Yes, movies such as The Land Before Time or Friday the 13th have produced about 57 sequels each, and we certainly don’t blame you if you’ve lost track of them. We’re avoiding those types here. We’re talking about very popular movies that have an almost unheard of or unknown sequel. Unless you’re a film buff, or the movie we mention happens to be one of your favorites, odds are you haven’t heard of most of these. Are they worth watching? Read below to view our two cents. While this is by no means an all-inclusive list, we strongly feel it’s the best one.
Sequel to: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Even a lot of hardcore fans of the erotic musical have never heard of Brad and Janet’s second adventure. The first Rocky Horror Picture Show has become something of a pop culture phenomenon, so what gives? Well, though it does reunite the audience with Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, and Nell Campbell (even though they don’t play the same characters), it doesn’t have the original star quality of Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, and of course, Tim Curry. The whole premise is centered around a TV show that has taken control of Brad and Janet’s hometown. So basically, it has almost nothing to do with the original movie and could work just as well as its own if the characters were named anything else. No wonder no one knows there’s a sequel–it hardly counts as one. Skip it.
Sequel to: Grease (duh)
Another sequel to a musical that was largely dismissed when it was first released back in 1982, and one that hasn’t amassed or maintained the following of its predecessor. Not that this is a bad movie, it just wasn’t the excellent sing-a-thon the first one was. There are some familiar faces here, but not any of the ones people actually cared about (unless you were one of the few who singled out Frenchy as their favorite Pink Lady). Maxwell Caulfield (don’t be upset if you’ve never heard of him) stars as Sandy’s cousin, recently moved from Australia to the States. He has his sites set on the school It Girl, Stephanie (played by a young Michelle Pfeiffer), also a lead Pink Lady. The songs are passable, and some of them as catchy as a few from the first,even if it’s a an obvious derivative of. See it.
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Sequel to: The Poseidon Adventure
The original Poseidon Adventure might just be the greatest disaster film ever made, so why such a stupid sequel? True, it was made in a time when sequels almost never succeeded with critics or audiences past their forerunner, but this is bad even for ’70s standards. NONE of the original cast is present… even though why would they be? Most of them died in the first one. But it has the same director, disaster great Irwin Allen, and has talented headliners Michael Caine, Karl Malden, and Sally Field (who won an Oscar that same year). The sequel was originally conceived with the survivors from the first movie getting trapped in an underground tunnel (later made into Daylight), and that would have been a much, much better premise than this tugboat crew happening upon the capsized Poseidon and claiming salvage rights.
The Two Jakes
Sequel to: Chinatown
Chinatown deserved a sequel. It left us hanging with one of the most unexpected endings ever. But it didn’t deserve this kind of punishment when The Two Jakes hit theaters 16 years later. Jack is back, this time taking also tackling the director’s chair. Unlike a lot of sequels, this one isn’t completely unnecessary. Private Detective Jack Gittis’ story was only partly finished. Unfortunately, The Two Jakes is a complete calamity from beginning to end. Predictable from the first frame. Everyone wanted to know what happened to Evelyn Cross’ daughter and if her father ever came to justice. But this movie won’t bring you any gratification. You’d be better off creating the story in your head. There’s no sense of film noir or surprising twists that made the first one so great. Roman Polanski may be a disgusting human being, but he had a way with pacing that couldn’t be emulated. The only way Nicholson resembles Polanski is in his perverted off-screen habits. Skip it.
Sequel to: Gone with the Wind
Yes, you read that right. There’s a sequel to Gone with the Wind. You just may have never heard of it because it debuted on television as a mini-series in the early ’90s–though it was based on the novel of the same name that sold over a million copies as the official sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s beloved classic. That said, the book, and this movie, both suck. The world was left wondering what happened between Scarlett and Rhett after he famously dumped her, but no one asked that their lives be turned into a badly acted courtroom drama. And talk about a lousy cast. Timothy Dalton and Joanne Whalley replacing Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh? No thank you. Skip it.
Return to Oz
Sequel to: The Wizard of Oz
Before Wicked and the upcoming Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the children of the ’80s were given this nightmare-inducing second chapter to Dorothy’s adventures over the rainbow. Released as an ‘unofficial sequel,’ 46 years after the first one, Return to Oz confused fans and critics alike. Since The Wizard of Oz is in public domain, the only thing the producers of this Disney movie had to pay rights to was the ruby slippers. It’s a creepy movie, and probably too frightening for children. A witch that steals maidens’ heads? The yellow brick road and Emerald City now in ruins? Tin Man and Cowardly Lion turned to stone? A curse that turns living people into inanimate objects? The whole thing is very unsettling. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie, it’s just a weird movie. It’s watchable, especially if you grew up in the era, but don’t expect the magic of the first one. Watch it.
French Connection 2
Sequel to: The French Connection
There’s not much to say about this one. Like Chinatown, this sequel also had more story to tell. While it’s no French Connection, it’s still a good movie, especially for a crime drama. Gene Hackman is back in his Oscar-winning role, Popeye Doyle, still on the hunt for the drug lord that escaped him in the first. Good chase scenes and good performances, and a satisfying conclusion. Watch it.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
Sequel to: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
We know we said that we weren’t going to list movies in the same vein as Friday the 13th, but this quasi-sequel was released way back in 1994 (before remakes and sequels flooded our theaters) and features box office favorites Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellwegger. And, it was only the third sequel, which is small by comparison. It follows much of the same pattern as the original, except the kids are on their way to prom instead of a an old family homestead. It’s a terrible movie, and it’s almost unwatchable. No wonder McConaughey lobbied against the film’s theatrical release after he became famous. Skip it.