Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Friday, 1 January 2016

The Best and Worst Movie Taglines of All Time, #88

The list of the best and worst movie taglines of all time continues into 2016. Will it keep on going into 2017? Only time and my ennui will tell! For now, let's keep things moving, starting with the usual refresher of criteria, which can be seen below:

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 #88

Which: "The only people who will not be STERILIZED with fear are those among you who are already DEAD!"
Where: The Flesh Eaters
What: Extraordinary Hyperbole
When: 1964
Why: I'm sure on anybody else's lists these ridiculous outdated attempts to scare cinema-goers into seeing schlocky horror would rank on the other list, but I just cannot get enough of them. An usually gorey horror for its time period, The Flesh Eaters emphatically dares viewers to go see it with an earnestness that would never work in the modern, jaded age. Even as the horror genre keeps moving away from the smug, detached pit it fell into around the Scream era, it's unlikely that we're going to have a movie any time soon warning us that it's so scary that never being able to have children is the best case scenario from watching it.

Worst #88

Which: "The truth is not what you know. It's what you believe."
Where: Ondine
What: Trite N' Shite
When: 2009
Why: Unfortunately I have to add a film from the aul homeland to the worst list, as the tagline for this little-seen collaboration between Neil Jordan and Colin Farrell is just too hippy-dippy to let stand. Now of course, the placings of these taglines on these lists is no indication of the quality of the films themselves, and Neil Jordan making a low-budget film about a selkie sounds plenty intriguing, but that doesn't excuse the tagline, which is the kind of thing you might expect to find on the poster for a God's Not Dead type unfortunate film. The 'truth' is not what you know, that's right. It's not what you believe either. The only accuracy you're going to get from this cloying phrase is if you've got a good aim on the projectile vomit you'll spew after reading it.

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

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)