The flavor of bile is unmistakable. There just isn’t anything that tastes quite like it. And you know it when it comes on: The belly rumbles, the esophagus lurches within, and you battle back the slimy liquid that threatens to spew forth from your lips.
It’s a nasty experience. We all hate that sensation so we’re taking measures at Dread Central to help prevent such a situation from occurring.
See, there are horror sequels out there that are so horrifically bad they somehow trigger something in our internal systems… and the belly begins to rumble. We wish you no stomach troubles here, and we certainly wish the taste of bile on no man or woman. So we’re going to provide you with a list of sequels to avoid at all costs because if you check these out, you’ll be searching for the toothbrush in no time!
Exorcist II: The Heretic – Good lord, talk about terribly made films and totally and completely unnecessary sequels. The Heretic was certainly a blasphemous follow-up to one of the most beloved productions ever crafted (kudos to the brilliant William Friedkin, who did an amazing job bringing the original tale to life). What’s so perplexing about it is the overall package: The flick had a fair budget, a solid cast (Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Louise Fletcher, James Earl Jones), a capable director (John Boorman, who gave us strong flicks like Deliverance and Excalibur), and a sound special effects crew. But one horrendous script can annihilate all of those positives, as William Goodhart proves. The film feels as though it has absolutely zero direction or logic in mind, which forces everyone to struggle with the production and the entire point of the picture. It’s so dull it could potentially put you in a coma, and a preposterous climax doesn’t help matters one bit. You can’t successfully duplicate the finale of the first Exorcist. A bad sequel? Nope. A despicable sequel.
From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter – From Dusk Till Dawn was one of, if not the, greatest vampire flicks to see release in the 1990s. From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money couldn’t hold a candle to its immediate predecessor, but it was a surprisingly entertaining flick. From Dusk Till Dawn 3, however, was a disaster that should have never been conceived. It’s painfully boring with very little to do with actual vampires. The cinematography looks as though it’s on par with a first-year film student’s work, and the acting manages little more than siphoning a few laughs and a lot of head shakes. The fact that there’s a western-themed undertone to the first two flicks is great; to turn the third film into an outright western/horror piece was the wrong decision. Not that any correct decisions were made with this production.
Sometimes They Come Back… For More – Really? How many times do nasty kids with evil hearts come back to torment those they’ve already wronged? Three? Five? Seven? This one is a dud of epic proportions, and there’s something deep inside that tells me Stephen King engaged in a little face-palm action the moment he caught wind of this pile of feces. Nothing more need be said. The film just doesn’t merit any form of promotion.
Scream 3 – Talk about unlikable sequels. Wes Craven’s third Scream picture not only jumped the tracks, it completely embarrassed itself and – in the minds of some – tarnished the strength of the franchise as a whole. The synergy amongst the cast has gone AWOL, leaving Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox to carry the show themselves with absolutely zero backup. Sadly, that doesn’t quite pan out, and neither does the story, which feels rushed and murky. The mystery died somewhere in pre-production, and not even a cameo from franchise favorite Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and a handful of genre nods (a cameo from Roger Corman, Lance Henriksen portraying a scumbag bigwig named “John Milton,” for example) can save this miserable waste of time and money.
Lost Boys: The Tribe – Okay, truth be told, this just might be the very worst genre sequel shot in the history of celluloid. Quite literally everything about the picture is miserable. The story is abysmal, there’s a terribly disconcerting incestuous tone to the film, the villains look like the kind of tool bags who get the crap beaten out of them at the local pub after running their mouths to the wrong patron, and the sudden X-Games design to the film is revolting. Seriously, this is an extreme X-Games flick with depressing performers across the board and completely preposterous ideas at work. There’s no way in hell Corey Feldman was proud of this one. I mean, really… Surfing vampires? Have a priest bless the ocean! Story over.
Return to Sleepaway Camp – First off, let it be known that I have absolutely nothing against the handicapped or learning impaired. It’s unfortunate that some are born with or develop these afflictions, and I’m totally and completely sympathetic – and yes, even quite sensitive to the matter. That said, I’ve got to put it out there because everyone is thinking it: This one plays out as though a mass crowd of mentally challenged individuals decided making a movie would be a stellar idea. If this crew actually happened to be mentally challenged, I’d applaud the film. Unfortunately, they’re not. The end product, however, is mentally challenged, plain and simple. Again, apologies if that comes off as offensive; watch the film and you’ll understand the validity in that statement, and you’ll likely see that I mean no offense.
Blade: Trinity – What is it with the curse of the third film? Scream 3, Sometimes They Come Back…3, From Dusk Till Dawn 3, Creepshow 3… They’re all bad on a paralyzing plane. Blade: Trinity falls right into the mix, but then again, most of us saw that coming the moment we learned Ryan Reynolds and Triple H were attached to the production. Every ounce of entertainment value detectible in the first two Blade films decided to take a vacation. In its leave, loathsome dialogue, stiff acting, a stale storyline, and the least intimidating villain of the Blade universe were left in charge. They came together and made a movie; it just happened to be one of the crappiest movies to hit the market, and the clear low point of the Blade franchise. You just can’t come back from that.
Halloween: Resurrection – We’ve seen some extremely questionable Halloween films released post-1982. None touch the severe neglect dealt to Halloween: Resurrection. The cast of this flick is horrendous (and that’s a statement all itself, as Sean Patrick Thomas, Katee Sackhoff, and Thomas Ian Nicholas are all very capable thespians), and the story is just unbelievably absurd. Even worse, it’s essentially a rip-off. It’s basically a contemporized (or re-)telling of Halloween 6, drug out too long, with zero genuine scares, subpar special effects, and a finale that’s bound to have you in tears it’s so ridiculous. I’ll admit though: It’s hilarious watching Busta Rhymes and Michael Myers slug it out.
Jaws: The Revenge – I refuse to get too in-depth about this film. It’s awful beyond awful, and that’s probably more than adequate information. But just to hammer the point home, know this: If you suffer from insomnia, this near-shark-free flick will serve as the ideal sedative. Not even the roaring shark or the fact that he follows the Brody family from Jersey to the Bahamas and will only attack members of said Brody family will be enough to keep you awake.
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf – If you’re a fan of films that make not a lick of sense, you’ll probably love this flick. Typically, a well told tale sits a bit better with this particular spectator. But Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is all over the place. It’s basically a bunch of scenes thrown together. As it just so happens, very few of those scenes make for much of any impact. In fact, most of those scenes suck. It’s astonishing to know that Christopher Lee would have any hand in this production, but he did. I’m sure he regrets that to this day. That said, he may throw the film on every now and then to take in the one positive quality of the flick: loads of nudity from Sybil Danning.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer – Sometimes you forget how bad a movie is until you watch it again years later. Such is the case with this astoundingly bad sequel. Who in their right mind thought this was a good idea? Who the hell approved the script? It’s loaded with terrible dialogue, the relocation of the film’s events completely thwarts continuity, the acting rivals a Troma production, and it’s not for one single second frightening. If not for a brief appearance from Jeffrey Combs, this one would rank in the top three worst sequels ever turned out for a quick buck.
Texas Chainsaw 3D – The one and only Uncle Creepy described this one as a “glorified fan film,” and he’s almost spot-on. It’s actually more like a really lazy glorified fan film. This pic is filled with more holes than two boxes of Cheerios, and no matter how well done any other element of the film might have been handled, that one weakness alone would have sunk this decrepit sub. But that wasn’t the only issue with the movie. Not even close. The film boasts about two well-shot sequences and features a group of “protagonists” (Let’s just be real: They’re victims) that wouldn’t in two million years hang out with each other. Really, there’s a weird, slightly Goth girl in the mix; a wannabe suave, “tough” black dude; a dork who seems to serve… well, no purpose whatsoever; and then there’s the stunning Tania Raymonde, who looks like she showed up thinking, “Fuck it, it’s a paycheck.” Terrible cast. If the cohesiveness of Scream 3’s cast was awful, this is… I’m not certain a word for it has even been invented yet! And for the record, I’m still struggling to figure out the timeline of this film… is Leatherface now like 65 years old? Or what about the main chick? Shouldn’t she be in her forties? Is this supposed to have taken place in some time frame not too distanced from 1974? Is this really a sequel? Did anyone think any of this through? Did I miss that detail while contemplating numerous suicidal methods to avoid reaching its conclusion?
Hellraiser: Revelations – There’s a part of my inner core that accepts a willingness to embrace the thought of anyone other than Doug Bradley portraying Pinhead. Someone could certainly make it work! Then it unfolds on screen, your innards overturn, and your brain is cast into pure upheaval. Because it sucks, harder than Judy and her breakfast habits (Cornershop fans will pick up on that one). Hands down the worst Hellraiser production to be created, and the one true sequel you know – without a doubt – is actually guaranteed to be more putrefying than Halloween: Resurrection. Uh… kudos to director Víctor García, I guess? It can’t be too easy to completely liquesce all things great about a franchise like Hellraiser… right? Still, bonus points for the weirdness of the incestuous scene involving eating soup with no spoon and the hilarious moments in which Pinhead reacts to people touching the Lament Configuration “I Dream of Jeannie” style.
Leprechaun 4: In Space – Chances are readers anticipated seeing Jason X land on this list. But it is not to be so. For a few reasons actually. Jason X, while full-blown ludicrous (duo Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer initially wanted to play it straight, to the chagrin of the studio execs), was a lot of fun to watch. The over-the-top lines worked in a wonderfully Ed Woodish kind of way, and Jason not only performs the awe-inspiring sleeping bag tree smash, he actually looks cool while doing it. That upgrade was something just unexpectedly amusing and a little badass! Now, when Leprechaun made his journey to space… well, it was enough to make any sane individual want to smash through a window and be sucked into outer space, only to feel their entire body explode just to get away from that annoying bastard. There isn’t an honest quality to the entire film, no lie.
Creepshow III – Wait… Stephen King is out of the mix? George Romero is out of the mix? No doubt, we’re doomed. The biggest problem with this sequel, in all honesty, is the outlandish concept of a few of the segments, a few extremely cliché bits, and their total and complete lack of frightening elements as a whole. There isn’t a single chilling moment in the entire production. I suppose points could be issued for interweaving certain characters in different segments, but that doesn’t really take the viewer to any special place. No, what we have here is a miserably paced film with immensely disappointing visual effects, subpar performances, oft-hideous production values, and too many damn shorts to force yourself to sit through. Did I mention the Creeper is now a demonic hot dog vendor? Do yourself a favor: Don’t watch this movie.
If we missed something, please – for the love of all things horror – let us know!!
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