Top 10 bad movie pun titles
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Hang on a second, surely in a world where Hollywood names a romantic comedy Valentine’s Day when Valentine’s Day is one of the days of the year with the highest hospital admissions for self-harm, pretty much every movie title is some kind of bad pun? Sure, but movie titles are just like cleaning out a stable: you’ve got to tackle the biggest piles of crap first. Let’s start shovelling! Wait, I’ve already done all the shovelling. Oh great, and now my shoes are covered in puns.
10: Legally Blonde: This one’s a little tricky, so here’s a hint: have you ever heard of the phrase “legally blind”? There you go. Like with all pun titles, it’s the weakest part of the film even when it’s a really good pun and the film’s really bad; here, where the pun is rubbish and the movie is pretty funny, it’s just a waste of everyone’s time. Why not just call it Bimbo Lawyer? The Airhead Attorney? The Peroxide Prosecutor? Uh…okay, maybe this one isn’t so bad.
9: Your Highness: He’s a prince, see, so people call him “your Highness” – but he also smokes heaps of pot so he’s super-high all the time, making him literally “your highness”! Ha! Oh wait, not actually very ha at all. So this is a remarkably accurate title for this lame, half-arsed comedy built largely around swear words and the existence of marijuana. Thankfully this tanked before they could make a spin-off with all the same dope-smoking jokes only set in an American football team and called Super Bowl.
8: Sex Drive: A trio of horny teens go on a cross-country drive. A sex drive! See, this one isn’t really all that painful, because having a sex drive is an actual thing and driving a car is also a thing so really this is only getting a mention as a shout-out to all the pun titles that just quietly get the job done without calling attention to themselves. We’re looking at you, Club Dread. Not you, Good Will Hunting. Is that even a pun or what? He’s called Will Hunting and he’s a good guy, but has anyone ever said “good will hunting” as a phrase? No more Oscars for Ben Affleck until he explains it once and for all.
7: Lesbian Vampire Killers: The trick with this one is that you think you’re going to see a movie about sexy lesbian vampires who are also killers: what you get is a couple of out-of-shape UK comedians killing lesbian vampires. Sure, it’s a comedy, but why pull such a pathetic bait-and-switch if you had any confidence whatsoever in the quality of your product oh I get it the movie’s really crap isn’t it?
6: Max Payne: He’s a tough cop, see? So tough his name is Max Payne because he can handle… MAX PAIN! Not that he actually does handle anything close to maximum pain in this based-on-a-video-game film, more like he gets knocked around a bit and maybe shot at a couple times and drowned and demon flamed and whatever. If you’re going to call your lead Max Payne, you really need a scene where he’s stripped naked then dragged face-down along a gravel road by a speeding car for fifteen minutes. No extreme torture for Max Payne makes this cop movie a bit of a cop out… though not as much of one as the pun-tastic Kevin Smith stinker Cop Out was.
5: Meet the Fockers: You see the joke here, right? “Fockers” sounds like “F-ckers”. That’s the joke. A family’s last name sounds like a swear word. The swear word isn’t in a sentence. It’s not directed towards anyone. It’s not describing anything. It’s not an insult, or a compliment, or anything else. The joke is that their last name sounds like a swear word. That’s it. That’s all it is. Hundreds of people worked on this film. Tens of millions of dollars were spent on it. All that time and all those resources went into this film and the name they decided to give it to sum up all their hard work and effort and hopes and dreams and ambitions that they poured into it over months and years of toil is a word they chose entirely because it sounds something like “F-ckers”. What a bunch of fockers.
4: Shanghai Noon: Remember High Noon? Well, now you’ve got Shanghai Noon. I hope you’re happy. Personally, I blame Gary Cooper. If only he’d called his film The Death Train Arrives At Twelve, we wouldn’t have this problem.
3: Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: Kids movies literally cannot stay away from a bad pun title. Gnomeo & Juliet? Paranorman? Bee Movie? Over the Hedge? And yet one stands furry head and non-existent shoulders above the rest with a crap pun title so rubbish it’s become a byword for flushing away just under ninety minutes (plus ads and previews) of your life. Squeakquel? Ouch. And not “I stubbed my toe” ouch either: more like “ow, the fatal tumor I am suffering with has blocked every single one of my bodily orifices, I am about to explode in a shower of my own waste and the only relief that will come with my astoundingly painful demise is the fact I’ll be dead if they ever try to make another ‘Squeakquel’ arrrrgh I’m exploding right now” ouch.
2: You Can’t Stop The Murders: Notice how the first four words in this title lull you into think you’re enjoying a recital of the classic Village People track “You Can’t Stop the Music” – and then suddenly, pow! Your late 70’s disco musical dreamworld is brutally shattered by the replacement of the universally-loved concept of “music” with the grim, gritty, harsh, brutal and numerous other words much loved by angsty teens term “murders”. Not murder singular either: you’ve just been plunged into a nightmare world where the body count ticks ever upwards, where no-one, no matter how many Village People albums they may own on CD or vinyl or cassette, is safe from a nasty, abrupt demise. Worse, the title isn’t even referring to the bungling cops in this forgettable Australian comedy film – it’s YOU who can’t stop the murders, not them. Don’t want to watch the movie? Doesn’t matter. Never even heard about it before now? Too bad. These murders WILL take place and YOU can’t stop them. Hope you’re happy with yourself. Murderer.
1: Face / Off: Action movies aren’t exactly unfamiliar with the idea of the two word pun title, from the clever (Die Hard – he’s a die hard cop who also “dies hard”) to the kinda lame (Con Air – it’s like Air Con but in reverse! And, uh, that’s it). But Face/Off stands head and shoulders above the rest, and not just because the head is where the face is generally located on a human being. Let’s explain: this is not only a movie where the good and bad guys “face off” – as in, there’s one good guy, one bad guy, and the movie is pretty much split evenly between them – but it’s also a movie where the good and bad guys literally have their “faces” taken “off”! Okay, you may have already figured that out, especially as Nicolas Cage flat-out says “I want to take his face… off” during the movie. Also: BEST ACTION MOVIE EVER. Especially if you only count the ones where John Travolta calls his own hairline “ridiculous” and Nicolas Cage gets beat up by a jet engine.