It can be difficult to catch lightning in a bottle twice. The magic usually doesn’t feel the same way the second time around after you have become exposed to it. It can turn you into a skeptic. There is no better example of this than movie sequels. We fall in love with movie characters and we begin to crave more. Studios imagine the dollars that can be made. Sequels become green-lighted into a rushed production and we usually get left with something lackluster like Ghostbusters 2. Not all sequels are bad. For the most part movie sequels are just mediocre compared to the original, but there are a few movie sequels that flat-out crap the bed. Movies that are so bad they tarnish the image of the original. These select sequels are so bad that you will be wishing you were watching the awful sequels to Major League. I give you the four worst movie sequels ever.
Smokey and the Bandit 3 (1983)
I love Smokey and the Bandit so much I put it on ‘The 4: Sacred Movies’ list never to be remade again. Maybe the producers back in the day should have thought with that same mentality when it came to making a sequel involving The Bandit being chased again by Buford T. Justice. Truth is the franchise was out of gas creatively by the end of Smokey and the Bandit 2, but they found a way to crash head on into telephone pole with the third installment. They decided to make a Smokey and the Bandit film without Burt Reynolds. This time around Gleason’s Sheriff Justice would accept a challenge from Big and Little Enos to transport some stupid stuffed fish cross-country. Also Jerry Reed’s Snowman poses as The Bandit and tries to thwart the sheriff’s mission. This movie is bad on some many levels. The creators lazily used footage from the previous films. The original title was called Smokey is the Bandit and had Gleason playing both roles which test audiences hated. They decided to do reshoots with Jerry Reed added into the story, but it didn’t help. Smokey and the Bandit 3 was critical and financial disaster that diminished the legend of The Bandit.
Spiderman 3 (2007)
The Symbiote is the coolest story in Spiderman. The alien black suit gave Spiderman a sleek new look in the 1980s and gave birth to one of the greatest modern comic villains in the form of Venom. How could they have screwed this story up so badly in Spiderman 3? The answer is simple. Sam Raimi hates Venom. Raimi wanted no part of bringing Eddie Brock to the big screen to be a thorn in Peter Parker’s side, but fanboys and studio executives forced Raimi’s hand. The result, a half-hearted attempt to bring Venom into the franchise. Raimi also mismanaged another great villain The Sandman making the character seem pointless by the final frame. Sure the dance sequence with Peter Parker is dumb, there’s no real plot and Topher Grace was horribly miscast as Venom/Eddie Brock. But the real blame lands on Raimi who couldn’t let go of the fact no one wanted to see Spiderman battle the Vulture as he had planned. This ended with a lazy attempt at filmmaking on Raimi’s part and left so many Spiderman fans of the 1980s disgusted.
Jaws the Revenge (1987)
I take this very personally. Jaws is my favorite movie of all time. So it kills me that this bottom feeder of a sequel is attached to the movie that created the summer blockbuster. I thought the Jaws franchise had jumped the shark with Jaws 3-D, but apparently terrorizing a water park wasn’t enough. So a fourth installment was made, Jaws the Revenge. Where to start with this turd floating in the ocean. First off sharks don’t hold grudges against a certain family. Just like Hooper said in Jaws “All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all”. Apparently in Jaws the Revenge sharks can also can jump out of the water and stay there while roaring because we all know sharks can do that. Poor Michael Caine who had to go back for reshoots on this dead fish missed being able to accept his Academy Award for Hannah and Her Sisters. Oh well, at least Caine was involved in a scene where he gets to clip a Great White Shark with an airplane wing. No wonder it’s one of the few films to earn a 0% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes.
Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993)
He’s dead. No really, he’s still dead. That’s really all I wanted to write when describing what I think of the dumbest idea for a sequel ever! Bernie, still dead, is able to rise and walk again with sound of music through a voodoo spell. You can’t make this cinema gold up. So for 97 minutes we are treated to Bernie, still dead, shuffling around the Virgin Islands looking cash that he stole while he was still alive. Along the way Bernie is shoved into a suitcase and shot with a spear. The first Weekend at Bernie’s earned a spot on ‘The 4: So Bad It’s Good Movies’, but this sequel is dead on arrival. Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman’s careers were never the same after Weekend at Bernie’s II.
Dishonorable Mention: Speed 2: Cruise Control, The Boondock Saints 2, National Lampoon’s European Vacation CaddyShack 2