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Shitty Sequels IV: Shit Floats

SYT – Shitty Young Thing. Shitty in Pink. Sex and the Shitty… There are too many puns.

Last time – here, here, and here – the shittiest of shitty sequels were named and shamed for all to mock. Or protest in the name of. Or avoid. Whatever. Now, we’re back again, but will it be the end? Will the sequels ever be stopped!?

No.

Boogeyman 3 (2008)

First up is an odd one, for the original Boogeyman - barely a slasher film, barely a HORROR film when you think about it – was dire. Really, really bad. The stuff of CG-coated nightmares. Then came that sequel and almost everything about it was right. Thus, high(ish) hopes were set on the third outing, in which the Boogeyman invades a college dorm and the hysteria created by the deaths of collegiate teens amplifies his presence blah blah… Nice idea, cheap ass outcome. One of those films where hardly anything occurs outside of the studio set, so it’s rendered boring as hell. Miles ahead of the original, but this is one college course it will surely flunk.

*

 ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

Tie this one with The Collection for heinous back-pedaling and re-branding, as the straight up killer-chases-girl shenanigans of the entertaining first film are tossed aft and replaced with some franchise-hungry conspiracy of bloodthirsty rich people nonsense that was already done and dusted in Hostel. And Turistas. And Paintball. And any number of other films where those wish means pay to watch young hotties cut up for their perverse pleasure. Danielle Harris’ cameo and a couple of familiar faces notwithstanding, just an ugly, depressing outing.

*

Wrong Turn 5 (2012)

Wrong Turn 3 featured on an earlier edition of Shitty Sequels; the fourth film was a marginal improvement and I guess we all naively hoped that with the announcement of a sequel-to-the-prequel would continue to claw back the credibility of the original 2003 film.

No. Wrong Turn 5 makes the Child’s Play franchise look like a mature observation of a childhood disrupted by unfortunate external circumstances. Ludicrous situations, film sets that resemble dolls’ houses, high-pitched giggling killers, Pinhead! Just get a SatNav.

*

The Graveyard (2006)

Unofficially, the third film in the Bloody Murder ‘series’, this one starts anew to some degree, with a past-event trauma that sees Puck from Glee impaled on a rusty piece of railing. X years later, the surviving friends reunite at Camp Placid Pines where they are picked off one by one by a vengeful killer.

As with Boogeyman, this was a ‘series’ where the first one sucked harder than a meth-starved hooker, but was saved in part by a vastly superior and fun sequel, only for it all to go to shit all over again with this inspid third, and so far final, entry. Bury it and salt the ground so it can never grow back.

*

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

And we save the most laughable  for last… News that Kim Henkel was going to breathe life back into his keepsake series was met with hope. Hope that was dashed, and then sawn to pieces by the arrival of this truly horrific excuse for a reboot, that incorporates apparent time-travel, characters who fail to age, blink-quick empathy, and no trace of irony as characters make all the mistakes we thought they’d quit making back in 1988.

 

 

Shitty Sequels III: Cash Cows Forever

Take me down to the sequel city where the grass is green but the films are shitty…

…and I keep watching them like a dick.

Previously – here and here to be specific – we looked at an array of cruddy slasher movie follow-ups over the years. There will always be sequels and some sequels will always be shitty. Hence, round three…

Ripper 2: Letters from Within (2004)

The original Ripper movie in 2001 was divisive enough but I liked it quite a bit. Sure, it’s as flawed as any other collegiate body count film of its era you care to dip-check, but when compared to this truly dreadful sequel, it’s practically Halloween.

Retconning much of the foundations laid by the first one – a lot of which was never fully resolved anyway – carry-over character Molly (now played by Eric Karpluk) is packed off to a European castle for some deep dream therapy and some cloaked-hulk is somehow awakened by these experiments and offs her fellow nubile residents.

Whether this character is supposed to be some incarnation of Jack the Ripper is another question for the blackboard and the only certainty in the whole project is that the film sucks.

A friend of mine auditioned for a small role (one which I could never identify in the finished product) and, to date, it doesn’t seem to have reached distribution in the UK almost a decade after it was made.

Jason X (2001)

I, for one, don’t actually mind this deca-sequel, but it’s clearly crap.

Produced somewhere between 1999 and its long-delayed release, the idea of ‘Jason in space’ might have seemed funny but once it finally got out there, it was clear nobody got the joke and it’s the only film in the whole Friday the 13th canon to have not even broken even at the US box office.

A combination of timing and content is to blame (what else is there?): Scream and the cycle of big-studio slasher films was already over and out by the time the release date for JX crawled around (I remember Valentine and D-Tox (another delayed one) were released earlier in the year to negative reviews) people were sick of slasher movies all over again and poor ol’ Jay barely got a look in.

Otherwise, the film is neither funny enough nor scary enough, seemingly a recurrent theme in writer Todd Farmer’s horror scripts.

Thankfully, he would get another shot two years later battling Freddy Krueger, a film where, in box office terms, they got most things right.

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2001)

No, not a sequel to that schmaltzy Michael Keaton snowman comedy, but to a B-movie of the same name featuring a serial killer who, after getting into an accident with a truck carrying various chemicals, becomes a murderous snowman and takes revenge on the small town where he was captured.

Full of goofy dialogue and sub-Chucky one-liners, the film is amusing enough on a make-fun-if-it level (tagline: “He’s chillin’ and killin'”). This follow up, however, is the as much fun as a sudden attack of diarrhoea in a traffic jam.

Relocating to a tropical island (!?), the titular snowman follows returning actor Chris Allport (also seen in Savage Weekend way back in ’76) and wife on holiday to kill various schmucks. A Tremors sequel-like life cycle element sees small fluffy balls representing baby-Jack Frosts highlights how cheap and rubbish things have become. Ideas about a possible Jack Frost 3 have, thankfully, melted away.

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992)

I really like Maniac Cop. Tom Atkins! Bruce Campbell is a straight role! Fast paced and high body counted – it’s a great little 80s flick. Maniac Cop 2 carried over the surviving characters and was entertaining enough. The third film though… shoulda been called Bride of Maniac Cop.

Big-faced Robert Z’Dar respectably returns to the role of undead zombie cop Matt Cordell once more after some religious nut resurrects him for no apparent reason. He falls in love with a devoted girl-cop, who has been set up by the media as a Cordell-like super villain. His resolve? To kill! kill! kill! them all!

While more in the slasher mold than MC2, this is one of those explicit cash-in productions that exists for almost no reason. But it’s still better than Jack Frost 2. And Ripper 2.

AND ANOTHER SHITTY SEQUEL I LOVE:

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

I’m sorry. Really, I am. What can I say? I enjoy it.

Killing Jamie Lee Curtis aside. Busta Rhymes inept acting aside. Tyra Banks thankless and wasted cameo aside. Most ridiculous un-doing of previous movie’s finale ever seen on film aside. I still enjoy Resurrection.

In the ‘for’ column – slim-pickings though they are – there’s a good cast outside of Rhymes. Katee Sachoff in a pre-Battlestar Gallactica appearance; the adorable Sean Patrick Thomas; American Pie player Thomas Ian Nicholas; Alicia Witt-lite Daisy McCrackin from cruddy DVD flick A Crack in the Floor.

The zeitgeist reality TV plot prevents the film from aging well and if that could’ve been removed as an obstacle this might have worked better as an earlier sequel, say between number six and H20. There was internet chatter about what was going to be Halloween 9 (before mainstay Moustapha Akkad was killed in a terrorist attack) might include the revelation that final girl Sara (Bianca Kajlich – what happened to her?) turning out to be Jamie Lloyd! Could’ve been a good way of undoing some of the hurt H20 caused when it pretended the interim films never happened.

All in all, it sucks as a Halloween film, but it’s an enjoyable, well made slasher movie beyond that.

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Revenge of the Return of the Son of Shitty Sequels

Here we go again on our oooown… Going down the only road we’ve ever knoooown… To movie hell.

Last time we took a look at some of the crappiest sequels. This time, well it wouldn’t be a sequel to a thing about sequels if it wasn’t just more of the same old same old. Enjoyomento!

Children of the Corn: Genesis (2011)cotcgenesis-2

After the horrible, horrible, horrible 2009 TV version of the original Stephen King yarn, I was glad to hear that Dimension were planning to re-ignite their largely “debuting on DVD” franchise. Until I watched it.

Genesis could be, in an ideal world, just the necessary evil to reboot things. A young city couple find themselves stranded in the Californian desert and end up bunking with a freaky couple who lock their kid in an outhouse.

The cover has Dimension Extreme on it. The only extremity is how freakin’ BORING this film is. Almost nothing happens for the whole run time; there’s a drawn out dream sequence and re-used footage from Bad Boys II of all things. Far and away the worst COTC movie.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

Freddy Krueger has a lot to answer for. Not least of all this ambitious but frankly lame in-name-only video sequel to the death n’ disco Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween knock-off in 1980.

Still set at Hamilton High (which looks entirely different), bitchy unfaithful prom queen Mary Lou Maloney is burnt to death after being crowned at her 1957 formal. Thirty years later, her spirit is released by the heroine who is subsequently possessed and a few people die: bitchy rivals, suicidal punk chicks, horny jocks and the men responsible for Mary Lou’s death. Most memorable bit is when a girl hides in a locker that literally squishes her.

Prom Night III is, however, vastly more entertaining.

Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)

Freddy is also to blame for this bizarre headfuck of a sequel, in which a girl rock band vacation at a condo where they are haunted and hunted by the ghost of a 50s rock star-cum-driller killer.

Sod all happens for the scant 77 minute running time and when it does, it’s fractured by stupid attempts at comedy and even a couple of musical numbers. This couldn’t look more 80s if it tried: the hair, the clothes, the (non-50s) music… Even the photography has that grainy Saturday afternoon chop show feel to it.

A good cast with a few familiar genre faces is wasted.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Chainsaw series – I’m even pretty indifferent the original. So watching the first attempt at ‘rebooting’ the series (by original writer Kim Henkel) in the 90s after the pretty dismal original two sequels, I naively hoped the presence of both Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey might be some sign of a quality boost.

It’s not. Instead, Leatherface spends his screen time in drag whilst McConaughey’s performance borders on camp and the whole thing is riddles with continuity issues. Word is the 2012 3D movie is yet another attempt to reignite the series.

Perhaps take the hint people…

AND THE SHITTY SEQUEL I LOVE:

The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1983)

Wes Craven claims he ‘needed the money’ when he agreed to make a sequel to his 1977 balls-to-the-wall siege flick. Evidently uninspired, he pretty much churned out a third-generation Xerox of Friday the 13th, with a literal bus full of teenagers stranded at an old ranch where they fall victim to the last surviving cannibals from the first movie.

This is a movie so rubbish that it’s padded by a flashback that a DOG has! The blind and psychic heroine delivers hilarious lines a-plenty and Kevin Blair (later to be a Friday final boy) hams it as the male lead.

Not that any of it matters, it’s not remotely boring and is much more fun than both the 2006 remake and its sequel (which Craven also had a hand in) and ranks as one of my real guilty pleasures.

DVD D.O.A.: Shitty Sequels

The law of diminishing returns rules hard in horrordom; sequels almost always gradually degrade in a nice neat arc.

See?

Though every now and then there’s a nice kink in the drop off (Friday VI, Elm Street 3, Halloween 4)… Those aside, let’s whatever-the-opposite-of-celebrate-is (mourn?) the sequels that NEVER should’ve happened…

I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006)

This sensationally dumb third entry in the I Know What You Did saga abandoned Jennifer Love Hewitt and her substantial cleavage for pastures new.

Colorado. Lots of slicker-clad fishermen found round there.

A quartet of teens whose prank went askew are literally haunted by the killer Fisherman who turns out to be a ghost.

It’s cheap, offensively simplistic and actually has a couple of surplus characters who could’ve been great mystery killers. But no. A fucking urban legend ghost outcome fills a gap in the script so huge and sucksome that it threatens to pull the whole of existence through it.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

In spite of a so-so idea at its core, nobody wants Halloween III. It’s the Smelly Cat of the Halloween series. It’s Andrew Ridgeley. It’s that guy who left the Backstreet Boys. It’s the fat one from Wilson Phillips*.

An eeeeeevil toymaker creates masks that kill their pre-pubescent owners when activated by the insanity-inducing Silver Shamrock advert and it’s FUCKING HORRIBLE TUNE.

“Three more days to Halloween, Halloween, Halloween…” Aaaarrgghhh!!!

Michael Myers was NEEDED to come and kill whoever came up with that.

What mystifies me more is that when they released the first Halloween DVD box, they omitted Halloween 6 but not this one, even though it has fuck all to do with MM (apart from being seen on a TV screen in an almost-bemusing post-modern manoeuvre).

“The” Final Destination (2009)

Sometimes, people should know when to stop.

Even the artwork for this instalment shows that the franchise was less about characters and more about death by this point, about as far removed from the original concept as possible.

In this one – supposed to be the last word at the time – a retread of Final Destination 2‘s pile-up occurs at a Texas racetrack, leaving a quartet of thoroughly boring ‘teenagers’ (none of whom have parents, jobs, occupations) to stand by while a string of strangers meet grim ends before Death comes knockin’ at their door.

It’s crass, suspiciously cheap-looking and about as deep as a kids’ paddling pool, but also packs a mean streak that has several ‘characters’ who aren’t even given names and it doesn’t matter how nice you might be, something undeservedly nasty is going to happen to you.

The silver lining is that Final Destination 5 was a vast improvement. And it had the awesome ‘Devour’ by Shinedown on it.

American Psycho II: All-American Girl (2002)

Time for a shot of plain weirdness. This made-for-DVD sequel posits that Mila Kunis is a bigger sociopath than Patrick Bateman ever was and actually stabbed him to death after he killed her babysitter years before.

Masquerading as a co-ed, she enrols in a criminology course taught by – smirk – William Shatner and proceeds to kill anyone who stands between her and getting to Quantico.

The tagline “Angrier. Deadlier. Sexier.” pretty much tells you all you need to know: this is nothing more than a moronic attempt to wring some sleaze out of the cult phenomenon of Brett Easton Ellis’ original novel.

Kunis is clearly embarrassed to have been a part of it, but not as embarrassed as you’ll be watching it.

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)

This should really have been called Wrong Turn 3: How to Lose All Sense of Credibility in 3 Easy Films.

Wrong Turn 2 may have played for gory laughs but at least it remained interesting and partially invested in its own universe of backwoods inbreds killing cityfolk for grub but the following entry is just the bastard offspring of outsourced cheapness.

There’s only two cannibal loons this time, both looking more rubbery than ever before as they hunt down a group of convicts whose bus went off the road in West Virginia Bulgaria.

Awful reliance on crappy looking CGI, 100% unsympathetic characters and acting out of an infomercial with added profanity and a couple of T&A shots. A box-ticking exercise if ever there was one and Wrong Turn 4 looks to be even worse.

Stay tuned for more sequels from hell. Hang on, that means I’ll be creating my OWN sequel to this… Hopefully it won’t suck nearly as hard.

* I liked all of Wilson Phillips – including Carnie.

Rankfest: Children of the Corn

I’m pretty sure OneRepublic found influence for their international hit Stop and Stare in the Children of the Corn films, as there’s a whooooole lot of that going on. Staring. Kids in creepy clothes with dork-ass names like Jedidiah and Mortichai. Always staring.

At the of writing I haven’t ‘experienced’ Children of the Corn: Runaway (2018), but I’ve not read a whole lot of positive, so I’ll get back to y’all on that.

*

9th best: Genesis (2011)

children of the corn genesis

Holy House Plants, this reboot stinks! A budget south of the cost of renting the car in which a young couple drive to become stranded – almost nothing happens for the entire run time of the movie and it re-uses car chase footage from fucking Bad Boys II.

*

8th: Children of the Corn (2009)

children of the corn 2009

For all the critical rocks pitched at the 1984 original, it’s at least nowhere near as boring as this made-for-TV more ‘faithful’ adaptation of King’s short story (which was way shorter than I ever thought). Burt and Vicky are drawn as horrendous people, so why not cheer on the Children? Because they suck just as hard, especially the 8-year-old playing Isaac, who can barely fill his oversized hat, let alone the shoes of John Franklin.

*

7th: Isaac’s Return (1999)

children of the corn 666 isaac's return

COTC‘s H20 moment: Isaac didn’t die after all and has just been in a coma all this time! So when the daughter of his and Rachel (the girl in the church) turns up looking for info about her past and Isaac wakes up, the usual occurs. Notable only for He Who Walks Behind the Rows appearing in human form, but almost nothing else.

*

6th: Revelation (2001)

children of the corn revelation

 Claudette Mink goes to visit grandma, who has (very recently) disappeared. Various residents of the same housing complex start falling victim to the glarey children hanging around the locale. A few familiar faces from low-end horror and not terrible production quality, but nothing new is brought to the table either. Corn with corn it is, then.

*

5th: Urban Harvest (1995)

children of the corn iii

Brothers Joshua and Eli are Gatlin orphans fostered by an LA couple. Eli brings with him a few cobs, which he plants in a lot behind the house and goes about corrupting his high school classmates. Notable for Chalize Theron appearing as an extra and the world’s cheapest looking monster.

*

4th: The Gathering (1996)

children of the corn iv

Naomi Watts goes home to stay with unhinged mom, Karen Black, and her younger siblings, when the kids in town start getting sick and killing their parents. It’s remarkable how many future stars started off battling these brats.

*

3rd: Fields of Terror (1998)

children of the corn 5

And now Eva Mendes’ turn to go up against homicidal little shits as she and buddies break down outside of town where a cult convinces people to jump into a silo, Eva included. Despite its undeniable naffness, there’s a sense of late-90s fun to it all and nobody looks to be taking it too seriously. Eyes peeled for Kane Hodder as a barman.

*

2nd: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

children of the corn ii

The only legitimate direct sequel to the events of Gatlin sees the orphaned kiddies sent to temporarily live with the good folks of neighbouring Hemingford, where people soon start dying all over again. Death by hijacked electric wheelchair, the nosebleed from hell, and a cute send up of The Wizard of Oz are highlights.

*

The Best One: Children of the Corn (1984)

children of the corn 1984

It may not have been wanted Stephen King wanted – he likened the experience to sending his daughter off to college with high hopes only for her to do drugs and get raped – but it’s clearly the best of its series, with offbeat performances from John Franklin as Isaac, and Courtney Gains, as Malichai. Uneven, sure, but still a bit creepy.

*

So, objectively, none of these films are ‘good’, but a few of them have some cheesy rewatchability if nothing else. Anyone for a OneRepublic sing-along while we chomp some Green Giant?

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