One thing I’ve learned from doing an entire month of lists is that they are significantly more difficult and time consuming than a straight-up review. Not that I’m complaining. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you 6 misguided souls who regularly seem to read the rantings of this bitter, broken-down ol’ hack. Plus lists can be a good deal of fun, especially when one happens upon a topic that might be just a little outta the ordinary.
Sadly, this is not such a topic though, in fact, I’m surprised I haven’t done this kinda sequel list before. And currently it is a topic that is suddenly near and dear to my heart for reasons that will become obvious once we get to #1. So stick around to the end (or just scroll there directly if you’re one of those types). Really, what better way to end as auspicious an occasion as The Final List Of CatalAugust than with a surprise announcement?
#7 Troll II
Right outta the gate I gotta point out that some things stand out for all the wrong reasons. Sure ya gotcher Ed Woods, your Manos: The Hands Of Fates, your Giant Claws, your Forrest Gumps. But it’s a rare star indeed that luminesces as brightly in the dark Bad Movie Sky as Troll II. It’s not an actual Troll sequel for one thing. Just like Fulci’s Zombie was not any kind of George Romero sequel. But at least Fulci was still firmly planted in a zombieverse. Troll II’s Claudio Fragasso doesn’t even do that much since Troll II ain’t about trolls, but rather goblins. Just gets better & better from there gang.
I’ve posted about this underrated, overlooked gem before, but it still deserves a spot on this list. It’s said that Carpenter’s original idea was for the Halloween franchise to embrace a number of different kinds of stories. I even saw a rumor once that the masks were designed to have some kind of tie-in with Michael Myers. Anyway, I think this movie got and continues to get short shrift, so here it stays.
This movie has something very much in common with another just a bit further ahead on this list, and that’s the fact that it mercilessly stomps the original into the ground. Maniac Cop II is arguably the strongest movie in the series despite having Bruce Campbell’s significant role in the original. In Part I, Cordell is mostly but not entirely brain dead and therefore technically alive. In the sequel, he is inexplicably now undead. This is never clarified in any satisfactory way which, for some reason, doesn’t bother me. At all.
#4 Psycho II
By now, you poor things are probably sick to death of my calling back to this movie again and again, but it remains one of my favorites. And while it most assuredly does not achieve anything near a Hitchcock level of greatness, it’s still a nifty little noirish whodunnit slasher with a nice twist at the end and one of the greatest lines in cinematic history.
#3 The Devil’s Rejects
Huge Rob Zombie fan, so much so that for a while I thought that when I finally end up with another cat, I’d rename it Zombie regardless of what its name is. I love his music, his movies, his general demeanor, his movie knowledge, hell all kindsa thangs. My point is, I’m not tryin’ to piss on House Of 1000 Corpses by any means. It’s a good movie, a solid movie. But holy crap did Zombie ever outdo himself with the sequel. He plugged in those same characters and cranked up the voltage well past the “keep the T-Rex inside Jursassic Park” level. For sure the standout of the trilogy.
Speaking of Rob Zombie, his Halloween remakes took a great deal of crap. I’ve never been sure why. I loved them. I liked the backstory and character development, but all that’s another list for another time. But even more than Zombie’s take, I love what Green did with his 2018 sequel. Let’s start with erasing everything that happened between the end of Carpenter’s orginal Halloween and the beginning of Green’s. Hell yes please! Let’s go on to make Laurie Strode a paranoid victim of trauma, and this movie becomes as much about her as it is about him.
Beware! The Blob, Return Of The Living Dead, Shock Treatment
#1 Evil Dead II
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that this is not my favorite sequel in movie terms. But the reason it’s #1 comes down to one simple word: Groovy. It’s become another one of those iconic movie moments and quotes.
“But, benevolent overlord of Castle Blogferatu,” you’re saying, “how is that enough to afford Evil Dead II such exalted status?” It’s a fair question, and in response, let me introduce you to Groovy, Castle Blogferatu’s newest resident and head of vermin control.
I brought this little guy home from a local place called The Catnip Cat Cafe. They work with a few different shelters getting mainly adult cats adopted. You can go to the cafe and spend a time with the approximately 20 furballs in residence, all of which are adoption-ready.
The day I went, there were also a couple shrieky toddlers, and this guy jumped up next to me on a couch and gave off some powerful “God damn kids. I’m stayin’ away from that shit” vibes—a bonding moment if ever there was one. His name at the shelter really was Groovy, and I decided to adopt him and his name. Cuz Evil Dead II. Plus, black cats, right? Seemed like destiny.
Told ya there was a surprise.