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Worst to First: Ranking the Sequels of 1987

sequels-of-87

A little later today, we will crown the winner of our Movies of 1987 Bracket Game.  But before we close the book on 1987, I thought it would be fun to look at the sequels which were released that year.  None of these movies were included in the bracket game largely because most of them weren’t very memorable.  Still, a couple of them endure and it’s fun to laugh at the others.  So let’s get to ranking the sequels of 1987.

Jaws the Revenge Shark

11. Jaws: The Revenge

Rotten Tomato Score: 0%

Domestic Gross: $20,763,013

Place in Franchise: 4th movie of 4

Years Since Last Movie: 4

Actors Replaced: The entire cast of Jaws 3, Roy Scheider was long gone but Lorraine Gary was available

Summary: The tagline for Jaws: The Revenge (not Jaws 4, never Jaws 4) was “This time, it’s personal.”  That wasn’t just a pithy sales pitch.  It was the plot.  Perhaps sensing that it was implausible that the Brody family continues to be menaced by Great White sharks, the story is  based on the idea that the original shark from the first movie – the one Scheider blew to smithereens at the end – came back to finish the job.  But since Chief Brody was dead, the rubbery shark decided he’d make a meal of Brody’s widow instead.  Yep, it’s just that dumb.

Next: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol

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Posted on January 17, 2017, in Movies, sequels, Worst to First and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. “This is the movie that made you stop believing a man can fly”. Lebeau you missed your calling, this would have made a great caption on the actual Superman 4 movie poster!

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  2. For what it’s worth there is a great Jon Cryer interview over on AV CLUB where he discusses his involvement with Superman 4. From the way Cryer describes it this was not a mere paycheck role for him, he actually was a huge fan who was possibly more disappointed with the film than the movie-going public.

    I’m not going to transcribe the full interview as he goes into full detail about his experience, but just to give an idea here is a brief excerpt:

    “That was absolutely a heartbreaking experience for me, because I had loved Richard Donner’s Superman like nobody’s business. I was a Comic Con-fanboy-crazy guy about that movie. I just loved it so much. So I always thought if I got a chance to be in a Superman movie, I’d jump at the chance….. Towards the end of shooting, they started dropping whole sequences…… A few months later I ran into Chris Reeve on the street and I said “Let’s have lunch!” I said, “I’m so excited about the movie, when is it coming out?” Chris took a deep breath and said “You need to know: it’s an absolute mess. We had six months of flying work that we were supposed to shoot; they cut five months of it. They’ve thrown together an edit that barely makes any sense”…… The movie does not do the script justice at all. The script was actually pretty clever….. When I finally did see the movie, it hurt me physically. (Laughs) I’d had such high hopes for it that, to be part of the downfall of something that you had hoped to resurrect, that’s a tough thing to take.”

    For anybody interested, I would suggest googling the full Jon Cryer interview on AV CLUB as it really is enlightening from an insider’s point of view. Here was a young actor who as a movie-goer was blown away by Donner’s Superman, was a huge fan, was thrilled to join the Superman franchise, saw real potential in the screenplay for another solid movie, and largely due to the collapse of Cannon films during production resulted in just a terrible film that was a complete embarrassment. Well worth a read if you got 15 minutes or so.

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    • Seconded. I read this interview back when it posted. Good stuff. Reeve also wrote about breaking the news to Cryer in his autobiography.

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      • Oh wow, I had no idea Reeve also included that anecdote in his own autobiography. Obviously for both Cryer and Reeve, Superman 4 had some personal relevance in the early stages, neither actor was just showing up “for the work” so to speak. Especially Reeve who only agreed to play Supes one more time when he could include a socially relevant plot angle.

        The Reeve era of Superman is a mixed bag, obviously you have the original which is still one of the best superhero films ever made, if not the best. Superman II dips slightly, but is still an above-average film IMHO. III and IV are different levels of lousy. Yet Christopher Reeve always shows up giving his best performance, even in the lousy films. He never just “phones it in”, even as in the case of part 4 he realized at some point while filming that this was turning into a lousy film, he still gives it his all as an actor, which is commendable I think. When I watch Superman III or IV now, that’s what I think about. Lousy film, but as a life raft you can find a bit of appreciation for Chris Reeve’s performance as Superman which rises above the film itself.

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        • I have come to appreciate Superman III largely based on the strength of Reeves’ performance. The scene where he battles himself in the junkyard is one of my favorites from any Superman movie. You’re absolutely right about his attitude. (He drove Margot Kidder nuts because she’s a loosey goosey type and he insisted they take the work very seriously.) He knew Superman IV was not going well. But he’s still giving it 100%. He’s going for it. Especially in the scenes with Hackman. The two of them together almost save the movie. Almost.

          It might have been in Reeve’s book, I don’t recall exactly, but he told a story about showing up to shoot a scene at what was supposed to be the U.N. It looked nothing like the U.N. building which is a familiar location. What’s more, there was only a smattering of extras. Reeve said his immediate thought was that Donner would have filled the street with extras. That’s when he knew the production had run out of money.

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        • Honestly until today, despite always being a big fan of Reeve’s work as Superman, I had never known that he wrote an autobiography. It sure sounds like you read it before Lebeau, did he write it before or after his tragic horse-riding accident?

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        • The autobiography was titled Still Me. As the title suggests, it was written after his accident and published in 1998. I haven’t actually read the book, but I have read some excerpts while researching Superman-related articles. I should really pick it up and read it cover to cover some time.

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    • “Superman IV” is in a way, the superhero movie equivalent to “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” two years later. What I mean is that both movies had the stars (Christopher Reeve and William Shatner respectively) gaining a great deal of creative control. And w/ that creative control, they set out to craft a thought provoking and even philosophical, grand scale epic. But too many cards were stacked against them and both movies just in the end, come across as silly, cheaply made, self-parodies.

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  3. I can’t argue with these rankings (I’d switch “The Living Daylights” and the 3rd Elm Street film around, but that’s just because the 3rd Elm Street film is my favorite of those sequels, and I think it’s pretty special). Anyway, on to my opinions on these films:

    Jaws: The Revenge: I like that song by The Jets, “You Got It All Over Him”, when the widow Brody is dancing with her other son and I think Michael Caine’s character too. I thought it was a nice moment, and Mario Van Peebles is funny in it. Otherwise, it’s bad.
    Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol: Tony Hawk is in this film, and I like the series up to this point (I gave up after the Miami deal in the next sequel).
    Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise: I only sort of liked the first one, so I never seen the sequels. Like “Porky’s”, this series doesn’t appeal to me.
    Teen Wolf Too: I think it’s hot garbage, and what I’ve seen of it, nah, no thanks, I’ve seen enough.
    Superman IV: The Quest For Peace: I liked it at first (recorded it and everything, just like the 4th Jaws. Hey, that was my thing in 1988:-), but later figured out it was rubbish.

    6.Death Wish 4: The crackdown: This installment had Kay Lenz in it, so that’s about all I like; a series I gave up on about part 3.

    I’ll finish this on another comment.

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  4. Benji the hunted: I can’t say no to cats or dogs, so I like it.

    4.Beverly Hills Cop II: I like it just fine, and I think it’s a masterpiece compared to the 3rd film.

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors: Love the cast (Larry Fishburne when he still went by Larry, and he still played Cowboy Curtis for Pee-Wee), the storyline, and the special effect; Freddy was still creepy, and I was bummed that Nancy died, becaused she was my hero of the era.
    The Living Daylights: The first Bond film in which I made an active choice to watch (went to the local theater by myself). I still think it’s a fantastic film, and Dalton holds up as Bond.
    Evil Dead II: Excellent, excellent, and glad I have it on DVD, and I think the commentary that goes along with it is outstanding too. Yeah, it’s totally and better budget version of the first film (fine by me, because I had a hard time seeing the first film in spots, as I feel the picture was kind of dark).

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  5. I haven’t seen Police Academy 4, Benji or Superman 4 yet. I really like Beverly Hills Cop II. The Living Daylights and Dream Warriors are both awesome sequels. Evil Dead II is one of the best sequels ever made. Deathwish 4 is craptastic. Jaws the Revenge is one of the worst movies ever made haha. I need to see Revenge of the Nerds 2 again but I recall liking it.

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