Saturday, November 30, 2013

Worst Movie Titles



So many to choose from but I can't help but dislike the new Vince Vaughn title THE DELIVERY MAN. Is this a title that attracts you? I get the double entendre in it but still…The original French-Candian title was STARBUCK, which is a bit better but not much. Don't they have clever people to title films more adeptly?

What's your choice for worst title ever?


35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid mine will be a little more lowbrow, like these 10 I've actually seen:

The Feminist and the Fuzz (terrible TV movie)
Las Vegas Hillbillys
The Boogens
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter
I Spit on Your Corpse
The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery
Ilse - She Wolf of the S.S.
Ilse - Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Marijuana - The Devil's Weed

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

How did you come up with so many so fast!

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I checked my old movie list. Backin the mid-80s I was watching virtually anything. I preferred black & white movies from the 30s and 40s but I watched a lot of bad horror and sf movies too. The VCR and video stores provided a lot of "alternative classics" that still seem better than the vicious SAW-types being made today.


Jeff M.

Bill Crider said...

I respectfully submit that Ilse--She Wolf of the SS is a great title. And a great movie, too, of course.

Now Quigley Down Under, that's a bad title.

Charles Gramlich said...

I hate those movies with titles that suggest they are SF but are really some purely earth based drama or rom-com. There was on called "Life on Mars," for example. Those actually irritate me.

George said...

I dislike abstract titles like ABOUT SCHMIDT. And silly titles like KICK-ASS 2.

Randy Clark said...

Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid, am obscure and truly horrible comedy that came out in the late 80s. I'll put before you the same question I asked my friends when the movie came out: Can you imagine calling a friend and saying, "Hey, you wanna go see Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid?"

Anonymous said...

I dislike the "romantic comedy" movies (well, I usually dislike the movie too, but I digress) with generic titles that could be about anything or nothing.

The Ugly Truth
Life as We Know It
She's the One
Just Go With It
Love Happens
She's Funny That Way
My Best Friend's Girl
Bride Wars
Something Borrowed

OK, I admit I took the last group from the Katherine Heigl/Jennifer Aniston/Kate Hudson interchangeable filmographies.

Also, bad self-help books turned movie titles:

He's Just Not That Into You
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (OJK, that's Kate Hudson again)

OK Bill, I guess Ilse was a bad choice. It was a semi-classic.

Jeff M.

Richard said...

Spaceballs

pattinase (abbott) said...

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS.

Todd Mason said...

But GOATS is at least both funny and true.

All those ILSA torture-camp films (in at least four senses of the two components of the compound word) were marketed in the US as ILSA rather than ILSE, just in case you were prone to mistake them for something bearing any resemblance to reality.

I endorse a number of the suggestions, though HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU is a good title for what isn't really that bad a self-help book (didn't see the film, despite the cast). As the Brothers Medved enjoyed noting, JESSE JAMES involves him meeting Frankenstein's granddaughter, making it ridiculous and inaccurate.

GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER (inevitably retitled "Snot Monster" in our household)
RAT PFINK A BOO BOO (as the Medveds noted, they couldn't be bothered to proofread their own title card, having meant AND)
BOGGY CREEK: THE LEGEND IS TRUE
CHARIOTS OF THE GODS (particularly with the ?)
MARIHUANA: WEED WITH ROOTS IN HELL (a variant title on one of Jeff's)
_Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?_ (copied from IMDb since I refuse to retype it)
I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
MOTHER MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER? (my favorite tv movie title so far)
LITTLE LADIES OF THE NIGHT (a close second)
_Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Green Grasshopper and the Vampire Lady from Outer Space_ (from the same bunch who had just done THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED UP ZOMBIES)
BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA

Todd Mason said...

CHU CHU AND THE PHILLY FLASH
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF
MOTHER, JUGS AND SPEED
TORTURE GARDEN (particularly as this anthology film of Robert Bloch stories adapted had nothing to do with Octave Mirbeau's THE TORTURE GARDEN, nor any torture gardens)
FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD
THE POPPY IS ALSO A FLOWER
The fine EYES WITHOUT A FACE was first marketed in the US as _The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus_...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Fine line between great and awful.

Todd Mason said...

The majority of the filmographies of:

Jesus/"Jess" Franco:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001238/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
Bill's favorite: REVENGE OF THE ALLIGATOR LADIES

Andy Milligan:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0288958/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
Everyone's favorite: THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE!

Paul Naschy:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0596701/?ref_=nv_sr_1
My favorite English title: COUNTESS DRACULA'S ORGY OF BLOOD

and Fred Olen Ray:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0676248/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Popular choice: HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS...
which brings us to the edge of porn, not that the Anthony Newley film, ILSAs and some others didn't, and all the parody and intentionally bad titles there...

Todd Mason said...

Yes, when an attempt at irony or intentional awkwardness is successful, or arguably so (cf OH DAD, POOR DAD, MAMMA'S HUNG YOU IN THE CLOSET AND I'M FEELIN' SO SAD), it might just manage to set itself apart from the merely ugly, if deft (I DISMEMBER MOMMA) or the simply overwrought (THOSE FANTASTIC FLYING FOOLS).

Todd Mason said...

I DISMEMBER MAMA, actually. I laughed till I didn't.

Loren Eaton said...

Cinderella Man. Great flick, but no one went to see it because of the title.

Anonymous said...

I msut admit I've seen a number of Todd's choices, including the semi-classic BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA, which I considered including.

Yes, the Tori Spelling title (MOTHER MAY I...) is indeed classic, and I remember LITTLE LADIES OF THE NIGHT - a TV movie about teen hookers, I believe. Yep, David Soul and Linda Purl. I DISMEMBER MAMA was Zooey Hall, right?

It's amazing what trivia I retain.

Jeff M.

R.T. said...

How about Jackass.
Stupid title.
Stupid movie.
'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Las Vegas Hillbillys, by the way, had a sequel, the legendary Hillbillies in a Haunted House. Both starred country singer Ferlin Husky and yes, I've seen them both. Haunted House had John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr. and Basil Rathbone (his last pathetic role) as well as Joi Lansing and Molly Bee. Las Vegas had Jayne Mansfield & Mamie Van Doren.

I forgot to mention EEGAH, with Richard Kiel ("Jaws" in a couple of James Bond movies and "Mr. Eddie" in SO FINE) in the title role.

Kiel was also in Las Vegas Hillbillys, by the way.

Jeff M.

Todd Mason said...

The Ferlin Husky films presumably lay some groundwork for THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES...and for that alone they are to be damned. It is remarkable how the often not-bad ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW spun off so much (and so-popular) trash.

There's another subset of titles like the worthy EEGAH (which was also offered as EEGAH! and EEGAH: THE NAME WRITTEN IN BLOOD), the exclamation point titles, such as ZOTZ! and DINOSAURUS! and REPTILICUS!which almost guarantee an alternate sort of pleasure at best...TROG lacked the exclamation point, but otherwise fits the bill.

Todd Mason said...

Hm. IMDb doesn't list a REPTILICUS! with exclamation point (but either way, it's a bad title for the worst giant monster movie I've seen so far, and that's saying something)(a Danish film, which IMDb does note had its US debut in Bismarck, ND).

Anders E said...

Terrible or genius? I can't decide.

ASSAULT OF THE PARTY NERDS 2: THE HEAVY PETTING DETECTIVE
THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES
HAMBURGER... THE MOTION PICTURE
THE KINKY COACHES AND THE POM POM PUSSYCATS
SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA
BALLS OUT: GARY THE TENNIS COACH

...of which I have only seen the last one.

Anders E said...

THEM! (no, that's a good title) was released in Sweden as SPINDLARNA. Which is Swedish for... THE SPIDERS. I could not make this up.

Todd Mason said...

Anders, you have to mention that THEM! (THEY! would be better) was a film about giant ants. I'm sure there was one spider in it somewhere...

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?-a tv movie starring Tori Spelling

Anonymous said...

There was a spate of movies that used song titles (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Some Kind of Wonderful--I'm sure everyone can come up with others) and, while I make no judgments on the movies themselves, having not seen them, I always think it's a lazy thing to appropriate a title belonging to something else--it makes me think the filmmakers are lazy in other areas. The exception to this would be something like Coal Miner's Daughter, where the title is taken from a song by the subject of the biopic.

Deb

Anonymous said...

Deb:

Brokedown Palace is another. And let's not forget the country songs made into movies:

Middle Age Crazy
Take This Job and Shove It
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
Nine to Five


Jeff M.

Al Tucher said...

I LOVE YOU TO DEATH. The title killed a hilarious movie with Kevin Cline, Tracy Ullman, Joan Plowright and a great supporting cast.

Erik Donald France said...

I may have missed it in the above litanies, but how about Space Balls?

John said...

IGBY GOES DOWN

Still sounds like porn to me.

Also SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW. Great book, but they should've changed the title. When I saw the trailer for this in the theater ages ago and the VO artist announced the movie at the very end of the trailer the entire audience exploded in uproarious laughter.

Todd Mason said...

Aggressively foolish movie, SMILLA, too, worthy of such a title. Put me off the book much as the notion, much mooted at the time of translation's publication, that what made this book so special was that it was Art, as opposed to the mere Commerce of Anglophone crime fiction. Uh-huh.

Todd Mason said...

TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING is both terrible and also appropriate to its film, as clumsily naive an "expose" as has not been written and produced by Rod Lurie or Oliver Stone.

Todd Mason said...

PUZZLE OF A DOWNFALL CHILD is definitely redolent of its era, but of course means considerably less than was intended.

Todd Mason said...

THE LAST MIMZY might just be the most ridiculous retitling that comes to mind, from the literary source to its film adaptation, in any case. (Based on "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore, as "Lewis Padgett")