It can be difficult to make a movie stand out, especially in the independent market. Cinema has been around for well over a century and story-telling has been around for a few millennia, so it’s getting hard to come up with an original idea that grabs an audience’s attention from the title alone.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped people trying.
Collider have been at Cannes this week, picking up posters for movies with titles that seem engineered purely to scream “look at me!” in the undulating mass of films crowding for attention at the festival. Here we rank the finest examples of the year, judged by creativity, silliness and artistic merit.
10. Lesbian Vampire Warriors
This one ranks pretty low due to the sheer laziness of the title. It’s one word away from Lesbian Vampire Killers, a movie that thought of a funny title and then forgot to add any more humour beyond that. “Lesbian” to pull in the perverts, “Vampire” because blood-sucking is so hot right now, and “Warriors” because just calling the film “Lesbian Vampires” would make it sound like softcore porn. Too little, too lame. What’s next?
9. Ghost Shark
The first of many animals-with-a-twist movies on this list, Ghost Shark comes from the subgenre of aquatic mutant horror that brought you gems such as Sharktopus, Giant Squid Vs Mega Shark, and Two-Headed Shark Attack. Films like this make me wonder if Stephen Spielberg knew what kind of monster he was creating when he made Jaws; the amount of bad press heaped upon the mild-mannered mugger of the seas is enough to warrant the formation of a Shark Anti-Defamation League.
8. Dragon Wasps
I rate Dragon Wasps higher than Ghost Shark simply because wasps rarely seem to play the villain in horror movies, and that’s surprising considering that wasps are probably among the most spiteful, evil, soulless, malevolent abominations buzzing around the planet today. Adding the word “Dragon” to the title and (apparently) blowing the wasps up to the size of a house for this film was overkill. Just call the movie “Wasps!” and you’ll have more nightmare potential than you know what to do with.
7. Vampire Dog/Wizard Dog
Poor Vampire Dog probably didn’t realise that he would be competing with Lesbian Vampire Warriors, and to make matters worse he’s going into the canine fantasy arena with equally strong contendor Wizard Dog. We’ll put these two together on our list in the hope that they reconcile their differences and make a crossover sequel.
6. Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood
I’ll freely admit that I’ve not heard of a single one of the films on this list, even if that does make me a terrible film journalist. To be fair to all of them, I’m also judging based purely on the posters and titles without researching the plot of any of them, and this is the first so far to test my dedication to that policy. With a cast that includes Kane Hodder and Tom Savini, Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood is certainly one of the more intriguing titles on this list. The producers also apparently spent a lot of the budget on shooting it “In real 3-D, No conversion!” and are desperate to wring appreciation for that decision out of their prospective audience. I don’t know, that little red badge makes me feel uneasy. It has the tone of a microwave cheeseburger from a budget supermarket with a big sticker on it that says “50% less hooves!”
5. Million Dollar Crocodile
Now for some more animals-with-a-twist horror, and this one ranks highly because I believe it’s referencing The Six Million Dollar Man. In turn, that leads me to believe that the Million Dollar Crocodile gets its own intro and theme at the start of the film, and that thought makes me inexpressibly happy.
4. Dead Sushi
Oh, you thought your mutant animal was safe just because you killed it, diced it, and served it up with rice? There’s a plot to be had here yet!
3. Fire Twisters
I admire these filmmakers for resorting to one of the lesser-used methods of reinventing a genre. In this case it’s the weather-gone-bad disaster movie, and the makers of the above film seem to have spent an evening in watching Jan DeBont’s 1996 film Twister and asked each other, “How do we make this simultaneously more cool and more frightening?” The answer, as always, is to set it on fire.
2. You Can’t Kill Stephen King
Like Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood, this poster makes me desperately want to find out more about the film it’s advertising. Almost like a poster is supposed to do. This poster is at number 2 purely because of the sight of poor Cujo doggy-paddling with enormous bat ears sticking up and a shocked expression like he’s just seen Patrick Moore doing a pole dance. Points to anyone who recognises the other King stories referenced in this poster.
1. Zombie Ass
Because when all else fails, there will always be zombies. And ass.