Friday, September 18, 2009

Parishioner Opinion Friday: Bad Comparisons

I'm sure it's happened to all of us before--looking for a movie to rent or buy, a couple of hours blessed escape from the otherwise joyless and soul-crushing experience our lives have become, we find ourselves dazzled by marketing hyperbole and taken in by false comparisons. A movie that critics and ad-men proclaim to be "A demonic holocaust in the tradition of Clive Barker's Hellraiser!" turns out to be a weekend video project about a guy wearing a dollar-store pair of devil horns. A flick that advertises itself as "More chilling than Halloween! More shocking than Last House on the Left!" reveals itself to be another glossy, soulless studio effort about pretty vapid teenagers getting bloodlessly killed by a thoroughly boring killer. A movie claiming to have "More bite than JAWS!" turns out to be the entirety of SyFy's Shark Week output. We find ourselves wiser, and sadder, and poorer by $20.

Sometimes the movie isn't really all that bad, but is ill-served by comparisons to which it can't hope to live up. Or worse, comparisons that are so far off base as to be nonsense. You know I love Naschy, but when the VHS of The Hanging Woman (due out on DVD soon from Troma! For like $10! Buy it!) touted it as "in the tradition of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"--well, it was clear that something was amiss. Who writes this stuff?

So today I turn it over to you, parishioners: what are some examples from your experience of misleading, nonsensical, or plainly libelous comparisons DVD and video companies have used to (successfully) sell you on their product? What are some of the best movies you've found that the ad-men totally misread? The Duke and I want to know. (Best answer gets a free ride on the Duke's Lap Luge!)

5 comments:

Knarf Black XIV said...

Everyone is familiar with the old "From the makers of XXXX" taglines, but the best ones are "From the studio that brought you XXXX"

Basically the only people involved with that good movie and this bad one were the guys signing the checks.

The Vicar of VHS said...

That is a good example. Might as well say "From the composer who scored 'Fright Night!' or 'From the Gaffers of 'Blues Brothers'!" ;)

Samuel Wilson said...

I'm not sure if this really qualifies, but TCM ran the trailer for On the Waterfront last night, and the ballyhoo described the film as "Going My Way, only with brass knuckles." This struck me as wrong somehow.

The M'hael said...

"From the Gaffers of Blues Brothers" LOL!!

This topic is a sad reminder that Hollywood usually makes movies to make money, and for no other reason.
I mean look at what they do when someone get's massively famous; Jim Carrey has a bit part a crap movie called "Introducing Janet" at the start of his career, he gets huge, and they slap him on the DVD cover and rename it "Rubberface."

Sad indeed.

The Costuminatrix said...

My favorites are the Netflix descriptions - most of which are completely wrong. I remember the description for Wolf Creek made it sound like a Sci-Fi movie about aliens and strange lights, instead of a bleak survival/slasher flick. I have gotten into the habit of reading the reviews in hopes that someone smart can give me a better version of what exactly I am going to see.

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