Jonathan Melville: Presenting Christmas, the sequel

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AMERICAN PIE, the story of a group of high school kids with a fondness for baked goods served with a liberal topping of gross-out humour, hit cinemas back in 1999, but the release this week of a trailer for American Pie: The Reunion means they’ll soon be back.

Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan return as Jim and Michelle, the couple who married in 2003’s American Pie: The Wedding, along with Seann William Scott, Chris Klein and most of the original cast.

The American Pie series has never really gone away, with the name living on in a series of low- budget direct-to-DVD spin-offs, or ‘cheapquels’, that have kept the franchise alive.

If you’re in the mood for more sequels to films you vaguely remember from the 90s, you may want to search out the upcoming Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure, the sixth sequel to 1992’s Beethoven, once again featuring the St Bernard dog.

Christmas seems to be a good time for sequels, with 2010’s The Search for Santa Paws being a spin-off from the Air Buddies DVD series, itself spun-off from the Air Bud direct-to-DVD films based on 1997’s Air Bud. Amazingly there are ten of these things.

Animated movies seem to suit DVD best, with more than 50 Disney film sequels available. There are so many that at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe an entire show was built around the sub-genre.

Inspiring the most debate were the Lion King sequels; while Lion King 2 was savaged, Lion King 3, a ‘parallelquel’ set during the events of the first film, is apparently something of a classic.

With American Pie returning, I’m now hoping one of my guilty pleasures, the Tremors movies, can escape DVD obscurity and make it back to the multiplex. Anyone else up for Graboids in 3D?

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