10 Most Baffling Movie Franchises
In Hollywood, it usually makes sense to make sequel after sequel. Whether a series is good or bad, there’s some fan base who’ll keep coming back and the studios will make greater dough. There are just a few that make so little sense, I can’t believe they even tried to do more than one. As summer sequel season begins, we look at the 10 most baffling franchises in Hollywood history.
The only reason there’s even one sequel to this movie is that the studio decided it would be cheaper to make a whole movie than settle a lawsuit with Sharon Stone. So now Basic Instinct is a franchise, with a sequel that made less than Larry the Cable Guy’s first movie. I'm wondering who crunched the numbers and came to the conclusion that making an entire production would be more economical than settling a lawsuit.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think when your lead actor dies on the set due to negligence, you should let the franchise go. Just call it off. Be glad the first one still turned out well despite the tragedy. Maybe it serves the producers right that the third and fourth films went straight to video. I guess there is some accounting for taste, as audiences weren’t buying the rehashes. It’s still shocking that they thought they could pull off a series under those circumstances. Oh, and there's a reboot in the works now. Quit tempting fate, Hollywood!
This is an interesting baffling franchise because first there were two straight to VHS sequels. Van Damme didn't star, this was before DVD, and I don’t think anyone really knows about them. Then Van Damme came back for Universal Soldier: The Return in theaters. It seemed to ignore the video sequels, and also the fact that a Universal Soldier is dead. But that wasn’t the comeback Van Damme needed and he too went straight to video. So now there’s Universal Soldier: Regeneration with him and Dolph Lundgren, and it seems to ignore The Return too because Van Damme is dead again. Word is they’re making another one in 3-D. Would that be considered part 3, part 4 or part 6?
A sequel to one of the most acclaimed classic horror films of all time is baffling. Even in a genre that is most conducive to sequels, how do you re-exorcise someone? As Exorcist II: The Heretic proved, you can’t. But they didn’t stop there. First they made it a trilogy. Then they tried a prequel, but it didn’t work so they had to reshoot the prequel. So there’s now five Exorcist movies, four of which only made fans want to watch the first one again.
EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE / ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN
The saga of Clint Eastwood and Clyde the chimpanzee left so many unanswered questions, they just had to make a sequel. The movies were hits in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s so I suppose execs made the right decision, but looking back at the Oscar-winning Clint Eastwood, he's got the tarnish of two monkey movies on his golden resume.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
You remember The Magnificent Seven, the classic western with Yul Brenner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and four other tough guys. Do you remember its three theatrical sequels? Didn’t think so. Brenner even did the first one, but when that didn’t recapture the magic, why’d they try two more? 'Cause real men like to dress up as cowboys at any cost.
The amazing thing about this franchise is that each sequel tries to make sense of it, but only makes it worse. Are the immortals aliens in the future? What’s Duncan doing if Connor won The Prize in the first one? If it weren’t for the story, you could just say, “Hey, make some more swor fighting movies.” The way they kept revising the mythology each go-round was baffling, albeit in a fun way.
They needed three movies of clips of other movies? Really?
Spielberg really exhausted all the visual excitement you could have with a killer shark. Jaws 2 is a pretty amazing script though. Brody’s a hero until he says there’s another shark. Then nobody believes him again. Jaws 3 is a punchline for bad 3-D gimmicks and the idea of a shark in Sea World is cool until you realize, “What does a shark do in a bunch of water tanks?” The Revenge shows that this time, it’s personal. I wonder how Spielberg personally feels about how far this series got away from his classic, when he's not counting the Benjamins it made him.
If you thought it was a bad idea to remake a Hitchcock classic, have you ever seen the sequels? They went up to Psycho IV, all with Anthony Perkins returning as Norman Bates. II starts out interestingly enough, following what Norman does after he’s released from the hospital, all grown up and supposedly cured. Then they all devolve into stupid slasher movies, and IV is a straight to cable flashback to Norman’s days with mother. After the original Psycho, the tale of Norman Bates should only have lived on in our abnormal minds.
What other movie franchises baffle your brains?