Sequels are a funny thing. Sometimes they improve upon an existing franchise and add to the overall story and established mythos, and sometimes they’ll ruin everything. But sometimes, just sometimes, they’ll disappear into total obscurity. Here are 10 sequels to a variety of things you probably had no idea existed.
10. Welltris, the Official Tetris 2
Before anyone rushes to the comments to tell us that it’s pretty obvious that Tetris has a sequel because there are like 300 different Tetris games, ask yourself: which one advertises itself as an official sequel to the original game? The answer is none of them, because virtually every Tetris game ever released is a rip off of the original version released in 1984. The Soviet Union owned the rights to the game when it was first released, and they were spectacularly bad at licensing them out to other companies. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for other companies to simply rip off the game in its entirety and then claim that they’d created it. Some companies even had the gall to license out their own ripped-off versions to other companies.
This led to a hugely confusing legal mess where no one was entirely sure who owned the rights to what, and the original creator of the game, Alexey Pajitnov being shafted out of any royalties whatsoever. You’d think this experience would be enough to scare Pajitnov away from making games, but it didn’t; in 1989, he released the worlds first official sequel to Tetris, the 3D puzzle game Welltris. If you don’t have any idea what Welltris is, we’re not surprised because almost no one does. Though the game received great reviews and had its gameplay praised extensively by critics, it quickly faded into obscurity. If you’re interested, you can download and play the game here.
9. New Fist of Fury … Starring Jackie Chan
Fist of Fury is one of the movies that launched Bruce “Stone Pimp” Lee’s career into orbit. It’s regarded by critics and film fans alike as one of the single greatest martial arts movies ever made, and it will be forever synonymous with the actor due to the fact he died just a year after it was released.
Whereas most of the world grieved when Bruce Lee died, Lo Wei, the original director of Fist of Fury, instead began a frantic search for a martial artist he could package and sell to the West as “the next Bruce Lee”. Wei was apparently totally unaware that the reason people loved Bruce Lee was because there was nobody else like him. Unperturbed by this information, Wei penned a sequel to Fist of Fury and offered the leading role to Jackie Chan. Yes, that Jackie Chan.
The movie, which is genuinely called “New Fist of Fury” stole almost everything from the original movie and hastily repackaged it, in the process stripping everything of value from the original script. The film is actually so impressively bad that it retroactively ruins other Jackie Chan movies. To explain, the film was written to be incredibly serious and as a result, none of the comedic action Jackie Chan is famous for is present in the movie. To top it off, Chan was asked to mimic Bruce Lee’s own fighting style during the fight scenes, but he’s clearly not familiar enough with it to make it look convincing, resulting in woefully unimpressive fight scenes completely devoid of even a single “HYAH!”
Unsurprisingly, the movie was a flop, but thanks to Amazon you can still buy it on DVD. That us, if you want to see the memory of Bruce Lee unceremoniously dragged through the dirt and Jackie Chan’s soul die on screen.
8. Scarlett (Gone With The Wind II), Published 55 Years Later
Yes, there is a sequel to Gone With The Wind. And no, it isn’t called Gone With The Wind II — it’s simply called “Scarlett”.
The book, which takes place just after Gone With The Wind ends, was written by Alexander Ripley a full 55 years after the original novel was published. Ripley managed to write a sequel to a book almost half a century after Margaret Mitchell, the original author, died, because she was hand-picked to write the sequel by the holders of Mitchell’s estate. We should probably point out that Margaret Mitchell explicitly stated that she didn’t want to write a sequel to the book when she was alive, so it’s hard to imagine her family made this decision for anything other than money. But hey, we’ve all been there, right?
The most annoying part of all of this — besides the fact it crapped all over the wishes of the original author — is that the book sold really well despite being panned by literally every critic who reviewed it. Hell, it even got made into a TV show which was just as poorly received as the book. However, it proved so popular you can now buy it on DVD right now. We honestly can’t believe that we live in a world where we can buy a sequel to Gone With the Wind on DVD but not the 1960’s Batman TV show. What the hell, Amazon?
7. The Second Jungle Book
The Jungle Book, written by Rudyard Kipling way back in the 1890’s, is one of the most famous stories ever written. We’ve also heard rumors that Disney may have turned it into a movie at some point but it doesn’t appear to be that popular so it’s probably not worth mentioning here.
What few people realize is that the story of the Jungle Book began life as a collection of short stories published across several years in a number of magazines. The first Jungle Book was actually a collection of these stories, and the subsequent 1967 Disney movie was only based on the ones about Mowgli. The actual book itself not only featured way more content, but it was also starkly darker in tone than the film would have you believe. By which we mean people are literally implied to have been stomped to death by elephants in it.
Perhaps due to the popularity of the film, the fact that Kipling published a second collection of short stories, aptly titled The Second Jungle Book, just a few years after the first book isn’t that well known. Which means the stories featured within it, such as the one in which Mowgli rescues his human parents from being murdered and then gets revenge on a town full of people, aren’t well known, which sucks because we’d pay cash money to see that film.
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seasons 8 and 9
If you were alive at all during the 90’s, you watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We don’t care if you were a fetus when the show was being aired — you should at least aware of the basic premise because you can read the title of this entry.
The show ran for a whopping 144 episodes, spanning 7 seasons over the course of 6 years, ending in 2003. For many fans this was the end of Buffy, but this didn’t stop the people behind the show from quietly releasing an eight season in 2007. If you’re wondering why you never heard about this, it’s because it was released as a comic book.
The comic is considered an official continuation of the Buffy canon and they even feature the likenesses of the original actors. It was so popular among comic fans that they released a season 9 in 2011 featuring Angel. And yes, before anyone asks, you can buy it on DVD, because of course you can buy a comic on DVD. It’s 2014, people.
5. Final Fantasy X-2.5
Final Fantasy X and it’s sequel, Final Fantasy X-2 were two of the best-received games to be released for the Playstation 2. Well, the first one was, the second has just has many haters as admirers. The SECOND sequel on the other hand? Not so much.
Whereas X and X-2 are actual playable video games, Final Fantasy X-2.5 is a novel, the plot of which is so exceedingly complex and weird, people really can’t piece it together. If you think that’s confusing, there’s another sequel called Final Fantasy X – Will, which is an audio drama set after both the novel and the games.
If you’re not fully grasping how strange this is, we should mention that Square Enix, the company behind the series, has made it very clear that they are never going to release a third Final Fantasy X game. Which would be perfectly fine, if Will didn’t end on a damn cliffhanger! The last scene of the drama is literally the main characters from the game setting off on a new adventure to stop the bad guy from the first game, again.
To make it even worse, this audio drama was released 10 years after the original game series ended, and it was included with the HD re-release of the game. Meaning they specifically went out of their way to get people excited about a proper sequel just to tell them, “actually no, we’re never doing that, sorry.”
4. Blues Brothers 2000: The One Without John Belushi
The original Blues Brothers movie is a classic of modern cinema, if only because, for a while, it held the record for most cars ever destroyed in a single movie. We should make it clear that this is a movie primarily about trying to save an orphanage with the power of music and kick-ass sunglasses.
The second Blues Brothers movie, imaginatively titled Blues Brothers 2000 is a direct sequel starring Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman. The latter guy was brought in to replace the late John Belushi, who sadly died 16 years before the movie was made.
Just let that soak in for a second. One of the most important characters in the original movie died almost two decades before this film was made, and they still made it. What was the thought process behind that decision? We’re not being facetious here: the Blues Brothers were initially created by Aykroyd and Belushi for a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Why would they even consider making a sequel to a movie based on a joke when the author of the joke had been dead for 16 years? But hey, it could have been worse, because they initially wanted to hire Belushi’s far far far far far far far far far far less talented brother, Jim, to replace him. Yep, the According to Jim guy.
The film was, rather understandably, panned upon release, with Roger Ebert stating that the entire movie would have been better without any of the story. This hasn’t stopped Aykroyd from trying to pitch a Blues Brothers TV show, which will probably be terrible and will almost certainly make it to air if the rest of this list is anything to go by.
3. Grease 2: Grease Harder
Set two years after the original movie, Grease 2 stars Michelle Pfeiffer and only one member of the original movie’s cast, Didi Conn (Frenchy). According to Conn, she was written out of the script halfway through the production process, but was still in the movie because the filmmakers changed their mind about firing her at the last possible second. As a result, Frenchy is in roughly half of the movie before she mysteriously disappears without explanation, primarily because they literally didn’t have enough time to film any new scenes with her.
If that doesn’t give you an idea of how rushed and tumultuous the filming of this movie was, according to most sources, they scraped together this movie in less than two months and didn’t ask either John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John to be in it, even though both of them went to the studio to ask for a role.
The most unbelievable thing about the Grease sequel is that it was supposed to be part 2 of FOUR, and there were even plans to film a TV show set in the same universe. Mercifully, Grease 2 was so poorly received that all of these plans were immediately scrapped. Yes, this sequel was bad it killed two other sequels and a TV show. Even Gone With the Wind II couldn’t manage that.
2. Tubular Bells 2
Tubular Bells was the debut album of Mike Oldfield and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a collection of music played on Tubular Bells, amongst other instruments, all of which played by Oldfield personally. If you’re thinking that sounds like a rather odd concept for an album, you’re not alone. According to an interview with Oldfield himself, many originally considered the music and overall premise totally unmarketable.
However, Oldfield refused to give up and, after a lot of pitching and a lot of playing with his bells, he was able to convince Richard Branson of Virgin to publish the album. To the amazement of almost everybody except Mike Oldfield, the album was a runaway success, thanks in part to the opening section of the album being featured in The Exorcist movie.
Perhaps as a screw you to everyone who told him that he’d never be able to sell the album, Mike Oldfield went right ahead and released not one, but THREE direct sequels to the album, titled Tubular Bells 2, Tubular Bells 3 and The Millennium Bell. So for all of you aspiring artists out there disheartened by the over-saturation of pop music currently in the charts, just remember that Mike Oldfield once had a number one hit with a piece of music played on bells, that proved so popular he turned it into a saga.
1. The Land Before Time Parts 2-13
It is commonly accepted that the amount your childhood rocked is inversely proportional to how many of the The Land Before Time movies you were forced to watch before your parents realized the only good one is the first one. Now you’re probably aware that the first movie spawned a ton of terrible direct-to-video sequels and we feel sorry for anyone who had to watch them. But did you ever stop to think about exactly how many of these things the creators managed to squeeze out before the series was put out of its misery?
The answer is 13. There are 13 The Land Before Time movies! As an idea of just how ridiculously convoluted the production process was, Littlefoot (the main character) has had nine different voice actors throughout the 13 films, presumably because there was no pile of money big enough to convince an actor to put up with more than two of these in a row.
Now we’re not going to not tell you to watch any of these sequels. All we’re going to say is if you do, your soul will probably explode into seven different pieces like Voldermort’s did.