Sometimes, you see a movie that opens up a whole universe of possibilities, leaving you wondering where these characters will go next. So much adventure waiting to happen! And then... there are movies that really don’t need a sequel, but get one anyway. Here are 10 film sequels that it’s really hard to believe actually exist.
This sequel to Donnie Darko takes place seven years later. Donnie’s sister takes off on a cross-country road trip with a dude named Corey as she mourns her brother’s death. The plot is basically “time travel, blah blah blah, party, whatever, homeless veteran is a link to a hole in space-time, yadda yadda, end of the world.” This movie was made for under $4 million in less than 25 days, to capitalize on the original film’s cult status. Richard Kelly, writer/director of the original Darko, announced: “To set the record straight, here’s a few facts I’d like to share with you all – I haven’t read this script. I have absolutely no involvement with this production, nor will I ever be involved... I have no control over the rights from our original film, and neither I nor my producing partner Sean McKittrick stand to make any money from this film.”
Zack Snyder made a huge impact with 300, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel about 300 Spartans defending a beach against the invading Persian army. But this movie, produced and co-written by Snyder, is so pointless they had to invent a new term for it: “Sidequel.” It takes place before, during and after the original movie, and thus features lots of scenes where returning co-star Lena Headey says “Oh, Leonidas? You just missed him. He was literally just here a moment ago.” Where the first movie had a muscley, well-oiled plot involving the clash of two styles of warfare, this movie substitutes endless speeches about free Greeks and naval-battle-map-sex. And now that this movie has made over $100 million, they’re already talking about a third 300.
You know, we’ll give you Scorpion King 2. By all accounts, the first prequel, directed by Russell “Highlander” Mulcahy, was reasonably watchable. But there was only one way to go from there — down. The third movie stars Ron Perlman — watch out for his name on this list again — and Billy Zane. In SK3, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is replaced by Victor Webster, aka Carlos from Continuum, playing an older Mathyus who’s lost his kingdom and become an assassin. He’s hired by a king (Perlman) to kill a wizard (Zane) who aims to use the Book of the Dead to “raise an evil army of UFC Fighters,” according to IGN. If you try to connect the Scorpion King’s appearances in the Mummy films to the theatrical movie, the direct-to-DVD prequel and this new sequel, you’ll end up needing a lot of Xanax. The good news? Scorpion King 4 has already wrapped filming, and Rutger Hauer, Michael Biehn, and Lou Ferrigno are all in it.
This direct-to-DVD sequel follows a woman who has new-found psychic powers, after a serial killer repeatedly kills her and revives her so that he can enjoy killing her longer. With these powers she can infiltrate the mind of her tormentor to track him down. Obviously if she dies while inside of the monster, she dies… in real life. Surprisingly, none of the cast or crew from the original returned to help make this unnecessary sequel. One reviewer proclaimed this sequel to be “an absolute piece of shit,” adding, “I’ve seen better CGI in Spanish music videos.” Another review compares it unfavorably to Syfy’s original TV movies.
Long before Darren Aronofsky decided the story of Noah’s Ark was cinema gold, Steve Carell starred in another film based on this Biblical tale. Evan Almighty was supposed to be a straight-up sequel to Bruce Almighty, but after Jim Carrey refused to return as Bruce, it was retooled. Besides Carell returning as Evan, Morgan Freeman reprises his role as God. The result is one of the most expensive comedy films ever made, in which God torments Evan “because I love you.” And it’s widely derided as one of the most unfunny comedies ever made as well, thanks to an excess of preachiness and a succession of dull gags.
It probably made a lot of sense to make a sequel to the 1994 hit The Mask. It probably even made sense when someone offered up the idea that “the only problem with the first The Mask is that it didn’t have enough of The Mask, it just wasn’t mask-y enough, kids love that Mask you know.” So in this movie, which relies on the appearance of Ben Stein to reprise his role as a history professor or something to carry on any sort of continuity from the first one, has a Jamie Kennedy Mask, a baby Mask, and a dog Mask. It’s worth mentioning that the baby’s mask-iness comes from the fact that Jamie Kennedy gets it on with his wife while wearing the titular mask, and then passing on some sort of Mask gene. Bob Hoskins and Alan Cumming co-star as Odin and Loki, who are on a mission to find that wacky Mask and probably a bank machine to cash whatever huge check they got to be in this $84 million dud.
Steven Spielberg made a movie based on one of the greatest works of literature of all time. And then this sequel was rushed out to ride whatever wave of excitement remained from watching Tom Cruise battle alien walkers. The Spielberg film, like the H.G. Wells novel, has a pretty closed-ended conclusion in which the Martian invaders fall victim to Earth bacteria and are wiped out — so it’s hard to see where a sequel would have room to go. Luckily, director/star C. Thomas Howell has a few ideas: This time, we take the fight to them. Yes, that’s right — the U.S. Air Force, somehow, after the near-complete destruction of the world two years prior, manages to build a fleet of jets that can travel to Mars, to attack the alien homeworld. In the end, the main characters find a space jet and fly back to Earth.
Paul W.S. Anderson directed a serviceable exploitation movie, based very loosely on the insane cult-classic Death Race 2000. But almost everybody jumped ship after the first installment, including star Jason Statham, to make way for a series of direct-to-DVD car-racing movies starring Luke Goss as the ruthless racer Frankenstein. By all accounts, Death Race 2 is a unparalleled disaster, a prequel to a prequel to a remake or something, but Death Race 3 actually has some fun car stunts and mayhem.
As far as continuity is concerned Lost Boys: The Tribe beats all the rest on this list. It stars none other than Angus Sutherland, son of Donald Sutherland and, you guessed it — half brother to Kiefer Sutherland, star of the original Lost Boys. Oh, and also Corey Feldman. In fact, Feldman manages to be the lone connection between all three of these films, unless you count post-mortem footage of Corey Haim spliced into the third installment, which was probably in somewhat bad taste.
To be fair, all Uwe Boll sequels are unnecessary, because all Uwe Boll films are unnecessary, full stop. But at least the original Name of the King was theatrically released and had Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, Mathew Lillard, and Burt Fucking Reynolds. The second movie also directed by Uwe Boll, stars Dolph Lundgren, who famously explained, “I was getting divorced at the time and I needed some cash quickly to pay for a few things... lawyers.” Which sounds about right. Name if the King III, again directed by Uwe Boll, stars Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell — and this time, it’s about a mob hitman who’s sent back in time to the Middle Ages to rub out the royal family. Yeah.