[Ed. Note: Nate Fernald is a writer, a comedian, and one half of the comedy duo Team Submarine. Unfortunately, there are a few movie sequels that really messed him up.]

Whenever a family movie is even remotely successful, “Big Hollywood” tries to cash in on it by making low-budget straight-to-video sequels. As a kid, I would, of course, rent them immediately because I loved their prequels so much. But there was always something off about them — they just felt creepy and unsettling and, more often than not, resulted in nightmares. Here are just a few of the movie sequels that messed me up as a child.

Honey, I Shrunk Just Our Legs: The final installment of the “Honey” quadrilogy in which Wayne Szalinski (played by Rick Moranis) shrinks only his family’s legs. Not necessarily a bad film. It’s packed with lots of classic jokes like “How’s the weather down there?” “Don’t get short with me!” and “I’ll tiny legs what she’s having!” But in the end, I just couldn’t get the image of Rick Moranis with baby legs out of my nightmares.

Milo Or Otis: This dark sequel to the beloved Milo And Otis follows a veterinarian who finds the two animals abandoned in a barn. Both are suffering from some form of animal fever, but she only has enough medicine to save one. She spends the entire movie watching them shiver while trying to decide which one deserves to live. Pretty heavy stuff to see if you’re a kid. (Especially if you’re an Otis fan.)

Bazaam: This wasn’t so much a sequel, but rather a shot-for-shot remake of Kazaam where the part of Shaquille O’Neal was played by a completely-nude Dennis Rodman. Though the movie was basically the same, Dennis Rodman’s giant, tattooed penis was a little much for my child brain to handle.

Lil’ Doubtfires: Since dressing up as an old woman got his ex-wife to allow him to see his children again, Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) somehow reasons that dressing his children up as old women will get his wife to get back together with him. The movie then follows his slow descent into insanity, ending with him being put in a mental institution and his kids refusing to call him “Dad” as medical orderlies force pills down his throat. That said, the worst part of this movie was how bad the kids were at the Mrs. Doubtfire voice. For weeks I had dreams of being strangled by tiny Mrs. Doubtfires WHO COULDN’T EVEN GET THE G-D VOICE RIGHT.

Truther Truther: In this sequel to Liar Liar, Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) is cursed and now can’t stop telling his son that 9/11 was an inside job. Weird thing is, this movie came out in 1998, years before the 9/11 attacks, so it really does make you wonder who was behind everything? Because of this film, I’ve had a lot of trouble trusting my “government.”

Look What’s Talking: Look Who’s Talking gave us talking babies. Then Look Who’s Talking Too gave us talking babies and toddlers. Then Look Who’s Talking Now gave us talking animals. And finally, Look What’s Talking gave us what we’d all been demanding: talking piles of discarded magazines. This was, surprisingly, the first of the “Look/Talking” series to use the line “Hey, I’m talkin’ here!” But the humor ended quickly when it was followed by a horrible scene of a teen girl making a collage while the magazines screamed in pain as she tore out their pages. To this day, I can’t tear an image out of a magazine without hearing Joe Pesci (voice of “Forbes”) screaming for his life.

So those are the movie sequels that messed me up. What were the movie sequels that messed you up?

Comments (46)
  1. I mean, in defense of the children, Mrs. Doubtfire’s accent was a little bit muddled.

  2. Harry Ate the Hendersons was pretty brutal, too.

  3. The one that messed me up the most was Middle-Aged Mutant Tai-Chi Tortoises, where a few giant Galapogas tortoises stumble into some Ooze, grow even larger, slow down significantly, but move with more intention, grace, and presence of mind. It’s an objectively fine movie, but very dull for a child, and as a result I rebelled and tried to do parkour instead, which led to a badly sprained ankle.

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  5. This one managed to fly under the radar because there were so many sequels already, but The Land Before Time XXXIV: When Littlefoot Met Bigfoot left an indelible impression on me because of its surprisingly dark subplot about interspecies breeding.

  6. “Ri¢hie Ri¢h Goes Galt” really took the franchise in a dark direction. Granted, as a child I didn’t fully understand the subtleties of the 50 min monologue Richie delivers mid-film, decrying all the poor, minority friends me made in the first film as moochers.

  7. The definitive straight-to-VHS sequel that messed me up was The Nightmare During Bedtime. Tim Burton’s protégé took the reigns on this one, employing Robert Englund to play his career-defining roll as Freddy Krueger. Krueger goes around murdering children, but that’s only the beginning. I couldn’t sleep for weeks.

  8. “D4: The Mighty Ducks” completely ruined me. I know Adam Banks getting hurt all the time was important for gravitas but I really didn’t need the story of how he ended his career with a knee injury in his second pro year, developed a serious addiction to painkiller, and accidentally shot Charlie Conway in the face when he came to his home to check on him after he insinuated he was thinking of ending it all. To real.

  9. American Tail: Fievel Goes Way North, the story of the first American moustronaut, was entertaining until I realized he never volunteered for the gig.

  10. Ernest Goes To Hell had a lot of potential, but it just struck me as a bit too preachy.

  11. The movie that scarred me as a child was Hook 2: Hooker

  12. The Sandlottery, which I guess is just Hunger Games.

  13. All Dogs Go To PETA Kill Shelters was pretty “ruff!”

    • And then there was Rock-A-Doodle 2, which told the dark and cynical second act of Chanticleer’s life and musical career, marred by an aging fan base, out-of-control drug abuse, failing health, repeated hospitalizations, and sudden death on a grimy henhouse floor.

  14. I was traumatized by Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: The Squealquel . I didn’t realize a wood chopper could do that.

  15. Three Men and an Adult Woman is basically what turned me gay

  16. I was upset when I found out Big was a Sex and the City prequel.

  17. Dunston Checks Out taught me what euphemisms were.

  18. Thelma and Louise:The Canyon Years

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