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Five Movies That Should Have Launched Franchises

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Most horror movies have sequels. So much that it’s almost a surprise when a movie doesn’t. Yet there are plenty of movies that got one sequel off the ground and it simply didn’t go anywhere after that, whatever the reasons may be. While a movie like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer may not need a sequel (although it did get one) My Bloody Valentine seems like an obvious choice. To my money, a franchise is a horror series with three films or more, and here are some films that could have gone that route and probably make it work, but never did.

5. DR. GIGGLES-

Is Dr. Giggles actually a good movie? No. But should there be at least three more Dr. Giggles films? Absolutely. It has everything you need from a low-budget 1990’s slasher. It’s pure dripping chese with hammy deaths and even hammier one-liners. Every word that comes out of the good doctor’s mouth is a pun, most of them really awful but the whole package is virtually impossible not to have fun with. There are B-movie slashers a lot less fun and funny than this that spawned plenty of sequels. With a kickstarter for a sequel to The Ice Cream Man going on now, it would be nice to see Dr. Giggles or even a protégé start making house calls again.

4. MY BLOODY VALENTINE-

Unlike Dr. Giggles, My Bloody Valentine is a serious and well-made slasher from the height of the era. It was a movie that made money and was loved by fans of the genre. It had all you needed from a great slasher: a memorable killer with an iconic outfit and imaginative weapon, not to mention some inventive kills. Yet there was no interest in getting a sequel off the ground, even when the movie did well in theaters. Nearly three decades later, the movie was remade. The same thing happened again. Genre fans enjoyed the movie and it made quite a bit of money, but the studio never seriously considered moving forward with a sequel. Which is a shame, because there was a lot of potential. The killer even survives in both versions, and in the first literally disappears into the night screaming that he would return. Sadly it never came to pass.

3. WAXWORK-

Waxwork is a ridiculously fun and inventive 80’s B-movie that is barely remembered, unfortunately. Which is a shame because there’s a lot to enjoy. It’s about a wax museum that features all of the classic monsters. When you enter the exhibit, you actually step into the world of that creature and when you die you become part of the exhibit itself. Mr. Lincoln (played by the always great David Warner) is trying to murder a certain number of people so that the creatures in the waxwork can become flesh and blood and roam the Earth once more. The monster possibilities are endless and so is the ability to play with so many different tropes and subgenres within a single film. The two leads, Mark and Sarah (played by Zach Galligan and Deborah Foreman, respectively) actually feel sincere and had potential to develop. A sequel was made that opened up the mythology and a whole new world of possibilities, but no third film ever followed.

2. FRIGHT NIGHT-

Sure, there are technically four Fright Night films, yet in the entire history of the title there has only ever been one direct sequel. Tommy Lee Wallace’s Fright Night Part II  was the only movie to carry over the characters and storyline from the previous film. Charley and Peter Vincent make for great everyman vampire hunters and are both great characters that were great to watch in that first sequel. It may have not been the first one, but it was still pretty fun. But no Fright Night III ever came to pass. Instead a remake was made in 2011 and following that was last year’s Fright Night 2: New Blood which was just another remake of the original film with the same characters and situations, but set in Romania. There’s a lot of potential in the series and the characters are all great and interesting. If the Fright Night comic book made a continuing story work, there’s no reason one of these remakes (or the original, you never know) can’t keep its characters around for awhile.

1. THE MONSTER SQUAD-

The Monster Squad was originally going to have a sequel, titled The Monster Squad vs. Godzilla, but due mostly to budget and rights issues, it just never happened. The gang of kids in The Monster Squad were legendary and the movie is a beloved cult classic. The first movie is a team origin story, essentially, and even though they took out a lot of the classic monsters in one fell swoop, there are always other monsters out there. And who’s to say Dracula couldn’t come back to take his revenge? The possibilities are endless. Invisible Man? Phantom of the Opera? Phoebe obsessively building a Bride of Frankenstein to lure the monster back? Sadly, we’ll never know.

 

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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