That’s what happened with the first sequel on this hit list: American Psycho 2 (2002). Now, you’re probably thinking, “I love American Psycho! How come I never knew there was a sequel?” Count yourself lucky. What was originally pitched as an original movie was turned into a sequel to the 2000 classic starring Christian Bale.
In American Psycho 2, Mila Kunis plays a university student who after watching the brutal murder of her babysitter by serial killer Patrick Bateman when she was a child, murders Bateman herself (at age 12 no less) and decides to turn her hand to the practice full time in order to beat the rest of her university class to secure her a place in the FBI. With Morgan Freeman as director, and Kunis starring alongside William Shatner as her professor, this film could have been passable. Its true downfall was its attachment to the original as an afterthought.
Next on the list, we have a sequel that lives up to, nay, exceeds its original: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003). Despite earning a place in Entertainment Weekly’s '25 Worst Sequels', I have to disagree. Having seen Elle Woods basically invent feminism and expose issues such as slut-shaming, assault in the workplace and completely defy the dumb blonde trope in Legally Blonde, she comes back with a further activist bang. Wanting her beloved chihuahua Bruiser’s mother to attend her wedding with Emmett, Elle hires a detective to find her, only to discover that the dog is being held captive in a lab used for testing! Despite the absurdity of the whole movie, it holds a special place in my heart. Elle Woods evolves from being a solely feminist and humanitarian to fighting for not only animal rights, but LGBT rights too; a true icon of our generation.
I experienced our next sequel at 2:30 AM in Tyneside Cinema as part of their Halloween All-Nighter, and as it was a Mystery Screening, I had no idea what I was signing up to. It turned out to be Zombi 2 (1979), the sequel to the re-edited Italian release of Dawn of the Dead (1978). In my sleep-deprived and highly caffeinated state, I found myself almost crying laughing at the incongruous soundtrack, bizarre dialogue, and unnecessarily nude women.
Due to entering late and not seeing the title, I was not even aware the film was about zombies for the first half of the film, instead thinking it was about a swamp monster and his pet, an uninterested shark. The film was deemed a video nasty in the UK, due to its gore, and to be fair, the special effects makeup was one of the redeeming qualities of the film.
To end on a good note, lets talk Back to the Future Part II (1989). Marty and Doc travel to 2015 to a world of hoverboards and self-lacing Nikes, in order to save Marty’s children from going to jail. However, of course, it’s not that simple. Doc, Marty, and Jennifer face a complexity of dilemmas taking them back to a series of different timelines and possibilities. Despite being confusing at times, half the fun of the film is testing yourself to work out what the hell is going on. This is emphasized by not even Doc Brown not even knowing what’s going on himself. The film is crazy and absurd, but its lack of realism is the thing that holds all the charm.