Ten of the most underrated sequels of all time.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Clive Barker changed the world of Gothic horror with his freshmen feature film effort Hellraiser. Showing the dark side between pleasure, pain, and the depths of Hell itself, Barker created a cold, frightening look of evil and a very iconic boogeyman in the form of Pinhead, one of the demons that guarded the gateway to the underworld. A year later, director Tony Randel took over for Barker and brought the audience a step further, this time bringing us on the demon's own turf. Creating a terrifying labyrinth and shocking enough outlook towards the demons that actually make you feel sorry for them! With breathtaking sets, gruesome effects, and even more interesting storyline behind the first film, Hellbound, along with Hell On Earth that came four years later are sadly so far the only sequels out of the series that I've watched. Hopefully I can tackle the entire series soon, but from what I heard the effort stopped after the third.
Warlock 2 The Armageddon
Director Anthony Hickcox had all ready impressed horror audiences with such classics as Waxwork, Hellrasier III, and Waxwork II: Lost In Time. By far one of the most underrated sequels on this list, is Warlock 2 The Armageddon. After Steve Miner's 89 classic Warlock, played by the ever so handsome Julian Sands, Hickcox decided to crank the volume with it's sequel and took the Warlock character into an entirely new universe and storyline. Following Satan's son as he travels cross country to collect several magical stones to bring his father back, we watch as he leaves a bloody trail across the good old U.S.A. With very creative kills, visually stunning scenes, Hickcox's style works wonderfully for this film and reminds us what a shame it was magic couldn't stike a third time for the awful Warlock The End of Innocence.
Waxwork II: Lost In Time
I think it's pretty clear what a big Waxwork fan I am. As shocking as this seems, I tend to enjoy Anthony Hickcox's bizarre sequel sometimes more than his amazing original. Now don't get me wrong, I love both movies beyond worlds...but there's just something so charming about the film's sequel. A complete adventure thrill ride, it feels like a strange messed up version of Bill And Ted, but with wonderful homages to horror classics. Taking place moments after the first film left off, we travel through different time dimensions with our leads Mark and Sarah. Taking pages out of Frankenstein, Alien, The Haunting, and even Dawn Of The Dead, Mark and Sarah continue to fight the endless battle between good and evil while trying to defeat an evil prince who practices dark magic in mid-evil times. Oh did I mention the awesome rap video that plays over the credits at the end?
Amityville 1992 It's About Time
Hellbound director Tony Randel does it again, but this time makes a killer sequel in the Amityville series. I'm a huge fan of the first three films, but the later films sorta lost me. In fact I don't think I've fully caught up on every single film that's been released about the original house. In fact besides this film, the only other sequel besides the part II and III that are decent is The New Generation. With 1992 It's About Time, the audience yet again is removed from the famous house but this time cleverly deals with a cursed object from it. This time around...a very creepy looking clock. Here we watch a family slowly get taken over by the clock as pure evil begins to possess them. With some really truly awesome scenes, great effects, and one hell of an ending, 1992 is one of my all time favorite Amityvlle movies.
The Horror Show aka House III
After the very...well strange take on House II The Second Story, the series decided to be taken into a whole new direction, luckily this worked. Feeling like a bastard cousin to the film Shocker, The Horror Show is an extremely over the top thrill ride that is a far cry away from the fun little kid adventure the second film felt like. With tons of blood and gore, this over the top tale of a serial killer from beyond the grave is a great movie to watch with plenty of memorable moments, disgusting gore, and a cheese filled freeze frame. I enjoy House IV more than anyone else, but The Horror Show was a very fun and interesting way to take the series.
Howling VI The Freaks
The Howling series isn't really known for having impressive sequels. The first movie of course is totally iconic, the Se7en of werewolf movies. Then part two sorta shit the bed and took this wonderful series straight into the toilet. Even though I did find Part III, and IV amusing with okay story lines, and some pretty cool effects, the other films that followed seemed to go further and further down. Still, there was a rare gem in the rough that shinned in the early 90's. This was of course part VI The Freaks. With a handsome mysterious lead, a great carnival setting, and a pretty clever twist with the villain, The Freaks is a cheesy take on the whole werewolf storyline but delivers the goods even through the makeup wasn't anything to brag about. Still, the ending fight was pretty awesome.
Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth
Anthony Hickcox is clearly one of my all time directors from the late 80's and early to mid 90's. With the two Waxwork movies under his belt, along with his sequel to Warlock the man was on a roll. One of his last films I really paid attention to was the last sequel in the Hellraiser universe that I really cared about. This being the follow up to Hellbound, Hell On Earth was a nice little terrifying surprise. Using his unique style, Hickcox was the man responsible for showing that there were still some truly awesome and very underrated horror gems in his decade. Straying away from the Kristy Cotton storyline, the audience find themselves following news reporter Joey as she tries to find her next big story. It isn't until one night she watches a young teenager literary get torn apart by chains, holding a mysterious gold puzzle box. Sound familiar? Well Joey finds herself linking the box to a hip new club called The Boiler Room. In this film we go deeper into the story behind the demons, and with a new stunning lead lady, we get to see some amazing special effects, and one of the greatest club massacres of all time. We even get to see Mr. Zach Galligan in a quick cameo getting impaled by a pool stick!
Silent Night Deadly Night III You Better Watch Out!
After the complete mess of part II, this series got on track again with it's next installment. Now there is only a handful of people who enjoy part 3,4, and 5. I really didn't dig part 4, but I do love the third and final film of this series. Call them guilty pleasures but I truly love them. Continuing the storyline of Santa Clause killer Billy's younger brother Ricky, we discover that after being gun downed in part II, he slipped into a deep coma, his brain kept alive by being encased by a glass dome. (No...I'm not kidding.) Well, a young blind woman Laura has been taking part in a series of experiments dealing with dreams. It seems she's been hooked up to Ricky's supposed dead brain waves to see if there's any memories or information she can get from the now fallen killer. Well the two share a strange psychic link and it doesn't take long before Ricky to awake, slashing his way out of the hospital and begins to follow his 6th sense to find Laura who's on her way to visit her grandmother for the holidays. Sound weird? Well it is. BUT it has a very surreal storyline that's actually very beautiful and fitting for the dream like feel the film has. With a gorgeous leading lady, and a creepy setting where the grandmother's house is, we get to see Ricky played this time by iconic actor Bill Moseley. Sure the movie is cheesy, but I really liked this film as a final chapter in the Caldwell trilogy. Yeah the glass dome on his head is fricking horrible, but we get some really great actors who later on went to star in the ever so awesome Twin Peaks. With some awesome, very creepy moments part III is a must have to watch around the holidays!
Phantasm IV: Oblivion
The original Phantasm is one of my all time favorite horror movies. It's balls to the walls sequel blew by mind, and it's awesome action packed cheesy third enthrallment continued the fun. With the final chapter in this amazing sega, we join Reggie and Mike one last time as they try to conquer the Tall Man once and for all. With a huge cliffhanger, the film opens up and the best way to discriminate this movie is nothing less than epic. Joining these characters as they prepare to do battle once and for all, you can't help but feel you've been along with them for their terrifying journey. With lots of flashbacks (scenes cut from the original) we get to see some truly beautiful and breathtaking moments when Mike was just a boy. With it's haunting score and some of the most stunning scenes I've ever seen filmed for a horror movie, the film is the ultimate Phantasm movie. Going deeper into the Tall Man's history, I'm sure I speak for many when the scene happens when Mike goes back to meet the original man who became the Tall Man and how he just stares at him on the porch and goes “You're him.” I get goosebumps every time. Also that wonderful scene of the last perfect way before Mike's fantasy/life began battling evil. With an epic showdown (love Reggie in his original uniform, carrying his shotgun and slamming the trunk of the Cuda.) we get to see Michael try to understand why he's been chosen by this evil force, and how exactly he can stop it. I could go on for hours about the ending of this movie, and how even though I'm a massive Phantasm fan, I really think this movie came full circle and makes me tear up every time. I love the last shot of Michael and Reggie, younger and happier riding off into the darkness. And of course that wonderful final line “It's only the wind.”
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
It's not who you go with...it's who takes you home. After the classic 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis slasher, the Prom Night series did the very smart choice in not continuing with the typical run of the mill slasher storyline. Instead they went supernatural and it worked like a charm. Gaining high respect over the years and even becoming cult classic royalty, Hell Mary Lou is in my eyes one of the coolest horror movies from the 1980's. With lots of nods to wonderful past films, this movie has it all. One hell of an opener, showing the 1950's bitch prom queen being burned alive. A tale of possession, murder, and a girl that will come back from the grave just to get her crown. With lots of creative kills, cool dressed sets, clever uses in the soundtrack, and very memorable scenes, this is a movie that truly delivers the goods and goes to show you that even though they didn't continue the original storyline, the sequel in it's own way kicks it's ass!
- Stacy Still