I want to discuss sequels. Sequels are what I call, “Where movies go to die”. It doesn’t happen immediately. It takes sometimes as many as 3 sequels before the soul of a movie has been totally traded off for something more devoid of substance. If a movie had violence, a good plot, and story line, and it was assumed that the violence was what drew the crowds, then they would spend much less on plot and storyline, and everything on violence.

'Friday the 13th'

`Movies like this do well, I think because there is apparently secret pleasure that people derive from witnessing revenge and the story line that leads up to it. Combining all of this with believability and just enough mystery to terrify, it became a wonderfully intoxicating hour and a half. Please note, that it was a perfect marriage of these several aspects which made it such an unforgettable classic.

Of course, there is a very long line of great horror movies in the family of movie classics that graced the screen after Friday the 13th. I won’t cover them except to say that I’m pretty sure each one suffered the same demise as Jason.

'First Blood'

The movie "Rambo: First Blood" with Sylvester Stallone was a great movie about justice, and the American way. In many ways, I still love this movie. It had a relevant story line for it’s time.

It came out five years after Vietnam ended and nine years before the end of the cold war between America and Russia. It had a believable action hero in John Rambo, who played a down and out, emotionally wrecked Vietnam veteran back from the war. It was the first movie I remember, of it’s kind. There may have been many to precede it but they never stood out for me. There were certainly many that followed though that would never measure up to this one.

Rambo seemed to be fighting for the ‘soul’ of America. We identified with him because he was downtrodden. And he, to put in mildly, kicked some serious ass. Any follow up movie would end up being superfluous.

The sequels to Rambo, in my opinion, lacked the meaningful impact that the original had. In the original movie, his pain seemed real. The battles being fought both externally, back home in America, and internally with survivor’s guilt, were palpable.

I just don’t think you can make sequels and still capture the imagination, heart, and soul of the original. They tried. I do not believe they succeeded.

Again, there were many other movies and sequels of the same ‘action’ genre. "Missing in Action" comes to mind, along with bile in the back of my throat. It’s just that none of them measured up to "First Blood."

'Home Alone'

Of course, there was the great family classic, "Home Alone," appealing to both children and adults.

It was about a child whose family accidentally left him at home during Christmas. As it was light hearted and centered around holidays, I can forgive that every sequel capitalized on this. Could they not change the story line though? It seemed all that they ever changed was geography. They couldn’t even retain the original actor. Inevitably, this flick died the soul sucking death of all the other sequels. You can see how they do not require the same inter-related components to die the same sad death as most franchise do.

Why must they all die the slow suffocating death of the old rock star? Where does the Heart And Soul begin drifting to after the first or second installment? Would it not be better were they to die young like Jimi or Janis? Who remembers the Rock star that lost ‘it’ before they perished?

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more