Coming up with a list of the top 10 worst sequels in horror cinema is even more difficult than coming up with a list of the best, because there are so many more of them – both released for theaters and on DVD/VHS – and lots of them are equally bad, making it a tall order to properly rank them. Indeed, we could have covered the Slumber Party Massacre series, Leprechaun series, Children of the Corn, Sleepaway Camp, Hellraiser, etc. But, to tell the truth, we haven’t seen all of these sequels, and anyway if Leprechaun 4 – In Space sucked should you really be surprised? So what we tried to do is create a list that was a combination of films that were extreme disappointments in comparison to what came before, or movies that were straight out goddawful – so bad that they had to be here. Diversity was the key.
Oh, also we tried to gage filmmaker intention, too. So we left off items like C.H.U.D. II: Bud the CHUD (an obvious comedy), The Hills Have Eyes, Part 2 (Wes Craven’s sequel doesn’t even really count as horror, does it?), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Next Generation (which is admittedly bad, but if you read it a certain way, it looks like director Kim Henkel’s deconstruction of horror sequels. Yes, it’s possible that Texas Chainsaw 4 is a subversive black comedy, but we’ll save the dissertation for another time).
Anyway, here are:
The Top 10 Worst Sequels In Horror Cinema
10. Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
OK, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is pretty bad, but it helps make up for its ridiculous plot by inserting sex, nudity, and extreme gore. But Part 8 is a disapointment on just about every level. Jason doesn’t make it to Manhattan until the last 30 minutes of the movie. Before we even get to New York, we are practically bored to death as the action centers on a boat sailing from Crystal Lake to New York Harbor (yeah, go figure that one out!) The murders, with the exception of a funny scene where Jason punches a dude’s head off, are mundane and unimaginative. The ending is completely nonsensical and depends on the idea that New York City washes its sewers with toxic waste every night at midnight! We know there’s a lot of crime and filth in NYC but to suggest that the city has barrels of toxic waste just lying around and that a hulking monster/zombie could just walk down 42nd street without being noticed is beyond absurd. The real toxic waste is any remaining copy of this film. Read our review here.
9. Halloween – Resurrection (2002)
One film too many. Halloween H20 helped wash away the memories of previous sequels. But Halloween 8 aka Halloween: Resurrection brings Michael Myers back to life in the most unbelievable way possible, then kills off Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis’ final appearance in the series) right at the beginning. Great idea, Rick Rosenthal – killing off your best character right away. In her place steps a bunch of college idiots set up in the Myers house and put on some kind of internet feed. The whole thing is run by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks and it’s called “Dangertainment.” Everybody’s got cameras on them, because the filmmakers want to make some coment on reality shows, even though we have no idea what they are trying to say. This is the kind of movie where girls will scream because of a false scare, and everybody will hear them and come running. But when Myers kills somebody who is screaming their head off nobody hears a damn thing. The funniest scene is probably the one where Busta Rhymes reads Michael Myers the riot act, and Myers shamefully walks away. What the hell? A stupid droning soundtrack underlies every scene. Face it, for Jason and Michael, #8 means bad news.
8. Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
The demon that possessed poor Regan from the first film is back and he’s got a name – Pazuzu. (If you say it a few times very fast, it sounds funny). This film is an overwrought, heavy-handed mess from John Boorman, who would love to be remembered for Deliverance but probably will be remembered for this film and Zardoz. Don’t watch Exorcist II unless you like watching horrible acting from Linda Blair and Richard Burton, some nonsense involving locusts, and interminable, silly scenes in a psychologist’s office where Blair straps on a contraption to her head and lets her shrink (Louise Fletcher!) see what she sees. Yeah, that technology was available in the 70s, sure was! And Burton – Jesus Christ, how could he say the lines he’s given with a straight face? To add insult, the movie is so concerned with Father Merrin that it makes no mention at all of Father Karras, as if he had nothing to do with the first film at all. Exorcist II was such a disappointment that on opening night the audience at a theatre on Hollywood Blvd actually threw things at the screen to express their disgust.
7. Freddy’s Dead – The Final Nightmare (1991)
Horrendous sequel that must be seen to be believed. Filled with stupid cameos from Tom Arnold, Rosanne Barr, and Alice Cooper, it suggests that Lisa Zane is Freddy’s long lost daughter and also suggests that Freddy can’t leave Springwood without her. There’s also the “dream demons” who give Freddy his power. Whatever. Making the ending sequence in 3D (and featuring a character who actually puts on 3D glasses) is quite possibly the dumbest thing we have ever seen. Don’t forget the kill scene where Freddy puts a victim inside a video game – in the “real” world he bounces up and down with a sound-effect “boing boing” sequence. We’ve come a long way since Part 1 – and it’s down, way down.
6. Howling II – Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985)
Howling 2 is a huge piece of manure and unmistakable 80s cheese to boot. Ignoring everything good about the Joe Dante original, this movie focuses on a werewolf hunter (played by Christopher Lee, the poor guy!) who traces the werewolves to Transylvania where they are ruled by some crazy werewolf sorceress named Stirba (Sybil Danning). It starts off with Lee reading some nonsense from a book with stars projected behind him along with a skeleton. (?) You get to see many shots of Sybil’s boobage (which is looped over and over during the end credits), horrible dialogue, cheesy effects, a goofy so-called werewolf threesome that really just consists of nude hairy people hissing at each other like cats, bottom-of-the-barrel acting, and the funniest 80s new wave band performance since the musical numbers in Night Train To Terror. It also gets mighty confused about werewolf lore, treating them like vampires (stake through heart, garlic, holy water, etc), and tells us that silver bullets don’t work – they must be titanium! Oh, bonus: Reb Brown (Space Mutiny) plays the guy whose sister is the werewolf. Reb freakin’ Brown. After all this, the movie is still strangely watchable, but probably because of Sybil’s boobs and her bizarre costumes. Reviewed here.
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