By definition, a sequel is the continuation of the narrative of its preceding work. So audiences already have plot expectations going into a viewing of a sequel. Friday the 13th titles should always feature Jason Voorhees, right? Except sometimes, for varying reasons, a sequel takes such a drastic detour from the preceding story it throws you for a loop. Fans of Michael Myers were initially horrified when presented with Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Save for the title, the film had nothing to do with the previous two entries in the series and fans rejected it. Over time it’s become more widely accepted, but it hasn’t been the last sequel to take a shocking turn away from the familiar. Here are some of the most bizarre:
7) The Church (Demons 3)
Similar to Demons, the plot follows a curious librarian breaking a seal and releasing the evil contained below a church. This causes a failsafe mechanism to be triggered and the church is locked down to contain the evil within. One by one the people stuck inside become possessed. The similarities end there, however, as gone are the recognizable demons from Demons and Demons 2. Instead the possessed retain their normal appearance, and only glimpses of their true selves are seen in reflections. The story is more intricate and slower paced. Add alchemy, a satanic cult, and medieval flashbacks and this doesn’t feel connected to Demons at all. That’s because it’s not, exactly. Intended to be a direct sequel to Demons and Demons 2, director Michele Soavi felt the two films were too schlocky and insisted this film stand alone. It was too late, though, the connection to Demons series stuck with fans.
6) House IV
House IV returns to some familiarity in the franchise with William Katt briefly reprising his role from the first film. While the first House blended horror and humor, the second ventured farther into light hearted territory, and part four belly flops into terrible. A pizza that comes to life and spews tomato sauce (uncredited cameo by Kane Hodder as the pizza’s face), an attack dog lamp that guards against intruders, and a hungry mattress are only just some of the oddities contained in the story. But the real reason House IV belongs on this list? House IV is actually the third entry in the series. That’s right. There is no House III. To avoid confusion with The Horror Show, which was known as House III in the UK and Australia, the producers decided to call it House IV instead.
5) The Curse 2: The Bite
Its predecessor, The Curse, was based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story “The Colour Out of Space” and starred a young Wil Wheaton. After a meteorite crashed on his family’s farm the crops grew bountiful but anyone who ate the food went insane. The Curse’s ending was ominous and open ended, so the sequel continues the story, right? Nope. Instead, The Curse 2: The Bite follows a guy named Clark on a road trip with his girlfriend Lisa. When they take the exact route a local warned them against, it results in Clark getting bit on the hand by a radioactive snake. Poor Clark’s hand spends the rest of the film turning into a homicidal snake creature. So the only connection between the two films is a shared title. No farm. No meteorite. No Wil Wheaton. Just radioactive snakes creatures.
4) Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
In 1957, Mary Lou was burned alive on prom night while being crowned prom queen. Thirty years later she’s back for revenge, using current prom queen Vicki as her vessel. Sticking with the theme of revenge in a prom setting, this sequel dropped all other ties with Prom Night. Gone is the crawling pace. Gone is the slasher format. Instead, the sequel offers a paranormal antagonist with surreal imagery and nods to just about every major horror film. Bizarre dream sequences, possession, an overbearing religious mother, and characters all named after horror masters make this sequel a classic mash-up of sorts. Throw in a demonic rocking horse and you end up with a sequel that’s far more ambitious and entertaining than its predecessor.
3) C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud
This sequel drops the mutant humanoids from the first and replaces them with zombies. It also leaves behind its serious tone as it focuses on lead zombie, a C.H.U.D. named Bud. Bud even gets his own theme song. Bud makes more C.H.U.D.s, falls in love, and there’s even a Michael Jackson’s Thriller-like dance number. If you blink, you’ll miss a Robert Englund cameo. The two films are so different in tone and look, that it’s difficult to connect them at all.
2) Waxwork II: Lost in Time
Zach Galligan returns for this sequel, but he’s no longer fighting evil in a wax museum. Instead, he and his girlfriend are given a compass that allows them to travel through dimensions in what the movie refers to as “God’s video game.” So while the sequel actually does continue the story, it eschews any relation to the wax museum, save for the lone wax hand that survived the first film. Though the time and dimension travelling causing the plotline to take a turn for the weird, it’s still a lot of fun. Look for references to Aliens, Godzilla, The Haunting, Dawn of the Dead, and an amusing Bruce Campbell cameo.
1) Troll 2
How can you possibly top the weirdness that was Troll? For starters, you could remove any trace of trolls. That’s right. There are no trolls in Troll 2. Distributors weren’t convinced a movie about goblins could sell, so they decided to make it a sequel. That may have been a genius marketing move, considering Troll 2 is about a vacationing family trying to evade vegetarian goblins that want to turn them into edible plant matter. Strange kills like the death by popcorn scene are some of the most bizarre ever, and that’s saying a lot for this genre. What happens when you combine a goofy script, a cast comprised of mostly non-actors from Utah, and a non-English speaking Italian crew? Quite possibly the best worst movie ever.
Did I miss any of your favorite bizarre sequels?
About the Author
Meagan Navarro is a blogger from Houston, TX. She fell in love with monsters at age four after being exposed to them via Ghostbusters, and her passion grew into an obsession for all things horror and Halloween (which is the entire month of October, as far as she’s concerned). Meagan also loves traveling and chocolate.