The world of the Unquel

An “unquel” is a sequel which has no relation at all to the film which came before it. This phenomenon has even penetrated the mainstream, but it’s better known at the extreme low-budget end of things, where directors have to patch together whatever they can find. This article will be updated regularly, with contributions from our readers, or just from more garbage films we see.

American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989)
One returning actor (the late great Steve James), but the lead actor didn’t come back, it’s not set in the Army like the last two were, and aside from a script so generic it feels like they recycled it from part 2, it really has no relation to what came before.

American Ninja 5 (1993)
This is a classic unquel – a film written and filmed with no intention of being part of the “franchise”, then bought up and one name change later, bam! So not only is it different to the first two, with Michael Dudikoff, it’s different to three and four as well.

Boggy Creek (2010)
The original films weren’t set in a place called Boggy Creek, and had strong documentary elements to them. This is just some hot teenagers getting eaten by a bunch of monsters.

Dungeons and Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness (2012)
The first two films share a villain (the bald fella from “The Mummy”) but this shares nothing but a name. I really liked it – a subtle parody about the way teenagers play D&D, but it went right over the head of absolutely everyone who watched it. A lot to enjoy about this film, I’d recommend it.

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982)
The most famous unquel, even though original director John Carpenter apparently had some involvement. No Michael Myers, just a plan to kill all the world’s children with cursed Halloween masks.

HOTS 3
My favourite of them all. Actually filmed a good decade before HOTS 1 and 2, this cheerleader-based sex comedy features a very young (and, in one scene, naked) David Hasselhoff, playing a character called “Boner”. Due to their team colours being the same, the producers bought up the rights to this and repackaged it as the last in the series.

Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995)
Despite a voiceover at the beginning trying to tie the films together, this has absolutely nothing to do with the first Nemesis. A sci-fi action film turns into something set in the desert, about a future-woman raised by African tribesmen trying, Terminator-style, to fight off a killer future cyborg sent back to do her in. At least Nemesis 3 and 4 are straight sequels to this one.

Project Shadowchaser 2 (1994)

Okay, it's not from this film, but damn do I love this image

This also has the hallmarks of being retrofitted into the series after most of the filming had been done. The indestructible android from the first film is now a Hans Gruber-style criminal. Although the great Frank Zagarino is in all four films, and has the same haircut, it might reasonably be said that none of them have much of anything to do with the others.

Puppet Master
Perhaps it’s unfair to put this series in here. It’s more a complete absence of continuity which does these films in – the 11th film in the series is chronologically 4th, for example, and Andre Toulon is sometimes the hero, sometimes the villain and sometimes just drops in to give a few words of advice near the end (and is played by a staggering number of different actors). But they all feature roughly the same group of puppets, I suppose.

Crash and Burn (aka Robot Jox 2) (1990)
Robot Wars (1993)
Full Moon spent a ton of money on “Robot Jox”, and although it didn’t turn a profit for years, they decided to bill two entirely unrelated giant robot movies as sequels, at least in Europe. The amount of effort it would have taken to turn them into sequels was virtually zero (change a few names and dates in the script) but they couldn’t even be bothered to do that. Neither of these are related to each other, either.

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4 thoughts on “The world of the Unquel

  1. Pingback: American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989) |

  2. Pingback: House (1986) |

  3. Pingback: Live Wire: Human Timebomb (1995) |

  4. Pingback: Cyborg Cop 3 (1995) |

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