Sunday, October 18, 2009

Discussion of the Week - Nukin' The Head

With the sixth installment in the Saw franchise hitting theatres this coming Friday, and Wrong Turn 3 hitting DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, I thought it'd be appropriate to discuss franchise horror this week. But we're not gonna talk about the best or worst franchises, instead we're gonna take a look at the particular movies in popular franchises where things started to go downhill. In the world of pop culture, these are referred to as "jump the shark" moments, so named after Fonzie literally jumped a shark on water skis in a particularly lame episode of Happy Days. But the term "jump the shark" is typically reserved for documenting the precise moments in which television shows stopped being good, so i've taken it upon myself to coin my own term specifically for the world of horror movies....

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From this moment on, we will refer to those moments where horror movies stopped being good and started going downhill as 'Nuke The Head' moments, named of course after the horribly over the top ending scene to the otherwise awesome Last House on the Left remake. Tonight, we're gonna use that term to take a look at franchises in particular. So I wanna know....

Which installments in your favorite horror franchises do you personally feel nuked the head and spelled the end of your enjoyment of that particular franchise? In layman's terms, what are your fahkin least favorite flicks in your favorite franchises?

Feel free to discuss any franchises you'd like, not just the ones I give my two cents on. I can't really comment on some of the big franchises due to the fact that I haven't seen most of the movies in them, although i'd imagine Leprechaun going to 'da hood' was probably the nuke the head installment in that one....

Saw - I gotta be honest, although they've gone downhill quite a bit since the early beginnings, I still have fun with the Saw movies year after year and i'll keep coming back for more each and every Halloween. If I had to pinpoint the moment where they started to go south though, i'd have to go with number 4, as I really liked the first three the most. In my opinion, they got better and better until that one.

Halloween - Although I love the character of Michael Myers, I really never got too into the later installments. I love the first 3*, but honestly don't care all that much for the rest. So sorry Halloween 4, but I gotta pick you. Don't get me wrong though, I still enjoy watching all of the pre-Zombie Halloween's, if only cause I love Mikey.

Nightmare on Elm Street - I don't dislike the movie so much these days, now that i'm older, but New Nightmare is still my least favorite. I'm not gonna lie and claim that all of the Elm Street's are great movies, but I always have and always will love them and I just could never get into New Nightmare because it's too different and shed many of the aspects of the franchise that I loved. I can watch 1-6 over and over again, but very rarely do I feel the urge to revisit the leather pants wearing Krueger.

Friday The 13th - Although i'm kinda tempted to say Part 5, due obviously to the fact that the 'real' Jason isn't in it, I actually kinda dig that film - and I really like the sixth one too. So for me, it all starts to go downhill with The New Blood. I just don't like it, no matter how hard I try. Same goes for the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth installments - ironically all of the ones that Kane Hodder was in. Hodder did an awesome job with the role, he just happened to end up in all the worst installments in the franchise.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Next Generation, without question. It's got a special place in my heart, if only because it stars a young Matt McConaughey and Renee Zellweger, who both tried to stop the movie from getting released, but it is so so bad and not even in a good way. Although many people trash the third installment, i've always liked it. Foree vs Leatherface = gold.

The Exorcist - I admittedly have never seen the second, so maybe the franchise nuked the head already at that point, but if not, i'd say Charles Barkley and Fabio as angels spelled the end of The Exorcist's credibility. Oh, and Larry King. What the fuck was with all the weird cameos in this?!

*You've just been Trick Rolled! Now go Trick Roll all your friends this Halloween season and take great pleasure in the fact that the Silver Shamrock jingle will not leave their head until long after Halloween has passed!


Cat said...

I actually think Nightmare nuked the head in 4-6. I loved New Nightmare.

And Exorcist 3 was hilarious. If anything for the spiderman's granny scene (some old lady crawling across the ceiling).

And two words: Omen IV. Well, one word and a roman numeral.

Evil Dead Junkie said...

Nightmare On Elm Street Part 4: Freddy is resurrected by having a dog piss on his grave.


Wings said...

Interesting idea, and you coined a great term, man!

For me, the "F13" flicks "Nuked the Head" when Jason went to Manhattan. And didn't pick up again until some of the cheesy fun in "Jason X".

For "Halloween", I would go with the "Man in Black" moment in "Halloween 5".

And I agree with you on "Saw". Maybe the moment was when they decided to make Jigsaw dying. Well, freaking let him die and move on then! Sheesh!

Zach said...

The Exorcist definitely nuked the head on the second. It had like 20 minutes worth shots of empty desert. It was one of the most boring movies I have ever seen.

The Omen nuked the head on number two as well. Too bad, the original was so good.

Alien 3 is where the head got nuked there. While it isn't a terrible movie (I actually sort of enjoy it), Fincher lost control most of the way through the movie and it ended up far less dark and much crappier after massive studio interventions.

And I am tempted to bring up Leprechaun, but I don't know when that series nuked the head. Was it when it went to space? Or when it went to the hood? Or maybe when it came back to the hood? I pretty much enjoyed all those movies aside from Back to tha Hood, so maybe that's it?

kindertrauma said...

I dig Halloween 4 but they definitely "nuked the head" with the man in black in part 5. Scratch that, they nuked the head when Mikey shacked up with that old dude and his parrot in part 5. -Unk

Bjornabo said...

Must agree with you on Next Generation (Even though the remake and Prequal were great). Who ever got the idea of putting Rene Zellweger and Matthew McConaghey in a horror movie should hide in a dark corner somewhere.

And I also has to mention "Leprechaun In Space". The first was great, the next two ok, but "LIS" sucked BIG TIME... And you thought it was a bad idea sending Jason to space!! ;-)

Quanthor said...

I pretty much agree with all of your picks..H4, Saw 4, New Blood, Next Gen, etc, those were definitely the films that started the decline.

There's also franchises like 'The Howling' that even know they made 154231456 sequels, the series "nuked the head" immediately after the first film with 'Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf'.

Cins said...

I really believe that Saw nuked it at Saw 3. I just couldn't understand where Jigsaw got the funding for all those traps! I love the first 2 but the third didn't work for me.

*L* Aww I LOVE Exorsist 3 simply because its so freakin weird! But honestly all the sequels are pale in comparison to the original.

Hellraiser started going down hill at #3 when they turned Pinhead into a cackling retard.

And Johnny, I will admit, I am starting to see the light about Halloween 3. You have no idea how much flack I am getting for that. *LOL* ;D

EyeloveMetal said...

I do hope "nuke the head" catches on. Only thing that comes to mind was in Inside, when all of a sudden the dude like turns into a zombie or something, I don't even remember it was so out of place and strange..

Johnny said...

Bjornabo - I love the TCM remake and even enjoyed the prequel, but those don't count as a part of the original franchise.

Quanthor - Never actually saw any of the Howling sequels, but I figured they all sucked!

Cins - That makes my day to hear that you're coming over to the Halloween 3 bandwagon!

EyeLoveMetal - Awful, awful scene that really hurts my enjoyment of that movie as a whole.

The Warfreak said...

Hellraiser - I would go with the third installment. After that, they get pretty hard to watch.

TCM - Have to go with part three here. Part one is a fantastic piece of filmmaking, part two is a parody film that's absolutely brutal and hilarious, but part three is where things get murky and you feel like the family is just being used to make another flick.

Mike Snoonian said...

Halloween 6 did me in. I only watched it once years ago, so I'm a bit hazy but the whole cult devoted to Michael Myers and him impregnating his niece...blech.

B-Movie Becky said...

In total agreement with Friday the 13th and TCM.

As for the Saw movies, I stopped watching after the third one, so I suppose that one jumped the shark for me.

With The Exorcist, the second one is really lame and boring. I haven't seen the third one.

Carl (ILHM) said...

I'll throw in Subspecies III, Jaws 4 (as much as I love it), Children of the Corn 2 (they started early), and Amityville 2. CotC and Amityville should never have been sequelized, there are a few guilty pleasures in their ranks, but the serieses as a whole are pretty poopy.