Movie sequels which feature original as movie within a movie
August 17, 2012 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Movie within a movie sequel? Both Beethoven II and Seed of Chucky, are sequels where there is a movie being filmed, and the movie being filmed is the original movie of the series. Are there more like this?

I've only stumbled upon the two I mentioned, but am wondering if there are other movies where the original movie shows up as the plot of a movie within a movie. (I know Human Centipede has something along those lines, but I'd rather not contemplate that series more than I just did) Can anybody think of any others?
posted by dipolemoment to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Scream 2 does (or Scream 3? One of them), the movie is called Stab.
posted by troika at 10:49 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wes Craven's New Nightmare does something similar. Wes Craven and the actors from the original film play themselves as the "fictional" Freddy character begins to manifest in "real life".
posted by DWRoelands at 10:52 AM on August 17, 2012

Adaptation does it but without the sequel, it shows the (fictionalized) writing process of the film itself.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:05 AM on August 17, 2012

The Back to the Future movies weave the sequels and the prequels together all over the place. You'll see Michael J. Fox, in the second movie, go back in time and watch as the MJF from the first movie (who also travelled back in time to the same era) does something pivotal to the plot, so that he doesn't mess up what he knows has to happen, while still changing the things that need to be put right.

The God of War games, though not movies of course, use scenes from earlier and later GOW games to make up the artwork for decorating the various levels Kratos is travelling through. Put the images together and you get the entire storylines for the other GOW games.
posted by misha at 11:07 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

The plot of all the Final Destination movies, of course, is really simple: someone, for reasons unknown, gets a "vision" of a nightmarish tragedy that results in many people dying, just moments before it happens. That person convinces others not to do whatever it is that led to the tragic deaths, but the people who WOULD have died still end up facing death, in the same order, because they weren't "supposed" to live.

Final Destination 5, realizing that the trope has now been so firmly established that its watchers know what to expect, played around with the concept this last time around, by having the person with the vision see his own death as part of the vision, having someone else within the vision live, etc. During the course of the movie, nods are given to the more memorable death scenes from previous versions, but it goes deeper than that, and it speaks specifically to your AskMe.

I can't explain what happens without giving away perhaps the only surprise left in the franchise, but if you watch Final Destination 5 on Netflix or On Demand or whatever (that's how I saw it; I wouldn't shell out hard cash to see this stuff), you will see how it is a perfect fit for your question.
posted by misha at 11:16 AM on August 17, 2012

The final scene of Pee Wee's Big Adventure fits this pretty well.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:21 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not sure if it fits, since it's not a sequel, it's in the original movie itself, but it's definitely worth checking out this scene from Spaceballs.
posted by Grither at 11:26 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

They're not really sequels, but Shadow of the Vampire is a fictionalized account of the making of Nosferatu, and My Name is Bruce is a fictionalized account of actor Bruce Campbell getting in to the sort of situation his characters tend to get in to. Beyond that, Galaxy Quest and The Three Amigos are about actors in non-existant parodies of real movies, and Kill Bill is based on Fox Force Five from Pulp Fiction. Blazing Saddles and Get Shorty get rather meta at the end.
posted by ckape at 11:30 AM on August 17, 2012

Sorry, I swear I'll shut up after this answer!

You will find some examples under the Show Within a Show TV tropes page, under #3.

You can also find similar situations under the other numbers, which don't involve sequels but do involve the story-within-a-story theme, like GalaxyQuest (which is a FANTASTIC movie about a fictional show that resembles the real show Star Trek, where the real actors from the fake show are taken to be real characters in a documentary, become real heroes playing the fake characters in a real-life adventure, and in turn spawn a remake of the fictional show starring the real actors as the fake characters again!).
posted by misha at 11:31 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also check out Last Action Hero.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:35 AM on August 17, 2012

Adaptation does it but without the sequel, it shows the (fictionalized) writing process of the film itself.

And although it's not exactly a sequel, one scene in Adaptation takes place on the set of Being John Malkovich.
posted by beau jackson at 11:55 AM on August 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

In Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and Return of the Living Dead the original films exist within the worlds of the sequels - i.e the characters in the films have seen The Blair Witch Project or Night of the Living Dead. The originals aren't actually being filmed during the sequels though.
posted by permafrost at 12:05 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is not only filled with endless flashbacks to the first movie, but it also features a bizarre scene in the middle where they are watching the first movie at a movie theater.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:29 PM on August 17, 2012

Again, not exactly what you asked for, but Synecdoche, New York is a deeply nested movie about a guy writing a play about his own life, which includes him writing the play, etc, etc.
posted by Gorgik at 12:34 PM on August 17, 2012

Along the same lines as the 'movie filmed as part of the movie itself' variation above is The Muppet Movie, which John Hodgman describes as follows:
This was a movie about puppets who go to Hollywood to become stars. As they travel, they frequently consult the script of the movie in order to know what to do next. When they reach Hollywood, they begin making a movie about the movie the viewer has just been watching. The puppets build plywood simulacra of props that, earlier in the film, were presented as real. Then the roof of the soundstage smashes in and a powerful rainbow shines down and obliterates everything, including a plywood imitation of the fake rainbow that had appeared in the first scene. The frog and bear and pig simulations panic as the fake/real and real/fake worlds nearly destroy each other. The puppets then look directly into the camera and instruct the viewer that 'life's like a movie: write your own ending.'

This was the only film in which the French literary critic Roland Barthes received a screenplay credit (he also did uncredited work on Corvette Summer).
posted by Paragon at 2:03 PM on August 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

I don't know how much these fit because they don't really involve sequels, but:
- in The X-Files episode "Hollywood A.D." Agents Mulder and Scully investigate supernatural hijinks on the set of a film based on Mulder and Scully's lives.
- in a very fandom-meta plotline on Supernatural, the evil-fighting Winchester brothers discover this guy Chuck is writing a popular novel series based on the Winchesters' lives: the details of which were revealed to him because he is a divinely inspired "prophet." So Chuck's series documents the Winchester actions thus far while also providing prophetic information about the future, which the Winchesters use to decide their actions.
- Millennium Actress is a movie set up as the filming of a documentary interview with an elderly film actress about her life and film career, but the flashbacks to her life become flashbacks to her movie become part of the documentary footage involving the documentary director and cameraman.
- the rough summary of my beloved Princess Tutu: once upon a time an author who could write fiction that became real died before his last book was finished. Lo these many years later, PTutu's heroine "Duck" falls in love with the made-real hero "Prince Mytho" of the unfinished original book. At the urging of the dead novelist's ghost, Duck takes on the role of the minor character "Princess Tutu" from the unfinished book and tries to complete the story, in which attempts she is helped/hindered by other characters made from the book or acting its roles, and during which "Princess Tutu" unexpectedly becomes a major character in the book's story as well as her own when she goes against the literal ghost writer's authorial intent. Also Duck is named Duck because she is a duck who turns into a girl who turns into Princess Tutu the pretty ballerina superhero. It's that kind of story.
posted by nicebookrack at 3:13 PM on August 17, 2012

feel free to chime in with all variations, need not be sequels...this is all very interesting, thanks!
posted by dipolemoment at 3:33 PM on August 17, 2012

Not a sequel, but:

In Adaptation., in which the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich is the protagonist, there's a scene where they're shooting the aforementioned movie. Bonus points for being, in its own way, all about movies and the screenwriting thereof
posted by Strudel at 3:42 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

In Human Centipede 2, the protagonist is obsessed with Human Centipede 1 and tries to recreate the first movie.
posted by MinusCelsius at 3:52 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, since most (all?) of Jacques Tati's films can be considered sequels, in The Illusionist the cartoon version of Monsieur Hulot stumbles into a cinema where they're playing the (live action) Monsieur Hulot film Mon Oncle.
posted by nevan at 5:40 PM on August 17, 2012

In The Jolson Story, Larry Parks plays Al Jolson, although Jolson himself performs at least one act in the movie. In Jolson Sings Again, Parks resumes the biographical role of Jolson and his coming out of retirement after a resurgence of popularity after the first film was released. It has a brief bit about Jolson meeting Parks and the filming of the first movie.
posted by Yorrick at 9:44 PM on August 17, 2012

« Older my favorite poem in Japanese   |   How can I make my time with a Nordstrom personal... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.