6. Return to Oz (sequel to: The Wizard of Oz)
Everyone knows Walter Murch for his legendary editing skills, but rarely you meet a man who knows that once upon a time in Hollywood, Murch directed the sequel to the classic family film “The Wizard of Oz.” At a casual brainstorming session with Walt Disney executives, Murch jokingly mentioned his wish to make a sequel to the original film, which production chief Tom Wilhite instantly green-lighted as the film rights of Walt Disney Studios were to expire soon and covertly they were looking for directors.
The sole film directing credit of his career, Murch continued the story of L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels in his “Return to Oz,” which sees Dorothy making new friends at her revisit to the Emerald City. While filming the movie, leadership changed at the Walt Disney Studios and he was temporarily fired from the movie, but at the urge of Francis Ford Coppola and Georges Lucas, he was returned by the new chief. “Return to Oz” was a dark, bleak film dissimilar to the tone of “The Wizard of Oz” and it didn’t garner enough popularity among the children.
7. An American Werewolf in Paris (sequel to: An American Werewolf in London)
The name “An American Werewolf in Paris” has a funny origin story. John Landis had some production difficulties while filming for “An American Werewolf in London” and thought to relocate the production to Paris. Fortunately, he did manage to shoot in London and the name remains intact, but Anthony Waller based the name of the sequel upon this trivia.
Only the reputation of the sequel is not as sweet or funny as the naming story. The CGI effects, upon which the success of a horror movie depends, was absolutely amateurish and the acting was horrendous. The plot of the film was also absurd, which proves its nasty reputation with the cine-goers. The film was a huge failure, both commercially and critically.
8. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (sequel to: The Blair Witch Project)
As usual with many popular films, “The Blair Witch Project” had its own sequel to ride on the success of the first film, but it massively failed at the box office. Haxan Films hired famous documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger to make this sequel but didn’t confer the full creative control to him.
Naturally, after studio-ordered reshoots and editing, the result became a shadow of the film Berlinger envisioned. The film had slick video editing, lucid shots, and documentary effects but lacked in the bread and butter of the horror film – thrill and fear. It was also a highly intertextual film that didn’t go well with the mainstream appeal of the film, and because of the big-budget production values and special effects, “Book of Shadows” became the antithesis of the original film.
9. Another Midnight Run (sequel to: Midnight Run)
Swapping Robert De Niro with Christopher McDonald is sure to bring a curse to the critical fate of a film and “Another Midnight Run” was a perfect example of that. Universal Television decided to make some made-for-tv sequels of the famous film “Midnight Run” and cast McDonald in the role of bounty hunter Jack Walsh.
But McDonald didn’t have the charisma of De Niro and the film suffered for that. The film was watched by a very limited number of people, but Universal still followed up with two more unnecessary sequels of this sequel.
10. S. Darko (sequel to: Donnie Darko)
It is too difficult to know if the fans of “Donnie Darko” accidentally missed the new sequel to their beloved film, or it was an intentional decision to pass on the new film based on the major critical takeaways tagging the film as a big miss. Either way, the sequel “S. Darko” didn’t live up to the first film’s reputation.
Filmmaker Chris Fisher said that he wanted to create a similar world of blurred fantasy and reality like Richard Kelly did with “Donnie Darko,” but in doing so, he copied a lot from the original. But even after that blind replication, “S. Darko” failed to create a believable fantasy universe with unacceptably bad dialogue and sloppy acting.
Inexplicable incidents happen in the film – perhaps to make it look like a worthy successor to the cult of “Donnie Darko” – but the narrative loose ends never tie up. The A.V. Club gave the film an F and the IMDB score indicates 3.6, not good for a cult favorite.