I wasn’t going to do this today. I’ve had the flu and basically my brain is elsewhere at the moment, thanks to a variety of cold and flu remedies and basically just feeling foul. But I was having a conversation with some friends about film sequels and it occurred to me that quite a few second films were actually really very good.
The obvious one, of course, is The Empire Strikes Back, which I still think is the best of ALL the Star Wars movies (and I don’t care who hates me for saying that). Aliens isn’t bad either (although I still have a soft spot for Alien Resurrection – mainly because I can’t remember it very well). That said, the best film sequel ever made predates both by some decades – and I still think is wonderful.
Hopefully this will give the game away.
The Universal monster movies of the 1930s were genre-creating but also mould breaking and because they are now so well known, it’s very easy to forget just how revolutionary they were. Moreover, it’s also very easy to forget that both Frankenstein films had very good plots – I’ve never forgotten the look of sheer horror on the Bride’s face when she sees Karloff for the first time. They are classics, not because of their age or the role in creating icons, but because they are really good films.
To modern audiences, they’re not remotely scary any more and that’s fine. They don’t have to be. As far as I’m concerned, The Bride of Frankenstein sets the standard for sequels that, although other movies come close, hasn’t yet been broken. And I don’t care who hates me for saying that either.