DVD: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who May Have the Most Outrageous Movie Title Ever
With Shout! Factory releasing the Mystery Science Theater 3000 take on Ray Dennis Steckler's horror musical The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies on DVD this week -- coming on the heels of the widespread acclaim for Sundance midnight entry Hobo with a Shotgun -- it seemed like as good a time as any to look at some of the most unwieldy, memorable, and occasionally even poetic movie titles ever concocted. Such as:
Can Heironymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
Bob Fosse and Woody Allen got to make their own 8 1/2-style autobiographical features, so why not singer-songwriter Anthony Newley, making his directorial debut? This trippy, navel-gazing fantasia is actually better than its reputation, even with Newley's then-wife Joan Collins playing a character named, for real, "Polyester Poontang."
The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck
The subtitle of Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove ("or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb") inspired many filmmakers in the 1960s to do likewise with the names of their movies, and apparently not even Roman Polanski was immune. Arguably the first and last Polanski film that could be considered "wacky."
This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse
That's the title under which IFC screened this horror flick from 1967 recently, although IMDB also lists it under the more vivid Tonight I'll Eat Your Corpse. Director José Mojica Marins (aka "Coffin Joe") was something of a whiz with titles, having also given the world At Midnight, I'll Possess Your Soul and The Strange Hostel of Naked Pleasures.
Surf Nazis Must Die
Like Coffin Joe, the guys at Troma recognized that a snappy moniker can go a long way towards promoting a low-budget movie from a low-budget distributor. But there's also such a thing as killing the golden goose -- Surf Nazis Must Die had an undeniable frisson, but after a steady stream of Chopper Chicks in Zombietown and Maniac Nurses Find Ecstasy and A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, the thrill starts to diminish.
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag and 9 Dead Gay Guys
When is a title also a pitch and also the only interesting thing about a movie? Sadly, that's the case with both of these numerically-named films -- although they would come in handy if anyone wants to compose a cinematic version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" or "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
Share your own favorite lunatic movie titles in the comments -- or This Night, I Will Possess Your Corpse!