by David Christopher Bell
A sequel hook is that very ambitious moment at the end of a movie where it boldly hint at a second film. While some can give the audience chills (think the ending of Batman Begins) there are a whole lot of them that end up becoming an embarrassment – usually when the film ends up bombing and ensuring that a second helping won’t be needed.
Then again, when has a movie being bad stopped sequels from happening? I propose the following eight – ridiculous hooks to sequels that they really ought to have done, if only for the morbid curiosity.
8. Manos: The Hands Of Fate – “The End… ?”
You know you want this to happen – if only for the awesome Rifftrax episode it would make.
Manos holds the distinction of being the film that even its MST3K episode couldn’t save. Unless you really enjoy looking out the window on long car trips, this film just isn’t for you. It so perfectly walks the line between dull and hilariously bad that when the final caption hooks you with a classic “The End?” you can’t help but to want more.
If you ask me who should sequel it, I’m pointing to Quentin Tarantino, who supposedly owns one of the only 35mm copies of the film. But if that doesn’t pan out we should at least look forward to the newly restored version, which should be coming any day now.
7. Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes – Washington Is Filled With Apes!
Even Tim Burton apparently knew this ending was hogwash when he made the film, saying in the commentary that it was a reasonable cliffhanger in case they ever wanted to do a sequel.
You know what, Burton? You made that bed, now eat it… or something. My point is – finish the job, Gothie. Let’s see where you were heading with a Washington D.C. filled with apes. Let’s see President Ape-Guy running around throwing poop at the White House press corps and eating baby rabbits in the garden and shit. You can’t make a bullshit ending like that and then simply shrug it away like it totally makes sense.
If only they had gone with the considered ending where he crashes in Yankee Stadium and sees a bunch of monkeys playing baseball. We could have had a whole monkey baseball movie to follow and call it Beneath The Dugout Of The Planet Of The Apes or something.
6. Super Mario Bros. – “You’re never gonna believe this…”
So I’m guessing that a few of you are wondering what kind of good could possibly come out of making a Mario Bros sequel. For that there’s like… no answer. Pity, perhaps? Did you see that ending? It’s like they knew how sad the film was going to be and wanted to remind us that the studio had big plans for the series – it was like watching a two-legged dog try to chase cars.
But here’s my pitch: someone just made a Battleship film. Why not at least try a reboot of this piece of shit? The directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton aren’t doing anything (I can’t imagine why), so let’s throw some money to them instead of Clash Of The Titans 3, Okay? Let’s take all that money you were going to give to make that shitty film, and reboot this shitty film instead.
5. Little Shop Of Horrors – Audrey III
You just don’t see comedic musicals anymore, do you? The original film (well, not actually the original original film) had brilliant funny folk like John Candy, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, and James Belushi in it. And of course let’s not forget Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and Steve Martin. All these people doing a friggin musical!
Let’s bring that back! Sure – you won’t have the same names, but let’s see what Seymour and Audrey’s kids are up to, yeah? Let’s get some new talent on this. Hell – just the voice of the plant alone would be a blast for the casting director.
4. Space Mutiny – The return of Kalgan
This one is more about morbid curiosity than anything else. It is possible that recreating the charm that makes this film so laughably bad may be unattainable. It featured everything from re-used special effects to hilarious over-acting to inexplicably resurrecting killed-off characters moments after their death. That kind of so-bad-it’s-entertaining simply can’t be artificially made – like a wild chemical reaction.
That said, director David Winters is still around – however this film’s chance of being made is long gone. You see, Kalgan actor John Phillip Law has passed, taking the character with him. After all – not unlike Indiana Jones – the actor really made the character. That said, just like Indiana Jones, if they could replace him with the character’s son, it should really be Shia LaBeouf. I think he has what it takes to fill those khakis.
3. Big Trouble In Little China – The Stowaway Monster
To be perfectly honest, I’ve seen this film like a dozen times and I still don’t understand what the hell it’s supposed to be. My best guess is that the screenwriters somehow managed to channel Real Ultimate Power years and years before the site even existed.
It was probably not a serious sequel hook, the leftover monster hiding in the back of Jack’s truck, but that’s not going to stop a man from dreaming. The beauty of Big Trouble In Little China is that you can continue the plot any which way you like. It’s not like Star Wars where there is a high demand for plot continuity; the sequel could be Kurt Russell fighting ice sharks at Santa’s workshop and it would keep to the spirit of the original film.
2. Kung Pow: Enter The Fist – Tongue Of Fury
This film defines cult following – a movie that most people stare blankly at, there are a select few who simply can’t get enough of it. It has a Mystery Science Theater appeal to it, nerdy and all about timing. You can’t re-tell a joke from Kung Pow in a way that would make it seem the least bit interesting.
The ending of the film promised a sequel that has since been only rumored to be in production. Now, more than ten years later, it looks like it will never be. Director/star Steve Oedekerk’s last film was something called Barnyard, and since then he has focused primarily on screenwriting.
The frustration here is that almost all of the budget is in the writing and post-production process, meaning that there’s very little production value past a green screen. All that really needs to happen is a Kickstarter page and this ridiculous promised sequel can be a thing of reality.
1. The Incredibles – The Underminor
This film didn’t bomb. In fact – it made over 250 million dollars – so why the hell aren’t we seeing a sequel for this thing? Sure – the ending hook was silly, but who didn’t get excited at the prospect of there being a second?
So what’s the hold up? Two words: Brad Bird. Dude apparently has been asked to do a sequel but wants to make absolutely sure that the script is good. Picky, picky.
Oh, and if that isn’t enough of a kick in the balls – dude ain’t doing another Iron Giant either. What is it about this guy and luring us into sequels that aren’t actually going to happen? It seems to me that Brad Bird gets off on torturing children. Pass that on.