A Sequel Too Far?


Written by Jack Sharp
22 Sunday 22nd January 2012

But they weren’t very good were they? They were Police Academy films. In fact, can you actually remember anything from any of the Police Academy films, outside of the first three perhaps? No. Despite this, the franchise, which has spawned 7 movies and two syndicated television series, is back. A remake is rumoured to be on a horizon, directed by comedian Scott Zabielski.

Sequels are big business in Hollywood; you know how the old saying goes: “Why make something new and original when you can milk an old idea for all it’s worth?” With that in mind, here’s a look at some other franchises with a ridiculous amount of sequels.

American Pie

You thought that American Wedding was the last one, didn’t you? You had no idea that Band Camp, The Naked Mile or The Book of Love existed, did you? Well, they do. And Eugene Levy is bizarrely in all of them, despite being an extremely talented comedic actor, once well respected for his work with Christopher Guest and SCTV.

It’s possible that you might have seen the worst of them all, American Pie Presents: Beta House. ITV air it a lot, and it serves as a fascinating relic capturing the moment when the American Pie franchise became completely redundant. It’s a bit like Animal House, but really bad. However, it is described by Maxim as a film that’s "loaded with sex, laughs and raunchy fun!"

Watching it, I wrongly presumed that Beta House was the final nail in the American Pie coffin, but apparently the original cast are back together for this year’s American Reunion. And yes, unsurprisingly, Eugene Levy returns as Jim’s dad.

Worst Sequel: American Pie Presents: Beta House


Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th was created to cash in on the success of Halloween, which is largely credited as being the first real slasher film (with the notable exception of perhaps The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Although the films haven't proved popular with critics over the years, the franchise is undeniably popular, having spawned a total of twelve films, a television series, novels and comic books.

The franchise primarily focuses on the character of Jason Voohees, who is thought to have drowned as a child at Camp Crystal Lake. His supposed death is the motivation for a series of murders carried out by his mother, camp cook Pamela Voorhees. It is revealed in the second film that Jason is in fact alive, and he continues to return to seek his revenge.

The popularity of Jason, who is identifiable by his trademark hockey mask, even resulted in a dreadful crossover film with Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger - Freddy vs Jason.

Worst Sequel: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan



The Zombi films have, in various territories, been marketed as sequels to either George A. Romero’s influential horror Dawn of the Dead (1978) or Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2 (1979). These two films have spawned numerous unofficial sequels over the years, many of which are known under several different titles.

The series officially begins with Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which for its European release, was re-edited and released under the title Zombi. As Fulci had a film about zombies in production during this time, his film was released as Zombi 2, to capitalise on the success of the Dawn of the Dead phenomenon. In 1988, Fulci released a sequel to Zombi 2 entitled Zombie 3.

In the UK, Dawn of the Dead, of course, was released under it original title, and Zombi 2 was retitled Zombie Flesh Eaters. The film was heavily criticised at the time for its extremely gory content, most notably by the Conservative government. Zombi 3 was released as Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 and the Italian 1989 zombie movie After Dead, directed by Claudio Fragasso, was released as Zombie Flesh Eaters 3.

The US releases are where things really start to get really confusing: Zombi 2 became Zombie, Zombi 3 became Zombie 3, After Death became Zombie 4: After death and the Italian horror Killing Birds (confusingly released a year earlier than Zombie 4: After Death) became Zombie 5: Killing Birds.

To blur things even further, several unrelated titles were released as Zombie sequels in the States during the 1990s by T-Z Video. And this is without taking into consideration the countless other films unofficially released under the Zombi title.

Worst Sequel: Zombie 5: Killing Birds


Scary Movie

When the third Scary Movie came out, quite a few people told me that I’d like it. “It's got a Michael Jackson parody in it,” they said. “He's like dancing and going, "SHAMONE!" and everything. It's really funny.”

Needless to say, I gave Scary Movie 3 a miss, and have subsequently stopped hanging around “people” quite so much. This is a franchise that has produced 4 Scary Movie films, as well as Not Another Teen Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans (which is particularly awful), Superhero Movie, Disaster Movie, Dance Flick and Vampires Suck. This year they plan to release Scary Movie 5.

Well, you know what, makers of the Scary Movie franchise? Here’s an idea for you people: Parody Movie. It’s a scathing attack on your own awful franchise, just 90 minutes of unfunny slapstick and references. Because this is all these films are, references, not jokes—references.

Worst Sequel: All of them...But probably Meet the Spartans.

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