It might surprise some folks to learn that not every story gets to keep its original title when it gets turned into a script since what starts out as a good idea could eventually become less of a good idea until it becomes one of the worst ideas for a title. The upside is that a script will go through a few different drafts and there will be more than one set of eyes taking a look at what’s good, what could be better, and what might never make it to the movie in the first place. A title says a lot about a movie sometimes and can help it to sink or swim since there are a few things to each and every movie that will draw the attention of the audience, and while sometimes simple and to the point is the key, there are other times when being too simple and not clear enough in ones meaning can lead to a great deal of confusion. Titles will and do change every so often in order to draw in the audience and get them to think that they’re about to watch an epic or at the very least an entertaining movie that might be worth talking about later.
Here are five horror movies whose original titles were just awful.
5. The Book of the Dead – Evil Dead
Okay, so this one wasn’t that bad. It did have the whole ‘dead’ angle going for it, but the fact is that by adding in the ‘evil’ portion it became a temptation that a lot of people simply couldn’t resist. And while the Necronomicon was a big part of the movie, the attention shifted pretty quickly to the human actors that were doing their best to fight against the ancient evil that came from the woods. By the second movie, the book of the dead was a plot device and not the main part of the story, but Ash had definitely taken over and the Evil Dead title was even more useful than it had been the first time around.
4. A Long Night at Camp Blood – Friday the 13th
Short and simple and to the point definitely made a difference with this franchise even though the updated title kind of became irrelevant since the murders that continued to take place throughout the movies happened on multiple days and the 13th was kind of forgotten about. But the title stuck anyway and people have known the name of Voorhees since the first movie now, even if they forgot that Jason’s mother was the first murderer. This franchise is one of those that a person can only hope and pray is reaching its end if it hasn’t already, but let’s not hold our breath.
3. The Babysitter Murders – Halloween
Somehow the first title makes the movie sound like it would be a cheesy slasher flick showing young women dressed in very little and being chased around by a homicidal killer. Of course, Halloween isn’t too far off the mark at times but it did have more to it than the schlock that has been seen in many other slasher movies. There was something to Michael’s madness after all, even if people couldn’t really figure out what it was for the longest time. Sometimes a killer doesn’t really need a lot of motivation since the killing tends to be the main point, while the reason behind it, well, that can be made up pretty quickly.
2. Head Cheese – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
To be fair, the title of Head Cheese isn’t too far off the mark since the cannibals did eat pretty much everything, and head cheese is technically the meat from a head, gross as that is to think about at the moment. But something about Texas Chainsaw Massacre just rolls off the tongue with a cadence that can be respected, and rightfully feared since the whole idea behind eating people when food gets scarce or people go nuts, or both, is something straight out of a deranged mind. Maybe that’s why some of us like the story so much. But yeah, Head Cheese might have implied a comedy instead.
1. Star Beast – Alien
Seriously, thinking of the title ‘Star Beast’ brings to mind something majestic, mighty, and not prone to planting eggs in a person’s chest or shoving an inner mouth through their head. The xenomorph didn’t exactly come from the stars after all, and in fact, while the origin has kind of been shown, it’s still a big question how they’ve evolved, even if they do take on the characteristics of their host. When all is said and done though, calling a xenomorph a ‘Star Beast’ would be kind of like calling Freddy Krueger a ‘Dream Entity’, since both are vague descriptions that could be used by a lot of similar creatures.
If that’s not funny enough, Scream was going to be called Scary Movie. How’s that for ironic?