Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Best and Worst Movie Taglines of All Time, #87

Fuckin' lists, how do they work? Well, here's how this one works:
The Good

  • Extraordinary Hyperbole: This method is all about telling you that you absolutely have to see this film, and every other film and every other life experience up to now has been a complete waste of your fucking time and why are you still reading this poster just buy a goddamn ticket already. The preferred tagline method from the more emphatic and sincere 1930s up to the 1960s. Also popular among trashier horror movies of the kind that stop just short of telling you that you are literally going to be murdered in the cinema for real. Expect exclamation marks.
  • Succinct Summary: What is the movie about? The tagline will tell you. If the cinema-goer is in some doubt as to whether the two dudes on the poster are a pair of mismatched detectives, the Succinct Summary will be sure to let them know that "One's from the streets. One's an alpaca. Now they've gotta team up and take down the bad guys. In space."
  • The 'Be Sharps' Principle: For when you need a tagline that's witty at first, but less funny every time you hear it. The better puns can be filed under this category. Possibly when the people who write tabloid headlines die, they all go to their own Valhalla to come up with pithy one-liners for summer movies.
  • The Great Line Preview: It may seem like hindsight, but there are a lot of cases where the most memorable lines in movie history got a leg-up into the public consciousness by being placed right there on the poster or in the trailer for everybody to see. Putting the best line on the poster might seem like giving it away but really, if you've got a line in your movie that's very clever or quotable, it's just as cromulent a thing to put on the poster as an attractive cast member.
The Bad

  • Puneth The Hour, Punish The Man: This is where all the rest of the puns can be filed. For when it's ten to five on a Friday afternoon and you've still got a stack of posters for kid's comedies. If a joke falls flat on the poster, there's a strong chance the actual film isn't going to fare much better, and egregious use of bad puns should of course be punishable by death (please don't read the titles of any of my film reviews). The scourge of the smug 90s.
  • ???: Maybe the grammar doesn't properly scan, or maybe the sentence doesn't make any sense once you actually think about it. Or maybe it just doesn't explain anything about the actual movie. Regardless, someone's tried to be too clever by half and ended up with a messy pile of word salad.
  • The 'Our Audience Are Idiots' Principle: Often used for sequels, remakes or rip offs, these taglines are a futile attempt to hide the obvious truth of their film from the suckers paying for tickets. A modern example of this would be the line 'There was never just one' which was all over promotion for The Bourne Legacy, an assumption by the studio that if they told you that Jason Bourne was not actually that central to a series of movies all titled 'The Bourne Something', you'd believe it, like the popcorn munching simpleton you are.

  • Trite n' Shite: These taglines are all about enlightening you to the transcendent, life changing experience that is going to see a Nicholas Sparks adaptation or the like. In trying to say something really profound but only being able to come up with something vague and dull, they usually expose that the film itself is vague and dull.

Best #87

Which: "If you come in five minutes after this picture begins, you won't know what it's all about! When you've seen it all, you'll swear there's never been anything like it!"
Where: The Manchurian Candidate
What: Extraordinary Hyperbole
When: 1962
Why: Now this is a good example of why I include the year of the film's release on these entries. The Manchurian Candidate was of course remade in the early 00s with Denzel Washington, featuring the much more generic tagline "everything is under control". Cos everything is not under control, innit. In true 60s style, this version promises the moon and the stars, guaranteeing that you'll be shaken up incredibly after seeing it and that the plot is so in depth that if you miss the first five minutes you might as well fucking go home because The Manchurian Candidate isn't fucking around son. This one has to lose points for being a mouthful though.

Worst #87

Which: "Be cool. Life is cool. You're so cool in Cracktown."
Where: Life Is Hot In Cracktown
What: ???
When: 2009
Why: What does that mean? Why is this tagline saying that life and you are so cool in Cracktown when the title is all about life being so hot in Cracktown (right now)? And another thing, what does that mean? That isn't a snappy quote to entice you to see a movie about the ravages of crack cocaine on the inner city and its people, that's something a person might mumble if you poke them while they're asleep.

The Best Movie Taglines of All Time

100. "Unwittingly, he trained a dolphin to kill the President of the United States", The Day of the Dolphin
99. "They're young, they're in love...and they kill people", Bonnie and Clyde
98. "Raise a kung fu fist to Ogami-AND HE'LL CHOP IT OFF!", Shogun Assassin 2: Lightning Swords of Death
97. "In the year of darkness 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created THE TERMINATOR.", The Terminator
96. "Oh yes. There will be blood.", Saw II
95. "They're tobacco chewin', gut chewin', cannibal kinfolk from Hell!", Redneck Zombies
94. "The first casualty of war is innocence", Platoon
93. "3% body fat. 1% brain activity.", Zoolander
92. "A monster science created but could not destroy!", Frankenstein (1931)
91. "People of Earth, your planet is about to be destroyed...We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience.", TerrorVision (1986)
90. "They're here", Poltergeist (1982)
89. "Your mind is the scene of the crime", Inception (2010)
88. "The only people who will not be STERILIZED with fear are those among you who are already DEAD!", The Flesh Eaters
87. "If you come in five minutes after this picture begins, you won't know what it's all about! When you've seen it all, you'll swear there's never been anything like it!", The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Worst Movie Taglines of All Time

100. "Not to be confused with King Kong", A*P*E
99. "Great things come in bears", Yogi Bear
98. "All the power on earth can't change destiny", The Godfather Part III
97. "Does my gluteus maximus look big in this?", Gladiatress
96. "Some houses are born bad.", The Haunting (1999)
95. "He puts the teeth in terror", Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
94. "The system gave him a raw deal. Nobody gives him a raw deal", Raw Deal
93. "Who's your nanny?", Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
92. "Why are they putting seatbelts in theatres this summer?", Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
91. "On May 6th...see Paris die!", House of Wax (2005)
90. "Life is for living", Charlie St. Cloud (2010)
89. "The dream is real", Inception (2010)
88. "The truth is not what you know. It's what you believe.", Ondine (2009)
87. "Be cool. Life is cool. You're so cool in Cracktown.", Life Is Hot In Crackdown (2009)

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