Bad Movie Challenge: Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!

Eddie and the Cruisers 2: Eddie Lives! - movie POSTER (Style A) (11" x 17") (1989) - Walmart.com

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. You know, the giant book someone gave you as a graduation gift that collected dust on your college bookshelf (cause the ones who gifted this to you hadn’t heard of a little thing called the interwebs). In this auspicious book they define a sequel as follows:

Definition of sequel

  1. : consequence; result
  2. : the next installment (as of a speech or story) especially a literary, cinematic, or televised work continuing the course of a story    begun in a preceding one
  3. : bad examples – Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!

Okay, so I made the last part up, but let’s be frank like a baseball hotdog here and say there was a NEXT INSTALLMENT of an amazing movie that RESULTED in a CONSEQUENCE for fans who viewed this wet turd.

I must confess (forgive me for my sins of watching this sequel, for I know not what I’ve done…) I am a fan of sequels. I know it’s hip or whatever to say you hate sequels (and that tinsel-toon-town only makes sequels, blah, blah, blah) but if I must confess, then you must confess as well that for every smelt fart like this there are great ones like Aliens, Lethal Weapon 2, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. For years, I held off watching this because how could anyone make a continuation of what was one of the best-kept secrets in the 1980s? Sure, people knew of the song On the Dark Side by John Cafferty and the Beaver Band, but few knew the song came from the film Eddie and the Cruisers, a great sleeper that bombed at the box office but found its cult fandom from late-night views on Home Box Office. The film was so popular years after its release (and helped Cafferty sell tons of records) some idiot thought it would be great to make a sequel to sell more records! It seems to me executives like this could not exist, but similar guys have said “Let’s make a sequel to the greatest sci-fi movie ever,  Blade Runner,  and have Ford and a robot make a baby!” Yeah, Hollyweird is filled with these yokels and they give us these turkeys deep-fried with used lard.

As far as a plot goes (if you can call it one) we find EDDIE-MANIA is still sweeping the nation. Somehow, knowing all this hype is happening, Eddie Wilson is content being a  construction worker with cliche flannel and a mustache (what happened to his amazing beard from the first one?!). But his contentment comes to an end when at an EDDIE LIVES singing contest he hears a terrible Eddie impersonator and must right this wrong after all these tender years to come alive… THUS NEGATING EDDIE WILSON’S WHOLE REASON FOR FAKING HIS DEATH! I’m sorry for all caps but common! I’ve eaten some gnarly things in my life, but this left a taste in my mouth I couldn’t swallow and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. The rest of the film leads to Eddie forming a new band (cause Tom Baranger said “OUT!”) and eventually headlining a concert where the world finds out Eddie Wilson is alive and well, sans a mustache.

Michale Pare does his best with what he was given (which ain’t much) and there are some highlights to the film. The ending concert was filmed live before a Bon Jovi concert and was well-received, even having some audience members thinking it was real (which I’m sure some Coors Light helped). The soundtrack, which was the whole reason for the film being made, actually sold well and had some good tunes like It’s a Matter of Time, but never sold the likes of the first film.

You can only find Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! on double DVDs and Blu-Rays along with the first one (thank the heavenly father) but it is hard to find streaming… for good reason. If you are curious (or just downright brave) to watch this sequel but have not watched the first Eddie and the Cruisers, do me a favor: watch the sequel first. Sometimes you have to eat your green beans first to enjoy your gas station bacon double cheeseburger with ketchup.

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues, his thesis film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands and the short story Aurora’s Pond for The Creeps Magazine. Klink shares his talents as a teacher of Digital Media Design and Film and Video Production in Delaware.

View all posts by Ian Klink

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