By Loryn Stone
The announcement of Bill and Ted 3 got me thinking about sequels. There are so many kinds of sequels. We could have ticked off sequels that were better than the original film and jerked off about how much more amazing Kill Bill Vol. 2 is than the original (which it was, if you like drama over action). We could have discussed movies that have sequels that take place incompletely different worlds or are unrelated marketing ploys, such as the colossal crap fest Ninja Resurrection which touted itself a sequel to the famed animated masterpiece Ninja Scroll. Or sequels that sucked, like Ghostbusters 2. We also could have talked about sequels that are (by default) better than their predecessors because they’re both weak garbage movies. At least Look Who’s Talking 2 had Gilbert Gottfried in it.
Instead, we made a pimp decision, and are reeling it in to just one solid movie. One that falls into multiple categories; a sequel that is better than the original, a “sequel” because marketing said so, and a sequel taking place in a different world than the first.
That movie is Mannequin 2: On the Move. It’s without any doubt in the universe one of the greatest movies of all time. It covers so much ground and is so beautifully layered that even after a few shots of whiskey and promises of sex when the movie was done, my husband admitted it was a fun watch and he really liked it. For whatever reason, the original Mannequin starring Kim Cattrall and Andrew McCarthy is the “magical dream girl movie” (much in the vain of Weird Science, etc.) that everyone remembers over Mannequin 2. I even watched both movies together, as I have the weird double-disc DVD that came out a million years ago.
Let me say this: the original Mannequin is a mess.
Emmy is a young woman living in “ancient Egypt”. She wishes for more (yes, like Ariel) and the “gods” produce an earthquake that whisks her away through time where she’s seemingly immortal without explanation and gets to live a million lives. Finally, her spirt takes purchase into a neurotic young man named Jonathan’s mannequin creation where she makes his life exponentially better just by showing up, giving him a pep talk, and “inspiring him”. Together, they create artistic window dressings in a department store he works at.
Truthfully, the two of them have zero chemistry and look ridiculous together. And Kim Cattrall is a goddess. How you make her look anything than incredible is a feat I barely understand.
Meanwhile, Jonathan’s girlfriend Roxie suspects Jonathan is up to something and she works for a rival store where she is sexually harassed constantly by her foreign male co-worker until she finally fucks him to make him stop bugging her to fuck him. The only redeeming character is a sassy gay man named Hollywood Montrose (after two overpriced Los Angeles cities) and even he doesn’t fully come to life until the sequel. He’s one of like three things that tie the two movies together.
But the sequel has a story. It makes sense. A prince falls in love with a sexy-ass peasant. He wants to marry her. Mom the Queen says no, mixed marriages are bullshit. He says he’s going to run away with said gorgeous peasant. Mom the Queen calls in the royal sorcerer for reinforcement. He curses a necklace and tricks the prince into giving it to his beloved. Girl becomes a wooden statue for 1,000 or until she meets a true love from another land.
It’s simple. It works.
Fast forward 1,000 years into the future where everyone has been seemingly reincarnated. A gorgeous young man named Jason starts working at a department store with Hollywood Montrose, designing a stage show that will put the store Prince and Company (same store name as the last movie) on the map. The show will star a mannequin from Europe called “The Enchanted Peasant Girl” because of the legend attached to her and the necklace she wears. Jason, after giving the mannequin some sex eyes, takes off her necklace and brings Jessie, played by Kristy Swanson, to life.
And at the risk of sounding like a creep, because I always do, holy shit are these two gorgeous. Like if I saw these two running around town together I’d ask if I could be their third. After the clumsy strangeness of the first movie, seeing these hotties together is so refreshing.
Meanwhile, the great-great-great x1000 grandson of the sorcerer (Count Spretzel) is after the mannequin…or the girl…or the necklace…or some poon, I don’t know, himself. And he has three buff Arnold Schwarzenegger body doubles following him around. It makes for a cartoonish and comical dynamic that rounds out the movie and gives it a bit of everything.
So, what I’m trying to get at here is this, for anyone out there with power who is listening. You might think Mannequin is a retired, lame franchise. And maybe it is. But if we keep having the return of the buddy comedy, know that one weirdo out there would love a Mannequin 2 reboot. Mannequin 2.5. Download a girl through the wi-fi.
Let’s bring back the magical lady genre!
Follow Loryn on Twitter and she’ll write Mannequin 3 in like, a week. Really.
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