The Worst Titles in Movie History

Dennis’ choices for the Worst Movie Titles on the Videoport Shelves

I want to punch this movie.

1. Love Happens. I probably (well, never) wasn’t going to watch this Jennifer Aniston/Aaron Eckhart weepy love-y thing anyway, but that title clinches it. The soppiest, self-help-bookiest, laziest name for a movie in recent memory.

2. Drool. Sort of a Thelma and Louise thing, this movie (in the Drama section, if you’re interested) features two very pretty women (including Mulholland Drive‘s Laura Harring) on the cover, pursing their lips in shushing you in a very sexy way but, thanks to the title, all I can think of is saliva pouring out of their mouths in ropy strings. Not sexy movie, not sexy at all…

3. Medicine for Melancholy. I actually want to see this one, a sharp-looking indie romance starring the very funny Wyatt Cenac from the ‘Daily Show’ in spite of the title, which sounds like a self-help book you’d find remaindered at Mardens.

Oh dear...

4. Forbidden Choices. Only on VHS in the Drama section (don’t look for a DVD release anytime soon), this misbegotten adaptation of ‘The Beans of Egypt Maine’ was probably doomed the minute they hired Rutger Hauer to try out a Maine accent, but retitling it like something you’d see on Cinemax after midnight didn’t help matters. It sounds exactly like the sort of ‘steamy’ TV movie Jenna Moroney occasionally stars in on ’30 Rock’ (she was in one called ‘Hushed Rapings’.)

5. Multiple Sarcasms. This new Timothy Hutton indie drama about a philandering author is not helped by this title. It’s clunky, wordy, and took me about ten times before I realized it was supposed to be clever. Then I realized it was trying to be clever and I got annoyed because the pun is so labored. (It’s a play on ‘multiple orgasms’, by the way.) Puns are the devil.

6. Hope Floats. More self-helperry as a movie title. Plus, I can’t be the only one who thinks of a toilet when I hear this, right?

7. Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. In his three-prequel assault on my childhood, the announcement of this title convinced me to abandon all hope. And that George Lucas had finally lost his mind.

8. Se7en, Thr3e, and Thirt13en Ghosts. Please just stop.

9. Face/Off. And you.

10. Johnny Dangerously. “Did you know your last name is an adverb?” And almost impossible to pronounce or remember?

11. Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo. Not to pile on Rob Schneider or anything, but a ‘gigolo’, by definition, is male. Plus, rhyming titles are also the devil.

12. Gigli. And not to pile on this movie, but no one has ever pronounced this title as intended by the filmmakers. (It’s, approximately, “Jee-lee”). Not good marketing, there. Plus, everyone’s best guess is usually ‘jiggly’, which would be even worse.

No human being on Earth remembers this movie.

13. Up Close and Personal. What was this movie about? Does it even exist? It’s immediately fading from my memory! What’s it called again?

14. Quantum of Solace. What, exactly, does this Bond title mean? Oh, right, nothing. I forgot.

15. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. Not one customer in Videoport history has ever remembered any of these title accurately. That’s probably not what you want when you title a movie, right?

16. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. A lot of deliberately-unwieldy titles get mentioned when people start naming ‘worst titles ever’, but movies like The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, and Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? are clearly calling attention to their titles; their very verbosity is part of the joke. This movie’s title, like the movie itself, seems just determined to beat you over the head with whimsy. “You will find our title whimsical! Yeah you will. Find…our…title…whimsical…”

It's a play on 'tic-tac-toe', get it? Do you? Hey, where are you going?

17. The Toe Tactic.  Indie films that find a DVD release should get my full support, but if they saddle themselves with a twee, punny title like this, I actually support consigning them to bargain bins, under-bidded ebay auctions, and screenings for the director’s family and friends.  To quote Principal Skinner, “Er, um, we need a name that’s witty at first, but that seems less funny each time you hear it.”


For more bloggy, pop culture-y goodness, check out Dennis and Justin in Brannigan’s Law!

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 12:59 am  Comments (3)  

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  1. Facebooked nominees from Videoporters far and wide…

    Don S: i nominate PLUNKETTE AND MACLEAN. seriously does that title even make you remotely consider spending the dough to go to a theatre or even rent? who names an action adventure after two people with boring stupid sounding names!?

    Travis N: Shall We Dance. Save the Last Dance. Eat Love Pray. I Know Who Killed Me. He’s Just Not That Into You. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days.

    Elsa S Customer:
    Automaton Transfusion. It’s clunky, narratively opaque, and must have made the stoner-heavy target market feeling like they were stuttering when they said it at the ticket window.

    Automaton Transfusion. Automaton Transfusion. Automaton Tran…sfusion. The words have lost all meaning. Oh, wait: they never had much to begin with.

    Mark Magee Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo and Dead Bang (with Don Johnson)

    Janine M: Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot! :-}

    Michelle Stockman: how to make an american quilt

    Michelle Stockman they shoot horses don’t they?

    Isaac H: Troll 2, Silent Night Deadly Night 2. Seriously. “GARBAGE DAAY”

    Tom S: The traveling pants

    Luke P: I’m gonna go with “The Happening.”

  2. Videoporters’ take on the nonsense that is ‘Quantum of Solace’:
    In the new 007 movie Quantum of Solace, ‘Q.U.A.N.T.U.M.’ is the new S.P.E.C.T.R.E.-type criminal organization. The makers have kept the meaning of the acronym secret, so Videoport’s greatest minds have taken a whack at figuring it out:

    Quality Understanding And Nourishment To Undermine Mosquitos
    Queer Undertakers Always Need Time Unless Mentioned
    Quantum Uantum Antum Ntum Tum Um MMMMMMMM
    Quinto Ultimo Asi Nunca Trabajo Ultimo Mierda
    Quiet Useless Anal Nerds That Use Murder
    Quietly Undermining America, Netherlands, and Toronto Using McCain
    Quick! Undermine All Nations Then Undress Me!
    Quiet Undercover Agents Never Touch Unattended Maracas
    Quenching Unquenchable And Nagging Thirst Using Milk
    Queen of the Universe And Nasty Tittering Useless Minions
    Questioning Underlying Assumptions, Not Taking Undue Measures
    Quality Uranium At Normal Terrorist Union Markup
    Quest Unfailingly After New Terrorist Ultimatum Metaphors
    Quirky Underpants Add Nuance To Underlying Menace
    Quixotic Un- Assailable Nemeses To Undermine Mega-agent
    Quell Until Ants Negotiate Time Under Murder
    Queer Unicorns Are Naked Today, Use Me
    Quintessential Unicorn Antelopes Need Tranny Underpants Models

  3. Total Awesomeness – a favorite game! Here’s still more:

    The Hudsucker Proxy
    The Human Stain (otherwise known as “The Wet Spot?”)

    “Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?” (It should be “Who the HELL is Harry Kellerman . . . blahblahblah”)

    Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx” (Actually a prretty damned good flick)

    Death Comes Home for the Holidays

    The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

    Smilla’s Sense of Snow

    The Tony Blair Witch Project (why not add “Runway” to the end, I ask?)

    When I was a kid, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” was the big controversial film of the day. Until the “adult” section of our newspaper ran a listing for a gay porn flick titled “Bob & Darryl & Ted & Alex!”

    Made for TV titles get even more, um, “creative,” like:

    Guess Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed?

    You’ll Never See Me Again (here’s hoping!),
    The Feminist and the Fuzz
    Can Ellen Be Saved?
    Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate
    Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones
    Scream, Pretty Peggy (I’m guessing this was the sequel to “The Woman Who Screamed?”)

    Then there was the Pam Dawber/Stephen Dorff classic nightmare childsexploitation film “Do You Know the Muffin Man?” (Indeed!)

    Classics, every one!

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