"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
What's the worst film sequel of all time?
Published on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 by Michael Dashiell, editor
Terrible sequels are as ubiquitous in our times as lavender in Sequim … or crooks in D.C. … or weak hitters in a Mariners lineup.
Can't recall what I was watching the other day, but it made me ponder the question, "What's the worst sequel of all time?"
So I did what any normal, red-blooded American would do — I Googled it. Up popped dozens of sites and blogs proclaiming what the worst sequels were and many had the same titles: Caddyshack II, Jaws II, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Friday the 13th part VIII, Ocean's Twelve, Grown Ups 2, etc.
What I found lacking in the lists, generally, were two things: a sense of drop-off in quality from one movie from its predecessor and any kind of science behind it.
So I set about to find the worst sequel on my own. My parameters were thus: The movie had to be a true sequel, i.e. directly following another and not comparing part four to its origin; the film could not be a reboot of the series (although, for the most part, series that have been rebooted have made that series better, so that point is moot) or a spinoff character from a series); and it had to be tried scientifically.
That last part was a bit tricky, so I went to the Internet Database (imdb.com). There, movies are rated by literally hundreds and thousands of reviewers, who give the films a 1-10 rating. OK, clearly this is not nearly uber-scientific, but it is better than, "I think this is a terrible sequel because it had Sean Young and Nick Nolte in it" (which, by the way, is almost always a qualifier).
The reasoning behind a rating comparison is this: saying that "Piranha 3" or "Police Academy 7" is the worst sequel may mean it's the worst movie that happens to be a sequel, but what did you expect? It's freaking "Piranha 3" or "Police Academy 7"! What did you want, "Citizen Kane 2"? Please.
The worst sequel should be something that comes on the heels of a decent movie and then simply drops off a cliff.
My first thought: "Ghostbusters 2." Talk about a stinker. Terrible movie despite great stars.
I was not close — not nearly close. The winner actually deviated from its predecessor by 4.7 points — a far cry from the "Ghostbusters" (7.8) to "Ghostbusters 2" (6.3), a 1.5 deviation.
I searched and searched, and here are my unscientific results from a wasted afternoon on imdb.com:
The utterly horrible
The Mask - 6.7
Son of the Mask 2.1
Wow. Didn't see this coming. Then again, movie producers should have warned us. From Jim Carrey at his prime to Jaime Kennedy at any stage, it was going to be bad. Just didn't think it could be THIS bad.
Donnie Darko - 8.1
S. Darko - 3.7
From one of my favorite movies of all time to, um, well, I didn't see it. And thank goodness.
The Exorcist - 8.0
The Exorcist II - 3.7
From a classic to classic terrible-ness. This one gets a special award for The Exorcist III, which scored a 6.0 to help the series rebound in quick fashion.
A Christmas Story - 8.0
A Christmas Story 2 - 3.9
Bet you didn't know there was a Christmas Story 2, did you? OK, now you do. And now forget it.
The painfully bad
Dumb and Dumber - 7.2
Dumb and Dumberer - 3.3
Jim Carrey is THAT good: he can take a mildly entertaining film about being dumb and make it excruciatingly terrible and drag Jeff Daniels down with him. Nice.
Speed - 7.2
Speed II - 3.5
Look out! Its a … cruise ship? Yawn.
Look out! It's Jason Patrick! Run!
The Sting - 8.3
The Sting II - 4.6
Gleason for Newman and Redford. Um, no thanks.
Caddyshack - 7.2
Caddyshack II - 3.5
Take Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight and Bill Murray. Now replace them with Jackie Mason, Dyan Cannon and Randy Quaid. Now puke.
Grease - 7.1
Grease II - 3.8
Grease is the word. Grease II is a turd.
Highlander - 7.1
Highlander II: The Quickening - 3.8
Quick! Get that movie away from me.
Blues Brothers - 7.9
Blues Brothers 2000 - 4.6
Honestly, I thought this would be higher up. Only Dan Aykroyd saves this from the top spot.
Teen Wolf - 5.8
Teen Wolf Too - 2.9
From Michael J. Fox … to Jason Bateman. And not "Arrested Development" Jason Bateman, but a much lamer version.
The X-Files - 8.7
The X-Files: I Want to Believe - 5.8
"I Want to Believe"? More like, "I want to go leave the theater."
Jaws - 8.2
Jaws II - 5.6
As a series, it was bound to drop off a cliff. Jaws 3-D might be the worst of the lot, but it comes on the bloody heels of Jaws II, a real stinker. "We're going to need a bigger vomit bag."
Saturday Night Fever - 6.7
Stayin' Alive 4.1
Stallone directed the sequel. "Rocky" it ain't.
Sex and the City - 6.5
Sex and the City 2 - 3.9
Many reviews of the second had a word that rhymes with "city" ...
Daddy Day Care - 5.3
Daddy Day Camp - 2.7
There's the bottom of the barrel … and then there's lifting up the barrel and scraping the bottom.
The Blair Witch Project - 6.3
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 - 3.9
Scary. That the sequel was made at all.
A Nightmare on Elm Street - 7.5
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge - 5.1
Clearly they shouldn't have killed off Johnny Depp in part one.
2.2 and 1.6
Halloween - 7.9
Halloween II - 6.3
Halloween III - 4.1
Here's an obscure one on the list: Halloween II wasn't nearly as good as the original. Then part three comes out WITH NO CONNECTION TO THE ORIGINAL TWO FILMS' STORYLINE. It actually got slightly better when the story returned to the whole Micheal Myers thing.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 7.5
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 - 5.3
The first one was a cut above the rest (hey-oh!). If they just chopped the sequel's script in half (ha!) it might have worked. (Some other pun!)
Terminator II - 8.5
Terminator III - 6.4
T2 was super cool, but the money was just too good.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - 8.3
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 6.3
This went from my favorite in the series (Last Crusade) to the absolute worst. And that's saying something, considering Kate Capshaw was in a previous film. Indy suffered a one-point drop from the original to "Temple of Doom," rebounded nicely, then fell splat.
2.0 (and 1.9 rebound)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - 7.2
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 5.2
They should have just stopped right there. Then rebooted. Interestingly, Star Trek VI ("The Undiscovered Country") rebounded nicely with a 7.1 rating, making "The Final Frontier" that much worse.
Weekend at Bernie's - 6.1
Weekend at Bernie's II - 4.1
The corpse returns … and out-acts Andrew McCarthy!
Revenge of the Nerds - 6.5
Revenge of the Nerds II - 4.5
Robocop - 7.5
Robocop 2 - 5.5
Once you've seen the first, there's no need for the second … or the newly-released reboot.
Planet of the Apes - 8.0
Beneath the Planet of the Apes - 6.0
… and beneath almost everything else …
Star Wars VI - 8.4
Star Wars I - 6.5
This was an odd one to judge, since it's really kind of a prequel, but chronologically it works. Well, actually, it doesn't work. Thank you, Jar-Jar.
1.9 (and 1.2)
Superman II - 6.7
Superman III - 4.8
Superman IV - 3.6
Christopher Reeves could do a lot, but couldn't save these flicks. Yikes.
The Ring - 7.1
The Ring 2 - 5.2
Van Wilder - 6.2
Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj - 4.4
So bad, even Will Ferrell declined.
Legally Blonde - 6.1
Legally Blonde II - 4.3
A choreographed sing-and-dance routine? Really?
Not as bad as you might think
Jurassic Park - 8.0
The Lost World - 6.3
This was bound to drop off. I mean, how do you top real-looking dinosaurs on the big screen? More of them with weaker actors? Good luck.
Escape From New York - 7.1
Escape From LA - 5.5
Kurt Russell can't do it all.
The Boondock Saints - 7.8
The Boondock Saints II - 6.2
I'd rather watch the New Orleans Saints.
1.6 (2.4 rebound)
Rocky IV - 6.4
Rocky V - 4.8
This series was in decline before but really fell off after the Russians stopped playing with Rocky. Not a bad rebound with "Rocky Balboa," however (7.2).
XXX - 5.7
XXX: State of the Union - 4.1
Vin Diesel was saving all that acting talent for "Riddick."
The Matrix - 8.7
The Matrix Reloaded - 7.1
We won't even mention film No. 3.
Ghostbusters - 7.8
Ghostbusters 2 - 6.3
Yeah. I thought for sure folks would rank this much worse. I guess the appeal of Bill Murray, even in a bad sequel, is enough for a "meh" rating.
Karate Kid - 7.1
Karate Kid II - 5.6
I have to admit … I kind of like Karate Kid II. Maybe it's just Peter Cetera's presence on the soundtrack ...
Porky's - 6.0
Porky's II - 4.5
Both are bad. Stay away.
Look Who's Talking - 5.7
Look Who's Taking, Too - 4.2
Not to be confused with "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" … or any other good film.
1.5 and 1.8
Batman Returns - 6.9
Batman Forever - 5.4
Batman and Robin - 3.6
Wow. How quickly this series failed. I guess that's what happens when you go from Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer to George Clooney (in a non-political movie). Interestingly enough, this series' reboot/prequel (Christian Bale in "Batman Begins") jumps up to an 8.3, nearly a five-point jump.
The Fugitive - 7.8
U.S. Marshalls - 6.3
Wesley Snipes for Harrison Ford = not a good trade.
Godfather II - 9.0
Godfather III - 7.6
Admittedly, the bar was set pretty high.
I know what you did last summer - 5.5
I know what you did last summer II - 4.3
I know what I'm NOT doing next summer … or fall … or winter … or spring: Getting near this series.
Crocodile Dundee - 6.5
Crocodile Dundee II - 5.3
With so many unanswered questions from the first one …
The Whole Nine Yards - 6.6
The Whole Ten Yards - 5.4
Anyone actually see these films? Just curious.
Scream - 7.2
Scream II - 6.0
Bridgette Jones' Diary - 6.7
Bridgette Jones: The Edge of Reason - 5.7
Not that anyone should see these films anyway …
And you stink, too
Honorable mentions go to Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Friday the 13th VIII, Ocean's Twelve, Grown Ups 2, Tron: Legacy and particularly Leprechaun 2 - Back 2 Tha Hood … for being just awful, awful films.
And finally …
I couldn't let this one go. With a 1.8 rating Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 may be the worst sequel ever based purely on its own merit, regardless of where it came from. And what it came from was Baby Geniuses, which scored a putrid 2.3. Wow.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.