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4 Bad Movies That Were Hilariously Sure of a Sequel

#2. Masters of the Universe

Cannon Films/Warner Bros. Pictures

Confusingly based on the action figure line rather than the stupefyingly popular cartoon show, Masters of the Universe rewarded eager young He-Man fans with a story about a teenage Courteney Cox and her dead parents. Because every 9-year-old He-Man fan wanted to see He-Man clutching a tinfoil sword and running around in a diseased 1980s cityscape rather than engaging in operatic fantasy warfare to save the mystical world of Eternia. There's no Battle Cat, no Snake Mountain, and only a handful of characters that anyone recognized. They even turned the bumbling sorcerer sidekick Orko into a bumbling science dwarf named Gwildor, because dwarfs are way less taxing on a production budget than faceless hovering phantasms.

Cannon Films/Warner Bros. Pictures via YouTube
"Just glue some shit on his face, it doesn't matter. None of this matters."

The movie is exactly as much fun as listening to someone try to interpret a dream they had about eating an entire tray of deli cheese, despite occasional moments of unintentional brilliance:

Cannon Films/Warner Bros. Pictures via YouTube

Cannon Films/Warner Bros. Pictures via YouTube

The Teaser:

Skeletor pops his head out of the red swimming pool of oblivion He-Man cast him into at the end of the movie and says "I'll be back!" Considering this is Frank Langella, a man known for playing terrifying characters, suddenly bursting out of nowhere wearing a skull mask that is realistic enough to look like a facial carving to deliver one final message to a theater full of 8-year-olds who have just experienced the worst disappointment of their young lives, this scene probably dealt out more nightmares than Chatroulette.

Why the Sequel Never Happened:

Amazingly, the planned sequel to Masters of the Universe somehow became Cyborg starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. It was part of a circuitous plan by Cannon Films to make a Spider-Man movie. You see, Cannon owned the film rights to Spider-Man back then, because the 1980s were a period of time in which Marvel thought it was a good idea to sell one of their most popular characters to the studio responsible for American Ninja and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. Cannon figured they would take the profits from their windfalling, world-conquering He-Man movie and its subsequent sequel and use them to fund an equally lucrative Spidey movie. In addition, Masters was supposed to reinvigorate sales of the He-Man toy line, which was dwindling rapidly into Christmas-ruining bargain bins across America.

But when Masters of the Universe failed to perform, it sort of ruined all of those Spider-Man plans. It also more or less killed He-Man, because the toys were discontinued immediately afterward. But they still had all those bizarre Roger Dean Eternia sets left over with no hope of making a He-Man sequel. So, Cannon took the script they had written, changed some things around, and inserted Jean-Claude Van Damme, their other contract action hero who dealt in heavily chewed, barely discernible gummy bear English. If by some impossible stroke of cosmic chance you've ever thought that Cyborg looked vaguely like Jean-Claude Van Damme helicopter kicking his way through Eternia, this is the reason why.

The Cannon Group/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Fun fact: Cyborg got two sequels, so essentially an entire shitty franchise was built atop the ashes of Masters of the Universe.

#1. Mac and Me

Orion Pictures

Mac and Me is the result of some Hollywood producer watching E.T. through a mist of cocaine dust and saying to himself, "Hey, what if E.T. ate Skittles instead of Reese's Pieces and we changed his name to McDonald's? McDonald's would give us money for that, right?" He then came up with the alien's design by sketching Yoda ears on an expired condom, and the rest is obscure cinematic history.

Orion Pictures via YouTube
"Haha, that's great! Kids are going to love the shit out of this little demon! Pass the cocaine!"

The movie has more blatant product placement than an actual commercial. Mac and his jaundiced family eat nothing but Skittles, he is able to revive his parents by pouring Coca-Cola down their brittle cadaverous throats like some Lazarus elixir, and there is an extended dance sequence inside a McDonald's.

Orion Pictures via YouTube
This is an actual screenshot from the film.

The movie's main character, a paraplegic boy named Eric, is literally shot to death at one point, but is brought back to life by alien magic. I'm amazed they didn't just stuff his bullet wounds with Coke and french fries.

Orion Pictures via YouTube
"Quick! Get Broderick to bring some of that Domino's over here!"

Also, Mac is one of the ugliest, most off-putting characters I have ever seen in a kid's movie. The armored rape goblin from the Alien series is less terrifying than Mac and his sallow rubber plague mask. It isn't hard to make a movie about space that delights little children -- the only way to screw that up would be to film their parents putting on spacesuits and telling them they're getting a divorce. Or, apparently, making Mac and Me. In terms of disappointment and betrayal, Mac and Me is the cinematic equivalent of Santa Claus delivering you a View-Master containing footage of your eventual death.

The Teaser:

Mac and his hideous parents kidnap Wheelchair Eric and take him on a joyride in their pink Cadillac, politely asking us to ignore the fact that there is no possible way that alien mask isn't seriously impairing the driver's vision.

Orion Pictures via YouTube

In the back seat, Mac blows a giant gum bubble with the words "We'll be back!" scrawled relentlessly on its exterior, a threat the film's audience received in mute horror.

Orion Pictures via YouTube

Never before has a group of people wished so powerfully for a gruesome freeway accident involving a disabled child.

Why the Sequel Never Happened:

Mac and Me was a tragic victim of its own hubris. It managed to earn less than half of its meager $13 million budget, which is doubly a shame, because the film's producers had a profit sharing agreement with Ronald McDonald Children's Charities.

Orion Pictures via YouTube
The film's success is best expressed by the scene where a child slumps lifelessly in his wheelchair in front of an exploding gas station.

So, Mac and Me failed to entertain children and then doomed them to die penniless and ill in scattered orphanages throughout the country. That's like hiring a birthday clown who does nothing but juggle bloody old hobo nickels while whistling the theme from Twin Peaks and then pops all the kids' balloons on the way out to his taxi.


Tom will be back in Tom Reimann: Money Never Sleeps. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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