6 Most Misleading Movie Titles Ever
Say what you want about Snakes on a Plane as a movie, but at least it delivered on its title. There was a plane, and that plane had snakes right on it. Seriously. The title isn't a metaphor for the emotional snakes that terrorize the planes of our hearts; that plane is legit full of snakes, nose-to-tail. Rewatch it if you don't believe me.
Sadly, that kind of integrity is rare in Hollywood. More often, we get our hearts broken with empty promises like ...
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
A title like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus conjures up exactly one image -- a mega fucking shark engaging in all-out warfare against a giant goddamn octopus. And I really appreciate it when filmmakers go the extra mile and use a word like "vs." instead of "and" or "with" to remove all ambiguity regarding how these characters feel about each other. This way I know going into a movie featuring a mega shark and a giant octopus that I won't be watching them just be friends. Them monsters is fighting.
Nobody could screw this up, right?
Of course someone could, and all they had to do was make the titular monsters bit players compared to the boring-ass humans that dominate the runtime. The monsters, while certainly big and bloodthirsty, regularly take a back seat to truly important matters, like Debbie Gibson talking and drinking.
"Did you hear about the Mega Shark? Let's just sit for a while and not talk about it or show it."
Gibson and her crew discover the shark and octopus frozen together in an ancient glacier, like one of those trick ice cubes with a fly stuck in it, except this is the giant kind that gods use to prank other gods.
"Seriously, take a sip of that ice water I poured you, there's nothing ... FISHY about it, I swear."
The glacier breaks open and the animals spring to life, because fuck science. If vicious brawling immediately followed, then fine. But noooooooo -- they quietly go their separate ways, because contrived human drama needs to happen. We bounce away from the newly resurrected Mega Shark and Giant Octopus and check in with Debbie, who just got fired because of an error with who gives a shit where is that Mega Shark!?!
Only occasionally do we get scenes of monsters destroying shit, such as when the shark leaps into the sky and eats an airplane.
Even then, the shark gets maybe 10 seconds of blurry screen time, while the passengers get crystal-clear focus and virtually all of the camera's attention.
Even the ones who spend every second proving they don't deserve it.
Also, raise your hand if you paid money to see a movie called Mega Shark vs. Standard Airplane. No? No one? OK, then move on, movie.
Finally, Gibson and pals conclude that the animals were fighting just before the big freeze and would likely do so again if lured back together. All this tells me is that a prequel where these two creatures fight and fight and fight sans human bullshit absolutely needs to be made. But that likely won't happen, since no humans equals no awkward sex scenes with washed-up pop stars.
"I've dreamed about this since your debut album."
"I was 17."
"Since your second album."
Once the monsters meet, their promised prizefight finally occurs. And almost immediately ends. After one minute of what I assume was a battle (the water's so murky, you can barely see anything), they wind up killing one another and sinking to the bottom of the sea. Thank God those jackasses are finally gone so the real stars of the movie can shine in all their pink fleshy glory.
"I told you we should have just done a small, indie, arthouse Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus movie.
Film it in France, maybe. Get away from all the Hollywood bullshit."
Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster
Frankenstein('s monster) battles a space creature. What more has to be said? Even the box art looks awesome, despite the Frankenstein creature looking like he's half drunk.
"EAT CHAMPAGNE CORK!"
This will be great. Frankenstein's monster is an assortment of random dead-guy parts reanimated by a misguided scientist, and this movie promises he's going to go to space! I can't wait to see how they fill in those blanks.
There's no Frankenstein. There's no Frankenstein's monster. And there's no space creature until the very end. They promised us prime rib and delivered month-old cafeteria meatloaf with a bit of bone meal for dessert.
That meatloaf's name is Colonel Frank Saunders. At least it wasn't Frank N. Stein or any other pun so awful that even Carmen Sandiego's henchmen would point and laugh. Frank is an android who looks like a human being because makeup's hard. His space capsule gets shot down to Earth by invading Martians, who better look like the creepy, horrible space monsters I was promised.
Or just plain horrible; that works, too.
That there's one of our villains -- a group of failed Uncle Festers sporting the most half-assed Vulcan ears ever. One of them shoots Android Frank in the face with a ray gun, melting his head and giving us Frankenstein's monster at long last:
Good fucking God. Their version of Frankenstein's creature is a dude wearing half an old leather mask? I get that he can't look exactly like the classic creature due to copyright issues, but this isn't even close to Franken-anything. It's just a lame Two-Face ripoff so terrible, I'm shocked DC didn't immediately kill off the real Two-Face in protest.
Near the end, we learn that the monster on the box isn't much of a monster, just a near-useless slavebeast of theirs. Also, look at him:
"Every part of me is embarrassed to be here!"
At the very end of the film, Frank and Useless Slavebeast duel at long last. Naturally it lasts about a minute and features nothing but the two weakly punching one another in a room so smoke-filled that you can barely see anything (a common trick among B-movie hacks, it seems).
Boxing matches where the fighters hug one another for 12 rounds are more nail-biting than this. On the plus side, the film only lasted 74 minutes. Wasting your life is far less painful when you only waste a little bit at a time.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Holy shit, how the hell did Santa Claus conquer a whole damn civilization? I need to know, because that means he might conquer ours, too. After all, you can only give away toys to ungrateful brats for so long before you snap, enslave all of humanity, and force them to build shit for you for once.
Hell, maybe he does that to the Martians. They got hands, too, you know.
As it turns out, nobody has to worry about Santa the Slavemaster, because in this movie, he doesn't conquer shit.
The basic gist is that Martian children are bored and depressed because they have no Christmas. In order to make them smile for exactly 1/687 of the year, the Martian overlords kidnap Santa. They also steal a couple of Earth children, because Santa Claus surviving alone on a hostile planet just doesn't work unless some kidlets tag along and drown every scene in a sea of badly acted precociousness.
The exact moment these actors realized they'll never improve on THIS.
Luckily for Santa, not only is Mars made up almost entirely of morons (they mistake one of their green-skinned-and-antenna-helmet-wearing own for Santa simply because he wore the suit), but he's suddenly an invulnerable superhero. He is never harmed, never panics, and can somehow slip non-magical children through the tiniest of spaces, something I've never heard of him doing before. Must be the Martian air.
"Come back when you can threaten me with something other than a plunger and a scowl."
Also, simply by calling the Martian's menacing robot of death "the biggest toy I've ever seen," the death bot stops deathing and starts acting like a toy.
If you gave that toy to your child at Christmas, he'd never speak to you again.
Santa could've easily overpowered his captors, claimed the planet, enslaved the Martians, and actually fulfilled the title's promise. Instead, he did this:
"Yo, we cool, bro?"
He leaves. That's all. He conquers exactly three evil Martians, charms the antennae off the rest, and then goes home. He didn't even have the decency to violently scorch the Martian landscape like a jolly old Tecumseh Sherman. He literally just ho-ho-ho'd and left, leaving Mars completely and utterly unconquered.
Unfortunately, he forgot to teach them how to make decent toys.
Finally, a cop that can't be accused of hiding behind his gun, because he prefers a giant fucking sword that can kill just as hard, but in a far cooler manner.
Also, just look at him. That is an asshole cop you will not talk back to, lest you wind up like that poor jaywalker whose head is now a trophy. "You doughnut-eating pig! I pay your salar-" *SLICE* and you're dead. Samurai Cop decapitates first, fills out paperwork later.
That monster cop on the box? You never see him. Instead, you get this creep:
Well, they're both white and insane. That's a start.
Somehow, completing a script that boils down to "psycho cop uses sword, then uses sword some more, roll credits" was too damn difficult, so instead we get a straight-up almost-action flick starring a gun-wielding, anthropomorphic Sylvester Stallone impression. They say he has samurai training, but fuck if he ever backs that up. Instead, he punches people (poorly), fires his gun (also poorly), and speaks so woodenly, I'm ashamed we share the same language.
He's that bad the whole movie. Nervous children who forget their lines in the middle of a school play sound more convincing than this lunk. And don't think I'm taking scenes out of context. He's this lunkish from start to end.
"You see that sky? Like, whaddaya think it is? It's so blue. I get headaches when I think this hard."
Near the end, "Samurai" "Cop" finally grabs a sword and battles the big Yakuza boss. And there we learn the real reason swords had been so nonexistent: Neither Stallone Impression nor his opponent knew how to use them. This is a problem, especially since they were using real fucking swords.
"And now to run it up and down my wrist to test for sharpness."
Since neither man was willing to murder the other for the sake of bad art, our climactic scene features two idiots deliberately swinging as slowly as possible, with the film clearly sped up later on.
"Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod."
If this is the standard for samurai, then my ability to properly operate a bread knife must make me the leader of the fucking Shoguns.
Pauly Shore Is Dead
Pauly Shore is dead.
Sadly, he's not.
Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter
I found this movie in a video store a decade ago, bypassing classic movie after classic movie while falling for this one based solely on the title and box art. Jesus Christ fighting evil vampires alongside legendary luchadore El Santo? Sold!
I never got my money back for this shit, and I'm still pissed. This botch job is why people who have no clue what they're doing should not be allowed anywhere near awesomely clusterfucked premises.
While Jesus does fight vampires, He only keeps the classic Jesus look for a couple minutes. The rest of the time, we get this:
Jesus Christ: Vertical Horizon Frontman
Yep, that's Jesus -- no beard, buzzed head, tight T-shirt, designer jeans, and overall looking way more like a middle-aged emo dude than should be legal. It's like the filmmakers wanted to suck us in with the Jesus thing but not stick with it long enough to actively piss anybody off (except for me, apparently).
That and the beard probably got all itchy.
And it's not like He was in hiding. We first see Him conducting public baptisms in full Jesus garb. Everyone (including the vampires) knew about Him, even post-makeover. But all would be forgiven if the rest of the movie was Christboard Confessional and His Friends kicking ass after bloodsucking ass. Too bad we get anything but that. For one thing, El Santo doesn't even show up until halfway through, and even then it's just a masked fat guy who does airplane spins and gets sloshed on cheap booze.
Casting the corpse of the real El Santo would've been almost as believable.
In addition, the movie itself is relatively bloodless and harmless, focusing mostly on why the vampires can walk in the daylight (a mad scientist grafts sun-resistant skin onto catatonic women and revives them as vampires). The film also focuses on the vampires' lesbianism, but not in that way, you perverted little pigs.
She doesn't seem too thrilled about joining the undead. Is everything Twilight taught us a lie?
Eventually, the vampires are vanquished after a "hunt" only slightly more exciting than hide-and-seek in a prison cell, and I'm left to weep over what could have been. At the very least, they should've kept Jesus in his alternate new wardrobe:
If He wears this for the Second Coming, don't ask questions; just march your ass to hell.