Rise of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters this weekend and I couldn’t be more worried excited. I briefly considered doing a list of successful film prequels, which would include the recent X-Men: First Class. But then I realized that I am cynical, jaded, and just downright pessimistic, especially when it comes to film. So here’s a list of film prequels that were just plain bad.

Dumb and Dumberer

Where to start? Dumb and Dumberer was such a lackluster, transparent effort to cash in on its classic predecessor that it’s sad. And it’s safe to assume that the only reason a prequel was done was because the studio couldn’t get Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels onboard for a sequel, and recasting a sequel would’ve brought a horde of angry villagers to their doorstep. No offense to Derek Richardson and Eric Christian Olsen, but Carrey and Daniels stuck comedy gold the first time around and that isn’t likely to be reproduced any time soon.

Hannibal Rising

This is just a weird and shady situation all around. Harris’s first book, Red Dragon, was adapted into the film Manhunter in 1986. Two years later he wrote Silence of the Lambs, which was adapted into a hugely successful film. Then came the book Hannibal, then come that film. Then came a remake of the 1981 novel Red Dragon, this time titled Red Dragon. Still with me?

Then came the prequel novel, Hannibal Rising, which featured little Hannibal Lecter as a child, which was immediately adapted into a film. Seems like a bad idea all around, right? Well, according to the film’s producer Dino De Laurentiis, he told Harris that he would do a prequel film with or without Harris’s involvement, which prompted Harris to do the story first, his way. You can’t force art, gentlemen.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

What a tragedy this was. While X-Men: First Class did the franchise proud, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was just an absolute train wreck of a film. It spat all over its source material, taking fan favorite Deadpool and mangling him into something completely unrecognizable. It completely wasted the talents of stars Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber. And it pumped in the guest stars – Gambit, Cyclops – with no purpose other than to appease the fans who, in turn, were the most displeased.

Star Wars

You couldn’t have possibly thought that I would do a list of disappointing film prequels and leave off these gems? I’m a Star Wars fanatic. The original trilogy is comprised of some of my favorite films of all time and if I’m ever going to get a tattoo, there’s a good chance that it will feature Boba Fett is some way.

The prequels are beyond bad. The Phantom Menace is one of the most offensive things I’ve ever seen. The arrival of Episodes 1 through 3 can be compared to a close friend getting in a tragic accident that results in permanent brain damage – they’re still there, but they’re a shadow of who they once were.

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