Spotlight On | '80s Movie Sequels

Our Guest Blogger ~ Beck ~ throws her hat into the ring, sharing a few of her movie sequel hits & misses...

What makes a good movie; what makes a bad movie?

Movies can be put into the good and the bad categories for a plethora of reasons. In the end though, for the viewer, it’s simply just a matter of taste. As an example, some people love Star Wars. Some (as much as it pains me) have never seen a single one. People can cite technical reasons, plot, effects, performance etc, but it can also be as simple as ‘I didn't get it’ or ‘I don't like films like that’. And look, that's perfectly fine. Different horses for different courses and all that jazz. Although, if you haven't seen a single Star Wars film… seriously... what are you even doing with your life?

When deciding what my guest blog for Double Denim Days would be about, the topic of movie sequels came up, and I decided to take a closer look at a few sequels from the ‘80s.

Like them or not, the idea of a sequel is always going to work well. You loved a movie. They made another one. Yeah you’ll go see it. Reviewers loved it; life is wonderful! Reviewers hated it; you better make sure for yourself. I mean, come on, how bad could it really be? You loved that first movie so much... oh no! It's way too late… you realise your eyes are burning! Why god?! WHY did they do this to me?!

So today, I’d like to discuss a few select movie sequels. Some were good; some were not so good. Will your favourite sequel be here? Stuffed if I know! I’m not going to list every single good and bad sequel from the ‘80s, just a few that have resonated with me for different reasons.

So let’s get started, with a few sequels that I really like...


Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

A former Australian policeman, now living as a warrior in the post-apocalyptic Australian outback, agrees to help a community of survivors living in a gasoline refinery. He must defend them and their gasoline supplies from evil barbarian warriors. Sounds pretty straight forward right? Wrong! This world is plain bat shit crazy!

Men with giant muscles rove around the Australian outback wearing nothing more than leather stripes to hold their bits & pieces in. The ‘good guys’ manage to build a damn refinery in the middle of nowhere, but hadn't planned how they were going to get the petrol out. Creepy dude flies a plane, somehow they have some gridiron shoulder pads as key pieces of wardrobe and there is a damn dingo kid who throws a lethal and apparently razor sharp boomerang!

And then there is Max. I mean seriously, what isn't to love here?

Back To The Future: Part 2 (1989)

Time travel, how fraught with issues it is. Go to the past, almost screw it up. Go to the future, and back to the past. Definitely screw it up, go back, then back again to make it all better.

Confusing? Yes.

Awesome film to watch? Hell Yes!

And what's even better? This time the Delorean can fly! Awesome wing doors and flying ability? Best Car Ever!!



Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Riggs and Murtaugh are back! New drug dealers are running amok and it's up to the boys to set them straight.  But it turns out they work for the South African consulate and have diplomatic immunity. How do you bust someone who you can't bust? You don't. You go nuts and shoot them full of holes, much more satisfying that way! And very entertaining for all of us.

Only down point.. Leo Getz... getz on my nerves. Seems they felt some light relief was called for to combat all the death... I just wish it had called for someone else. But still, Lethal Weapon lives in my pile of films I give the thumbs up to.

Aliens (1986)

Get away from her, you Bitch!

This is not only one of my favourite sequels, but also one of my favourite films - hands down. Poor Ripley, she just can't catch a break. Survive your first film only to get stuck in hyper sleep for 57 years, finally wake up, and then you lose your job.

No one believes your story about what happened, and no one offers to pay you your back pay! Rude! But when contact is lost with the people on the hell hole you encountered in your last film, you get talked into going back. But this time, it's war!

Colonial Marines to the rescue... well, until what we knew would happen happens... and then, it’s Ripley to the Rescue!


Now let's turn our attention to a few sequels I had to cock my head to the side and go... 'huh?'


Staying Alive (1983)

Everyone loved Saturday Night Fever, lets do again! What a great idea. Hey, didn't that guy love to dance? Why yes, yes he did. Okay, let's make him a professional dancer in the sequel, because he had no training at all in the first one so it makes complete sense now right?... Right?......... Right??

Screw it! Let’s do it anyway. And oh yeah, let's have some really bad dance sequences that will make everyone really uncomfortable, but we'll need to put John in a loin cloth. Watch the money come in boys.

I think I've made my point.


Crocodile Dundee 2 (1988)

That's not a sequel, this is a sequel. Growing up in the ‘80s I was too young to understand why some movies got sequels and others didn't. And why they weren't all better films. But mostly I wondered why anyone thought Australians were actually like Crocodile Dundee. Yeah, I'll throw another shrimp on your barbee mate... and about a metric tonne of lighter fluid because I want to watch it all buuuurrrn.

But really, same jokes, small to no town man thrown into the wilds of the big city. Belly laughs are sure to ensue, again. But this time, it's back to the wild and untamed land of the outback.

Please excuse me whilst I go grab my kangaroo & ride him home from work.

The Karate Kid: Part 3 (1989)

The first one was awesome! The second one was not quite as awesome, but still up there. This one? Mostly just confusing. Why Daniel San, why?

As sometimes happens, a successful sequel can breed a confusing and pointless sequel to the sequel. (Other sequels of sequels would have joined us here, but they fell into another decade, so they must wait their turn.)

But The Karate Kid 3 just feels as pointless as trying to blow up a balloon with a hole in it. Just keep trying, it will happen! Oh, no, no it won’t.

So that's my little run down of a few movie sequels that have had an impact on me. Let me know what your favourites & not-so-favourites are in the comments!

~ Beck