It’s a well-known fact that many motion picture studios are fond of milking a cash cow until it is dried up and keeled over. Perhaps more so than any other film genre, horror sequels have a tendency to deteriorate to the point of almost unwatchable direct-to-DVD nonsense. The inverse can also occasionally be true: studios leave money on the table instead of making a much demanded sequel to a franchise that still has life and potential left in it.
We believe that just because a franchise has seemingly dried up or deteriorated to the point of churning out a barrage of unwatchable sequels, that does not mean that a series that once showed great promise and potential cannot be revived with a creative script and a director with a unique vision for how to resurrect a dying franchise. The same goes for a series that has been abandoned by the studio conglomerate that owns the rights. New Nightmare was a fine example of how to rejuvenate a franchise that was thought by many to have jumped the shark. It went on to become one of the best films in the entire franchise and erased the stigma left by the almost unwatchable Freddy’s Dead. Wes Craven came back on board to write and direct and the result was outstanding.
Today we bring to you: three horror franchises in need of revival.
Slumber Party Massacre
The Slumber Party Massacre films took a major nosedive after the first installment, which is unfortunate, because the first film featured a simple enough concept that still had life left in it. However, the second and third entries went a decidedly different route. A fourth entry helmed by the director of the original film, Amy Holden Jones, with Roger Corman serving as executive producer could find the killer from the first film resurrected and out to show a fresh batch of teens just how much love it takes to stage a massacre with a giant drill and a couple of screws loose.
The original Pumpkinhead film was a blast. Unfortunately, the series quickly went downhill after the first film. The direct-to-DVD sequel Pumpkinhead: Blood Wings saw Lance Henriksen’s departure from the franchise – he was probably busy filming Super Mario Brothers – and the introduction of Soleil (Punky Brewster) Moon Frye. The series continued to churn out direct-to-video sequels and the plotlines got more and more ridiculous with each installment. A direct sequel to the first film that ignored the other entries and reintroduced Lance Henriksen might be able to recapture the magic of the first film. Obviously, a certain amount of age regression efforts would be required and there would be certain other logistical obstacles, but we can still dream. This would certainly be a welcome change of pace for fans.
There was a fourth Candyman film announced that never came to fruition. The first Candyman movie was a brilliant adaptation of the Clive Barker story on which it was based; the second film was passable; and the third was unbearable. A fourth installment that got Clive Barker back in the director’s chair would be the perfect way to close out the franchise and give fans one more outing with The Candyman.