Sequels. A term that is dreaded by many cinemagoers today, due to the many times we have been tricked into watching to lacklustre follow-ups to our favourite movies. But this is not a recent trend. It has been something Hollywood has always loved to do! They have often been churned out at the behest of the company behind the film, rather than the writers or directors, to capitalize on financially successful box office. The problem has always been the challenge of keeping a film fresh, especially when the expectations are so high due to the original movie.
Over the years, there have been some truly horrific sequels to some of our favourite films. Deeply disappointing releases that are universally panned. We have gone through the catalogue of our favourite films and picked out some of the worst sequels ever made.
As always, our selections are listed chronologically, not ranked. Check out our top 7 picks below…
1.) Jaws 3-D (1983)
When Jaws was released in 1975, it set a new benchmark for modern blockbusters. Steven Spielberg expertly crafted a tense and terrifying thriller that is as memorable and frightening today as it was nearly 50 years ago. Inevitably, the studios decided that such a smash success deserved to be turned into a franchise, and so in 1978, we were treated to Jaws 2, with Roy Scheider reprising his role from the original. It wasn’t as tense and exciting as the original, but it was reasonably entertaining.
However, a few years later, in 1983, we were greeted with Jaws 3-D, a cheesy and ridiculous sequel that tarnishes the franchise. Starring Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr. and none of the original cast, the film is plain awful and was released with the terrible early polarized 3D effects that studios went through a phase of forcing upon everyone in the eighties. This turkey of a film is one to avoid, and so is its terrible sequel, Jaws: The Revenge (1987)!
Dennis Quaid stated in a 2015 interview that he made the most aggressive use of cocaine during the filming of Jaws 3D and that he was high on the drug in “every frame” in which he appears. It shows.
After a young great white shark finds its way into a sea-themed park managed by Calvin Bouchard, workers try to capture it. But the facility’s attempt to keep the shark in captivity has dire consequences: A much larger mother shark appears in search of its offspring. Among those who must battle the angry aquatic killing machine are marine biologist Kathryn Morgan, her co-worker Mike Brody and a pair of friendly dolphins.
2.) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
The Christopher Reeve era of Superman films that started in 1978 were smash-hit successes and have been beloved by fans ever since. With a tremendous cast of stars, including Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Margot Kidder and Ned Beatty, it seemed that it was the perfect formula for success. The original film laid down the very foundations of the superhero film that we see today, popularised by the Marvel franchise.
What Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) proved, it seemed, was that all franchises run out of steam. Despite the stars returning and the considerable success of the previous films, the story was a disaster, with a plot that is all over the place and full of holes. Despite the significant improvements in special effects since the release of the original, the ones here are a major downgrade from the previous outings.
There are many reasons why the film ended up the way it did, including significant studio budget cuts, the deletion of 40 minutes of footage after poor test screenings and the demands of Reeve to have a story promoting nuclear disarmament in his contract, stifling the writers. Unfortunately the fourth and final chapter in the Christopher Reeve era is a monstrosity.
Seeing the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a nuclear arms race that could lead to Earth’s destruction, Superman decides that he must take action. He collects all the nuclear warheads from the world and throws them into space. Meanwhile, Superman’s nemesis, Lex Luthor, has broken out of prison with a new scheme. He clones Superman with radioactive material to create Nuclear Man, a being just as powerful as the man of steel.
3.) The Godfather Part III (1990)
Now we come to probably our most polarizing entry, but that’s not without good reason. We have mainly been talking in this list about how poor a sequel is compared to the original films in the series. The Godfather (1972) is one of the greatest films ever made, and so is its sequel, The Godfather Part II (1974). The epic crime drama that chronicles the life and times of the Corleone crime family is widely regarded as a landmark in cinema.
So, it’s bitterly disappointing that the third instalment, which Francis Ford Coppola never wanted to make, is so poor. The confusing and muddled plot really removes itself from the original tale and the performances from the cast, including Al Pacino, are a bit underwhelming. You sometimes wonder if you are watching the same series of films because the tone is so different.
It’s not a terrible film in a traditional sense and is undoubtedly the strongest on our list. However, The Godfather Part III (1990), is a crushing disappointment when compared to the greatness that was achieved with the first two films in the series. To make matters worst, Coppola returned to the film recently, re-cut it and shaved about 20 minutes out of it, but unfortunately, it’s still a turd that can’t be polished.
As Michael Corleone ages, he finds that being the head of the Corleone crime family isn’t getting any easier. He wants his family out of the Mafia, but the mob kingpin isn’t eager to let one of the most powerful and wealthy families go legit. Making matters even worse is Michael’s nephew, Vincent. Not only does Vincent want a piece of the Corleone family’s criminal empire, but he also wants Michael’s daughter, Mary.
4.) Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
Highlander (1986) is an 80s cult classic. Christopher Lambert’s performance as the immortal warrior involved in a secret war with other immortals, for there can be only one, is a real treat. Especially with the fantastic soundtrack from rock band Queen.
The sequel, however, is one of the worst atrocities ever committed to celluloid. The film contradicts the canon established in the original movie. Suddenly, the immortal warriors are aliens, and for some unexplained reason, Sean Connery’s character Ramírez, who died in the original film, is back! ????
Incomprehensible. A complete mess. And ruined any hopes of a franchise or run of films. Somewhat hilarious to watch, though. Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994) was also a load of tosh, not as bad as the second installment, but once again, lacking in compariosn to the original. A TV series spin-off ensued which was also pretty diabolical. When will they learn?
In this sci-fi/fantasy sequel, Connor MacLeod has become an elderly man after losing his immortality. Living in a bleak future where the world is protected from solar radiation by a massive shield, MacLeod regains his youth when he kills two assassins from his home planet. This results in an ongoing battle with the villainous and powerful Gen. Katana, but MacLeod receives help when the noble Juan Ramirez returns.
5.) RoboCop 3 (1993)
Robocop (1987) was a smash success when it was released. An outlandish science fiction action film, it is packed with deeper philosophical meaning and satirical takes on modern society. It was also a pretty violent affair, one that raised quite a few eyebrows from the censors of the day.
It was followed by Robocop 2 (1990), which was an acceptable enough sequel. Robocop 3 (1993), however, is just cheap and nasty. Even the poster looks cheap. The sets look rubbish, the suit looks plastic, and the special effects are just terrible. The story is boring, and all the action was tame and pointless. At this point, Robocop had become a great toy seller and was seen as a vehicle to flog merchandise. The film became “teen-friendly”, being rated PG-13 instead of Rated R like the previous entries. This meant the third movie was loud and explosive but was ultimately cluttered and pointless, missing that intelligent satirical edge that made the first two films so great. A great shame really.
Greedy corporation Omni Consumer Products is determined to begin development on its dream project, Delta City, which will replace the derelict Detroit. To achieve this end, O.C.P. is employing armed forces to bully residents out of the city, under the guise that they are just doing their part to reduce crime and root out thugs. After RoboCop joins the civilian resistance, he sustains severe injuries but recovers to battle advanced ninja robots developed by O.C.P.
6.) Son of the Mask (2005)
The Mask (1994) was a huge hit for Jim Carrey in the 90s and was one of the breakout films for the star. Based on the comic books of the same name, the film is about a hapless everyday bank clerk who finds a magical wooden green mask that transforms him into “The Mask”, a green-faced troublemaker who can cartoonishly alter himself and his surroundings at will. For such a crazy role that requires frenetic energy and rubber-like comedic acting abilities, Jim Carrey was one of the only people who could pull it off.
In 2005, for some bizarre reason that I still cannot fathom, someone thought, “let’s make a sequel to that Jim Carrey vehicle, but without Jim Carrey”. So, essentially, what we get is people trying to be funny and failing. Badly. The manic and energetic charm of the original is completely gone, and in its place, some of the most painfully unfunny, gross toilet humour ever committed to screen by actors who couldn’t care less. Absolute shite.
A cartoonist and family man, Tim Avery lives a peaceful existence with his wife, Tonya, as well as their infant son and dog. When the curious canine finds a mask with mystical properties, both dog and baby create chaos with its powers. While Tim and Tonya try to contain the damage, the sly Norse god Loki comes looking for the artifact, resulting in more mishaps that ultimately incur the wrath of the deity’s powerful father, Odin.
7.) Kindergarten Cop 2 (2016)
Yep, bet you didn’t even know this film existed, right?
Kindergarten Cop (1990) is a beloved classic, an early 90s vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger, as he moved into more comedic roles after the success of Twins (1988). The humour of seeing the huge action star working undercover as a kindergarten teacher was hilarious and quite charming.
Twenty-six years later, they decided to make a standalone sequel, this time with Dolph Lundgren as the undercover detective. The film may as well be a remake, as it’s essentially the same story. Nothing new is introduced, it just plays upon a more modern approach where Dolph is terribly un-pc compared to his tiny students. It is painfully unfunny, with bad writing and poor acting. There is literally nothing good about the film, and the biggest problem is Lundgren, who is not a man who can switch into comedy acting the same way as Arnie did. The film is lifeless, and like many other sequels, you wonder why they bothered.
A gruff FBI agent goes under cover as a kindergarten teacher. He’s there to recover stolen data, but first he’ll have to learn to survive in the politically correct world of elementary education.
So, that’s our list… The 7 Worst Sequels Ever Made!
Think we’ve missed any out or not included the movie you think is the worst sequel ever made? Then let us know in the comments below.
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