This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
It’s the golden rule of Hollywood: if it works once, it’ll work again. Or: if it worked once, it’s probably worth trying to see if it works again, just in case.
Each and every film that does well at the box office will start producers thinking about possible sequels – and a lot of them will eventually get made. Sometimes they’re better than the original (The Dark Knight, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and sometimes they’re worse (most of the others), but occasionally they come out without anyone even realizing…
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr (2009)
There’s nothing particularly high concept about Ace Ventura – he’s a PI who looks for missing animals. What made the first two films work, for better or worse, was Jim Carrey, and swapping him for awkwardly unfunny child star Josh Fitter just left us with a made for TV dud about a kid doing the “alrighty then” catchphrase about as well as every other kid could in 1995.
The problem was, the film was actually made in 2009, when everyone who loved the original Ace had forgotten he was once a thing.
Splash, Too (1988)
The sequel to 1984’s Splash was produced by Disney and picked up right where the original left off. Hanks for hire Todd Waring (who also played his character in the TV version of Nothing In Common) plays Allen, and Amy Yasbeck doubles for Daryl Hannah’s mermaid Madison as the pair decide to return to New York to help out the family business.
The film starts off harmlessly enough but then ruins the memory of the original by having Madison decide to remain on dry land at the end. Instead of living with Allen in a magical underwater kingdom, she chooses to be a housewife in the suburbs.
I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006)
After I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, the producers must have been running out of titles. Masquerading as a sequel, the film is actually a reboot – with a new bunch of sexy college kids running away from a hook-wielding maniac after accidentally killing someone.
Interestingly, the evil fisherman was played by the same guy who played Michael Myers in Halloween 5 (Don Shanks), and the film was the directorial debut of Sylvain White, who’s currently taking flack for Slenderman.
Carlito’s Way: Rise To Power (2005)
You have to admire the ambition of director Michael Bregman. His dad (Martin) produced the original film – directed by Brian De Palma, starring Al Pacino – so he decided to make his own prequel. Luis Guzmán signed on to play a different character and Puff Daddy joined the cast as real life drug kingpin Nicky Barnes, but Pacino was swapped out for Jay Hernandez (El Diablo in Suicide Squad). He might not have had Pacino’s range, but at least he is actually Latino.
The Birds II: Land’s End (1994)
In the famous last shot of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds, Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor slowly drive away from Bodega Bay as the birds begin to take over. Thirty years later, the birds fly off to a remote East Coast island to terrorise another grieving couple – pretty much rehashing the exact same plot from the first film. Hedren gets a cameo, not playing the same character, and director Rick Rosenthal used the official pseudonym of “Alan Smithee” in an attempt to disown it. Sorry Rick.
Easy Rider: The Ride Back (2012)
Easy Rider is a landmark of American independent cinema – a counterculture classic. Easy Rider: The Ride Back is not. The passion project of the very Tommy Wiseau-esque Dustin Rikert, the film tries hard to undo everything the first film stood for. It’s still about bikers (sort of), but Rikert clumsily delves into history of Peter Fonda’s character to drive home a conservative agenda with some of the most unintentionally hilarious dialogue since The Room. Stoners will love it. Or not.
The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
Since the first film ends with Carrie’s arm bursting out of the grave, a sequel about a telekinetic teenage zombie would have been a great idea for a movie. Unfortunately, The Rage is actually all about Carrie’s long lost half-sister, Rachel, who ends up doing pretty much what Carrie did in 1976 – but with a lot more sex and violence. Emily Bergl is the only good thing in the film, playing Rachel before going on to minor roles in Blue Jasmine, Shameless, and American Crime.
American Psycho II: All American Girl (2002)
“Angrier, deadlier, sexier” reads the poster, probably echoing whatever was said in the pitch meeting when someone first proposed a sequel to Mary Harron’s classic yuppie-horror starring Christian Bale. The premise is actually pretty good – uniting the two plots by having the new protagonist (played by Mila Kunis in a role she definitely doesn’t put on her CV anymore) meet Patrick Bateman as a child, watching him eviscerate her babysitter. Growing up a little bit loopy, she becomes a serial killer herself and goes on a new spree. It’s pretty awful, but it does have William Shatner in it.
S. Darko (2009)
“I hate it when people ask me about that sequel because I had nothing to do with it,” says Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly. “And I hate it when people try and blame me or hold me responsible for it because I had no involvement. I hate when people ask me about that because I’ve never seen it and I never will, so… don’t ask me about the sequel.”
Kelly understandably has a lot of hate for Chris Fisher’s Darko cash-in about Donnie’s sister, trying hard to make something esoteric and original (and desperately trying to kick-start a franchise), but instead slapping Kelly, returning star Daveigh Chase, and millions of emo fans in the face.
Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)
Everyone knows about Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. Most people know of the ill-advised Home Alone 3. Some have even changed channels to avoid Home Alone 4. But very few will remember the fifth in the series – especially if they’ve ever seen it. Unknown tyke Christian Martyn plays the new Kevin, another kid who gets stuck by himself at Christmas and has to fight off a gang of home invaders using marbles and Micro Machines. Weirdly, Malcolm McDowell signed on to play one of the crooks – representing a career low in the film that might, finally, have actually killed off the series.