The Worst Sequels of All Time II: Sequel Harder

September 1, 2012

Film, Humor

And now, part 2 of The Bad, in our sequels rundown, The Good, The Bad, and The Contentious.  If you missed The Good, it’s here, if you missed numbers 10-6 of The Bad, it’s here.

Oh! Something happend to Ed Helms’ face, like in the first film, only it’s bigger! Hilarious! And instead of a baby, it’s a monkey! Genius!

5. The Hangover, part II.  Sequels sometimes use the follow-up to branch beyond the original – try something new, build on the characters.  Others work very hard to not deviate from the formula.  This sequel goes to jaw-dropping lengths to repeat every single successful gag from the original; from the absurd “once-in-a-lifetime” premise, through every gag, right up to the whole reason they can’t remember the night in the first place.  Whether it was crassness or laziness on the part of the filmmakers, it’s an almost open contempt for its audience.

4. Robocop 2.  Director Paul Verhoven came to the US and exploded in to American consciousness with Robocop – a movie that managed to celebrate and satirize violent American movies at the same time – and with equal effectiveness.  The sequel looks cheap in every way – cheaply shot, cheaply acted.  Strangely, it’s written by an accomplished writer and directed by the director of The Empire Strikes Back – yet everything about it seems like a cheaply, quickly (and badly) made TV movie.

3. Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.  I accept the role Dirty Dancing plays in women’s lives.  It seems to be to women what The Road Warrior is to men.  It touches something very deep, very primal – something that nobody puts in a corner.  And you wonder, how did there come to be a sequel?  And why is it set in Cuba?  Well, there were these filmmakers, see, and they wrote a serious, intellectual script about two Cuban teenagers living in the days leading up to the communist revolution.  And then along came a studio who said, “Teenagers, eh?  In the late 50’s?  That gives us the opposite of an idea…!” Listen to a painful yet funny account of what happened here.

It’s set in the town of Nilbog and at one point… wait a minute… “NILBOG” IS “GOBLIN” SPELLED BACKWARDS!!

2. Troll 2.  Really, this should be at a tie for first – this is by far the worst film on the list and, in fact, widely considered one of the worst movies ever made.  Chances are good that you’re thinking, “Troll 2? Never heard of it.  I’ve never even heard of Troll 1.”  But this is just one of the many shining facets of staggering ineptitude that is the giant Troll 2 failure diamond. Because, you see, there is no Troll 1.  Troll 2 is a sequel to a movie called Goblins.  So why not called the sequel something like ‘Goblins 2: The Trolls’?”  Because Troll 2 doesn’t have any trolls in it either.  It’s also about Goblins.

Are you starting to get a sense of the depth of failure involved here?  You see, it’s not only considered one of the worst movies ever made, it manages to fail at the act of being a sequel itself!

So why is it not number 1?  For the simple reason that it’s missing the real component that separates a bad movie from a bad sequel.  And when it comes to worst sequels, in the end, there can be only one…

Well, yes, I know I’m contractually obligated to appear in the sequel… but I was beheaded in the first film so I assumed… that is… wait, is that an alien?

1. Highlander 2: The Quickening.  What does this do that Troll 2 doesn’t?  It totally and completely betrays its fan base.  Aside from having one of the worst titles of all time, it actually destroys fans’ affection for the original.  The original – the story of immortal warriors battling through the centuries – was a huge cult hit.  It’s an odd film (chief oddity: the two leads are a Frenchman playing a Scotsman, and a Scotsman playing Spaniard.  Wha?), but ingenious and ravenously adored by fans.  The sequel is a muddled junkheap – a dead character returns with no explanation, the “ancient warrior” component turns in to something about aliens… it’s a mess and it actually manages to dismantle the original; something very few sequels can lay claim to.

Coming soon: The Contentious – the 10 sequels that people are most divided on.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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60 Comments on “The Worst Sequels of All Time II: Sequel Harder”

  1. Blogdramedy Says:

    This is truly an award-winning list of award-losing movies. So…does that make all these movies a wash? A good scrub could have done wonders. Personally, they should have been drowned at birth. 🙂


  2. 1pointperspective Says:

    Sometimes, when I read about movies I’ve never seen, I feel like s social pariah – out of touch with modern culture and doomed to be a non-participant in any discussion. Other times however, I can enjoy a smug sense of self satisfaction, like now.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I know what you mean. I feel the same way when people talk about reality TV or celebrity break-ups. “Oh my God, can you believe R-Splats and B-Fug broke up?” “Uh… excuse me? Did you just have a medical emergency? Has your speech center just been destroyed?”


      • 1pointperspective Says:

        Amen. (Though I have been guilty of watching some of TV’s biggest offenders, there are other shows I’ve never seen.) I recently watched a couple episodes of “Honey Boo Boo” and I am scarred for life. Really. I’ll never be the same. Please be warned.


  3. becomingcliche Says:

    Wait. You haven’t covered any of the Star Wars shenanigans.

    There may not be a Troll 1, but there is certainly a Trollhunter! And I never knew there was a Dirty Dancing 2. I can only imagine that it was as fulfilling as Grease 2.


  4. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    I had no idea there was a Dirty Dancing 2. I thought you were kidding. Now I am quivering.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      My wife is drawn to it like a moth to fire. Even writing this post she was saying, “We should watch that!” merely because it has a title connection to Dirty Dancing. She knows it will be terrible, but she can’t stay away from something called “Dirty Dancing.”


  5. mistyslaws Says:

    The Hangover 2 would have made me incredibly angry had I paid for it in the theater. Instead it was rented in a hotel room in Vegas (hello irony), so ended up being free, AND I enjoyed watching Bradley Cooper just being hot throughout the whole thing. That was the only non-lazy thing in that whole movie. It should have just been called The Hangover: Again.

    Oh, and bravo on the title of the post….. Sequel Harder was a nice touch. 🙂


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It was on HBO for a while on constant loop (it seemed like). Every time I’d see a few minutes I would feel so mad at the filmmakers. Not that the original is genius, but it’s genuinely fun and clever.


  6. sj Says:

    I like Highlander II. 😦


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      No, you do not. Quit funnin’ old uncle Byronic.

      Seriously? No. Seriously?

      I specifically thought of you while writing this, thinking you – particularly – would wave your arms and shout “testify!” at that part (at least symbolically). I – honestly, no hyperbole here – have never met anyone who’s seen Highlander 2 and not just hated it. Not only not liked it, but hated it.


  7. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Not only am I one of the few Americans who didn’t care for Star Wars, I’m also one of the few women who thought Dirty Dancing was a dumb movie–the original, that is. Didn’t know there was a sequel. I suppose there is no hope for me.


  8. anecdotaltales Says:

    I have yet to see Highlander 2 (or even Highlander. Eep!), but I have to root for Troll 2. C’mon, they made a documentary about how its the best-worst film ever!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s a tough one, though – there’s a lot of good-bad movies out there. Have you seen Manos: The Hand of Fate? Especially nice, is that “Manos” means “hand.” So the title is, basically, “Hand: The Hand of Fate.”

      Highlander II is just awful. Not funny bad.


  9. tomwisk Says:

    Sean Connery has shown up in more turkeys than a bag of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing. Someone always thinks a Scots accent can be interpreted as Russian, French or Irish.


  10. Go Jules Go Says:

    Of all of these, I’ve only seen Hangover 2, and I couldn’t even make it through the whole thing. Seriously lazy stuff – you’re so right.

    I was all set to tell you how “something that nobody puts in a corner” made me laugh out loud, and then I just LOST IT at the Troll 2 description. I HAD never heard of it, and I LOVE that ‘part 1’ has a completely different title. Wow. I can’t even tell you how hard I just laughed. Not wizard hard, but pretty hard.

    Hey didn’t they make a Cutting Edge 2? Because I’ll totally send that as a ‘thank you for almost giving me a six pack from laughter’ gift.

    …Okay, they DID make a Cutting Edge 2 (I just Googled it), and now I remember that I refused to see it. I think I’m legitimately terrified of sequels.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Really? A Cutting Edge 2? FINALLY, some answers to all those lingering questions! All those unresolved plot points!


      • Go Jules Go Says:

        It’s a total ‘redo’ from 2006 with new actors and a SLIGHTLY different plot and it looks so, SO terrible. “Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold.”

        Oh holy shiz. Wikipedia is telling me there’s a “Cutting Edge: Fire & Ice” from 2010.

        I need a drink.


        • mistyslaws Says:

          But to be fair, I think that fire and ice one was a lifetime or ABC Family original. I think I remember seeing a commercial and being horrified for the sad state of America. Nothing can top the brilliance that was Moira Kelly’s “toe pick” and “oh, Dug.”


  11. Andrea Kelly Says:

    Dirty Dancing 2 is sacrilegious! NObody puts baby in the corner! (Perfect timing for this post, as the original has been on repeat all weekend. I’ve watched it 3 times while cleaning the house.)


  12. Luddy's Lens Says:

    “The Quickening”? As in, second trimester fetal movement? In this sequel they reveal…a midwife?

    Not sure Dirty Dancing 2 should be on this list, since the original Dirty Dancing was a load of tripe anyway. But what do I know: I’m one of those chicks who gag at “chick flicks” and “chick lit” and anything I’m told is supposed to be “chick”.


  13. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I can smugly say that I have seen none of these films.

    But what about Ocean’s 12? I am watching Ocean’s 11 right now on TV for about the 100th time. (one of my faves)


  14. The World Is My Cuttlefish Says:

    I almost want to see them now. (There’s nothing like a good bad movie for a few laughs – so long as you know what you’re up for.) Does that mean I have to see the originals first to appreciate how bad the sequels are?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Hm… not necessarily. It would sure help – particularly in the case of Robocop. You wouldn’t necessarily grasp how much they missed the point without seeing the humor and fun in the first. The second is just, “Oh, you all want violence, eh? Okay, we’ll mow ’em down left and right.”


  15. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    You hit the nail on the head, Byronic. OK, it’s a cliche. But it’s still an improvement over the redundant, awful sequels that Hollywood comes up with because it’s too lazy or fearful to try something new.

    I tried to listen to the audio linked to “Dirty Dancing2: Havana Nights,” but there was a problem. The music and scenery in the movie was very good. The plot didn’t really work for me.


  16. madtante Says:

    I still haven’t recovered from the “retooling” of Clash of the Titans. It was so bad, that I didn’t go to see the sequel — hilariously promoted as being “nothing like the first one”. You know it’s bad when they’re apologizing.


  17. pegoleg Says:

    Also smugly stating that I’ve never seen any of them and it looks like I dodged a film bullet with that smart decision.

    Is that the guy from Sex & The City in the Troll film? I didn’t know he ever did anything else. I’m surprised he ever did anything else after that riveting 30 second clip.


  18. colinsplace Says:

    I, like most of the respondents above, appear to have not seen these err wonderful movies …

    So the sequels were deserved flops … There seems to be a consensus here?


  19. susielindau Says:

    I guess it is a blessing that I have not seen any of these!


  20. Sandy Sue Says:

    Wow. I never saw any of these–in the theater or at home. Perhaps I have a built in crap sensor. I wonder if I could be useful in the next Star Trek sequel?


  21. Love & Lunchmeat Says:

    I’ve never seen any of these. Thankfully. However, I was really looking forward to Hangover Part 2. I laughed so hard during the first one, I’m surprised I didn’t end up with some sort of hernia. Kinda bummed to read that Part 2 is terrible.

    Oh, and that’s one of the kid by-products. You very rarely see a movie when it first comes out… There are good by-products though too, like being too tired to stay awake during political debates.


  22. benzeknees Says:

    I agree with your list. I loved Speed, hated Cruise Control. Didn’t see Die Hard series, wasn’t in love with even the first Blues Brothers, but loved the first Indiana Jones (also kinda liked the one with Sean Connery).


  23. princessvonvoodoo Says:

    I made my brother watch Troll 2 because of this post. While he does not thank you, I do. Watching him in misery before he fell asleep was pure evil sister heaven.


  24. Angie Z. Says:

    I want to gouge my eyes out after seeing the Troll 2 trailer.


  25. benzeknees Says:

    I’m very happy to say I have not seen any of these sequels – in fact I haven’t seen any of the original movies noted here, so I’m way ahead of the game! BTW, I was away for a while, how is the bean?


  26. themeredithmouth Says:

    I had never really heard of “Troll 2” until I caved in and watched a Netflix-recommended documentary called “The Best Worst Movie.” ( Turns out this little gem is directed by the guy who played the kid in the movie…
    Needless to say, it’s delightful. Heartwarming, even. And it focuses a ton on the lead in the film, who is a DENTIST…. is this for real? (Yes. Yes it is.)



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