DISCLAIMER: Help. Please help me. HELP. Never mind. That was a knee-jerk reaction to finally submitting this entry to you. See, I’ve been grappling with this article for months. Life interjected here and there, sure…but the real problem was realizing that I had bitten off much more than I could quickly chew. What was once a fun idea grew to Kongish proportions. Every day I would wake up and face the fact that, yes, I had more pages I had written – but where would it all end?
I refuse to share with you how many pages there are at this point, nor how many colleagues, friends and family I’ve forced to read this rambling beast out loud to me, in the hopes of finding some editorial light at the end of the funnel. As such, here is what I’ve decided to present to you for the time being. Please disregard all of the above and FOCUS.
A CONFESSION: I LOVE PART TWOS – PART ONE
Having just experienced Best Worst Movie for the first time, which reminded me of seeing Troll 2 in 1995 while attending my best friend’s sister’s slumber party, uninvited of course, I have Part Twos on the brain, and they aren’t going away. And I’ll tell ya what’s so great about first sequels – they’re sumptuously weird, like leftover pizza. The original idea is still there, still tasty in a pinch, but things done changed… A Part 2, Part II, 2 or II is usually chewier and/or coarser…depending on the crust. Some Chicago style sequels get mushy and mealy – the original ingredients have lost their kick from the cooling period, and have an objectionable mouth-feel and taste (Return of the Living Dead Part II). On the other hand, New York style sequels tend to become hard and concentrated, requiring a determined chew that tends to scrape the roof of a mouth (The Hills Have Eyes 2 ‘07). And that’s enough of that.
Nevertheless, just about anything Horrorific with a 2, II, Part 2, Part Two or Part II turns me on. In fact, that’s the rule for this entry – the films we’ll discuss here must have a Roman numeral or digit at the end of the title (since I found NO Part Twos in my collection – are there any out there?) Looking at my library, I count 24 of such creations (which I sought out and purchased – no unwanted gifts or review discs included):
Three from the 70’s
Two from the 90’s
Three from the 2000’s
And (drumroll) 16 from the 80’s
I’m assuming the reason for this figure is a combination of my age (29), my resulting taste in horror cinema and the marketability for creatures and killers.
Now consider this: every Top Ten Greatest Horror Films of All Time list that you’ve ever compiled or read? They all have sequels. I recognize that “all” is a strong word to use – I’m sure there are people who include Tentacles and Feed in their Top Tens. But those lost souls are not within the public majority I’m referring to. Without tonguing the internet for an example, I will now replicate a Top Ten List based on what I’ve seen on television, online and in print:
1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
3. The Exorcist
5. Night of the Living Dead
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street
7. The Blair Witch Project
8. Edge of the Axe
10. The Prey
As you can see, these films have all spawned sequels – but should they’ve? Imagine living in a world without sequels to any of these movies. CONSIDER what your emotions would be if the original filmmakers or anyone else stepped up NOT to deliver a remake, but a true Part 2, 2, Two or II. In this day and age, freakish hatred would equal anticipation. But back then, it was a cause for celebration: “Part Two is a go. Call everyone and bring beer – we’ve already got the champagne.”
But where to begin? Part Twos in general, I suppose (and let’s call them “Twos” from here on, unless someone has a better suggestion that’s easier on the eyes…). Typically horror, comedy and action films have Twos, but they’ve been known to slither into drama and musicals. Audience demand, profitability and critical success can only go so far, though. I can’t think of anyone with a decent heart and undamaged brain who yearns for an Apocalypse Now Part II, Pulp Fiction: Vol. 2 or A Clockwork Orange 2. But if they came to be, you’d watch ‘em, wouldn’t you? But some people have tried to capture that lightning in a bottle again, be they directors, writers, actors… Sometimes it works. Sometimes it almost works. Sometimes it’s like waking up with a scorching hangover, with only muddy realizations that some terrible fight that ended the night between you and a close friend, significant other or spouse – “why did we/they do that, and how could anyone let that happen?”
And that’s enough for tonight. More to come – in fact, far more than is necessary, should you want it. In the meantime, your thoughts are appreciated, because chances are I’ve overthought (not a word, I don’t think – overthought?) just about everything. Soundtracks, trailers, promo art…you name it. I really dug a ditch with this one, and I don’t see any way out any time soon.
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