The tagline for the new film “My Bloody Valentine 3-D” is “NOTHING SAYS ‘DATE MOVIE’ LIKE A 3-D RIDE TO HELL!” and while I’m fairly certain that’s not actually true, I admire the gumption it takes to put something that intentionally silly on a poster. “MBV3-D”‘s marketing — which includes a movie trailer that explains how 3-D works, in much the way an airplane safety video shows how to operate a seatbelt — recalls the great bombastic advertisements of exploitation cinema’s yesteryear, when outlandish hucksterisms like “NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE!” (from 1953’s “It Came From Outer Space) or “3-D THRILL! Fuel For the Human Bonfire!” (From 1954’s “The Mad Magician”) were the accepted mode of junk movie pitch.
We’ve gotten away from that grand, goofy tradition, but “MBV3-D” has me all nostalgic for the crazy taglines from exploitation films past. Here are the seven funniest I could find conclusive evidence for (if you have a photograph of an “Orgy of the Dead” ad with the tagline “Are you heterosexual…?”, please let us know). And if this whets your appetite for more, I recommend browsing the remarkably comprehensive tagline database at FilmScape for further hilarity.
Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
Most movies are sold on the audience’s desire to see their stars, not on the audience’s desire to see their stars brutally murdered, but that was the case with Warner Brothers’ 2005 remake of “House of the Dead” co-starring one Paris Hilton. This impressively blunt slogan was featured on totally hot promo t-shirts and posters for the film. Ms. Hilton’s reaction was understandably mixed. “At first I was a bit weirded out,” she told People, “but I do have the best death scene in the movie.”
Deep down, the copywriter knew, right? I mean he had to; if you were really trying to sell Thomas Ian Griffith (a.k.a. the evil millionaire karate master who gets outfoxed by Ralph Macchio in “The Karate Kid Part III”) as the next action hero, you’d compare him to guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme or Bruce Lee. He must have seen the lack of charisma and bad hair and just decided for once in his deceitful life to be honest with potential viewers.
Actually, this cheapie American/Korean co-production was designed to be confused with the “King Kong” remake released that same year. As the teaser poster attests, the original title was, in fact, “The New King Kong.” Well, the guys who were making the real new “King Kong” didn’t appreciate that, and they sued. As a result, the producers of the renamed “A*P*E” were contractually obligated to put the phrase “Not to be confused with KING KONG” on all of their advertising. I think the producers of “M*A*S*H” should have sued them next.