apropos of nothing

Attack of the Threequel

Spider-Man 3. Shrek 3. Pirates of the Caribbean 3. When did third-installment movies make a comeback? There’s already a special multiplex in Hell that shows only Lethal Weapon 3, Beverly Hills Cop 3, and Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go to College. Below, we evaluate the lasting contributions of other classically bad “threequels.”

Movie: Superman 3.
Premise: What if Superman took on computer crime? Wouldn’t that be totally boringly awesome?
Special guest star: Richard Pryor.
What the world really needed to see: A drunk, unshaven Superman sitting in a seedy bar, bullying the bartender.

Movie: Batman Forever.
Premise This franchise could use more gay subtext. Good-bye, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton. Hello, Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer.
Special guest star: Ed Begley Jr.
What the world really needed to see: Batman and Robin with erect rubber nipples.

Movie: Halloween 3
Premise: Halloween’s killer, Michael Myers, is scary. What could be scarier than that? Maybe … if Michael Myers wasn’t in the movie?
Special guest star Onetime Woody Allen jailbait Stacey Nelkin.
What the world really needed to see: Satanic Irish people destroying all children.

Movie: Deathwish 3
Premise: A movie that doubles as a 90-minute advertisement for the .475 Wildey Magnum.
Special guest star Gavan O’Herlihy … from Superman 3.
What the world really needed to see: Happy children dancing on the corpses of gang members slaughtered by elderly neighborhood vigilantes.

Movie: Psycho 3
Premise: Anthony Perkins played Norman Bates in two Psycho movies. Why not let him direct?
Special guest star: Diana Scarwid, who played Christina in Mommie Dearest.
What the world really needed to see: Norman Bates dressed as his “mother” turns into the Virgin Mary and saves a young woman from attempted suicide.

Check in with Vulture tomorrow, when we interview fans to see if they’d add Spider-Man 3 to the list. —Grady Hendrix

Attack of the Threequel