaron (2001-04-27). "Substitute 4: Failure is Not An Option". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2016-10-10.

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