Ministry Of Listicles: Top 21 Absurdest Film Sequel Titles
Last week we saw the film adaptation of We Need To Talk About Kevin. The main thing they need to talk about is how they, Tilda Swinton and John C Reilly, ended up with a Eurasian child. Clearly there were some swapsies going on at the hospital… which opens matters up for a sequel. Whether it’s called Look Who’s Talking About Kevin Too, We Still Need To Talk About Kevin, 2 Kevin 2 Furious or The Kevin Supremacy, it underscores the certain genre of jokes based on absurd Hollywood sequel titling practices.
So we’ve assembled some of the silliest – including old favourites, direct-to-video genre instalments and forthcoming idiocies.
1. Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo
Arguably the template for sequel-titling jokes. Just like the film it describes, the title is simultaneously super-corny and super-cool. As one YouTube commenter says, “Why can’t movies suck this good anymore?”
2. Step Up 2: The Streets
‘Classical’ vs ‘street’ is hardly a new juxtaposition in dance movies, but John M Chu struck latter-day gold with his Step Up franchise; the fourth instalment is currently in production. You can tell the sequel is supposed to be pronounced “Step up to the streets” – as if you were in a basement before – because that’s how Chu himself says it in an amusing YouTube ‘dance battle’ he and star Adam Sevani held in 2008 with Miley Cyrus.
3. City Slickers II: The Legend Of Curly’s Gold
It’s rare that a sequel title actually piques interest about the plot. What! Curly had gold? It was legendary? But perhaps it’s the Goldilocks-style juxtaposition of ‘Curly’ and ‘gold’ that makes this one of the great sequel titles.
4. Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College
Speaking of plot-related sequel titles, this one’s farcical possibilities make it perhaps the greatest in this series of four horror/comedies, aided by the presence of the always awesome Kevin McCarthy as the dean.
5. Piranha 3DD
It is supremely irritating that a lot of films presented in 3D have to include ’3D’ in the title – at least Jaws 3D had the decency to actually be the third instalment in the series. Last year’s Piranha 3D, however, was a straight remake of Joe Dante’s exploitation horror flick (which had been intended as a Jaws piss-take), its extreme gore amply leavened with shots of dicks and boobs… so the title of its sequel (forthcoming is February 2012) is inspired, to say the least.
6. Die Hard 4.0: Live Free Or Die Hard
Let’s talk about the Die Hard franchise. I actually quite like Die Harder for its simple, hilarious logic, but it did box the filmmakers in when it came to a third title. Die Hard With A Vengeance doesn’t make sense, but it comes with a certain tang of pointless aggression that makes me wonder why jokesters on the internet persist with their ‘electric boogaloo’ gags rather than adopting ‘with a vengeance’ gags.
But for true absurdity, the fourth instalment can’t be beaten. Because Bruce Willis battles hackers (who tell him he’s “a Timex watch in a digital world”… buuuurn), we get the 4.0… but why involve the state motto of New Hampshire? Perhaps it was to appeal to the atmosphere of Extreme Patriotism that prevailed in the US after 9/11.
7. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil
I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that this animated poor cousin of Shrek, in which Little Red Riding Hood is a badass, has possibly the worst sequel title of all time. So many puns! All of them awful! Topped off with that unnecessary exclamation mark.
8. Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway
Guys, never use ouija boards… they don’t just let evil spirits into your lives, but evil sequel titles. The confusing combination of witches and devils, boards and doorways, really wastes an opportunity to riff on the original’s corny pun on ‘switchboard’. Why not Witchboard 2: Putting You Through Now or Witchboard 2: Disconnected?
9. Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
This is just absurd, because cyberspace is infinite. There is nothing beyond cyberspace.
10. 2 Fast 2 Furious
Currently rivalling ‘Electric Boogaloo’ as the internet’s favourite joke sequel title. Its logic of not merely more, but excessive speed and fury transcends mere insanity to reach a sublime plane. None of the subsequent instalments could possibly top this, as the lame Fast and Furious acknowledges.
11. Gremlins 2: The New Batch
This film brilliantly satirises sequel titling in an extended cartoon opening sequence created by Warner Bros legend Chuck Jones, whom director Joe Dante had lured out of retirement. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck argue over what to call the sequel; Daffy’s suggestion is The Return of Super-Daffy Meets Gremlins 2 Part 6: The Movie. Cut from the film for being too long, this sequence appears as a DVD special feature.
12. Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Is this a horror film or a hit Broadway musical? One of the more entertaining in a franchise that, like its antihero, refuses to die, although it teased audiences with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.
13. AVPR: Aliens vs Predator: Requiem
As messy as the mayhem in the film, this title leaves you wondering whether these people know what a requiem is. (It’s an act of ritual remembrance for the dead, whereas this film slays dozens of anonymous people without pausing for reflection.) Its double colon is also as painful as having an Alien burst from your abdomen.
14. Darkman III: Die Darkman Die
Despite only a sketchy knowledge of German, I can’t help reading this as “The Darkman The”.
15. Beethoven’s 2nd
As Wikipedia puts it, “The scherzo and the finale are filled with vulgar Beethovenian musical jokes, which shocked the sensibilities of many contemporary critics.” Perhaps the same could be said for this family movie about the sex life of a loveable but trouble-making St Bernard dog. Beethoven has since made several straight-to-video films, but after Beethoven’s 5th the symphonic naming strategy was wisely abandoned. Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure, narrated by John Cleese, is out this holiday season.
16. Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings
This just made me laugh hysterically. Is this movie about getting your period at Halloween?
17. Rambo: First Blood Part 2
Well, it makes sense in the context that the original film was titled First Blood. But why not Rambo: Second Blood?
18. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
This forthcoming sequel to 2008′s Journey to the Centre of the Earth (slated for release in February 2012) uses the Step Up formula of incorporating the number two, Prince-style, into the title.
19. Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit
Aw, it’s super-cheesy but I still like this one. Amen.
20. Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out
Gotta love a good Christmas joke.
21. Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
If you thought this 2003 experiment in 3D was the final instalment in the Spy Kids franchise – wrong! This year saw a fourth film, Spy Kids: All The Time In The World In 4D. The fourth dimension is smell: cinemagoers get a numbered Aromascope card which they scratch as the corresponding numbers are flashed on the screen, to unleash eight different scents depicted in the film.
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