Monday, April 22, 2013

Question for the Week of April 22-28: Laughably Bad Title

Has a movie title - and the title alone - ever made you just start laughing?
I haven't written about Sequel-itis much lately, but today's quick entry is just to highlight what happened to me when I heard the words: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia.

Honestly, it's been ages since George Lucas and Steven Spielberg retroactively renamed the first Indiana Jones movie so that it would have the words "Indiana Jones and" at the start of the title. I was upset that such a stupid little change was made in the name of branding and trademarks - at the very least, such marketing choices inspired a post that I'm still quite proud of. Yes, stupidity like this dates back to (at least) 1999.

And it's even clearer today that the desperate push for cash has Hollywood mining anything they can in order to guarantee that audiences snap up the latest product released into theaters. Again, I've covered this before, and it is not a new problem.

Yet, despite how much this trend has only grown with time, I cannot help but marvel at the stupidity of a film title that evokes both Connecticut and Georgia. So you have the first part of an ostensible franchise, and it has one state name in the title. Then you make the sequel, and decide to... set it in another state? And then you don't notice how dumb it is to have both state names in the title of your picture? Talk about falling asleep at the wheel...

I suppose if this story involved ghosts that travel on highways - ooh, interstate ghosts! - then maybe this would work. It would certainly be great to see spirits hit the Welcome Center at Florida's border and try to drink a free glass of spectral orange juice. Perhaps they could stop at a weighing station and not measure themselves, go straight through a toll both with nobody noticing...

I hadn't even heard of this pic until last week, when ads for this monstrosity were plastered all over Youtube and other TV/film-streaming sites. It seems that the money that didn't go into making a quality picture was instead put into marketing. Yaaaaay-ugh.

But, funnier than everything I've mentioned up 'til now, the pic had a brief theatrical run then went straight to VOD, and the ads are for its DVD release that no one cares about. Yes, this movie is so low-profile that I couldn't even mock it before its release! As frustrated as I usually am at Sequel-itis, I was laughing too hard to be annoyed. I'm personally hoping for The Haunting in Connecticut: Apparitions of Appalachia. Or maybe, tHiC: Terror in Trieste.


  1. It's now a chestnut, but few movie titles have the laugh-out-loud magic of Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. I always thought Electric Boogaloo was a reference to Turbo, the other other main character of the Breakin' movies (the one who does not aspire to hook up with Lucinda Dickey) whose real-life stage name was Boogaloo Shrimp. But no, apparently, it was a dance from the 70s, sometimes performed on Soul Train. Now everyone remembers it better as a bad subtitle for a movie than as a dance.

    My new favorite thing in laughable titles is when someone presumes franchise status for their movie, so they come up with a name that sounds like a sequel. So Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole made me chuckle. You have a hard-to-pronounce fantasy word in the title, confusion about whether the movie's about owls or guardians (is someone guarding the owls? are the owls guarding something else?), and the presumption that comes when someone is apparently working on promotional materials for Legend of the Guardians 2: Electric Hoo'ga'loo before anyone's seen the first weekend box office of the original.

  2. Also, it wasn't a theatrical release, but I feel we need a shout-out for the funniest movie title of all time, courtesy of Tory Spelling and Lifetime network:

    Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?

    There are simply no words. (h/t to's Brenden Gallagher for reminding me of this)


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