By MICHAEL ANDERSON
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of “Weekend at Bernie’s II,” a steaming pile of a sequel if ever there was one, I’ve compiled a list of movies that shouldn’t exist.
Most of them are terrible, a few aren’t, but none of them should’ve been made. I hope “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” doesn’t work its way onto the list.
10. “Caddyshack II” (1988)
This is such low-hanging fruit that I hesitate to include it, but I can’t resist. “Caddyshack” was a hole-in-one, “Caddyshack II” got lost in the rough. The original featured a hysterical ensemble of actors. Only Chevy Chase was willing to reprise his role, which says quite a bit about Chevy and his standards.
9. “Next Friday” (2000)
“Friday” was an endearing and very funny film, a cornerstone of the “stoner comedy” genre. How many blunts did Ice Cube smoke to convince himself they could re-create the quirky magic of the original? I’d just as soon hang out in the bathroom with Craig’s dog-catcher dad as watch this stinker again.
8. “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (1985)
“First Blood,” a well-made action film, had important things to say about how America handles its veterans. The message was particularly poignant following the poor treatment many returning Vietnam veterans received. Unfortunately, the sequel took a damaged and psychologically vulnerable anti-hero, and turned him into a jingoistic and cartoonish killing machine.
7. “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982)
When I watch a “Halloween” film, I expect to see Michael Myers lumbering around in a William Shatner mask wreaking havoc with various edged weapons. “Halloween III” has no Michael Myers and no edged weapons. The only masks are ridiculous ones implanted with a chip designed to kill wearers when they watch a certain TV show on Halloween night. I must not be alone, as Michael emerged from his coma for “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.”
6. “Escape From L.A.” (1996)
The original, “Escape From New York,” was a lot of fun in a lot of ways. The sequel is a shameful retread. The only fun it offers is trying to spot all of the scenes that were redone shot-for-shot, and lines that were lifted verbatim. It was not Kurt Russell’s finest hour.
5. “The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter” (1990)
Do we really need a sequel to a story that never ends? I could probably overlook the dubious premise if the movie was any good at all. It wasn’t.
4. “Smokey and the Bandit II” (1980)
A poorly made remake of the highly entertaining original, only this time our heroes are transporting an elephant instead of beer. I’m serious. Rumor has it that there is a third film in the franchise, but I’ve chosen to deny its existence.
3. “Psycho II” (1983)
Not a bad movie by any means, but unnecessary nonetheless. The original “Psycho” not only changed the showering habits of a generation of Americans, it completely redefined the horror genre. It is a masterpiece whose legacy should’ve been left alone.
2. “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1998)
This should really include episodes II and III as well. Wasn’t the “Star Wars” universe about 20 times cooler when no one had heard of Jar Jar Binks? I laugh when I think about Jake Lloyd’s utterly wooden performance as young “Mannequin Skywalker.” I’ll never forgive George Lucas.
1. “Blues Brothers 2000” (1998)
The “Blues Brothers” featured a cast of legendary Blues musicians and hilarious actors. It boasts one great scene after another, including some of the craziest car chases ever filmed and several classic musical performances. It is one of my favorite films. There cannot be a “Blues Brothers” without John “Joliet Jake” Belushi. Accordingly, I regard this abomination as a personal attack and an affront to all that is right and proper. Dan Aykroyd should be ashamed of himself.