11/3/2006

Sequel Titles

Posted in Side Topics at 12:00 pm by Sam

Ever notice how sequel titles fall into familiar patterns? The two most common naming schemes are the Numeral:

  • Scream
  • Scream 2
  • Scream 3

…and the Subtitle:

  • Babe
  • Babe: Pig In the City

But there are others, too.

For example, there is the combination Numeral-Subtitle:

  • The Neverending Story
  • The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter
  • The Neverending Story III: Escape From Fantasia

Sometimes the Numeral-Subtitle starts as a Numeral before kicking in…

  • Phantasm
  • Phantasm II
  • Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead
  • Phantasm IV: Oblivion

…but it never begins life as a Subtitle, only a Numeral. Numerals and Numeral-Subtitles have short lifespans. Eventually, the numerals disappear:

  • Highlander
  • Highlander II: The Quickening
  • Highlander III: The Sorcerer
  • Highlander: Endgame

Only on very rare occasions will the numerals outlast the subtitles:

  • Home Alone
  • Home Alone 2: Lost In New York
  • Home Alone 3
  • Home Alone 4

One thing producers should definitely do is pick decimal numbers or roman numerals and stick with it. Mixing the two just isn’t cool.

  • The Beastmaster
  • Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time
  • Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus

Almost as bad is when the marketing tag (you know, like “ID4″ for Independence Day, and “MiB” for Men In Black) makes it into the title, usually as a prefix:

  • The Mighty Ducks
  • D2: The Mighty Ducks
  • D3: The Mighty Ducks

Better late than never to dump the practice:

  • X-Men
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: The Last Stand

I just love the Halloween series. Just count all the transitions between naming schemes it pulls off:

  • Halloween
  • Halloween II
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
  • Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
  • Halloween: Resurrection

I admire the rare numeral scheme that lasts:

  • Beethoven
  • Beethoven’s 2nd
  • Beethoven’s 3rd
  • Beethoven’s 4th
  • Beethoven’s 5th

And this just has to be a world record for sequel title consistency:

  • The Land Before Time
  • The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure
  • The Land Before Time III: The Time of Great Giving
  • The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists
  • The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island
  • The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock
  • The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire
  • The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze
  • The Land Before Time IX: Journey To the Big Water
  • The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration
  • The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses

Even without numerals, you can still be consistent:

  • Gamera
  • Gamera vs. Barugon
  • Gamera vs. Gaos
  • Gamera vs. Viras
  • Gamera vs. Guiron
  • Gamera vs. Jiger
  • Gamera vs. Zigra

But as admirable as consistency is, it can be a hobgoblin, too, when it’s applied to prequels, because then you get a title that doesn’t seem to know where it fits into the chronology:

  • Psycho
  • Psycho II
  • Psycho III
  • Psycho IV: The Beginning

The Japanese show some commendable ingenuity in solving this problem:

  • Ringu
  • Ringu 2
  • Ringu 0: Baasudei

Occasionally, the main title and the subtitle swap places, as if the producers wanted a brand new title, but then didn’t trust you to make the connection on your own, so they stuffed the Numeral scheme into a subtitle:

  • Carrie
  • The Rage: Carrie 2

The Rambo series refines this to an artform, eventually dropping the main title altogether but keeping the numeral, as if the new title had been around from the beginning:

  • First Blood
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II
  • Rambo III

On the other side of the coin, here’s a series that tries the prefix route, then corrects the mistake:

  • Jurassic Park
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  • Jurassic Park III

Either way belies any indication of foresight. But you gotta love it when titles show signs of foresight at the outset, by firing up, for example, the Subtitle method right at the first movie:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

And then there are some producers that think they have foresight, but don’t:

  • Gumby 1

Sometimes we complain about over-punctuated titles…

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

…but it’s better than not punctuating enough. Note the missing colon:

  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Numerals get used so often, sometimes people like to have a little fun with them, as in:

  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
  • The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear
  • The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

…and:

  • Teen Wolf
  • Teen Wolf Too

…and:

  • The Net
  • The Net 2.0

…and:

  • Shrek
  • Shrek 2
  • Shrek the Third

By law, if your franchise ever dabbles in 3D, it must be for the third movie, and you must use the Numeral scheme at least long enough that you can play with the numeral “3″ like so:

  • Jaws
  • Jaws 2
  • Jaws 3-D
  • Jaws: The Revenge

In the days before the Numeral and Subtitle methods were invented, they generally used brand new titles for each movie, usually but not necessarily all reusing one or two distinguishing words:

  • Road To Singapore
  • Road To Zanzibar
  • Road To Morocco
  • Road To Utopia
  • Road To Rio
  • Road To Bali
  • Road To Hong Kong

…or all employing the same distinctive structure:

  • Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines
  • Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies

…or all featuring the name of the main recurring character:

  • Think Fast, Mr. Moto
  • Thank You, Mr. Moto
  • Mr. Moto’s Gamble
  • Mr. Moto Takes a Chance
  • Mysterious Mr. Moto
  • Mr. Moto’s Last Warning
  • Mr. Moto In Danger Island
  • Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation

Sometimes a hit movie has the wrong name, and that poses a dilemma for producers interested in naming sequels this way. The title character of “The Thin Man” is the villain, not the detective. The first sequel, “After the Thin Man,” remembers that, but starting with “Another Thin Man” (in which the recurring detective has a baby), the “Thin Man” nickname transfers to the detective hero:

  • The Thin Man
  • After the Thin Man
  • Another Thin Man
  • Shadow of the Thin Man
  • The Thin Man Goes Home
  • Song of the Thin Man

The same thing happened with “The Pink Panther,” which refers to a diamond, not Inspector Clouseau. This remains consistent until installment number four, when the title references the “Pink Panther” without being about the diamond at all:

  • The Pink Panther
  • A Shot In the Dark
  • The Return of the Pink Panther
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther
  • Trail of the Pink Panther
  • Curse of the Pink Panther
  • Son of the Pink Panther

If you’re lucky, though, the name of the recurring character catches on better than your actual title does, and you can safely make the transition without losing any marketing power, as in:

  • Child’s Play
  • Child’s Play 2
  • Child’s Play 3
  • Bride of Chucky
  • Seed of Chucky

…and:

  • The Love Bug
  • Herbie Rides Again
  • Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo
  • Herbie Goes Bananas
  • Herbie: Fully Loaded

I’m desperately awaiting the sequel to:

  • Analyze This
  • Analyze That

…which I’m sure will be named “Analyze the Other Thing.”

Look at remakes to observe how sequel title fashions change over time. In the 1950s, we had this short series:

  • Father of the Bride
  • Father’s Little Dividend

Both movies were remade in the 1990s, as:

  • Father of the Bride
  • Father of the Bride, Part II

In the old days, there was a brief fad for labelling sequels with the current year:

  • The Big Broadcast
  • The Big Broadcast of 1936
  • The Big Broadcast of 1937
  • The Big Broadcast of 1938

But, just as Numeral schemes are apt to evolve into Subtitle schemes, the same sort of thing can happen with years:

  • The Gold Diggers of 1933
  • The Gold Diggers of 1935
  • The Gold Diggers of 1937
  • The Gold Diggers In Paris

I don’t quite know what to make of:

  • Alien
  • Aliens
  • Alien 3
  • Alien: Resurrection

…or:

  • The Fast and the Furious
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious
  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

…or:

  • Die Hard
  • Die Hard 2: Die Harder
  • Die Hard With a Vengeance
  • Live Free Or Die Hard

…or especially:

  • The Amityville Horror
  • Amityville II: The Possession
  • Amityville 3-D
  • Amityville: The Evil Escapes
  • The Amityville Curse
  • Amityville 1992: It’s About Time
  • Amityville: A New Generation
  • Amityville: Dollhouse

…and I think the following series gets a special prize for (1) switching numeral styles, (2) dropping numerals twice only to reinstate them each time, (3) botching the 3-D rule in the clumsiest way possible, (4) pulling a Rambo-style switcheroo of the main series name, and (5) lying not just once but twice with subtitles that falsely promise the end of the series:

  • Friday the 13th
  • Friday the 13th Part 2
  • Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D
  • Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
  • Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
  • Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
  • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
  • Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
  • Jason X

I like it when a numeral is just outright wrong, as in:

  • The Legend of Boggy Creek
  • Return To Boggy Creek
  • Boggy Creek II: The Legend Continues

…and:

  • Tarzan
  • Tarzan and Jane
  • Tarzan II

Sometimes the number is right, but only because it isn’t a sequel numeral at all, as in:

  • The Madness of King George III

…and:

  • Thunderbirds are GO
  • Thunderbird 6

…or it’s just making a silly joke:

  • Leonard, Part 6

And it’s always entertaining when alternate titles for international releases conflict with each other about which movie is what. If, for example, you watched Jackie Chan’s homage to Indiana Jones in Hong Kong, then you saw:

  • Armour of God
  • Armour of God II: Operation Condor

…but if you saw them in the United States, you saw them out of order, under these titles:

  • Operation Condor
  • Operation Condor 2: The Armour of the Gods

This looks like a series of five, with an absolutely hilarious title for number three:

  • Supercop
  • Supercop 2
  • Police Story III: Part 2
  • Police Story IV: Project S
  • Police Story V

…but, in actuality, all five of those titles are different international titles for the same movie!

49 Comments »

  1. Stephen (221) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    One other interesting series is the George Romero “Dead” series:

    Night of the Living Dead
    Dawn of the Dead
    Day of the Dead
    Land of the Dead
    Diary of the Dead (forthcoming)

    I’m still bummed out that “Land” wasn’t called “Dusk” or “Twilight” which would have actually fit the theme and worked for the movie. Since “Diary” is apparently going to take place concurrently with “Night” I think Romero should call it “Diary of the Night of the Dead.” That would be awesome.

    Complicating matters, the original Night of the Living Dead was accidentally put into the public domain, which allowed Romero’s co-writer on that film to start his own zombie series without Romero’s permission. Strangely, at least the first movie in this series is *more* connected to Night than the other Romero movies. It also has no idea what it’s doing with its sequel names:

    The Return of the Living Dead
    Return of the Living Dead Part II
    Return of the Living Dead 3
    Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis
    Return of the Living Dead: Rave from the Grave

    I also like the Evil Dead series for how abruptly it changes:

    The Evil Dead
    Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
    Army of Darkness

    The original title for the third installment was going to be “The Medieval Dead” which was clever, but the studio nixed it. Wouldn’t want people to know that your sequel was connected to that popular series of horror movies.

    What is it about horror movies in particular that seems to give them interesting naming schemes?

  2. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    And then they can move on to “Analyze the Thing! And…That Other Thing!”

    Sequel titles are great fun to analyze. :)

  3. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    D’oh! Forgot to mention: I totally thought of The Lion King 1½ at some point as I was reading, probably around the section with The Naked Gun’s fractional numerals.

    I could talk about sequel stuff in video games, but this isn’t AVGT. ;)

  4. Aaron (35) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    I could have sworn Land Before Time stopped numbering their episodes once they got into Final Fantasy level numbers. At least they were dropped from the packaging.

  5. ThePhan (128) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    I was entirely thrown off by Tarzan II coming after Tarzan and Jane. But then perhaps I shouldn’t have been following those sequels in the first place.

  6. Sam (405) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    Aaron: After a little research — and I may still be missing details in the story — what seems to have happened is that repackaged editions of the Land Before Time series have dropped the numerals, and the packaging of some of the newer ones never had the numerals, but the numerals still exist within the films themselves.

    Even this, though, is news to me. For some reason I really thought the numerals have been kept all along. And I’m positive I’ve seen packaging list the numerals on episodes as high as 8 or 9. Huh.

  7. Dave (130) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    I love the Japanese solution to the prequel problem. Ringu 0 is just a spectacular name, and I hope they make a prequel to THAT called Ringu -1.

    I also like the naming of the Nightmare on Elm Street series:

    A Nightmare On Elm Street
    A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
    A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
    A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
    A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
    Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
    Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
    Freddy vs Jason (sometimes alternately called both A Nightmare on Elm Street 8 *and* Friday The 13th Part XI)

    They remain fairly consistent with the official titles up through part 5 (although IMDb inexplicably lists part 5 as just “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child.) After part 5, however, they throw caution to the wind and start mixing and matching. They do “prefix the main character’s name” *and* “false promise for the end of the series” in part 6, and then part 7 decides to throw everything familiar out of the name entirely except the word “Nightmare” and market the *creator* more than the franchise or the star character. Of course, the last entry is sort of a special case as it’s a crossover, but I love that it can be considered both part 8 of one series and part 11 of another. Another working title that the film had at one point was “A Nightmare on Friday the 13th”, which is pretty cool if you ask me, and probably would have been a less deceptive title than “Freddy vs. Jason”.

  8. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Heh, I keep finding things to post about,and putting them in separate posts.

    But I have to wonder what Sam thinks of his state’s motto being used in the title of the latest Die Hard. :)

  9. Sam (405) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Nyperold: It’s the best possible title for any movie, ever. LIVE FREE or DIE HARD! The perfect blend of the completely cheeseball titling that gave us “Die Hard 2: Die Harder,” infused with some good old-fashioned patriotic pep rally. U! S! A!! U! S! A!!

  10. GAThrawn (3) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    It’s also my state motto ;) I guess it is a small world :P Somehow, the original title of Die Hard 4.0 would have made more sense with the computer theme of the movie. Oh well, to each their own :P

  11. siochembio (82) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    Ah, LIVE FREE OR DIE. The single most aggressive state motto. New Hampshire, how I miss thee…

    Seriously? Is the next Die Hard movie “Live Free or Die Hard?”

    Wow.

  12. 10Kan (7) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    There’s at least one film series whose sequels use subtitles with horrible puns which serve as an excellent description of what you’ll see in the film:

    Air Bud
    Air Bud: Golden Reciever
    Air Bud: World Pup
    Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
    Air Bud: Spikes Back

    You know exactly what you’re getting, “Golden Retriever excels at a sport”. And then, in 2006, they have to break the chain with

    Air Buddies

    It stars the pups, you see. It seems they just ran out of the raw talent which gave us “seventh inning fetch”, but you can see them running out of steam there with “spikes back”, which isn’t even a dog pun. I guess I can understand the difficulty; the only title I can think of is for the film where Bud learns to hunt with a black powder rifle in

    Air Bud: Muzzle Loader

    Any other ideas?

  13. KTSlager (55) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    Yes all the way, man. Yes all the way.

    “Air Bud: World Pup”? That makes me incredibly sad.

    How about a Bible-era crossover with chariot racing? We can call it Air Bud: Ben Cur.

    HA.

  14. 10Kan (7) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    There’s also the one where Bud’s owners decide that his lady-dog-friend has birthed enough ‘Buddies’ while our stalwart Golden enters the high-stakes world of professional poker.

    Air Bud: Ace of Spayeds

  15. Gahalyn (22) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    This is, quite simply, the best thread ever.

  16. KTSlager (55) said,

    November 3, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    Air Bud: Dogged Perseverance
    Air Bud: Ruff And Ready
    Air Bud: Pet Project
    Air Bud: South Bark
    Air Bud: Fiddler on the Woof
    Air Bud: Who Done Shot My Paw?

    I sure as heckfire didn’t write this list when I was at work.

  17. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 4, 2006 at 12:09 am

    Well, if we’re keeping it to combinations of dog and sport puns, I’ve already mentioned “Lacrosse Breed”, and I could come up with “Birdie Dog”…

  18. Darien (88) said,

    November 4, 2006 at 5:41 am

    Air Bud vs. Jason

    Also, POSTING IN A LEGENDARY THREAD!

  19. Darien (88) said,

    November 4, 2006 at 5:51 am

    Let us not forget Look Who’s Talking, Look Who’s Talking Too, and Look Who’s Talking Now. Along with honorary sequel Child’s Play 3: Look Who’s Stalking. It’s an open question which of the two “third movies” was worse.

  20. teach (2) said,

    November 4, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    How about when movies are done deliberately out of order, like the Star Wars series? Who knew the first one (really the fourth one) was called “A New Hope?” We’re forever talking about the third one, which was really the sixth one, or whatever . . . it’s irritating. George Lucas should have just shot the darn things, in order.

    Oh, and Air Bud in City Slickers II: the Legend of the Cur’s Gold (Plot synopsis: A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: ”I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.” )

  21. Darien (88) said,

    November 4, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Lucas sort-of *did* shoot the things in order. As has been stated elsewhere, the original Star Wars *wasn’t* “Episode IV: A New Hope” until after it was massively successful. It was just Star Wars.

    I’m led to believe that Lucas had a “vision” for a trilogy of trilogies, and a script for one movie. Make of that what you will.

  22. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 5, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Well, as we kinda hashed out in chat, watching those things in the story’s chronological order is sort of like reading the Chronicles of Narnia in that story’s chronological order. Well, except for the bit where you’d have to read Horse all the way through before finishing Lion to be truly chronological; at least SW doesn’t deal you *that* bit of complexity.

    I specifically mentioned the “Anakin breathes through his helmet for the first time” scene. Watched in order of release, you get a simple-yet-chilling scene. Watched in order by number and you get… well… has anybody here watched the prequels first?

  23. Gahalyn (22) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Watched in order by number and you get… well… has anybody here watched the prequels first?

    No… um well sort of. I watched them in this order: 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2. I had my reasons.. but I think one day Sam’s just going to snap, and send somebody out to kill me for doing it that way.

  24. Gahalyn (22) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    I didn’t want to get into too much unless anybody had specific questions (or if I have to explain myself to the hit man) but one thing I guess I should mention because it’s directly related - since Darth Vader was/is SUCH a cultural icon, I ALSO got the “chilling” feel to the scene Nyp talked about.

  25. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    Hmm. I suppose I would have to ask someone who’s been living under a rock for the past fortysomething years, then. :)

    That is a slightly wacky order, though not as much as some I could come up with.

    I perssonally watched them thusly: 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, Clone Wars, 3.

  26. wintermute (157) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 12:38 pm

    I remember when the working title for Die Hard 4 was Die Hard 4: Die Hardest, which fits the pattern rather better than Live Free or Die Hard.

    I was also quite excited by a new John McTeirnan Die Hard movie, as he’d directed both of the ones that weren’t Die Hard 2: Die Harder (which is to say, the ones that were excellent rather than sucky). I’ve not seen the Underworld movies, though, so I don’t know how good a director Len Wiseman is, or how good he’ll be at dealing with the Die Hard franchise. But the fact that it’s been in production since about the 15th Century doesn’t sound like a good sign to me, even before the change in leadership…

  27. Dave (130) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    I’m led to believe that Lucas had a “vision” for a trilogy of trilogies, and a script for one movie. Make of that what you will.

    His current story (for whatever that’s worth) is that he had a 200 page script that covered most of the story arc of ANH, Empire, and Jedi in what was then supposed to be one movie. Since movies generally run roughly one minute per script page, he was looking at about a three hour and twenty minute movie, which wasn’t gonna fly. So he decided to take just the first third of the script and see if he could flesh that out into a decent single movie. So when he says he had the “story” for the whole trilogy worked out before he shot the original Star Wars, he’s probably telling the truth. Of course when Star Wars was a massive success, he got to develop the rest of the story in that original long script into two more movies.

    There’s of course still much debate about just how many of the key plot points he actually had worked out (such as the whole thing about Vader being Luke’s father) but it seems likely he really did have a lot of the central story for the whole original trilogy worked out before he finished the first movie.

    As for the the *other* two trilogies that he supposedly had ideas for–who knows? I think it’s abundantly clear he was winging it for a lot of the prequel trilogy. Midichlorians and Jar-Jar suffered from huge fan backlash after Episode 1, and suddenly they’re gone after that? Ok, so maybe Jar-Jar was never intended to be more than just a one-movie character, but midicholorians sure seemed like a key plot point, and then suddenly they’re just not mentioned ever again. Then you have stuff like Qui-Gon being Obi-Wan’s master, when in the original trilogy he never mentions Master Qui-Gon, and speaks as if Yoda was his only trainer. In fact, the whole Master/Padawan thing from the prequel trilogy goes against what Obi-Wan seems to be implying in the original trilogy (that Yoda basically trained all Jedi). Of course, Lucas tried to retcon that by showing Yoda training the younglings, so he could say “See, Yoda really did train all the Jedi at one stage in their training!”

    So, it’s doubtful how much he really had decided about Anakin’s story in Episodes I-III before he actually shot them. And I doubt he really has any idea at all what VII-IX would be about at this point. And I doubt we’ll ever see them. I think he’s retconning it all so that his current claim is that six movies was always the plan, not nine or twelve or any of the other numbers people have heard thrown out there.

  28. Darien (88) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    If I remember, what VII - IX were *supposed* to be about (way back when they theoretically were going to exist) was Luke taking over now that the Palpatine’s dead and trying to get representative government and proper Jedi training back together. So, you know, really exciting stuff that it’s just a damn shame we’re missing out on. And is it just me, or is there no character in all of Star Wars who is less well-suited to being a leader than Luke?

    Also, kudos to us for having a Star Wars thread and hijacking this one too.

  29. Dave (130) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    Not enough people posted in the official Star Wars thread. So of course we needed to hijack this one.

  30. ThePhan (128) said,

    November 6, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Yeah, but that could have been because there are a lot of people like me who like Star Wars, but just don’t have that much to say on it. Heh. So now it’s in another thread…… and I still don’t have much to say on it. Oh, well. :-) I enjoy reading them even if I have nothing to respond with.

  31. Dave (130) said,

    November 7, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    Just to bring this whole Star Wars thing back around to the actual topic, I personally love this series of Star Wars computer games:

    Dark Forces
    Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
    Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
    Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

    It’s great because it follows the Rambo formula, except is totally messes with you by seeming to have two entries labeled as number two. It’d be like if Rambo III was instead titled Rambo II: Random Subtitle. It also has a random switch between Roman numerals and numbers.

    If I got to make the next game, I’d call it “Jedi Academy II: Dark Forces 3″ just for fun.

  32. LaZorra (60) said,

    November 10, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    There are ELEVEN Land Before Time movies? Eleven?

    I weep for the world.

  33. Nyperold (116) said,

    November 11, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Yep, eleven. Actually, last time (!) I checked, I was greatly relieved to find that there were not twelve.

    Actually, if they ever do make a twelfth, I hope the subtitle is “It’s Almost Time” or “It’s About Time”.

  34. MrMike (1) said,

    July 26, 2008 at 11:29 am

    How about these gems..

    DEATH WISH (1974)
    DEATH WISH II
    DEATH WISH 3
    DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN
    DEATH WISH V: THE FACE OF DEATH

    HELLRAISER
    HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II
    HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH
    HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE
    HELLRAISER: INFERNO
    HELLRAISER: HELLSEEKER
    HELLRAISER: DEADER
    HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD

    IRON EAGLE
    IRON EAGLE II
    ACES: IRON EAGLE III
    IRON EAGLE IV: ON THE ATTACK

    K-9
    K-911
    K-9: P.I.

    MAD MAX
    THE ROAD WARRIOR
    MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME

    THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
    RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
    GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
    THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE

    MEATBALLS
    MEATBALLS PART II
    MEATBALLS III: SUMMER JOB
    MEATBALLS 4

    MISSING IN ACTION
    MISSING IN ACTION 2: THE BEGINNING
    BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III

    MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
    MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2
    MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

    FIRST BLOOD
    RAMBO/FIRST BLOOD PART II
    RAMBO III
    RAMBO

    ROCKY
    ROCKY II
    ROCKY III
    ROCKY IV
    ROCKY V
    ROCKY BALBOA

    SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT
    SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT II
    SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT PART 3

    STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE
    STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KAHN
    STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
    STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME
    STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER
    STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
    STAR TREK GENERATIONS
    STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT
    STAR TREK: INSURRECTION
    STAR TREK NEMESIS
    STAR TREK

    THE TERMINATOR
    TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
    TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES
    TERMINATOR SALVATION

    THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
    THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2
    LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III
    TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION
    THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003)
    THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING

    THREE MEN AND A BABY
    THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY

    URBAN LEGEND
    URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT

    WALKING TALL
    PART 2 WALKING TALL
    FINAL CHAPTER: WALKING TALL

  35. Jack (2) said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    My favorite bad sequel title is DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST. As far as I know, it’s the only movie that’s ever included a declarative statement in the title telling audiences that it’s a sequel or prequel to a previous film. THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 sucks, but at least it’s not THE RAGE: SEQUEL TO CARRIE.

    A few funny notes about the HIGHLANDER sequel titles. First, “The Quickening” refers to something that happens in every HIGHLANDER movie, so titling a movie HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING is like titling a movie BACK TO THE FUTURE: TIME TRAVELING or JURASSIC PARK: DINOSAURS ON THE LOOSE. Second, I think it’s hilarious that they called the third movie HIGHLANDER III, despite the fact that it ignores the events of HIGHLANDER II. It’s like BATMAN BEGINS being called BATMAN 5. They changed the title later to HIGHLANDER: THE FINAL DIMENSION, but that title is completely meaningless. And finally, like the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, the HIGHLANDER series had two movies with titles that falsely suggested the end of the series (THE FINAL DIMENSION and HIGHLANDER: ENDGAME).

    I know this is All Movie Talk and not All Video Game Talk, but I have to mention the METAL GEAR games. First there was METAL GEAR, then METAL GEAR 2, then METAL GEAR SOLID. So next is METAL GEAR 4 or METAL GEAR [Insert Word Here], right? Nope, it’s METAL GEAR SOLID 2. The next game was a prequel that took place before any of the other games, and it was titled METAL GEAR SOLID 3. And the most recent game is a sequel to METAL GEAR SOLID 2, titled METAL GEAR SOLID 4.

    Video games also demonstrate pretty well how creators get lazy with titles after awhile. First there was RIDGE RACER, RIDGE RACER REVOLUTION, and RAGE RACER. So far, so good. Then there was R4: RIDGE RACER TYPE 4. The numbers start to creep in, but some originality is still being shown. But then everything goes down the toilet with RIDGE RACER V, RIDGE RACER 6, and RIDGE RACER 7. Usually the opposite happens with movies; they start out with numbers then drop them after a few installments and start using subtitles.

  36. Jack (2) said,

    September 20, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Another interesting thing I forgot: titles that make movies seem like sequels when they actually aren’t. I don’t mean sequels that have some kind of tenuous connection to a previous movie, like having the main character be the cousin of the main character from the last movie, but “sequels” that have nothing at all to do with a previous movie.

    A lot of direct-to-video sequels are like this. They have nothing to do with the previous film — they don’t have any of the same characters and they don’t continue the story — they just use the previous film’s premise and apply it to a new set of characters. Examples include THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT 2, I’LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, BACHELOR PARTY 2, WALKING TALL 2, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE 2, and WHITE NOISE 2. Sometimes a major theatrical movie will do this, like HOME ALONE 3, but it’s rare.

    What’s really interesting is when a movie is basically completed and retitled later to capitalize on another movie. Some examples: DAWN OF THE DEAD was titled ZOMBI in Italy, and a completely unrelated movie was retitled ZOMBI 2. Also: HAVOC 2 (originally titled NORMAL ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR), 8MM 2 (originally titled THE VELVET SIDE OF HELL), and OPEN WATER 2 (originally titled ADRIFT). According to the “sequel” article on Wikipedia, UNCLE BUCK was retitled ALONE WITH UNCLE BUCK in Germany to make it seem like a sequel to HOME ALONE, which was titled ALONE AT HOME there.

    This also happens with video games: QUAKE II has nothing to do with QUAKE, and QUAKE III has nothing to do with either QUAKE or QUAKE II. (QUAKE 4 continues the story of QUAKE II, which is just odd, since the sequel to QUAKE II is titled QUAKE 4).

  37. Nyperold (116) said,

    September 29, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Or how about the most famous series to do that ever, Final Fantasy? The ones with different initial numbers (the one right after “Fantasy”) have little to do with each other outside of a few common elements, e.g. a Cid that builds and/or augments your airship. If there’s a title after the number, or worse, a number after the number, then you have an actual sequel.

  38. Dang (1) said,

    September 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I think the Final Fantasy titles actually make perfect sense. It’s more of an anthology than a chronological series, with each numbered installment representing its own series. Final Fantasy VIII has nothing to do with Final Fantasy VII, but Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is obviously a sequel to Final Fantasy VII. Considering the insane number of Final Fantasy games, using numbers like that makes it easy to know which series the game belongs to. The only time I think it gets strange is when you get goofy titles like Final Fantasy X-2. That’s “Final Fantasy Ten Two.” They should have called it Final Fantasy X: [Insert Subtitle Here] instead.

  39. CFS (1) said,

    November 2, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Or how about the ultimate number system.

    Star Wars IV: A New Hope Is the FIRST Star Wars movie.
    Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back Is the SECOND Star Wars movie
    Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi Is the THIRD Star Wars movie

    And then:

    Star Wars I: Phantom Menace Is the FOURTH Star Wars movie…

    etc. etc.
    Which makes it almost impossible to quickly refer to the movies in a conversation. How many times have you said, “In the first Star Wars movie…” and then realized you have to clarify if you mean “A New Hope” or “Phantom Menace”, etc.

    It’s enough to drive you screaming into another galaxy.

  40. godsgirl2819 (1) said,

    November 4, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Okay, you know the sequel to Batman Begins is the Dark Knight. Now because of the success of the Dark Knight WB has decided to send the sequel of Superman into the same direction and making it darker. Guess what the Sequel to Superman Returns is: The Man of Steel!. Great what will the sequel to the Dark Knight be? The Caped Crusader. then Superman? mmmmm…. The last son of Krypton. I see this will be a short franchise if they keep this up! Superman and Batman are two totally different heroes! How in the world are they going to make Superman darker? Batman has always been darker. I can see the next Superman movie will be a flop if they try to use the same tactics as the Dark Knight!

  41. Pandora (1) said,

    November 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Not sure if these have been mentioned yet, and not sure where exactly they would go in the list, but there’s Friday, Next Friday, and Friday After Next

  42. Eman Resu (5) said,

    November 14, 2008 at 2:45 am

    The Godzilla movies are usually given new titles when they’re released in America, and some of the American titles are odd:

    Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

    This was retitled Gigantis the Fire Monster in America. It’s been rumored that the movie was retitled because the distributor had the rights to the film itself but not the Godzilla character, but it’s not true. They just wanted to make the audience think they were seeing a new monster. Which is odd, because if the first movie was a big hit, why would you want to disassociate the sequel from it?

    Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993)

    They called this movie Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II in America, I guess because they were afraid that people would confuse it with the original Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla from 1974. But the American title makes no sense, because it’s not a sequel to Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla. It’s more of a remake. And even if you assume that the II simply means it’s the second movie where Godzilla fights Mechagodzilla, it still doesn’t make sense, because it’s actually the third, after Terror of Mechagodzilla.

  43. bookworm455 (1) said,

    November 28, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    How bout the Bring It On series?
    The first one was the only one released in theaters, the others have all been straight to DVD.

    Bring It On (2000)
    Bring It On Again (which only shared producers with the first.) (2004)
    Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)
    Bring It On: In It To Win It (2007)

    Bring It On - obviously the best, staring Kristen Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Jesse Bradford and dealt with issues of race and stereotypes.

    Bring It On Again - to terrible to talk about.

    Bring It On: All or Nothing - Opens with a dream sequence just like the first. Stars Hayden Panettiere, Solange Knowles-Smith (Beyonce’s little sister), Jake McDorman (of current Greek fame), and Giovonnie Samuels (of Disney channel fame) and features Rihanna. Its working title was Bring It On Yet Again.

    Bring It On: In It To Win It - A West Side Story “spoof” with the Sharks vs. the Jets. Features Michael Copon (of One Tree Hill and Power Rangers fame), and Jennifer Tisdale (Ashley Tisdale’s older sister).

  44. MghtyRoach (1) said,

    May 13, 2009 at 12:08 am

    …but it never begins life as a Subtitle, only a Numeral. Numerals and Numeral-Subtitles have short lifespans. Eventually, the numerals disappear:

    Not entirely accurate.

    Star Trek II was originally called Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. The numerals came with the third movie and swallowed the 2nd movie with it.

  45. Eman Resu (5) said,

    June 3, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    To the commenter above me: I wasn’t even alive when STAR TREK II came out, but every source I can find contradicts what you said. Apparently it was originally intended to be called STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN but the roman numeral was indeed in the title when the movie was released, not added later.

    I like the comment Stephen made up there about calling the movie DIARY OF THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD instead of DIARY OF THE DEAD, considering it takes place on the same night as NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I think this creates a potential problem, though, since people might have mistaken it for some kind of documentary about NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD instead of a new fictional movie.

    As apathetic as I am about the title LAND OF THE DEAD, I like it better than TWILIGHT OF THE DEAD, or DUSK OF THE DEAD. Really, the “time of day” references can only go so far without sounding ridiculous. Having NIGHT, DAWN, and DAY works fine. It needed to move on after that. When would it end? QUARTER PAST NOON OF THE DEAD?

    As far as DIE HARD goes, DIE HARDER is indeed a stupid title, but it sounds better than DIE HARD 2. It always peeves me when sequels just take the original title and slap a number on the end. DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE? Best sequel title ever. Anyone who disagrees can eat it. LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD would have been a good title if it had been LIVE FREE AND DIE HARD. Using “or” instead of “and” implies that you have to make a choice between living free and dying hard. Doesn’t the main character do both?

    The titles of the Rambo movies just crack me up. FIRST BLOOD, RAMBO, RAMBO III, RAMBO. That’s like titling the DIE HARD movies DIE HARD, DIE HARDER, DIE HARDER 3, and DIE HARDER.

    Another thing that peeves me is the overuse of the word “rise” in sequel and prequel titles. BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, CARLITO’S WAY: RISE TO POWER, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA, HANNIBAL RISING, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VAN WILDER THE RISE OF TAJ, THE SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS. Apparently Brian De Palma wanted to make a prequel to THE UNTOUCHABLES called THE UNTOUCHABLES: CAPONE RISING. Ugh. Enough with the damned rising.

    Is there a reason so many people insist on calling the second WALKING TALL movie PART 2: WALKING TALL? I’ve never seen it, so maybe someone who has can explain. Does the title screen put the PART 2 above the WALKING TALL or something? Because if that’s the case, that doesn’t make the title PART 2: WALKING TALL. The video game RESIDENT EVIL 4 has the 4 before the RESIDENT EVIL in the logo, but that doesn’t make the title 4: RESIDENT EVIL. Also in PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, the WAR ZONE is above the PUNISHER in the title. Does that make the title WAR ZONE: PUNISHER? No, it doesn’t.

    I think it’s funny how movie producers feel it’s absolutely necessary to have the original title in the sequel’s title. They couldn’t just call it THE LOST WORLD like the book. They had to insult everyone’s intelligence by calling it THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK. “Dear audience: We think you’re too stupid to recognize this is a sequel to JURASSIC PARK.” Ugh. Couldn’t they have just put something like “The JURASSIC PARK Story Continues” on the poster? Go ahead, put “JURASSIC PARK” in the biggest letters possible on the poster. Make it bigger than the title if you want to. It doesn’t need to be in the actual title, though. And why not get creative and call it JURASSIC ISLAND or something?

    Biggest sequel title f-up of all time: ARMY OF DARKNESS. How could they NOT title this movie THE MEDIEVAL DEAD? That’s about as perfect as sequel titles get.

    I can’t decide which title is more ridiculous: 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS or FAST AND FURIOUS. The kneejerk reaction is 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, but I’m endlessly amused by the FAST AND FURIOUS tactic of just taking the original title and dropping a few words.

    Let’s try this hypothetically with other movies:

    NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD / NIGHT OF THE DEAD
    THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY / GOOD, BAD, & UGLY
    THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE / CHAINSAW MASSACRE

  46. Sam (405) said,

    June 13, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Eman Resu: Great, hilarious rant, there. With one exception: “Live Free and Die Hard,” while perhaps more technically pertinent to the story, loses the reason for having a title like that in the first place. The reference is to New Hampshire’s (awesome) state motto, “Live free or die.” (Few state mottos have any teeth to them and none more so.) The title, then, is a delightfully atrocious play on this pre-existing phrase. It’s great, because the original motto alone sums up the attitude of the Die Hard movies pretty well, but changing the “die” to “Die Hard” pushes it over the top with a shameless yet tongue-in-cheek and entirely appropriate self-centricism. It says, “This movie is going to blow up ANYBODY and ANYTHING to protect the freedom of the American people!”

    Change “or” to “and,” and it’s just an ordinary and kind of clumsy title.

  47. Eman Resu (5) said,

    July 1, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Sam: Point taken. I forgot about the play on words with the New Hampshire motto. Still, Die Hard with a Vengeance was a much better title. I honestly think it’s the best sequel title ever.

    Oh! And I have even more useless and ridiculously long piles of information to contribute. Check this one out: I took a look at Wikipedia’s “Category:Direct-to-video films” page, and found that a huge number of direct-to-video sequels follow the “number + useless subtitle” trend, seemingly unable to decide between one or the other.

    American Psycho 2: All American Girl
    The Art of War II: Betrayal
    Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation
    Balto II: Wolf Quest
    Balto III: Wings of Change
    Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil
    BloodRayne II: Deliverance
    Candyman 3: Day of the Dead
    Carnosaur 3: Primal Species
    Charlotte’s Web 2: Wilbur’s Great Adventure
    Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice
    Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
    Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering
    Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror
    Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return
    C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.
    Cinderella II: Dreams Come True
    Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
    Cube 2: Hypercube
    Cyborg 3: The Recycler
    Darkman II: The Return of Durant
    Darkman III: Die Darkman Die
    Day of the Dead 2: Contagium
    Dracula II: Ascension
    Dracula III: Legacy
    FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue
    Fortress 2: Re-Entry
    From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money
    From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter
    Happily N’Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple
    House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute
    Howling IV: The Original Nightmare
    Howling V: The Rebirth
    Howling VI: The Freaks
    The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
    Leprechaun 4: In Space
    Like Mike 2: Streetball
    Mimic 3: Sentinel
    Open Water 2: Adrift
    Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
    The Prince and Me 2: The Royal Wedding
    The Prince and Me 3: Royal Honeymoon
    Prom Night III: The Last Kiss
    Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil
    The Prophecy 3: The Ascent
    Pulse 2: Afterlife
    Pulse 3: Invasion
    Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings
    The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior
    The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue
    Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
    Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!
    Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation
    Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker
    Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice
    Slap Shot 3: The Junior League
    Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation
    Starship Troopers 3: Marauder
    Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild
    The Substitute 2: School’s Out
    The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All
    The Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option
    Terror Toons 2: The Sick and Silly Show
    Tremors 2: Aftershocks
    Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
    Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
    Undisputed II: Last Man Standing
    Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms
    Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business
    War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave
    Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies
    Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell
    Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled
    Witchcraft II: The Temptress
    Witchcraft III: The Kiss of Death
    Witchcraft IV: The Virgin Heart
    Witchcraft V: Dance with the Devil
    Witchcraft VI: The Devil’s Mistress
    Witchcraft VII: Judgement Hour
    Witchcraft VIII: Salem’s Ghost
    Witchcraft IX: Bitter Flesh
    Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft
    Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood
    Witchcraft XII: In the Lair of the Serpent
    Witchcraft XIII: Blood of the Chosen

  48. BELLEAFAN09 (1) said,

    November 29, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I have some movies that are sequels : Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban i Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoneix , Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince , And Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. And Also Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, And Breaking Dawn. And Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat Annilation.

  49. DreamTripper (1) said,

    May 22, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    I’m looking forward to the Whoopie Goldberg/Bruce Willis franchise crossover, Sister Act 3: Old Habits Die Hard

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