#3. Beetlejuice 2: Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian
Tim Burton's Beetlejuice was way ahead of its time, mainly because it had a message that still resonates with goths and emo kids everywhere: Death is far better than the torment of a comfortable upper-middle-class life. It also made like five times its budget, so it's no surprise that the studio was desperate to make a sequel and asked Tim Burton to pull something out of his ass as fast as possible.
And pull out of his ass he did. Apparently, Burton did not particularly feel like doing a sequel, so he offered the studio the worst sequel idea he could think of: Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. You can probably guess the entire plot from those three words, including the part with the surf contest won by Beetlejuice.
Also, he gets a Hawaiian shirt and a tan, at which point he becomes Nick Nolte's mugshot.
According to screenwriter Jonathan Gems, "Tim thought it would be funny to match the surfing backdrop of a beach movie with some sort of German expressionism, because they're totally wrong together." However, the studio ate it up: A script was commissioned, and both Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder signed up to do the film in 1990.
The script was practically a remake of the first movie, only in warmer weather. The Deetz family moves to a Hawaiian island and opens a resort that happens to be built on top of some ancient burial grounds. Winona Ryder's character, Lydia, goes to the afterlife to ask Beetlejuice to scare her own family off of the island. Beetlejuice takes the job, but also uses the afterlife version of Rophynol to make Lydia fall in love with him. The two hook up, and Lydia even agrees to get married to Beetlejuice.
A recurrent theme in the franchise, apparently.
In the grand finale, Beetlejuice turns into a giant monster ("Juicifer") when his plans have gone to shit and starts leveling the island with some help from reanimated dinosaur skeletons and monster Easter Island heads. Then, a no-longer hot for Beetlejuice Lydia uses her psychic powers to summon a tidal wave and ... levels the island herself, apparently. Including her parents' hotel. The end.
As shitty as it sounds, the movie would have probably been made anyway if Tim Burton hadn't gotten distracted by the Batman franchise. By 1996, the studio was still trying to get it made and even asked Kevin Smith to do a rewrite ... to which he wisely replied, "Didn't we say all we needed to say in the first Beetlejuice?"
And not nearly enough about Shrunken Head Guy.
#2. Casablanca 2: Brazzaville
Casablanca is one of those classic movies that everyone has heard of but that most of you probably haven't seen. It consistently makes critics' lists of the greatest films of all time, and has almost certainly become the most quotable ("Here's looking at you, kid" and so on).
And the infamous "Pass that blunt and let's knuckle-fuck a Nazi."
The movie takes place during World War II and stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick, an American nightclub owner in the Nazi-controlled city of Casablanca. He's the Han Solo character, the guy with the shady past and no particular allegiance to anyone but himself. But then his former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) shows up with her husband and asks for his help getting them out of the country. So, he is to risk his own life so that the woman he loves can go off and live her life with some other dude.
But in the end, he does it, their plan only succeeding due to a change of heart by corrupt police captain Louis Renault. In the final scene, Rick watches the love off his life fly away, then he and Renault walk off and Bogart utters one of the many famous lines ("Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.") It's implied that they're going to join the French resistance and take on the Nazis.
"Have you ever fired a machine gun in each hand, Rick? It's pretty much the shit."
Casablanca's bittersweet finale isn't just a perfect movie ending -- it's the perfect movie ending. Pretty much every line of dialogue in that scene is now a classic movie quote. And yet as soon as the movie became a hit, Warner Bros. seriously considered doing a sequel that didn't just continue the story -- admittedly, the idea of Rick and Captain Renault kicking Nazi butt across Europe sounds kind of awesome -- but seemed specifically designed to undermine everything that was great about the original.
"Was that cannon fire or was it my hea- AAAAAIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!"
One of the things that made Rick interesting was that he was a cynical bastard who sacrifices his own happiness in the end for the greater good. Brazzaville would have started out by revealing that the gambling, the alcoholism and his shady past as an arms dealer were just a cover for the fact that he was a U.S. anti-Nazi spy all along. Same with Renault: He didn't have a change of heart in that final scene, he was secretly working for the good guys the whole time, too. A great deal of the first movie could have been avoided if they'd only told each other before.
Sam also was a spy, and so was his piano.
But at least they didn't mess with the classic Rick/Ilsa love story, right? Yup: Ilsa's husband Victor Laszlo dies pretty early in the movie, and so she spends the rest of the time chasing Rick as he attempts to infiltrate a German spy ring in Tangiers. This puts Rick in an awkward spot because part of his top secret mission involves sleeping with a sexy Spanish femme fatale working for the Nazis.
So, in a complete rehash of the love triangle from the first movie, Rick loves Ilsa but can't tell her because that would compromise the mission, and Ilsa loves Rick but decides to let him go for the greater good. However, Rick's sexy Spanish Nazi girlfriend ends up taking a bullet for him during the final confrontation with the German spies -- and with that, Rick and Ilsa are finally free to be together and are last seen on a boat heading for America, in a perfectly happy ending. It's the anti-Casablanca.
"Eh, we've probably done enough to help the cause by now, let's go home."
The most frightening part? Humphrey Bogart actually signed up to do the movie in 1943. Ingrid Bergman didn't, but was apparently deemed replaceable. Fortunately, the executives at Warner Bros. ended up deciding not to go ahead with the project, despite the fact that they probably could have made a shitload of money with it. Let's just hope they're not reading this article.
#1. Gladiator 2 (by Nick Cave)
How do you do a sequel for a movie where the main character died at the end? The answer is: You don't. Or, if you're Russell Crowe, the other answer is: You hire a rock star to write the most deranged gladiator movie ever conceived. It's important to note that we didn't make up any part of the story we're about to tell you: This is a real script that exists, and it was personally commissioned by Ridley Scott and Crowe. It's also the only entry in this list we actually want to see, because of how awesomely insane it is.
After doing Gladiator, Scott and Crowe were eager to do a sequel but had one little problem: As mentioned, the main character (Maximus) is unmistakably dead and buried by the end of the movie. Crowe thought there had to be a way around that pesky little detail and hired the legendary Nick Cave from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to come up with a "creative solution." The fact that the Gladiator 2 script was written by a famous rock star is the most normal thing about it.
Above: Either Nick Cave or the antichrist's drug dealer.
The story written by Cave opens with Maximus gladiatoring the shit out of some Roman gods in the afterlife until they agree to let him go back to the land of the living. The newly reincarnated Maximus then spends some time in Rome defending early Christians from persecution -- and somehow becoming immortal. During the next two hours, we watch Maximus kick ass throughout history, being present at every important war ever fought from the Crusades to Vietnam, like a more muscular Forrest Gump.
The end of the script reveals that Maximus ended up working at the Pentagon, which makes sense because it does sort of look like a gladiator arena. We like to imagine that even at the Pentagon he was still wearing that same miniskirt from the first movie, if only to justify the word "gladiator" in Gladiator 2.
Alright, so maybe he puts on a tie when going to a meeting.
Russell Crowe read this script ... and loved it. Seriously. Ridley Scott says they "tried to go with it," but the studio thought it was too over the top, for some reason. Eventually the two moved on to make Robin Hood, which might be more enjoyable if you pretend that Robin is actually an immortal Maximus in the 1100s.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover whether or not Russell Crowe punched Nick Cave in the face.
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