Look, we get why sequels exist. As we write this, Avengers: Endgame (aka The Adventures Of Happy Hogan 22) is the most popular movie in the world. These things make lots of money. So it makes sense that studios would try to find somewhat logical ways to keep stretching the stories. The problem is that sometimes they don't even pretend to bother with the "logical" part, and we end up with insane sequels like ...
Brett Easton Ellis is primarily known these days for complaining that those dang Millennials complain too much, but he's also the author of American Psycho, a brutal critique of '80s yuppie culture which got turned into a similarly brutal satirical film in 2000. American Psycho 2, on the other hand, is just brutal.
You know a movie is gonna be great when 20% of the trailer consists of scenes from another movie.
The sequel starts with Patrick Bateman being murdered by a little girl his latest victim was babysitting. This is all narrated by the now-grown girl with the chirpy enthusiasm of a softcore porn voiceover. In the present, the girl is a criminology student played by Mila Kunis (this was back when she was most famous for yelling "KELSO!" in a high-pitched voice). She wants a coveted spot in the FBI, so she starts killing off her classmates and sleeping with her sexually irresistible professor, portrayed by 71-year-old William Shatner.
Eventually, Psycho Girl is found out and dies in a car explosion ... but not really, because the final scene reveals she's somehow still alive and working for the FBI. Equally baffling is the fact that Kunis still had a career after this movie. When asked about it later on, Kunis stated, "I didn't know it would be American Psycho II. It was supposed to be a different project, and it was re-edited, but, ooh ... I don't know. Bad." They should have put that on the poster.
Meanwhile, a very embarrassed Ellis said the studio had the genius idea of turning American Psycho into a franchise, featuring American Psycho In L.A., American Psycho In Las Vegas, American Psycho: Hawaiian Wedding, etc. So if there's one upside, it's that this movie stopped the studio from going all CSI on the book.
Labyrinth was an '80s fantasy movie about a girl who must reach the center of a vast maze to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King Jareth, played by David Bowie and his thinly concealed manhood. The plot was basically an excuse to string together a bunch of musical numbers performed by cool puppets, but it still warranted a four-volume manga-style sequel published between 2006 and 2010.
Return To Labyrinth reveals that Jareth has spent years spying on Toby, the baby from the movie, presumably through a hidden camera in his bathroom. He has also secretly been granting all of Toby's wishes with magic. For instance, he improves Toby's grades using a complicated spell called "blackmailing the teacher with naked pictures."
Jareth even poses as the world's most stylish high school guidance counselor to finally present himself to Toby and tell him he's "special." Usually those kinds of situations end with the kid being held back a year, but in this case, Jareth names Toby as his heir in the Goblin Kingdom.
The original protagonist of the movie, Sarah, also appears as a 30-something teacher -- a fate the manga decries as pathetic at every opportunity. If you thought that her being an adult means this sequel toned down Jareth's creepiness, don't worry. It turns out he has a teenage duplicate of Sarah whom he's kept imprisoned in a tower while trying to force her to love him. Jareth was the original incel.
We're only scratching the surface of the convoluted 800-page story here, so if you're feeling brave, we dare you to look at the Wikipedia summary and try to escape with your sanity intact.
Fight Club, the cult book turned into a cult movie about a cult that fights, got a series of comic book sequels 20 years later. If you're wondering why Chuck Palahniuk didn't publish it as a novel, maybe the fact that his editor at Random House told him this would "destroy whatever legacy [he] had as an author" had something to do with it.
Turns out the book's unnamed narrator is now unhappily married to Marla Singer and working at another boring office job. He also has a name now, and it's ... Sebastian?
Dark Horse Comics
Things get wacky again when Marla swaps out Sebastian's meds with aspirin so his Tyler Durden personality will come back and give her a good screwing. What Marla doesn't know is that for years, Tyler has secretly been organizing a continuation of Project Mayhem called Rize or Die (the "z" means they're dangerous). He's even been funding ISIS and causing wars all over the world, all with the goal of unleashing a nuclear holocaust.
Things build to a crescendo, with Marla and an elderly dwarf lady leading a group of child warriors in the Middle East ... and then Chuck Palahniuk himself shows up and explains what the ending will be. Unfortunately, an angry mob of Fight Club fans disagree with Palahniuk's ideas for the finale and write their own ending, joining Rize or Die and resurrecting Robert Paulson as a mega-strong zombie.
Dark Horse Comics
The story somehow continues in Fight Club 3, which is publishing as we speak and involves the narrator (now going by Balthazar) teaming up with Tyler, who is actually not a figment of his imagination, but some type of "virus" being passed down from generation to generation. So all of this could have been avoided with some vaccines.
The 1963 film The Birds is the classic story of a town being terrorized by a bunch of psycho birds and an actress being terrorized by Psycho's director. In 1994, Showtime aired a sequel called The Birds II: Land's End, and the poster really tells you everything you need to know about its quality.
The plot is completely new and original, because instead of taking place on the West Coast, it takes place on the EAST Coast. This time, a family of four moves to a place called Gull Island looking for some peace and quiet, which is a questionable decision in a world where gulls once participated in mass human murder for no reason. Speaking of which, this movie assigns a motive for the inevitable bird attack: The birds are pissed at us for ruining the environment. So bees and coral reefs are next, presumably.
And yes, this is supposed to take place in the same universe as the Hitchcock classic. We know this because Tippi Hedren, star of the 1963 version, shows up again and mentions the original birdemic ... while making a cameo as a different character, bizarrely. Hedren wasn't exactly happy about not being the star again. In her own (vaguely threatening) words, "I think they made a mistake by not doing that. But it has helped me to feed my lions and tigers."
Which she kept as protection against birds and/or lascivious directors.
But, as pointed out by Cinemassacre, there is one major improvement over the original: the inexplicably explosion-filled finale, which seems to imply that these birds had been feeding on TNT all this time.
Still, not even the director was happy to be in this movie, eventually asking to be credited as Alan Smithee, the shared pseudonym for regretful filmmakers. And this guy willingly put his name on Halloween: Resurrection, so that says a lot.
There's no guarantee that Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining coming out later this year, will follow the exact plot of the Stephen King novel of the same name. But if it's half as nuts as the source material, oh boy.
In Doctor Sleep, we find out that little Danny Torrance had a few rough years after his father became possessed by a hotel and tried to murder him. Psychic mentor/chef Dick Halloran (who didn't get axed in the book) teaches Danny how to psychically imprison all the hotel's ghosts inside his head, which isn't great for the his mental health. After spending years as a drunken hobo, Dan sobers up and takes a job at a hospice. There, his suppressed Professor X powers resurface, and he uses them to help people die peacefully. That's why the book is called Doctor Sleep and not The Shining 2: The Shininging.
Dan develops a psychic connection with a little girl named Abra, whose parents began suspecting there was something unique about her when she predicted 9/11 by crying. This is when things get weird (yes, they weren't weird yet). We learn that there's a group of quasi-immortals called the True Knot, who have the Shine and want to kill and eat Abra. Put simply, they go around mentally cannibalizing other psychics to live forever, and they want to do the same to Abra because she's so powerful that she can cure their measles. (Did we mention they have measles? They have measles.)
Eventually, Dan learns his father cheated on his mom and he is, in fact, Abra's uncle, so he becomes dead set on saving her. How does he do that? By releasing all the ghosts / PTSD metaphors in his head and using them to defeat the True Knot, of course. Listen, if those ghosts aren't represented as a giant Stay-Puft-Marshmallow-Man-like version of The Shining's sex fursuit thing, we'll be asking for our money back.
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