It is rare that a sequel will exceed the original. Yes, there are a number of notable exceptions, but for the most part, sequels generally tend to be of a lesser quality than the original.
But then, there are some that take this lowered expectation and fail to even meet that. These sequels are not bad, but really bad, so bad that they echo in the minds of most people as some of the worst films ever.
Like many of my other lists, I have limited my picks for the worst sequels to those that I have seen. Case in point, Batman and Robin has got to be the worst sequel ever, so bad that it nearly killed the franchise. But, since I have never been masochistic enough to sit all the way through it, I cannot include it on my list.
I did add a few other restrictions to this list. Franchise reboots are not counted, nor are remakes, even if they are pseudo-sequel remakes. I also eliminated most James Bond movies. While they are a series, there are only a couple that can be considered direct sequels of previous films. Even then, most of them do manage to stand on their own.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The Worst Sequels
- Superman 3 – In spite of the goofy cellophane “S,” Superman 2 comes off as a pretty decent sequel. Not so much Superman 3. This movie cannot seem to decide whether it wants to be a comedy vehicle for Richard Pryor or a Superman movie, and somehow manages to fail on both counts. Granted, it is still better than what I have seen of Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, but it is still really painful to watch.
- Jaws: The Revenge – Granted, I could have gone with Jaws 3 for this entry, but I have to be honest, that one tends to be a guilty pleasure for me, even without the cheesy 1980s 3D revival. That and it seems to sit outside of the Jaws canon (only the grown up Brody brothers appear in the movie, recast). Jaws: The Revenge is just horrible. Lorraine Gary is the only returnee from the first two Jaws movies, playing the widowed Ellen Brody. Once more, the sons are recast (again, it turns out they are like the Griswold children), and everything from jaws 3D is thrown out the window (sadly). What we get is Ellen freaking out about sharks, believing that great whites are specifically targeting her family (son Sean is killed early in the movie by a shark, and husband Martin’s heart attack is blamed on the shark), while engaging in a new romance with Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine… he’s not playing Alfred in this movie). All of this is going on while her remaining son is researching a great white which just happens to find itself in The Bahamas. Really, you don’t need to know much more than that.
- Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones – It takes a lot to kill a franchise for me. I had such fond memories of the original Star Wars films that not even the bland Episode 1 could take those away. The I saw Episode 2 and watched those fond memories turn to crap. Episode 2 was so bad that to this day, I still can’t watch the original trilogy knowing what is to come. And I still have yet to see Episode 3, which is considered the best of this trilogy, which really is not saying much.
- Friday the 13th Part 3 – Naturally, there would be a couple of horror movies on this list. While I could argue that most Friday the 13th sequels are just variant remakes of the first, this one stands apart as particularly bad. This is mostly because it was filmed in 3D, coming out in the same decade that brought us Jaws 3. But, while there is some semblance of a plot in Jaws 3, Friday the 13th Part 3 is nothing more than a series of 3D gags, from the weird bum with an eyeball on a stick (which serves no purpose other than to pop out at the audience) to the various means Jason kills the campers.
- Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child – One could make the argument that the Nightmare series jumped the shark with the third movie, Dream Warriors. And really, the series should have ended with the death of Nancy. But, it went on with Dream Master, where Freddy finally finished off the last of the Elm Street children (this fact is contradicted in later movies). Once more, Freddy manages to leave a few survivors who return in this one, the fifth of the series. The twist is that the heroine of the movie gets knocked up by her boyfriend, and Freddy sees this as a means of returning to the world of the living. Again, this is really all you need to know.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – This is the sad end of the trilogy that began so strong. Filmed back to back with Dead Man’s Chest, the second movie, this movie just does not seem to know what it wants to do. It meanders all over the place with no real direction, only flash and special effects. Thanks to this and the Matrix sequels, I really start to worry when I hear movies are being shot back to back. At least, I do unless I hear Peter Jackson is involved.
- Robocop 3 – This is one of those movies that probably should have worked. Sadly, the movie really just does not pull it together. I’m not sure if it is the recasting of Murphy/Robocop (Peter Weller was not available), or the delayed release caused by Orion’s bankruptcy, or if it just seems that goofy. No, actually, thinking back over the jet pack and the robo-ninjas, it is really just that goofy.
- Psycho 3 – Psycho is a masterpiece of suspense, the type of movie that you really don’t think anyone would even try to make a sequel to. Yet, someone did. the only thing is that Psycho 2 is actually not all that bad. It has enough twists and turns to leave you wondering if Norman Bates is really cured. then came Psycho 3, where we see that he isn’t. Psycho 3 turns out to degenerate the series into a sad slasher movie with no real redeeming value.
- Trail of the Pink Panther – What do you do when your lead actor passes away before you can start production? In the case of Trail of the Pink Panther, you use archive footage of previous movies and whip together a feeble story about a reporter writing a story about the great Inspector Clouseau, who has gone missing. The end result is the cinematic version of a sitcom’s cheesy clip show.
- Battle Royale 2 – This is the movie that inspired me to make this list. Battle Royale is a brutally violent movie based on the cult novel. It is also a really good cult film. Battle Royale 2… not so much. In truth, I picked it up because it was a part of the special edition of the first movie. And while it is a sequel to that first movie, it really just does not make any sense. First, the class is taken not to compete in Battle Royale, but to serve as soldiers against a terrorist movie that has spawned from the first movie. There is some sort of bizarre logic as to why, but it really does not hold up. Furthermore, the students of the class are paired off. Even one dies, so does the other. Logic does not abound in this movie.
Posted on August 6, 2012, in Lists, Media, Movies, Opinion, Personal, The Tens and tagged bad movies, bad sequels, lists, media, movies, Opinion, personal, sequels, the tens. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.