1.30.2008

Titles of Poo: Electric Boogaloo

Hope Floats. Stop or My Mom Will Shoot. Freddy Got Fingered.

There really is no end to the human capacity to construct a horrible title for a movie. Granted, this is something I really shouldn't be judging. When it comes to putting my creative muscles to the test, it's generally on picking a compelling title for something I've written, and more often than not I feel I fail miserably. In fact, the title of this post came after about an hour of agonizing, and even now I'm not happy with it. The only thing in which I can take solace is the fact that this is a blog about bad titles, and therefore I feel that I have some room to be ironic.

There is so much riding on a good title. It needs to grab you and intrigue you. It needs to be relevant. But it also can't be too distracting. A sure sign a title has failed is when you find yourself paying more attention to how bad it is rather than the material it's inviting you to view. That isn't to say that a bad title can't also be a great draw. I submit for your approval: Snakes on a Plane. Even if the movie sucked (and let's face it, it really did), that title created such a stir it had people talking for months prior to the film's release. It galvanized the public and sold the movie; therefore, the title "Snakes on a Plane" was actually good. Perhaps the term I'm looking for to describe a bad title is: "insipid."

Here's one for you:

"Step into Liquid"

This is not a documentary about what happens when you leave an untrained puppy in the house for too long. Nor is it the title of a porn aimed at the urolagnia sect of the perv world. No, this is a movie about surfing. Cue freshets of question marks. What in the hell? I really can't think of a title for a surfing movie that is more arbitrarily retarded. In fact, I defy you to provide me with one that is worse.

But let's jump to the horror genre. Oh sure, "The Incredibly Strange Creatures who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies" is a really really bad title. But in a way, I also kind of love it. It's messy. It's funny, and it actually makes the inner MST3K junkie in me cream herself just a litle bit. If you don't know what MST3K is, you have failed the litmus test for cool, and must have some other redeeming quality that makes me want to call you "friend." At any rate, I choose to look at the intent here. I simply refuse to believe that the filmmakers who chose this as a title for their movie were aiming for earnestness. Or brevity, for that matter. So I'm cool with it.

But no, I've got an upcoming flick title for you to evaluate. In fact, it's one that you could really sink your teeth into.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you "Midnight Meat Train." I dare you to sit through the announcer ominously growling the title of this film at the end of the trailer and NOT laugh, even just a little bit. And the sad thing is, this could actually be a pretty decent movie. I sometimes wonder if movie studios really don't want to make money.

7 comments:

  1. Ooooh! A challenge!

    For a surfing movie:
    Waves of Golden Delight (No, it's about the sun hanging low on the surf, silly)

    Hang Eleven!
    (surf naked!)

    Better than Cumming on a Midget
    (No, it's a surfing movie. Surfing!)

    And for what it's worth, the Mixed Up Zombies movie was indeed an MST3K - I've got it in my collection.

    A few more titles you forgot to include as lousy:

    Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever

    The Gun in Betty-Lou's Handbag

    C.H.U.D.

    Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag (which I'll admit I really enjoyed)

    Ian

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  2. "Midnight Meat Train" comes from Clive Barker's Books of Blood and Barker fans looooove to reference "Midnight Meat Train." All I can say is that it will be a bit hit to those people, who will probably be the big majority of those going to see it.

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  3. "Midnight Meat Train"

    Isn't that a porno?

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  4. Ian-- You have not passed the challenge. Step into LIquid is so intrinsically insipid in its simplicity that you simply cannot beat it.

    SQT -- I knew it was based off of Barker's story, b ut there are plenty of movies based off of books where the studio changed the title to make it more marketable. I'm sad this couldn't be an exception, because I'm kinda hot for Bradley Cooper, and I'd like for this movie not to suck.

    Leighann -- It very well may be. lol

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  5. I loved all them motherfuckin' snakes on that motherfuckin' plane.

    Especially the part where the cobra gets that horny guy's dick.

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  6. OMG, If I were black, that's what I'd call my penis, "The Midnight Meat Train." Precious.

    "I've got a train to catch."

    Um, and how can no one mention a movie that I loved, but had the most inappropriate title ever:

    "Snatch."

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  7. I know you're not making fun of Breakin' 2: The Electric Boogaloo. We LOVED that movie as a kid. My brother and his friend were Turbo and Ozone and I always got to be Special K!

    Now you know how pathetic I really am.

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