I still haven’t been able to bring myself to sit down for a repeated viewing of the worst sequel ever, otherwise known as “That Cleveland Steamer Masquerading as a movie” called Waxwork 2: Lost in time. See, the mission of the blog as stated here, is to really explore what makes WW2: LIT so terrible, to answer the question, if you will, of why it sucks harder than a two-bit street-walker addicted to heroin and who always come up short when it’s time to pay the pimp.
In order to do that, I (we, once I get some contributors) will venture into the realm of what makes a good sequel. What makes it work? I think there is no more appropriate sequel to start this discussion than Terminator Two: Judgment Day.
Already we know that this film is not quite going to live up to its predecessor. How do we know this? The answer to that question is easy, simple, and straightforward: the colon and sub-title. The movie is often referred to as Terminator Two, or simply T2, but the fact remains that its official title is still Terminator Two: Judgment Day .
An overlong and colon-aided title does not a bad movie make. This is true, and I never said Judgment Day (the OTHER name this movie is known by, thereby giving us 4 different ways to refer to it,surely a sign of hype and style over substance–it is Cameron) was a bad movie. In fact, I quite enjoy it and think it is one of the better sequels to ever grace the screen, big or small. But what makes it so good?
Well, for starters it brings back members of the original cast. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, Arnold “The Governator” Schwarzenegger as the (unfortunately loveable) Terminator, and that dude that plays the Psychiatrist, Dr. Silverman, I believe the character’s name is, but I am not sure. Nor do I care. But this is what the actor looks like,(
(and I was close, the character’s name is Dr. Silberman). Anyway, the main players are all played by the original actors, which is something that cannot be said of the obsession of this blog. See, Waxwork 2 immediately decides to get a different actress for the lead, and man did they make a bad choice because the woman who plays Sarah in WW2: LIT couldn’t act her way out of a wet paper bag if the bottom had already ripped out.
As M.Carter put it in her email to me after having watched this waste of time and money (despite my frequent warnings not to, but hey sometimes we just have to experience things ourselves, not matter what other people tell us), “Why in the world did they bring in a new Sarah? I call this the Soap Opera Syndrome, and it entails switching major actors from one day to the next and thinking we won’t notice.”
Well said, M. I couldn’t have put it better myself. And now onto further analysis of the movie at hand.
T2 does suffer the colon syndrome, but this minor flaw is completely trumped by the fact that the original members of the original cast (those whose characters survived anyway, and those that also happen to be T-800s) return, and they give strong performances, especially Linda Hamilton. As Sarah Connor she is desperate, and nihilistic. She is not a complete nihilist, though, as she cannot allow herself to fall entirely down that rabbit hole because she is “the mother of the future,” or as he is more commonly known by his name of manhood, John Connor (oh, wait, wrong movie), and thus she cannot fully embrace the fact that Judgment Day will happen, as much as she wants to.
At this point I will say this: If you have been living under a rock for the past nineteen years, or if you are like twelve, go here to check out the plot and other such detail of T2: Judgment Day (And yet another way to call this movie, what is that, like 5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–this has Cameron written all over it).
I do not mean to imply that Sarah wants Judgment Day, simply that she knows it is on its way and that just wants to get it over with so that she can finish her work of raising Jesus Christ, I mean John Connor, to teach the other survivors the skills needed to “smash those metal mohterfuckers into junk.” Sarah has a mission, and that is to keep her son alive so that he can become The One (man, now that movie had some rotten sequels) and lead humanity against the…oh, you get the idea.
Hamilton’s performance it at once intense and vulnerable. At this point in the story Sarah Connor is a bit crazy, and Hamilotn portrays a realistic, and fucking scary, vision of a woman on the edge. Hamilton the actress, and by extension Connor the character, who is calm and collected one moment, though it is plain to see her anger and tension bubbling like molten lava in the lava pit until it finally starts to push up through the conduit, past the kamin, whatever the hell that is, and finally erupting out of the crater, which takes us to the next moment when she is a screaming madwoman spouting off predictions of doom, death, nuclear war and killer (they’re cyborgs, not robots–someone should have told McG that) with spittle flying out of her mouth.
Here is a approximate visual representation of the entire process:
1. Magma chamber
3. Conduit (pipe)
6. Branch pipe
7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano
9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano
11. Parasitic cone
12. Lava flow
15. Ash cloud
So that is the volcanic process, and here is how it finally culminates:
Some saavy readers (if there are actually any readers at all) may have noticed the (part one) in the title of this post. Yes, it is true, there is a second part to the exploration of Terminator Two and why it is a good sequel, but still inferior to the original Terminator. And don’t worry, I didn’t forget (though I realize you may have, as this post is now over a thousand words) that the point it to show way WW2: LIT is truly the worst sequel ever, but as I said before, that requires me watching it again, and I am not ready for that, so in the meantime I am looking at what makes sequels (and I guess movies in general, but especially sequels) work.
I then intend to mock WW2: LIT incessantly for not following the rules that make a sequel bearable and watchable. Neither of those words can in good faith and honesty be applies to Waxwork 2: Lost in Time, aka the worst sequel ever.
So come back later for part two of this jolly exploration of Judgment Day.
To movies, good and bad.