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Movies You Didn’t Know Had Sequels

10 sequels to well-known and beloved films you probably didn’t know existed.

Maciej Kujawski

6 April 2024

Movies You Didn't Know Had Sequels

Is it possible for sequels to well-known films to remain hidden from the public eye to this day? Hidden, forgotten, omitted in discourse – these are the films in the compilation below. Sometimes, even if a cult classic received a successful sequel, today it’s often completely forgotten. Why? Hmmm… as usual, the reasons can be varied, and we’ll delve into them. Join me where the gaze usually doesn’t reach – here are the continuations to great films beloved by cinephiles, about which no one talks, as if ignoring their existence. Let me know if you’ve seen any of these works, because perhaps you have, but have already forgotten about it. And what are your picks for such sequels?


Psycho II Anthony Perkins

Psycho is an absolute temple for fans of horror history. It’s a place you can always return to with pleasure and be amazed or inspired anew. Many later creators have cited this masterpiece in their genre explorations (with Brian De Palma at the forefront). This is a well-known fact, but it’s often forgotten that Alfred Hitchcock’s masterwork has not one, not two, but three direct sequels. Their marginalization stems from the fact that the second installment by Richard Franklin was made a whopping 20 years after the original. Although the film has a slightly different aesthetic and the director employs different methods of building suspense, as well as exploring different themes than the master of suspense, it must be admitted that a competent thriller was achieved here. Psycho II is completely fixated on the perspective of the main character, whose character is significantly developed here.


French Connection II Gene Hackman

First came Bullitt, and then French Connection II. The great revolution in action cinema at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s was undeniable. Friedkin applied action-boosting techniques that Hollywood hadn’t previously used so efficiently – handheld camera work, predatory editing, and raw, cool color schemes. But do any devoted fans of this groundbreaking production know about its sequel? In the second installment, once again, excellent actors from the original appeared: Gene Hackman and Fernando Rey. However, William Friedkin was replaced in the director’s chair by the equally original and effective John Frankenheimer, with his specific methods. The result, however, is not entirely satisfying. They managed to make a sensible, meaty action film that is enjoyable to watch, but without that spark of genius or surprise factor.

FARAWAY, CO CLOSE! (The sequel to Wings of Desire)

In weiter Ferne, so nah! FARAWAY, CO CLOSE!

Wings of Desire often ranks among the most beloved films in Wim Wenders’ rich and unique filmography. It’s got everything: innovative technical solutions, rich symbolism, breathtaking scenes that linger long after the screening, and an inexhaustible dramatic charge. After experiencing such a masterpiece, the viewer feels fulfilled and satisfied. However, a side effect of such a great film is that a certain fact may escape the viewer’s attention. German director Wenders returned to the main characters’ themes in 1993 and made a sequel titled Faraway, So Close! Recapturing the brilliance of the original was challenging, even for a professional like Wenders, but he managed to create an interesting and worthwhile film. Despite this, it seems to be much less popular than, for example, the American remake of Wings of DesireCity of Angels with Nicolas Cage.


Kickboxer 2: The Road Back Sasha Mitchell

Is there a more recognizable portrayal of Jean-Claude Van Damme than the one in Kickboxer? Perhaps only Bloodsport can rival the unique atmosphere of this peculiar tale straddling the realms of revenge cinema and martial arts. It’s obvious that in the era of VHS, every more or less successful action flick had to get a sequel. But what if the biggest star of the original, who largely contributed to its warm reception, refuses to participate in such a project? Then we get a cheap imitation called Kickboxer 2: The Road Back. Sasha Mitchell lacked the charisma of Jean-Claude Van Damme, known for his splits and flashy kicks. More importantly, the film itself lacked anything distinctive enough to even remember that it ever existed. Interestingly, it spawned further, increasingly worse installments in the series.



Anyone who doesn’t know Basic Instinct or at least doesn’t recognize that one scene, let them cast the first stone. Although it’s hard to believe, in 2006, there was a completely unsuccessful attempt to extend the legend of the erotic thriller starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. Basic Instinct 2 is most often referred to as either a complete mistake or a horrific disaster – ending with an unlucky triumph: winning four Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture. Certainly, from today’s perspective, it was worth erasing this film from memory and surrounding the original with even greater cult status. But Verhoeven is still Verhoeven.



I’m breaking the rules of this ranking a bit here. The Scorpion King, a spin-off of The Mummy series, seems to be a somewhat forgotten film in itself. Perhaps many of you have seen it, but even then, it’s certainly hard to recall any specific scenes or plot outlines. It’s a correct but bland adventure from the early 2000s. However, its sequel takes mediocrity and lack of interest from the creators to an even higher level. The absence of Dwayne Johnson in the cast is more than noticeable; everything seems even cheaper and shallower than in the predecessor. Despite maintaining the form of clumsy B-movie cinema, it must be admitted that the third and fourth installments of this series provide much more entertainment and a sense of adventure – they might be a real treat for lovers of bad cinema.

STAYING ALIVE (the sequel to Saturday Night Fever)


A misleading title for a sequel, which in none of its words refers to the original, is a common characteristic of the phenomenon I’m examining in this compilation. If Staying Alive were simply called Saturday Night Fever 2, its fate might have been somewhat different. In that case, even the surprising name of the director wouldn’t help in rediscovering this work – it’s Sylvester Stallone, who was almost fresh from Rocky III at the time. It’s undeniable that the template of the 1979 musical film, bathed in neon lights and the electrifying aura of discos, didn’t leave much room for an equally revolutionary sequel. All this contemporary ignorance of the viewers towards the existence of Staying Alive continues, despite the return of John Travolta.



This film might be remembered due to its past popularity in the glorious era of VHS tapes, when people watched absolutely everything on worn-out tapes multiple times. But nowadays? Would newly minted cinephiles rush to watch the sequel after seeing The Fly from 1986, perhaps the best psychological horror in history? It doesn’t seem likely to me, and moreover, it’s not particularly easy to detect its presence. Surely, it’s much more interesting to revisit the older original from 1958 and see how Cronenberg creatively developed the unique ideas that abound there. And what about The Fly II then? It’s a horror saturated with macabre; hastily made to showcase the skills of practical special effects experts – and not much more.

TEXASVILLE (a sequel to The Last Picture Show)


For fans of ambitious psychological cinema about young people seeking intimate relationships, but also understanding themselves, The Last Picture Show certainly needs no introduction. However, even devoted fans might be surprised to learn that director Peter Bogdanovich made a sequel to the story titled Texasville. He approached it from a different perspective, without using black and white film; he looked at the fate of his characters years later. How did it turn out? Certainly not as well as the original, but for enthusiasts of Jeff Bridges’ talent, it might be a hidden gem worth exploring.

THE TWO JAKES (a sequel to Chinatown)

Few people know that Jack Nicholson has sat in the director’s chair several times. Besides the western Goin’ South, the master of acting has another interesting project to his name, belonging to a completely different genre. It’s also his last directorial endeavor. I’m talking about the film The Two Jakes, an unexpected sequel to Chinatown, perhaps the most outstanding representative of film noir in cinema history. It’s hard to determine whether there was a need to revisit the character of Jake Gittes, who isn’t particularly popular. The screenplay was written by Robert Towne, who truly shone in the original, but here he proved to be only a shadow of his former potential. Even if that’s the case, the chaos and boredom of the story are partially compensated by the richly recreated retro aesthetics on screen.