6 Totally Insane Sequels You Had No Idea Existed
While sometimes they get torpedoed by Tom Cruise's galling lack of self-awareness -- looking at you, The Mummy -- major movie franchises continue to be the carrot that Hollywood will never stop chasing. In fact, some world-famous properties have spawned sequels you might not even have heard of, probably because they're wacky as all hell. Such as ...
The (Japanese) Power Rangers Are Now Kickass Moms
Believe it or not, beloved '90s TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers didn't begin as some writer's sincere attempt to teach the children of America about martial arts and unnecessarily racist spandex jumpsuits. No, as we now know, the show was merely thrown together in order to recycle action scenes from Japan's Super Sentai series.
The Super Sentai franchise still continues in Japan, and may have peaked this past spring. Mother's Day 2018 saw the release of the special Hero Mama League, in which a team of past female Super Sentai cast members reunite -- but, and this is crucial, they are also all moms now. Think of it like The Expendables if you replace steroids and male pattern baldness with the miracle of ushering life into the world.
Judging from the trailer, Earth is once again imperiled by an alien evil seemingly cobbled together from a scrapped Oldsmobile.
Of course, the team comes together to kick ass, apparently with the help of a sword-wielding baby.
Also, judging from this shot of a soiled shirt, it looks like one of them either battled a projectile-vomiting Leprechaun or tanked on a Nickelodeon game show.
Sadly, Hero Mama League was only made as a kind of prologue for a whole other movie, featuring a bunch of dudes who, barring some kind of Schwarzenegger-esque scientific discovery, will never be able to bear children.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Continued As Comics, And Things Got Stupid As Hell
We all love Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon's TV series about a high school girl defending the world from the forces of evil while dating a straight up 200-year-old adult ... OK, maybe not all of Buffy would fly today. A few years after the show's finale, Whedon announced that Buffy would be canonically continuing in a comic book series, officially branded as a new "season" of the show. Yes, for once, Whedon was bringing beloved characters back to life.
While a lot of us expected something tonally similar to the original, after putting up with years of unconvincing snake monsters and vampires who looked like Willem Dafoe melting, the writers seemingly wanted to break free of the budget constraints of weekly TV. And things got really friggin' weird. In the first issue, Buffy's sister Dawn is literally a giant.
And she later gets turned into a Centaur. Even worse, she then sleeps with Xander.
Stranger still, fan favorite Spike befriends an alien race of insect creatures and lives on a goddamn bug-shaped spaceship, like a cross between Firefly and, well, an actual firefly.
Oh, and after hanging out with Spike, the bugs now refer to humans as "wankers." Had this made it to TV, it would have made the "evil beer that magically turns you into a caveman" episode look like your average Modern Family plotline.
Eventually, Buffy learns how to fly. Like, full-on Superman flying. Which, again, would never have happened on a show whose effects budget mostly went to false teeth.
This, of course, paves the way for Buffy and Angel to have intense superpowered sex, which eventually climaxes with their naked bodies destroying an entire mountain.
It's as if the artist was FedExed some teen metal band lyrics by mistake.
The Anaconda Sequels Focus On Magic Flowers
Those who grew up in the '90s likely remember Anaconda, the monster movie starring Ice Cube, J. Lo, and J. Vo (Jon Voight). They venture down the Amazon on a rickety boat seemingly purchased from Francis Ford Coppola's garage sale, and end up battling snakes seemingly stolen from a Rainforest Cafe. It's not great, but if you want to see a giant rubber snake eat and vomit up Angelina Jolie's dad, who then winks like he's in a Mentos commercial, well, this is your only option.
Surprisingly, seven years later, someone thought it was about time to reenter the Anaconda-verse and made Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, starring ... well, seemingly the stand-ins from the first movie.
This time, the gang are in search of a mythical flower called the Blood Orchid, which a drug company realized is the key to immortality, or as they put it, the "pharmaceutical equivalent to the fountain of youth." They also mention it could be "bigger than Viagra" -- so it's appropriate that they also blame the orchid for the titular monster's prodigious size. The third movie, subtitled Offspring, finds a pregnant snake escaping from a research lab, and the only one who can stop it (that the producers could afford) is ... David Hasselhoff.
Offspring and the fourth movie, Trail Of Blood, both double down on the crucial magic flower concept, centering on a billionaire trying to use the Blood Orchid's powers to cure his cancer -- and he's the villain. The hero of the fifth movie wants to destroy all the orchids, thus preventing more freakishly large snakes. Yeah, to hell with the diseases that plague humanity, those giant snakes are a way more pressing problem.
Instead of another sequel delving into the botanical mythology of a universe that began with an Ice Cube movie, the final installment in the franchise went the Freddy vs. Jason route, pitting the giant anaconda against the giant crocodile from 1999's Lake Placid.
Throw Kevin McCallister into the mix for the sequel, and that will be the ultimate '90s match-up.
Beethoven The Dog Hunts For Treasure, Randomly Starts Talking
Before CGI allowed Hollywood to put whatever they wanted on screen, sometimes they threw together something with a dog and a cantankerous dad who doesn't like said dog. Such was the case with Beethoven, a relatively simple story of a mischievous St. Bernard with no respect for the sanctity of duvets.
With the exception of the nightmarish ending, Beethoven is standard family fare. However, since the movie was a hit and St. Bernards are cheaper than Culkins, they kept cranking out Beethoven movies while slowly replacing the human actors ... which no one noticed, because Beethoven kept wearing hats and sticking his head in toilet seats.
The last movie in the original continuity (yeah, we're just getting started) is Beethoven's 5th, and it looks like the writers were starting to run out of canine hijinks, because this one finds Beethoven in search of the buried loot of two dead bank robbers. In the end, he basically becomes Scooby-Doo, exposing a pair of ghosts haunting on old mine shaft as nothing but fakes.
Because no one wanted to give up on this golden brand, but after five adventures even kids probably realized that the original dog should be dead by now, the series rebooted with Beethoven's Big Break, followed by Beethoven's Christmas Adventure. The latter introduces magic into the Beethoven-verse by having the titular dog befriend one of Santa's elves.
Most insanely, despite the fact that Beethoven has never talked in any of the movies before, now that it's Christmas, he suddenly won't shut up -- oh, and he's voiced by Tom Arnold. Either meaning that Beethoven always had an inner monologue we simply couldn't hear, or in the world of the movies, actor Tom Arnold died and was karmically punished by having his consciousness shoehorned into a preexisting dog.
The next movie, Beethoven's Treasure Tail, is the series' second treasure hunt movie. They only lasted two movies before they circled back around to that. This time, Beethoven's searching for pirate booty in a small town that's in danger of being bulldozed by evil land developers. Yeah, they straight up took the script to The Goonies and replaced a handful of children with one dog.
And even though Beethoven was all loquacious in the last movie, here he's dead silent again. That makes it all the more disturbing, knowing that Tom Arnold's soul is secretly trapped in there.
The Jetsons Now Live In A Dystopia
The Jetsons was essentially The Flintstones, but with robot slaves instead of animal slaves. Since taking beloved childhood fantasies and infusing them with adult themes and crippling existential malaise is pretty much the comic industry's jam these days, like with The Flintstones, The Jetsons has similarly been updated to transform the iconic kids' cartoon into an examination of humanity's foibles.
How? Well, remember the Jetsons' cool 1960s futurist house that hovered in the stratosphere?
The comics actually give an explanation for this design, and it's not just to make use of those sweet flying cars. As it turns out, the reason future society populates the clouds, Calrissian-style, is that the Earth has been completely destroyed. We learn that an "ice meteor" collided with the planet, and only a "fraction of humanity" was able to survive.
They even visit the now-submerged ruins of Earth, implied to be littered with millions and millions and millions of corpses.
If the decimation of humanity wasn't soul-taxing enough, the comics also throw some Black Mirror-style wrinkles into the fun future tech of The Jetsons. Remember Rosie, the robot maid? She's still around, but now she "holds the consciousness" of George's dead mother.
So let's all look forward to future series covering Yogi Bear's manic depression and Top Cat's debilitating sex addiction.
The Story Of 2001: A Space Odyssey Continues In Several Increasingly Wacky Books
2001: A Space Odyssey famously ends with astronaut Dave Bowman being sucked into a floating black monolith, hurled through a Willy-Wonka-esque tunnel of psychedelia, and eventually dying in some kind of Space Best Western. Then he's reborn as a galactic baby, leaving audiences to puzzle out what the hell happened on the drive home.
As we've mentioned, the film's co-writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel version concurrently with the movie's production which explained everything that went down. The monoliths were sent by advanced aliens to aid evolution, and that's why Dave becomes a Millennium Falcon-sized baby at the end -- he's been ushered into another stage of existence. Not content to let that one book fart all over the ambiguity of the film, Clarke later penned several sequels.
2010: Odyssey Two (itself made into a movie) finds a Russian ship journeying in search of Dave's ship to recover the expensive-ass HAL 9000 computer. Dave's ghost pops out of the monolith and visits the ship to warn the Russians that they must leave Jupiter within the next two weeks. No, it's not a spooky Ring-like curse -- eventually, a crap-load of monoliths show up and turn Jupiter into a star. Like through cosmic metamorphosis, not in a PR way.
After ominously naming the new star "Lucifer," the Russian ship gets destroyed, because they rebooted HAL and screwing with humans is kind of HAL's thing. As a thank you from the monolith, HAL gets turned into an alien, and becomes alien friends with Dave. This leads to an epilogue set in the distant future in which Dave and HAL live together inside a monolith, like some kind of sci-fi Odd Couple.
The third book finds Dr. Floyd, one of the original film's characters, having his consciousness duplicated and joining Hal and Bowman in the monolith, which you have to imagine is getting rather cramped at this point. The last book, 3001: The Final Odyssey, reveals that those advanced aliens who built the monoliths just forgot about them, kind of like how we don't give a hoot about outdated iPhones.
The story follows Frank Poole, Dave's astronaut pal who was killed by HAL in the original 2001. It turns out that even though a thousand goddamn years have passed, his body has been perfectly frozen, so they reheat him like he's a Lean Cuisine and everything's totally fine.
In addition to being able to revive people who died a millennia ago, 3001 technology features giant space elevators and "genetically-engineered dinosaur servants," at which point you have to wonder if Kubrick adapted the wrong Arthur C. Clarke story. It turns out that the monoliths are going to wipe out humanity, so Frank gets his old buddies Dave and HAL (who, remember, live inside a monolith) to upload a virus into the monolith matrix -- presumably using Jeff Goldblum's Apple computer.
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