Generally, I don’t feel one way or the other about sequels. Sometimes a franchise can have an effective run. The Lethal Weapon series comes to mind. Sometimes the sequel kicks the immortal piss out of the original, as Road Warrior did to Mad Max.
But then, sigh, Friday The 13th, Halloween, Hellraiser, Indiana Jones, Nightmare On Elm Street. The list of franchises that crashed and burned and/or drifted into self parody is far too long. All too often, we end up with at least one disaster at some point. And every now and again, a sequel comes along that is so far beyond bad that it mercifully comes and goes to no notice.
Or almost no notice.
Because there are people like me around. We seek them out, these monuments to schlock. We watch them (and, admittedly, love them more than we should). We do this so you won’t have to. It’s a public service, really. A kind of hospitality, and as you’ll see, “You can’t piss on hospitality.”
The Hidden 2– There is much I don’t understand about this movie, namely why Michael Nouri wasn’t in it. His character from The Hidden is still wandering around with the benevolent alien inhabiting his body, only their, uh, relationship hasn’t ended up being quite as graciously symbiotic as one might hope. The mere presence of the alien in his body has somewhat dissipated Beck physically and mentally. So why not use the same actor who would have literally aged from 1987 to 1993 as well?
Night Of The Creeps 2: Zombie Town– It’s hard to determine whether this is a sequel or a ripoff. If it’s not a bona fide sequel, then it fairly well plagiarized the premise of the original along with a key scene or two (bathroom, all I’m sayin’). This could be why it was retitled and reissued. In fact, an idea or two probably got lifted from Slugs as well. Anyway, given the gratuitously wide open ending, Night Of The Creeps screamed, “Sequel!” And it coulda been great. It coulda picked up right where the original left off, with either ending. Detective Cameron could have survived, returning to rain down two-fisted, skin-grafted vengeance on the alien Slurpie* menace. But it’s this, is it?
*(“Slurpie?” you ask. Why, just click here, true believer)
Scanners 2: The New Order– Again, so much that could have happened right where Scanners left off. Scanners 2, though, was intended as a standalone story. I don’t get this. How do you have a truly standalone story predicated on a specific mutation established by a previous film? Even the cause, Ephemerol, is the same. Still, the acting isn’t terrible, especially not compared to other titles on this list (Yes, Troll and Sleepaway Camp sequels, you’re getting side-eye). To be fair, the opening arcade scene is cool. Ish. And there is some splatterific head blasting worthy of Cronenberg (maybe even Beast Within). Otherwise, the storyline exists pretty much as a vehicle by which to move from one Scanner attack/showdown to the next.
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers– Even though I’ve seen Sleepaway Camp numerous times, there is just no way to fully prepare for the big reveal. That final look on Angela’s face (along with some dementedly genius sound design) still gives me shudders. Cut. Print. We are done! That’s where it should have stopped. There is no way to add to or improve on this. Now, fair play to Return To Sleepaway Camp, a fine effort to be sure. But that’s not the sequel in question here. No, we’re talking about Sleepaway Camp II which not only tried to capitalize on the original, not only failed miserably to do so, but most egregiously of all, also attempted to go for some yuks (where it also went belly up like a dead carp). What did I expect from “Unhappy Campers?”
Troll 2– We’ll end at the high-water mark. I tried to stick to sequels people maybe didn’t know were out there or flat out avoided. Troll 2, however, is so phenomenally bad that it has developed a truly impressive cult following. Second, Troll 2 isn’t even a sequel, but a marketing ploy to capitalize on people’s familiarity with Troll (which is something I also have to wonder about since Troll, unlike The Hidden, Scanners, hell even Night Of The Creeps, was already not great). Third, no trolls. Goblins. In the town of Nilbog (yeah just let that one sink in a minute). Probably no news flash, but there’s even a documentary about Troll 2 called The Best Worst Movie (exponentially more watchable than the movie it’s about).
Oh well. “You can’t piss on hospitality.”
True in Nilbog. True in life.