Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Electric Boogaloo? The Worst Sequel Sub-Title Ever...

I read somewhere that Basic Instinct 2 will carry the sub-title "Risk Addiction," and I told my wife about it. She said it's the worst sub-title she's heard since the late 1980s, and she may be right, though there's a long and checkered history for bad sequel sub-titles. Can you think of any really egregiously bad ones?

The bad sub-titles that come to my mind instantly are Electric Boogaloo (for Breakin' 2), and The Armageddon, for Warlock 2. Electric Boogaloo speaks for itself, but The Armageddon? That title wins some kind of award for being apocalyptic and generic at the same time. Now, I enjoy putting the appellation "The Armageddon" after every title I can think of. Try this at home. March of the Penguins 2: The Armageddon. Brokeback Mountain 2: The Armageddon. Snakes on a Plane 2: The Armageddon. Star Trek: The Armageddon. See how easy that is? It fits for virtually every title you can imagine.

So what other bad sub-titles are out there? I always laughed at the one-two punch of Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter, and the immediate follow-up, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. I also think Star Trek: Nemesis is a rotten title because it is so damn vague. Don't Picard and crew face a "nemesis" in each and every movie (or Kirk and his crew, for that matter?) Each and every Star Trek movie could have been called "Nemesis." Maybe that's why it failed...the title means nothing. Why not just call it Star Trek: Bad Guys in Space?

I know some people don't like the Star Wars prequel titles, but for me they work. The Phantom Menace literally explains the point of the film: a villain in the shadows, a puppet master behind the scenes, a phantom unnoticed...but weaving his evil tapestry. Attack of the Clones might be a little lame, but I love Revenge of the Sith, because it reflects that original trilogy title, Revenge of the Jedi. Oops, I mean, Return of the Jedi.

Some other candidates for rotten sub-titles? Friday the 13th: Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, The Stepfather 2: Make Room for Daddy...

9 comments:

  1. For truly dumb-sounding titles, there's always "Darkman III: Die, Darkman, Die."

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  2. Anonymous2:33 PM

    John, John, John!
    I am ashamed of you! Electric Boogaloo is one of the best, if not the best, sequel subtitles of all time! The best name for a part 3 is Braddock, as in, Braddock: Missing in Action III. Just imagine, Basic Instinct 2: Electric Boogaloo or Braddock: Final Destination 3! I couldn't agree with you more about Nemesis.

    Here are some other good ones:

    1. Rambo III (What happened to the First Blood?)

    2. Speed 2: Cruise Control (get it, they're on a cruise ship!)

    3. Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace AKA Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe's War (both are equally bad)

    4. Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf

    5. Mannequin Too: On the Move

    6. Teen Wolf Too

    I would love to see more sequels use "Too" instead of "Two"!

    -Chris

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  3. Oh, Chris! You are so right to include those.

    Braddock: The Armageddon is a slam dunk!

    I had forgotten all about "Your Sister is a Werewolf," which is hysterical.

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  4. Howling III: The Marsupials -- yes, the title for the previous film was bad, but "marsupials," really? Don't go outside! They have a pouch!

    Wishmaster II: Evil Never Dies -- well, not so long as the sequel makes some money.

    C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud -- the only sequel sub-title that can compete with Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

    Children of the Corn IV: Fields of Terror -- previous to this film the terror was limited to a can of cream corn.

    It's Alive III: Island of the Alive -- I expect titles like this from schlock Italian zombie films, but from a man respected largely for his writing? Eek.

    Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood -- I was confused until I figured out it was a Prince song.

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  5. Good choices there. Wasn't one of the Leprechaun movies also called Leprechaun in Space?

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  6. Lee Hansen5:57 PM

    Here's a good made-up one...

    TERMINAL ENDGAME X: THE FINAL RECKONING OF APOCALYPTIC ARMAGGEDDON DURING RAGNAROK AT THE END OF THE WORLD AND ENTROPY OF THE UNIVERSE

    ...I'm exhausted.

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  7. You should light up a cigarette after that one, Lee. That's quite a title. Except it needs to include the words "The Beginning"

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  8. i've always had a problem with sequel titles that violate the definite. the most timely example is "final destination." if the destination really was final, why were there a 2 and 3?

    but the best example is the straight to video, unrelated sequel to "the last seduction." wouldn't "the last seduction" truly be the last seduction?

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  9. Hey George - good point! the words "final" and "last" would seem to preclude sequels, but that's not the case, is it?

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