For every Godfather trilogy, there’s a Big Momma’s House trilogy. Not every movie trilogy is a success. On the contrary, there are just as many stinkers as there are winners. From the mainstream to the underground, innumerable bad movie trilogies can be found in discount movie bins and garage sales. Nobody wants to admit they’ve sat through five hours of Big Momma’s House movies, but everyone makes mistakes. To ensure that these horrendous series are avoided, ten of them have been highlighted in a handy list.
As fun as it would be to talk about every terrible movie series, this list strictly focuses on movies with three entries. In other words, the Transformers series isn’t eligible. Luckily for everyone reading this list, there is still a ton of competition. Plenty of movie trilogies deserve plenty of hate, and that’s where this list comes into play. Though it would be easy to pick on the Matrix trilogy or Star Wars prequel trilogy, there are actually far worse trilogies out there. The trilogies featured in this list are alarmingly inept. Head the words of this list; don’t watch these movies.
10. The Butterfly Effect
The original Butterfly Effect had some neat ideas, but the eye-roll inducing melodrama and underwhelming performances do nothing to save it from mediocrity. Sadly, the two direct-to-video sequels were significantly worse. The second and third films recycled the same themes but somehow managed to make them even less meaningful. Essentially, they both borrowed the structure of the original film, added some elements of horror, and chopped the budget in half. The resulting movies added nothing to the admittedly interesting premise set up in the first film.
The only reason this trilogy isn’t higher on the list is because the original film is somewhat watchable. It’s not particularly good, but it has merit. It has decent special effects, A-list stars, and a couple engaging scenes. Compared to the sequels, it’s a time travel masterpiece. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to save the atrocious franchise. The sequels may make the original movie look better, but it’s still a subpar movie overall. In the end, one mediocre movie and two disastrous movies don’t exactly make a worthwhile movie trilogy.
9. I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer tried so hard to recreate the magic of Scream. While Scream helped revitalize the dying slasher genre, this movie only helped prove why it has so many detractors. Instead of helping subvert the numerous genre cliches, I Know What You Did Last Summer essentially copied and pasted the slasher formula without bringing anything new to the table. Stupid teenagers make stupid mistakes and then they get killed. Yawn.
Rinse and repeat this formula two more times and you have the I Know What You Did Last Summer series. The movies are technically well made, but the writing is simply too sloppy and forgettable. It’s easy to erase these movies from your memory the minute the credits begin to roll. There’s nothing separating them from the countless other slasher movies readily available for public viewing. The constant feeling of deja vu unfortunately kills the franchise.
Dance films are notoriously bad, and Honey is no exception. Dance film sequels are notoriously unwatchable, and the Honey sequels are no exception. It’s not like anybody had high expectations for a dance movie trilogy, but the Honey movies are exceptionally terrible. Even the most passionate of hip-hop dancers are unlikely to find many redeeming qualities in these corny time-wasters.
In a review of the original Honey, Common Sense Media claimed the brief runtime was the only thing worthy of praise, and they’re not exactly wrong. The vacuous dance flick is a painful ninety minute experience thanks to the hackneyed script and complete lack of character development. Following a pattern set by every other trilogy on this list, the sequels manage to out-suck the original. The writing is lazier, the acting is significantly worse, and the dance scenes are amateurish. As a whole, the trilogy is about as entertaining as a karate chop to the throat.
It’s not like the competition is all that stiff. As stated earlier, dance movies aren’t exactly Oscar contenders, but this film makes the competition look phenomenal. Honey is to dance movies as 2 Broke Girls is to sitcoms. There’s not an ounce of quality to be found in these movies. Even Step Up would be a better alternative.
7. The Delta Force
It may be a sensitive issue, but it’s about time everyone admits that Chuck Norris is a bad actor who exclusively appears in bad movies. He’s a martial arts expert, but he doesn’t have the acting chops to compete with similar hypermasculine action movie stars. Even his most popular movies have been torn apart by critics, and rightfully so. While his big hits have a sort of trashy charm to them, there isn’t enough entertainment to excuse the fact that they’re legitimately bad movies.
Perhaps the most prominent example is The Delta Force trilogy. The first one can, in theory, be enjoyed after a binge drinking session as long as expectations are incredibly low. The following two movies, on the other hand, are complete misfires. Despite the fact that it’s in a completely different series, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection is a carbon copy of Norris’s Missing Action. It shares nothing with its predecessor beyond the fact that it’s poorly written. The third movie, Delta Force 3: The Killing Game, is a direct-to-video B-movie that doesn’t even feature Chuck Norris.
While there’s a definite decline in quality throughout the series, every movie in the series is too loud and stupid to deserve any sort of praise. The trilogy is so close to being dumb fun, but in the end, it’s just dumb. Frankly, one of the biggest problems is that there are countless better movies that follow the same kind of formula. Why settle for The Delta Force when you can fill the trashy action movie void with any movie in the Rambo series? The Delta Force series simply serves no purpose.
6. Left Behind
According to the thirty minute making of documentary, Left Behind was considered the most ambitious Christian movie ever upon release. That’s all well and good, but the ambition didn’t result in a good movie. Left Behind: The Movie tried so hard to do right by its audience only to fall flat on its face. It’s obvious that the filmmakers were passionate, but the end result is an unintentionally hilarious collection of bad ideas hastily jammed together to form what vaguely resembles a movie.
Then came Left Behind II: Tribulation Force. Then came Left Behind III: World at War. All seven fans of the original Left Behind got the opportunity to see the entire series unfold in all its insufferable glory. Millions of dollars were poured into this franchise so a few people with bad taste could watch Kirk Cameron avoid the apocalypse. All jokes aside, the three movies are too corny to be taken seriously and too melodramatic to be fun. The eventual reboot failed to address the tonal problems, further proving that the popular book series may be better left alone.