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
There are bad movies, and there are really bad movies, movies so bad that they actually physically hurt to watch them. Unfortunately, like a bad car accident, sometimes you just have to see how bad they really are.
Case in point, last weekend I watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I had sort of seen it before, but in that case, it had been Elvira-ized. I had seen and heard so much about how bad this movie was, from tv shows, books, web sites. Yet, for some strange reason, I had to see for myself exactly how bad it was in its original, unmocked form.
It was bad. It was really bad. It was unbelievably bad. It was obvious that the filmmakers were trying to make a parody of bad giant monster movies (not the Godzilla ones, the [insert animal] grows big and rampages ones), but just failed at every turn. The jokes were horrible and the acting hideous. Yet, I had to watch it all the way through, like some sort of horrible self-torture that I needed to endure. It is easy to see why it became a cult classic because there is just so much to mock in the movie. Even more shocking is that it spawned sequels. That’s right, someone thought it would be a good idea to actually make a sequel of this movie… and cast George Clooney in it.
Having watched this movie… intentionally… made me realize that I have seen a lot of bad movies in my life, many of which I actually chose to watch. Tank Girl, seen it, in theatres. I’ve even seen a movie with an Alan Smithee movie a theatre (Hellraiser: Bloodline) to be exact. I’ve even seen Spacehunter: Adventures of the Forbidden Zone, Jaws 3 and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn in theatres… in 3D no less (sorry for the link fest).
Personally, I think everyone should watch a bad movie every now and then. And by that I mean intentionally, not in “This is going to be so cool…. wait a minute, this stinks!” way either. Watching bad movies is a good thing. Communally, it can provide a great source of entertainment when you watch a movie and everyone in the room gives it their MST3K best. At the very least, a bad movie will make you better appreciate the good ones that much more.
Now if you will excuse me, I hear the original version of Piranha calling my name.
I originally did this roughly two years ago. In that time, I felt it was necessary to revisit the list, seeing what may have dropped off, and what may have been added.
The criteria for the list is simple. First (and obviously), the movie had to have been released in the last ten years (2001 to 2011). Secondly, I had to have seen it, or at least enough of it to know it’s garbage. Finally, it had to have seen theatrical release (thus eliminating a number of direct to DVD and Sci-Fi Channel movies).
I do hope to make a Best 10 in the Last 10 list, but this one is a lot easier to compile.
The List (in no particular order)
1) Piranha 2010 – Not much should be expected of a movie that is based off a Roger Corman movie. Corman’s films are not exactly known for being… what’s the world… good. But, at least Corman gave you a cast of characters that you could kind of care about. With the exception of Elisabeth Shue’s Sheriff Forester, that just aren’t any character that you feel sorry for when they get eaten by the titular creatures. In truth, this movie seems to exist only to show off the naked bodies of one-dimensional (ironic phrase, considering this movie was released in 3D) characters Danni and Crystal, but special gore effects used to show the carnage of the piranha.
2) Star Wars Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones 2002 – Episode 1 was a disappointment in that I thought it could have been a lot better than it was. Episode 2 killed the magic of Star Wars for me. Where the characters were flat and uninteresting in Episode 1, the were just total jerks in Episode 2. It is sad when you have a talented cast like Episode 2 had (and Hayden Christensen), and the best acting is from a computer generated muppet. I stopped watching Star Wars movies altogether because of this one.
3) Aeon Flux 2005 – Beyond the occasional appearance on MTV’s Liquid Television, I never really got into Aeon Flux. When I watched this movie, I found it incomprehensible. Somehow, I have a feeling watching the original series would do anything to clear up the confusion.
4) Ultraviolet 2006 – It is really saying something when half way through watching a movie, you decide to do something a bit more interesting, like house cleaning. This movie just did not make me care about it at all.
5) Alone in the Dark 2005 – Seriously. Did casting really think we would believe that Tara Reid was a scientist?
6) House of the Dead 2003 – The second Uwe Boll movie on the list (Boll directed Alone in the Dark), House of the Dead was based off the arcade shooter. The movie is horribly clichéd, badly acted, and just downright bad.
7) Bloodrayne 2005 – The third Uwe Boll film on the list, and probably the one that cemented his reputation as the Ed Wood Jr. of the 21st century, though that’s really kind of an insult to Ed Wood Jr. Even more shocking is that Ben Kinglsey, the man who played Gandhi (and won an oscar for that role) was in this… movie.
8 ) Matrix Reloaded 2003
9) Matrix Revolutions 2003 – I put these two movies together not because they are both Matrix movies, but because personally, I think the two of them, edited down and merged into one, could have been a great movie. Instead, what we got were two movies with scenes that were way too long (some almost painfully long), and action sequences that were added to say, “Hey, look what we can do!”
10) Underworld: Evolution 2006– I had high hopes for this movie. I loved the first one. Sadly, I was disappointed in this one. The story seemed to go nowhere, the characters seemed to do nothing, and the love scene between Selene and Michael seemed to be there so that the director could say, “Oh yeah, that’s who I get to sleep with every night.” From what I heard, the third movie in the series is supposed to be vastly better. From what I’ve seen of this one, I don’t think it could be worse.