Cult films fulfill an important role in American society. In a culture increasingly plagued by isolation, cult films allow people to connect over a shared love of something. The following entries are centered on cult classics that contain an intrinsic catalyst for continuation, movies that left its characters and/or plot in such a way that further exploration is not only desired, but required. This listicle contains a collection of satirical, not-serious sequel fantasies.
A cult film is a difficult thing to define. The most basic definition is a film that maintains a large devoted following for years, even decades, after its release. This definition is a bit simplistic though, because a true cult film seems to have something more. Besides, Star Wars would fit that definition, but has been so completely integrated into mainstream culture that it no longer feels like a true cult film. Perhaps the defining trait of a cult film is that the devoted following remain relatively small, while society at large is either oblivious or downright disdainful of the film. Many cult classics were even panned by critics upon their initial release, only to have their full potential realized by legions of hip cinephiles. With this cultural ambiguity in mind, you are now presented with the seven cult classics that are most ripe for a sequel:
7. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
The sequel to this movie would be Being Emily Lund. Being John Malkovich is an incredible movie that sprang from the mind of Charlie Kaufman, who also brought audiences Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It is a surreal journey into absurdism as a slew of people, including John Malkovich himself, travel through a portal into the mind and experience of Malkovich. The strange and often dark story ends on something of a high note as the elite cabal of body-hoppers are able to inhabit Malkovich’s body permanently upon his 44th birthday and John Cusack‘s character Craig gets his just deserts for his transgressions against Maxine (Catherine Keener) and Lotte (Cameron Diaz) as he’s trapped inside the consciousness of Maxine’s daughter Emily when the portal shifts to her from Malkovich and he’s forced to passively observe his two former lovers, Maxine and Lotte, live out their lives together.
The obvious problem that is presented as the movie ends is that as Malkovich’s body ages, his consciousness passengers will have to invade Emily’s body by her 44th birthday to continue their quest for immortality. Being Emily Lund would take place in the near future as Emily approaches her 44th birthday. An elderly Charlie Sheen would visit her and warn her that Malkovich and a group of his closest famous Hollywood friends, possibly including Gary Sinise, were planning on taking over her body. Emily wouldn’t believe him at first, but would be convinced of his sincerity by her mothers. Together, Emily, Maxine, Lotte, and Charlie Sheen would have to hatch a plan to prevent Malkovich and his pals from entering Emily on her 44th birthday.
6. RESERVOIR DOGS
This sequel will be called Reservoir Dog Millionaire. Having barely escaped the events of the previous film with his life, Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) is ready to sell the diamonds that he stole in the first film, retire from crime, and reunite with his lifelong love, who is currently a prisoner of a major crime lord. Mr. Pink sets up a meeting with a business associate to fence the diamonds, but when he arrives at the meet, the fence betrays him, shooting him, stealing the diamonds, and leaving him for dead.
As Mr. Pink recuperates in the hospital, he ends up sharing a room with a producer of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The two become friendly, as they both respect each other’s uncompromising professionalism. Mr. Pink ends up convincing the producer to let him on the show as a contestant, as he knows that his long lost love is a fan of the show and feels it may help him reunite with her, especially if he can win a substantial amount of money.
Mr. Pink does really well on the show, a little too well, in fact. During a break, he’s grabbed by ABC security and grilled about how a lowlife like him could get so many answers right. The bulk of the movie would be Mr. Pink recounting episodes from his life that led him to knowing all the right answers on the show. At the end, he would win the grand prize and be reunited with his love, who would reject him when she realizes he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t tip.
5. ENEMY MINE
This sequel will be entitled Enemy Mine: Kill All Dracs. The first film was all about groups of people (and aliens called Dracs) overcoming their assumptions about each other and achieving peace through understanding and empathy. This movie was made in 1985 when there were still remnants of the hippie movement infecting American culture with their peace and love crap. Now that the nation has comfortably settled into perpetually bombing other countries that the U.S. may or may not be threatened by and is on the verge of electing Donald Trump president, the follow-up to Enemy Mine should be a more accurate representation of modern America. It will be a bombastic explosion-fest directed by Michael Bay.
After the first movie ends with Davidge (Dennis Quaid) taking the asexually reproduced offspring of his dead Drac friend Jeriba (Louis Gossett Jr.) back to its home planet to be inducted into Drac society by reciting its entire lineage (if that doesn’t make sense, either go watch the movie or just let it slide), an old military buddy of his played by Hulk Hogan decides to rescue his friend from the dirty Drac-loving brainwashing he’s obviously suffered. Hogan lands on Dracon as a one man army with an entire wagon of weapons in tow. He cuts through the Drac population like a hot knife through butter as American flags wave around him and eagles fly overhead. When he finally finds Davidge and attempts to take him home, Davidge gives an impassioned speech about how Dracs aren’t the enemy and they have more in common than Hogan would think, if he would just get to know them. Hogan obviously isn’t having any of that hippie-dippy crap and puts Davidge out of his misery, blasting him into a cloud of pink mist.
4. THE FIFTH ELEMENT
This sequel will be cleverly entitled The Sixth Element. The Fifth Element is a trippy, imaginative journey through space that culminates in Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) and Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) professing their love for each other in order to motivate Leeloo to save the universe. After such an action-packed ordeal, what could Dallas and Leeloo possibly do with the rest of their lives? The sequel would bring on famed director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) to answer that question by exploring the pointlessness and banality of a materialistic suburban existence.
The Sixth Element finds Dallas and Leeloo living in a cookie cutter house on a suburban planet. Seeking something as satisfying as being the savior of the universe, Leeloo has become pregnant. She’s excited about creating a life, but increasingly feels detached from her husband. Dallas, now a salesman, misses the excitement of being an urban cab driver and questions whether or not he really loves Leeloo or if he was pressured into saying it because the entirety of reality and existence would have been wiped out if he hadn’t.
Mendes will beautifully and poignantly explore themes of redemption, imprisonment, conformity, sexuality, and repression as his characters learn about themselves by suffering through the superficiality of society in 2264.
The title of this sequel will be stylized as MeMentos. Memento is a truly innovative movie that tells the story of a man, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who suffers from anterograde amnesia. He can’t form any new memories. The brilliance of the movie is that by playing out both chronologically and reverse-chronologically, the audience is treated to unexpected twists despite the fact that the movie begins at the end of the story. The story follows Lenny who is trying to find and get revenge on his wife’s murderer by tattooing clues on his body since he can’t remember anything. The only thing he really knows about the guy he’s looking for is that his first name is John and his last name starts with a G.
The sequel would catch up with Lenny a short time after he killed Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) thus freeing himself from being manipulated into killing other John Gs by Teddy. Unfortunately, Lenny, unable to remember anything, becomes confused by his tattoos and once again becomes convinced that he must find his wife’s killer. The story would move both forward and backward as Lenny becomes convinced that the John G he’s looking for is famed Hollywood actor John Goodman. After finally killing Goodman, Lenny (and the audience) would learn that the friend who had been helping him in his quest is really sitcom star Jeff Garlin, who orchestrated the entire plot because of his jealousy over Goodman’s success. The movie will end with Lenny leaving clues for himself to kill Garland, which the audience would have seen at the beginning of the movie.
The movie will also have an advertising partnership with the refreshing prepackaged scotch mints, Mentos.
2. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
This sequel will be called Big Trouble in Little Rome. Big Trouble in Little China is all about macho truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell)’s action hero bravado covering up his ineptitude and borderline idiocy as he aides in rescuing Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall) and Miao Yin (Suzee Pai) from the evil Lo Pan (James Hong) and his ancient, mystical Chinese magic.
The sequel, Big Trouble in Little Rome, will find Burton rolling his big rig through the streets of Washington, D.C. While stopped temporarily in Brookland (also known as Little Rome, due to the high concentration of Catholicism there), Burton wins a bet against a priest who doesn’t have his money on him. While travelling with the priest to get his money, Burton accidentally goes to a political convention and ends up on stage. He starts to apologize for stumbling to the podium, but begins to talk about the convention and airing his grievances with politics and government. He’s cheered on as people respond to his plain spoken manner and vacuous confidence. He ends up giving a rousing, if somewhat stupid speech, and falls into a series of events that leads to him being the nominee for the job of President of the United States of America by a major political party.
The movie will follow him as he runs for office, swaggering behind his staff and advisers while they desperately try to keep his campaign on track as his inexperience and ignorance constantly threatens to derail it. The movie would end with Burton winning the election and stumbling in late and disheveled to his own inauguration, which, of course, only endears him to the public even more.
1. THE WARRIORS
This sequel will be The Weekend Warriors. The Warriors is about a gang of young men called The Warriors, who are framed for the murder of a gang leader and have to make their way past a number of rival gangs, who are out for their blood, and make it back to their home turf. The Weekend Warriors will catch back up with these men a few years later, after they’ve matured a bit and worked their way into competitive, high-pay sales jobs. They work hard during the week and party even harder on the weekends. One weekend, as they’re out partying, they get a text that the CEO of their company has been politically assassinated. Someone has released an incriminating sex tape featuring him. It is mayhem at the office as everything is falling apart with the uncertainty around corporate leadership and plummeting stock prices.
The Weekend Warriors attempt to make their way back to their office before all their leads are poached and they’re bypassed for possible promotions. Due to a terrorism scare, all public transportation is shut down and catching a cab is nearly impossible. Looks like The Weekend Warriors are going to have to hoof it. As they make their way back to the office, they’re attacked and assaulted by rival sales teams and recruiters from second rate sales companies looking to headhunt them. In the end, they successfully get back to their office and one of them is chosen to be the new CEO.
This series really has the makings of a trilogy. The third movie will catch back up with The Warriors even later in life, as they try to care for their families and are approaching midlife crises. The stress of work and exposure to newer ways of thinking thanks to their children on social media causes them to question the toxic masculinity that has repeatedly delivered them into dangerous situations their entire lives. They begin to realize the devastating effect that this is having on those around them as well and they resolve to change and fight for equality and a more just society. This movie will be called Social Justice Warriors.