Monday, January 24, 2011

Ten Sequels that don't suck

Today I bring you a list of Ten favorite Movie Sequels. Sort of a companion piece to Ten "Bad" sequels I love. What are your favorites?

Chucky returns - this time with help of the glorious Jennifer Tilly in this post-modern riff in the Scream era. The Results? A hilarious and inventive film that will make you forget about the lackluster sequels that came before it. 

The Brady Bunch Movie was a hard act to follow. A successful and funny film spin-off of a TV show was a rare thing. This sequel brilliantly captures everything that was right about that first film while managing to take the original series and it's characters to bizarre and very funny new places.  

You can forget The Exorcist II: The Heretic ever happened. The Exorcist III is a great companion piece to the original film. Writer William Peter Blatty's stab at directing a film in the franchise yields one very spooky movie show.

An improbable success. The film didn't do very well financially (it was distributed by fledgling independent studio Vista Organization) but it does manage to capture the charm of the original. A lot of this is due to the chemistry between it's two stars (Roddy McDowall & William Ragsdale) as well as the addition of smart babe Traci Lind (of My Boyfriend's Back) and a rag tag bunch of villains... who sometimes appear on Roller Skates and go bowling!

America's favorite ass-kicking chef is back! Seriously, Under Siege from 1992 was a great cracker-jack action/thriller with a terrific, multi-dimensional villain. This picture manages to keep the action and humor of that film going full steam ahead in a sequel that really shouldn't have been this fun. 

The Drowning Pool follows the continuing adventures of Paul Newman's private Eye Harper. The result is a rarity... A sequel that I feel is even better than the film before it. The great cast (Newman, Joanne Woodward, Tony Franciosa, Murray Hamilton) also has a very early and revealing performance by a Seventeen-year-old Melanie Griffith. 

John Carpenter & Debra Hill did a very bold thing in 1982... They took a popular franchise as Halloween into a very different direction by introducing an entirely new storyline. The film never really did catch fire with the audience or critically, but those who remember the film from their youth (I know I was scarred by the mask head melting scene) or have an appreciation of the skill of what's up on the screen (the artistry of Dean Cundey's camerawork is front and center here) are in for a treat. A creepy Halloween film that perfectly captures the holiday.

You can't keep a good Jason down. 
Jason Lives marks the proper return of America's favorite hockey masked maniac (Part V: A New Beginning with it's fake Jason storyline will never sit well with me) Director Tom McLaughlin (of the excellent One Dark Night) adds a good deal of humor and gothic qualities to this sequel and breaths much new life into the series. Every film in the franchise after that point never quite measured up. Jason Lives is what a 'Friday' film should be: a ton of mindless fun.

Joe Dante, the filmmaker with an encyclopedic knowledge of film, takes the idea of a sequel to wacky new heights. The New Batch is a nutty, free-for-all that is full of homages and nods to Cinema and Television past. A total blast. 

 I'll make this easy. The reason why this sequel rules in two words: Pam Grier.

Coming Soon: Part 2 - The Sequel's Revenge


Hans A. said...

What's up, CdMeep?

All of my favorite sequels have direct-to-video written all over them.

Vampires: Los Muertos--Jon Bon Jovi, Darius McCrary, and Natasha Gregson Wagner in a sequel far better than it should be.

Starship Troopers 2--this is one is much lower-budget than Verhoeven's original but it's totally different, like a haunted house movie. Doesn't top the original but it's a lot of fun. ST3 is a thinly-veiled remake of the first one and not that great.

Pumpkinhead 2--this one's directed by Jeff Burr who also directed Stepfather 2 and Leatherface: TCM 3. They're all pretty fun. Again Pumpkinhead 2 is much lower in budget than the original but a lot more fun.

The two Poison Ivy sequels are fun with Alyssa Milano and Jaime Pressely, respectively.

By the way, I like your list and agree with a lot of your picks. The only thing I disagree with is Fright Night 2. While I really enjoy it also, Chris Sarandon's absence is really felt. Always enjoy your writing and hope all is well.

Andrew Green said...

Totally agree on Gremlins 2....
Great idea for a post.

J.D. said...

I totally agree with ya on HALLOWEEN III, such an underrated gem of a film. Another sequel fave, DRACULA II: ASCENSION, which I thought was way better than its predecessor and followed up by an even better sequel, DRACULA III: LEGACY.

Jack Veasey said...

I love your list and all the movies on it. I'm kind of surprised "Seed Of Chucky" wasn't up there with its predecessor --it was hilarious, full of surprises, and made even better use of Jennifer Tilly. And the cameo by John Waters was worth the price of admission all by itself.

Cinema Du Meep said...

Hans-- Thanks! I'll have to check out some of your favorite sequels as well.

Andrew-- Someone needs to hire Joe Dante right now. It's a crime that his films can't get a distribution in the US.

J.D.-- I've always passed those up. I'll have to check them out now. Thanks!

Jack-- Seed Of Chucky is also a total hoot.

Yum-Yum said...

Hard to believe, but A Very Brady Sequel is probably my fave sequel out of all the flicks you mentioned. What can I say? I loves me some Jan Brady.

A copy of the elusive Fright Night 2 DVD is going for 160 bucks on Spare some change? ;)

Maynard Morrissey said...

totally agree on Exorcist III, one of my favorite horror flicks and IMO waaaaaay better than the overrated original

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