The movie title is the first thing that attracts viewers. It can give a hint on what the movie is about or give the plot of the film right away. Generally, studios base the movie’s advertisement campaign on the title. Thus the title may, as well, be a marketing tool. But some movie titles blatantly lie to you. Sometimes it happens because while in production the movie takes a different direction, but upon release the film retains its original title.
Sometimes the title lies in order to lure you into watching the film. Sometimes it seems that the false title is merely the result of the production team not caring much that the plot has nothing to do with the film title. Let’s check out ten movie titles that blatantly lied to you without further ado.
1. The Room (2003)
A lot has been said about Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room”. The movie is so legendarily bad that it became a cult hit. While it enjoyed its fair share of success with movie geeks, it experienced a resurgence in popularity after the release of “The Disaster Artist” (2017) – a film that tells the story of how the Citizen Kane of bad movies was made. It can be used as anti-manual for filmmakers. As everything with this movie feels absolutely wrong. From the weird screenplay with subplots that go nowhere to awkward line delivery.
The funniest point is that was “The Room” written, directed, acted, and produced properly – it would have been forgotten immediately after its release. This movie is the king of so-bad-it’s-good films. It seems that it was destined to become notorious for its awkwardness.
Of course, behind all those crazy lines like “Do you understand life?” and “You’re tearing me apart Lisa!”, plot-holes and awkward sex scenes, almost no one noticed that there is no reason for the movie to be called “The Room”. The actions unfold in different places around the townhouse and San-Francisco.
Of course, one can think that the movie is called that because something significant to the movie’s plot takes place in the room. But that just doesn’t make sense. Talking about breast cancer – maybe “Living Room” would be a better title? Cheating on fiance – maybe “The Stairs” would be a better title? Suicide – better pick “Bedroom” then. There is no particular room, which is significant to the plot.
The reason why the movie is called lies in the fact that initially Tommy Wiseau wrote “The Room” as a play, where all the actions took place in one room, but that changed completely while he was turning the play into a script. In the end, the title can be added to all the misfires that made “The Room” that charming for so-bad-it’s-good films aficionados, as “Townhouse” or “The Apartament” would be way more suitable titles.
2. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
New York at night. We see a lot of shiny skyscrapers, the camera moves slowly down to reveal the figure that watches the city. We see the figure from the back. The camera moves closer and closer to the figure. A young girl passes by. The figure suddenly turns around and the girl screams, as the figure revealed to be Jason Voorhees. Then we see the shots of different people on the streets of New York screaming in terror. And the voice-over tells us that “New York has the new problem”. That’s the trailer for “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan”.
Needless to say that fans of the franchise were more than eager to see their favourite machete-wielding maniac rampaging through the streets of the Big Apple. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. All in all, the viewers were exposed to a movie with 100 minutes running time, which spends approximately 15 minutes in Manhattan (which was mostly shot in Vancouver).
Why was that? When Rob Hedden was hired to direct the new instalment of the Friday the 13th-franchise, he had two concepts for the film. One had Jason Voorhees on the cruise ship, another had the slasher star in the New York. Initially, Paramount Pictures requested Hedden to merge both concepts into one, so that the move would have Jason on the ship for the first half of the movie and in Manhattan for the second half.
But what could be one of the most ambitious ideas in the franchise, turned into a half-baked slasher flick that mainly took place on the ship and only a climax in new, with the ending which feels more like an homage to David Lynch’s works. During the production of the movie, Paramount Pictures had cut the budget in half, which forced Hedden to limit the number of New York scenes. Still, Paramount proceed to market the film as “Jason Takes Manhattan”. Possibly, because “Jason Killing High-School Graduates on The Cruise Ship” didn’t sound like an appealing title.
3. The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)
This movie’s title not only lies to you, but it admits lying to you. If there was the last exorcism how can you have a continuation? First of all the titles makes no sense. Secondly it undermines the idea of the original film. How can something be called last and then have a continuation? Unlike the first movie, “The Last Exorcism Part II” is not a found footage film, and, as a result, it has a lot of terrible effects.
But when you hear something like “The Last Exorcism” you think about a person who was possessed by the demon for years and finally some priest manages to exorcise the demon. Or you think about the story of the exorcist who had saved dozens of possessed people but met a demon who was too strong for him.
Will you see anything like that in “The Last Exorcism Part II”? Nope! What we get a half-baked horror film, where exorcism appears only briefly. Instead of focusing on exorcism, viewers are exposed to the underdeveloped concept of a demon being “in love” with the possessed.
4. Windows (1980)
When you come across the term erotic thriller, you think about a film which most likely includes obsession, infidelity, murder, and sex. Erotic thriller with the title “Windows” may give viewers a hint that it something like Brian de Palma’s “Body Double” (1984). It could be a movie, about a voyeur, who decided to go all the way instead of just spying on the object of their obsession through the window.
So, how come that Gordon Willis’ first directional attempt had earned five Razzie nominations, was a dud with critics and at the box office, and attracted outrage from gay rights activists? Well, “Windows” is a lesbian thriller, from which your homophobic grandpa got his views on the LGBTQ+ community.
The movie follows Emily – played by Talia Shire – who is being stalked by her obsessive lesbian friend Andrea – played by Elizabeth Ashley, who is the only saving grace of the movie, as she’s legitimately terrifying in it – who’s eager to get Emily by all costs, including hiring a taxi driver to rape her.
While there is no connection between Andrea’s sexual orientation and madness in the film, she’s the only gay person in the movie, thus, intentionally or not, the movie makes a statement that all lesbians are crazy. Speaking about the title, one may wonder why the movie is titled that.
There are a few scenes where Andrea is spying on Emily through the windows, but it is rather insignificant to the plot. “Rape Tapes” would make much more sense, as Andrea was listening to Emily’s scream that taxi driver recorded while raping her.
5. Another Son of Sam (1977)
The title suggests that either it’s a documentary about another maniac who went on a killing spree after the devil allegedly told him to do so through some animal a-la David Berkowitz, or a horror flick which tells the same story. Will you find something like that in “Another Son of Sam”? Nope!
As the movie had been filmed in 1975 under the title “Hostages” but wasn’t released before 1977 after the title was changed to capitalize on the case of the real-life serial killer. So, instead of a maniac who claims that his neighbour’s dog was possessed by the devil and told him to kill, you get an extremely cheap flick, about some Harvey, who escaped from the mental institution and took three teenage students hostages.
The movie is poorly acted, poorly directed and edited in a way that you may get the feeling that movie is having a stroke every five minutes. Another thing about the movie is its soundtrack, as the movie contains the song by Johnny Charro. How Johnny Charro is, you may wonder. Well, he’s a cheap carbon copy of Tom Jones. Be warned that his song “I Never Said Goodbye” is quite a sticky tune. You will find yourself humming it after watching this flick.