Blog Directory CineVerse: Classic clones & dismal drones: The best & worst sci-fi sequels of all time

Classic clones & dismal drones: The best & worst sci-fi sequels of all time

Thursday, July 16, 2009

by Erik J. Martin

“Aliens” or “The Road Warrior”? “Spider-Man 2” or “T2: Judgment Day”? With the recent release of “Transform
ers: Revenge of the Fallen,” the follow-up to the highly successful first “Transformers” movie (and by no means worthy of being uttered in the same breath as the four flicks on the first line), the time-traveled argument now rages stronger than the Sith Lords’ hatred of the Jedi Knights: What are the best and worst science-fiction sequels in movie history?

Difficult to see, in the immortal words of Yoda. Always in motion is the future, and the guaranteed ho
rde of outer space sequels, sci-fi spinoffs and fantasy follow-ups that are bound to come from its mothership underbelly. But if the past is any indication, we’re in for many more hit and miss box-office attempts to cash in on the success of erstwhile originals in the cinematic sci-fi universe.

Nevertheless, if you can stomach yet another “Top 10" list or two without expelling an outraged alien film critic from your abdomen, ponder the inductees into my very unofficial “best and worst sci-fi flicks” hall of fame, listed below.

Sorry, Jar-Jar Binks haters, but Episodes 1 and 2 of the “Star Wars” prequels are not quite (but almost) deserving of a spot on the “worst” list. But many of the picks in my list are examples of sequels that arguably improve upon their originals.

That’s quite a boast, considering that very few subsequent chapters in any genre are widely considered to be better than their originals. In fact, while titles for the “worst” category came to mind as fast and furious as a TIE-fighter attack, it was downright diff
icult to think of more than a dozen or so sci-fi sequels that belong in the “best of” category.

Note: only one film from each series was made eligible for each list, and the multitude of low-budget “B” movies–including the laughable Godzilla sequels–made-for-TV and direct-to-video features in the futuristic film canon weren’t considered for the “worst” list. That would be, as Darth Vader says, “all too easy.” Also, each is available for rental on DVD.

10 best sci-fi sequels
  • Aliens
  • Back to the Future Part III
  • The Bride of Frankenstein
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Quartermass 2
  • The Road Warrior
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
  • Superman 2
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    10 worst sci-fi sequels
  • Class of Nuke ‘Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid
  • Cocoon: The Return
  • Cyborg 3: The Recycler
  • The Fly 2
  • Highlander 2: The Quickening
  • Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
  • Robocop 3
  • Superman 4: The Quest for Peace
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Trancers 2: The Return of Jack Deth
Disagree with my choices? Want to suggest a few different titles to add to either list? Post a reply with your selection(s). And be sure to vote in our latest CineVerse poll on this very topic, which can be found in the upper left portion of this Web page.

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