These days, sequels are pretty much an entire wing of the movie industry. They’ve already got a built in audience and you don’t have to spend much on marketing other than “Hey, remember that one movie you liked?” Still, occasionally a sequel to a popular movie will slip through the cracks of the public consciousness. Usually it’s because the movie has all new actors, or because it’s just a barely related cheap attempt to trade on the name of a movie people actually like. Still, they’re out there, like that cousin everyone’s secretly ashamed of, and thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we can let you all in on these dirty little secrets, eight sequels to popular movies you never knew existed.
8. ‘Journey Back to Oz’
Sequel to: ‘The Wizard of Oz’
This animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz languished in development hell for a decade before finally being released in 1974. Just to give you an idea what we’re dealing with here, the movie starred the voices of Liza Minnelli as Dorothy (which is creepy as hell when you consider that her mother was Judy Garland, AKA the original Dorothy), Milton Berle as the Cowardly Lion, Mickey Rooney as the Scarecrow, and the ultra-campy Paul Lynde as something called “Pumpkinhead.” In other words, they probably just rounded everyone up after a party in the Hollywood Hills and then paid them all in gin. The plot itself involves Dorothy getting hit on the head, sending her back to Oz because that’s just what happens when you get a concussion, where she does battle with Mombi the witch and her horde of monster green elephants. Okay, forget gin, they clearly just gave everyone acid.
7. ‘American Psycho II: All American Girl’
Sequel to: ‘American Psycho’
The original was a cult favorite, with Christian Bale as psychotic serial killer Patrick Bateman. This one? Not so much. It stars Mila Kunis – in a role I’m guessing she’d like to forget – as a girl who comes down with the urge to murder after meeting Patrick Bateman, because I guess it’s just like chlamydia or something, and a generic thriller ensues. But really, all you need to know about this movie is that the second actor billed is William Shatner, who plays an FBI expert on murder. Yeah.
6. ‘The Net 2.0’
Sequel to: ‘The Net’
The Net was a fairly respectable hit for Sandra Bullock back in 1995, when the idea of a computer expert having her identity messed with via the mysterious Internet was still an intriguing new idea. The sequel, on the other hand, came out in 2006, and by then even your grandma had figured out how to protect herself online. Of course, Sandra Bullock had nothing to do with this, and it “stars” Nikki Deloach in what is essentially just a lazy, shitty remake of the original. The most interesting – and perhaps saddest – anecdote is that this movie’s director, Charles Winkler, is the son of Irwin Winkler, who directed the first movie. I’m guessing it’s not something they like to talk about at family gatherings, at least not without the word “ashamed” thrown around a lot.
5. ‘The Great Escape II: The Untold Story’
Sequel to: ‘The Great Escape’
1963’s The Great Escape is one of the most loved Steve McQueen movies, and so Hollywood decided to do what it does best and took a big dump all over his grave with this sequel, which is less of a follow-up and more of an attempt to tell the “true” story. Of course, they waited 25 years and by then it was so pointless that they just ran it as a cable TV movie. It stars Christopher Reeve and was filmed in Yugoslavia, which makes this a candidate for the most depressing movie ever. Oddly enough, its director, Jud Taylor, actually had a role as an actor in the original movie, which perhaps not surprisingly was his last role in a movie before embarking on a career as a director of TV movies just like this one. Jesus, even thinking about all this makes me need a drink.
4. ‘Rock ‘n Roll High School Forever’
Sequel to: ‘Rock ‘n Roll High School’
The original is a cult classic, mostly because it has a kick-ass ‘70s soundtrack and is basically an homage to the Ramones, who even show up to raise a little hell. The sequel was released a decade later and stars Corey Feldman. And even better, the movie production credits include this gem: “Music by: Corey Feldman.” Naturally, the Ramones wanted nothing to do with this turd, well except for Dee Dee Ramone, who contributed one song to the soundtrack, but by this time he had quit the Ramones and had decided to pursue a career as a rapper named Dee Dee King. Heroin’s a hell of a drug.
3. ‘Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation’
Sequel to: ‘Revenge of the Nerds’
Most people probably know about Revenge of the Nerds II, which saw the gang head to Fort Lauderdale for spring break. But they probably don’t know about this direct to video sequel, released in 1992 – which is only eight years after the original, but feels more like 20, especially since in this sequel, all the old nerds are, well, old nerds. The movie focuses on Robert Carradine’s head nerd, Lewis, who is now married to Betty after raping her in the moon room and then cheating on her with Courtney Thorne Smith in the first sequel. Lewis tries to shed his nerd image but gets sucked into the cause of nerd rights when a new generation of nerds, all of whom are horrible and should be shot out of a cannon into the sun, are persecuted by the jocks. Naturally. And as if that wasn’t enough, they went ahead a couple of years later and made Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love, which aired as a TV movie on Fox, and centered around Booger’s wedding, because Hollywood is awful and nothing is sacred.
2. ‘Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights’
Sequel to: ‘Dirty Dancing’
This is just a mess. Released 17 years after the original, it’s actually loosely adapted from a script called “Cuban Mine,” which is based on the life of one of the producers, and was supposed to be a serious political thriller. How they got from there to Dirty Dancing is a mystery none of us will ever solve. As for the movie itself, it takes place in Havana (obviously) in 1958, and if you’ve seen the first one, you’ve see this one too. The most depressing thing about it is that Patrick Swayze has a cameo as a dance instructor, which I’m guessing is exactly the moment when his pancreas said “You know what? I don’t need this shit.” That may seem like a horrible thing to say, but don’t blame me, blame yourselves for not loving him enough to see his other movies so that he wouldn’t have to do this. I blame you, America.
1. ‘Road House 2: Last Call’
Sequel to: ‘Road House’
Oh God, this is just depressing. Speaking of violating Patrick Swayze’s memory, this movie came out in 2006 and stars Jonathan Schaech – briefly famous for starring in That Thing You Do and, more importantly, for being the dude who banged Kelly Bundy in real life – as the son of Dalton, AKA one of the characters in the Swayze Holy Trinity along with Johnny Castle from Dirty Dancing and Bodhi from Point Break. This time, though, Swayze is nowhere to be found – I’m guessing Havana Nights taught him a few valuable lessons – and you get to laugh at the idea of Schaech somehow being a badass DEA agent named Shane who tangles with Jake Busey – Gary’s son – as a drug dealer named Wild Bill intent on taking over a bar owned by Shane’s uncle, which blah blah blah, who cares? The movie’s real indignity is that one of the subplots involves Shane searching for the man who killed his father. That’s right, the sequel killed off Dalton. I wasn’t even this upset when my grandpa died. Shame on you, Hollywood. Shame on you.