A lot of bad movies have been made throughout the years and more often than not when a movie is bad, it is a sequel. This can generally be chalked up to the fact that a studio makes so much money off a film that they didn’t expect to be a hit that they try to capture lightning in a bottle twice. Heck, the writers of Beneath the Planet of the Apes blew the planet up specifically so Fox wouldn’t ask for another sequel…and they still did it anyway.
Regardless, studios will always make sequels that nobody wants in an attempt to capitalize on the predecessor. Unfortunately, this practice does actually work. These ten films weren’t the first unnecessary sequels ever made, they won’t be the last, but they’re certainly some of the worst.
10. Blues Brothers 2000 – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45% Rotten
This flick really didn’t need to happen. The musical numbers in the film were excellent but after the death of John Belushi the world lost the most talkative and animated of the Blues Brothers, i.e. the hardest one to replace. John Goodman, a fine actor, had some big shoes to fill and about the only thing right in the casting of the new “brothers” was none of them were actually in the role of Jake Blues. It was painfully obvious the film was just trying to send a love letter to Belushi and capture the original’s magic, but at over two hours long, there was never a single moment where it happened.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27% Rotten
The turtles are back after two decent romps as live-action characters in the theaters. This movie ended up making about double its budget but that happens when a third installment to a popular series hits theaters; everyone goes to see it, but they don’t find out how bad it is until after the fact.
The turtle costumes were the worst yet but hey, Casey Jones was back. Unfortunately, his character was relegated to playing baby-sitter to ancient Japanese warriors the turtles had switched bodies with using an ancient scepter. The turtles go back in time, paying no mind to how their actions could effect history, and even join sides with a rebel army. A time-travel tale wasn’t what people associated the turtles with and viewers were left a little confused.
8. Jason X – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20% Rotten
Jason is done with summer camps and he doesn’t feel like Manhattan was as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. Jason needs a new high. Jason needs to kill…IN SPACE. One could make the argument that once you’ve made as many sequels as the Friday the 13th series had there isn’t much else you can do besides put your main villain in space and have him kill people on a space ship. The movie isn’t particularly bad in the usual sense of the word. It’s just such a ridiculous hybrid of ideas that by the time the film is over, you aren’t sure if it actually happened or if it was just some weird, incoherent dream you had.
7. Texas Chainsaw: The Next Generation – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17% Rotten
Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger starred in this abomination before they were famous. It even had the direct involvement of Kim Henkel writing and directing, who helped write the original and others in the franchise. This is the only film Henkel ever directed and it’s pretty clear that such is the case.
There were a lot of rumors that McConaughey and Zellweger were holding the film back due to embarrassment. The film had been shelved for three years, giving them time to rise up to the ranks of A-list celebrities. This apparently was not the case, but simply an accusation made for others involved that wouldn’t accept they had made a bad film.
6. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13% Rotten
So Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez make an insanely popular film using avant garde techniques on a budget of next to nothing. Artisan studios wants to rush a sequel along at the height of the first’s popularity. Myrick and Sanchez felt it better to wait until hype dies down. Artisan boots out the creators, then goes ahead and makes a cookie cutter film that followed a popular formula at the time: a slasher about a group of obnoxious young people and members of the group are dropping like flies. Some locations were borrowed from the first film as was the “found footage” of the characters in the first. There was a rather lame and unnecessary addition of a Wiccan character and none of the creativity or scare tactics of the first were present.
The “twist” ending would have made even M. Night Shyamalan cringe.
5. Batman and Robin – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12% Rotten
This terrible sequel in a line of Batman flicks that started off spectacularly was the nail in the franchise coffin.
The Bat-suits in director Joel Schumacher’s cinematic garbage-heap were the worst yet and are infamous for having nipples added to the pecs on the outside of the suit. They were also sporting a lot of silver, which is not a good color for a character that generally hides in shadow.
Batgirl is added to the cast in this installment. Want to know how she gets the job? She finds the Bat Cave. That’s it. She finds the cave and for whatever reason Alfred had already made her a suit on the off-chance she finds it. That’s just lazy writing.
On the plus-side, this flick could be on a “funniest films of all time” list. One could watch Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze rattle off cold, ice, and snow puns all day long and it would never get old.
4. Son of the Mask – Rotten Tomatoes Score – 6% Rotten
This was a strange sequel that had little to do with the original. The entire cast of the first film was scrapped and replaced with a bunch of actors who at the time, were virtual unknowns, save for Alan Cumming. Just what was he doing in this steaming pile of…?
Son of the Mask was much more inspired by cartoons than the first and completely lost any of the remotely adult edge the first had. It was practically a children’s movie which probably shocked and disappointed a lot of theater goers expecting something more like the first. This installment was so bad that its star, Jamie Kennedy, made a whole documentary (Heckler) whining about how critics hate his comedy and Son of the Mask in particular.
3. Troll 2 – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6% Rotten
This sequel had nothing to do with the original and was actually taken from a script originally titled Goblins. The writer’s motivation for writing the script was nothing but a means to poke fun at her vegetarian friends. A group of vegetarian goblins (the word ‘troll’ isn’t used once in the film) turn the residents of Nilbog (it’s ‘goblin’ backwards! Get it?) into plants so they can eat them without feeling bad. Yes. Everyone who has ever seen the film notices the problem there.
The dialogue is strange because the director refused to allow the American actors to make the dialogue sound more American and maintained the direct from Italian translation. The acting itself was abysmal. To save money they just did an open casting call in the town they filmed in.
2. S. Darko – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0% Rotten
Once again a studio makes a sequel without the blessing of the people that made the original so good and it ended up terribly. When will studios notice the pattern here?
The one good thing about the flick is it takes place seven years after the first and uses the same actresses that played Donnie’s sister and her friend from the first film, so they were aged appropriately. Unfortunately, the S. Darko rehashed everything from the first film except for good writing and good direction. One of the best things about Donnie Darko was the peripheral characters and this film tried but fell short.
S.Darko is a cash grab and it shows.
1. Lost Boys: The Tribe – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0% Rotten
The Lost Boys (1987) was a very successful film and cult classic about young vampires taking over a coastal town in California. The new kid in town (Corey Haim) along with his brother meet the Frog brothers (one of whom was played by Corey Feldman), a couple self-proclaimed vampire hunters in a comic shop. One of the two new kids gets bitten and this is where the movie takes off. It had star power (for the time), and a great story that hadn’t been done to death in an era before teenage vampire stories were all the rage.
Skip to 2008 and someone not only thinks people want to see Corey Feldman again, but they want to essentially watch the same movie again. It’s painfully similar with a few gender swaps and other changes to minor detail. Maybe the studio thought it had been so long (21 years!) since the first installment that no one would notice? Either way, buzz stirred when The Tribe was announced but it ended up going direct-to-video.