Doesn’t it sometimes seem that some movie writers and producers get together, drink too many drinks and go through too many piles of drugs, and conclude, “Hey, let’s go make a sequel to that great movie that we put out before our grown children were born”?
One of Hollywood’s quirks is how it will breathlessly chase a trend, even when it makes zero sense to do so. While it might seem that a movie like, say, Se7en wrapped things up reasonably well, but you can’t fault studio bigwigs for wanting more of that filthy “people who want to see Gwyneth Paltrow re-decapitated” lucre. Sometimes, though, that wave has long crashed, and yet those maniac scribes in Tinseltown persist anyway, decades after the fact. The results?
Kindergarten Cop 2
Hollywood knows “brawny guys and cute kids” is a foolproof formula, and has repeated it in blockbusters like The Pacifier, The Tooth Fairy, and Kindergarten Cop, the film that gave us the timeless tradition of asking people who their daddies are and what they do. By 2016, 26 years after the original KC debuted, they had apparently run out of convoluted situations in which to pair the Rock with a preschool class, so they dusted off their time machines to unearth ’80s Swedish relic Dolph Lundgren.
Considering Lundgren’s credentials, kindergarten seems a little insulting, but we guess Organic Chem TA Cop doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Lundgren plays Agent Reed, who is tasked with retrieving a missing flash drive that contains the names of people under federal witness protection, which somehow requires him to pose as a kindergarten teacher. It involves a scene in which he holds up a Twix-hogging vending machine at gunpoint, just to drive home how ill-suited he is for all of his careers.
Then again, anyone bogarting a Twix deserves what they get.
Lundgren was initially reluctant to take the role because he was anxious about not living up to Schwarzenegger’s legacy, which is understandable. The original netted a whole six stars on IMDb, more than Lundgren has gotten in all of his movies combined. In the end, he may not have outmuscled Mr. Olympia’s performance, but Ivan Drago killed the line-dancing competition. Just like he killed Apollo Creed!
‘Jarhead 2 & 3’ Followed A Bleak Tale With Explosion-Filled Extravaganzas
was based on a real-life account of the crushing boredom and extreme conditions experienced by soldiers in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. It’s poignant, harrowing, and above all dismal as hell. Then Jarhead 2 and Jarhead 3 went direct to video (and also full Michael Bay).
They couldn’t have gone any further off the mark if they had Toby Keith mowing down terrorists with a minigun in one hand and baby Jesus in the other. Whereas a major point of the original was that our hero never fought any enemies, the protagonist of 2014’s Jarhead 2 gets into gunfights fairly regularly. (They even tried to insert some comic relief in #3 courtesy of everyone’s favorite lost boy, Rufio.) It’s like if you took the film Beaches, kept the beach, but then turned it into an action film wherein Bette Midler seeks to cure her friend’s cancer by killing a bunch of terrorists.
Actually, we take it back, that sounds rad as hell. (Call us, Bette!)
Sharon Stone Sued To Make ‘Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction’ 14 Years After The First One
In 2006’s Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction, Sharon Stone reprises her role as femme fatale Catherine Tramell, who finds herself under investigation after crashing a speeding car into the River Thames while using a heavily drugged soccer star as a sex toy. That was the stroke of brilliance that had to be committed to celluloid an astonishing 14 years after the release of Basic Instinct. There were teens who snuck into this movie, unaware that they had been conceived during a showing of the first one.
Sadly, that will likely not be the case for any upcoming installments, as the rest of the movie features a cat-and-hamster game with her court-appointed psychiatrist, played with blank-faced stoicism by a horrendously miscast David Morrissey, who can be seen visibly counting the minutes until quitting time in every scene he’s in.
What, they couldn’t get Newman back or something?
How did this happen? Well, the first Basic Instinct raked in truckloads of slightly moist dollars, so producers quickly made plans for a sequel, but a troubled pre-production meant that co-star Michael Douglas and director Paul Verhoeven declined to return. They struggled to find a replacement for Douglas, with Viggo Mortensen, Kurt Russell, and Benicio del Toro all wisely passing on the role. Even Aaron Eckhart turned down $6 million to do it, and his best options at the time included “guest-starring on Frasier.”
It gradually became clear that the moment had passed, and work on the sequel stopped. But Stone sued the producers in 2001, claiming they had broken a verbal agreement to get the movie made in 10 years and pay her $14 million. She sought up to $100 million in damages, legally forcing them to make what was certain to be (and was) a box office flop because it would still be cheaper than paying her off. It’s not often there’s a single person responsible for a bad movie, but in this case, we know exactly who to blame.
K-9-1-1 and K-9: PI
Remember that goofy ’80s movie in which a cop gets paired with a dog and hijinks ensue? No, not Turner & Hooch, the other action-comedy from 1989 where a cop gets paired with a dog. There was another one. Don’t let the adorable puppy distract you from how terrible this movie is.
Jim Belushi and a German shepherd teamed up in K-9, an action-comedy that came out three months before Turner & Hooch, in a clear case of rival movie studios undermining each other’s excellent ideas. It got poor reviews, grossed $41 million to Turner & Hooch‘s $71 million, lost at the box office to Pet Sematary (killer undead cats > loyal living dogs), and faded into the late ’80s memory hole along with perms and Winger. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, a full decade later, a sequel called K-911 went straight to video, still starring Jim Belushi, but with a perfectly updated tagline:
Thankfully, the studio vetoed Belushi’s original sequel script, K-9/11.
But they still weren’t done! Thanks to the presumably runaway success of K-911, a third installment called K-9: P.I. followed in 2002. It’s not like they were riding the wave of the Belushi-ssance that presumably followed According To Jim, either; these were all in the bag by then. They independently decided to continue the K-9 saga.
Even within the K9CU canon, we have to be at least on our second or third Jerry Lee.
Were people really craving more content from the K-9-verse? Why revive the ten-year-old brand instead of throwing together any other late 1980s celebrity and animal? Martin Mull and a duck. Anthony Michael Hall and a puffin. Ralph Macchio and a sperm whale. There are three pairs off the top of our heads, none of which involve acquiring the rights to a decade-old Jim Belushi movie.
The Creator Of The Original ‘Wicker Man’ Released A Sequel 38 Years Later To Spite The Nicolas Cage Remake
While the 1973 Wicker Man is considered a gem among horror films, the unwittingly funny Nicolas Cage remake’s biggest contribution to the cultural canon came in the form of internet memes. Though loved in its own special way, one person who was decidedly not a fan was Robin Hardy, the author of the original novel, who demanded to have his name removed from the remake’s promotional materials while it was still in the woodshed. He was so mad, in fact, that he set out to make a sequel called The Wicker Tree, based on his novel Cowboys For Christ. 38 years after the original’s release.
Turning a tree into wicker and back into a tree seems needlessly labor intensive.
His goal was essentially to give the remake the middle finger and bring back “the music, the comedy, [and] the sex” of the original. Hardy also brought back the unquestionable embodiment of all those things: Christopher Lee, who played Lord Summerisle in its predecessor. Unfortunately, an injury relegated cinema’s greatest metal grandpa to the role of a measly villager, and he’s pretty much the only part worth seeing.
Though a critical and commercial flop, the only thing that mattered to Hardy was that The New York Times gave it a better review than the remake. Before his death in 2016, Hardy’s final act of spite was running a crowdfunding campaign for the final movie in a Wicker Man trilogy — which unfortunately raised only 4 percent of its $210,000 goal, because the gods are no match for the clearly immortal Nicolas Cage.