GEORGE ROMERO ZOMBIE FILMS
The premise: The dead come up out of the ground and eat people. Said people try to avoid said zombies, often unsuccessfully.
The key to longevity: Well, inventing a whole genre helps. If I included all the movies that were rip-offs of or that were influenced by the series in question, the number up there would be in the hundreds for this one. It also helps that the creator of the franchise is a horror god who can create movies as mediocre as Land of the Dead and not get one bit of shit for it. Anybody who ever said Day of the Dead wasn't that great back in the '80s? Rumor has it that Romero came to that person' house, cracked open their head, scooped their brain out with a spoon and ate it. That's devotion to the craft.
Signs of an idea drought: A year after I ragged on the Dawn of the Dead remake for resorting to putting its protagonists into a tank because it was an easy out, Land of the Dead puts its protagonists into...a tank. Yikes, Romero. (Please don't eat my brain.)
Up next: Diary of the Dead, about a horror movie crew that gets attacked by zombies. It's so fucking meta.
Honorable Mention: Child's Play. Five movies strong, that annoying fucking doll just will not go away.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
The premise: A family of cannibals in Texas, one member of which happens to be a cross-dressing hulk named Leatherface, terrorizes teens who come its way.
The key to longevity: My guess is that some Hollywood executive saw the first one when he rented it mistakenly thinking he was doing his civic duty and that it was some wankfest documentary about deforestation. Upon seeing it, he decided that a revival of the series would make him some serious money and had the first one re-made, kicking off a whole new set of sequels. Of course, said executive had no idea that Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses had essentially remade the movie, like, a year before.
Signs of an idea drought: Three movies-the two remakes and the repugnant
Up next: A prequel to the newest remake, entitled The Beginning, which promises to finally reveal the origin of Leatherface. My guess is that his parents let him play with Barbie dolls, ruining his gender identity, and also chainsaws.
The premise: A little leprechaun who only speaks in devastatingly stupid couplets (they're not even limericks, for Christ's sake) kills anyone who gets between him and his gold.
The key to longevity: Low expectations, it would seem. When you give up on the idea of people actually enjoying your films and pretty much go straight for the "Let's rent this, it'll be terrible" audience, you can apparently make as many movies as you goddamn want. Honestly, the only reason to rent any of these movies is for a good bad-movie night. If you actually rent any of these out of a genuine desire to see them, you may have some sort of mental disorder.
Signs of an idea drought: Setting changes like whoa. The third one was set in Vegas, then they set one in space, then they set