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12 Movie Titles That Blatantly Lied To You

 

You should be able to trust a movie title: they’re a simple advertising tool designed to show prospective fans what they’re getting in for at the most basic level. That’s why they’re generally the first thing studios announce. Unfortunately, they’re also subject to the whims of meddlesome liars who believe that telling the truth should come secondary to entertainment.

In other words, they’re sometimes full of big old lies.

It’s cheating somewhat to have metaphorical titles in here or to be too pedantic: for instance, nobody in Sideways goes Sideways, there is not a dinosaur in Tyrannosaur, The Never-Ending Story does, in fact, end, and High School Musical 2 takes place in the summer holidays.

But there are other titles that just straight up told a pack of lies…

12. John Dies At The End

Magnet Releasing

What It Suggests

That John dies at the end.

The Truth

He doesn’t. John does die, but thanks to the non-linear set up of the film, he actually dies in the middle while he’s being questioned by Detective Lawrence Appleton about the grisly drug party. It definitely doesn’t happen at the end.

11. Clash Of The Titans

Warner Bros.

What Is Suggests

That there will be a major dust up between Titans, because that phrase sets some pretty heft expectations. You hear that and you expect two immovable forces locked in

The Truth

There aren’t even any Titans in this movie. They’re alluded to right at the start as having been defeated by the new Gods, led by Zeus, but they don’t return and clash with one another.

It would have been more accurately called the Replacements Of The Titans. Or Remember The Titans, which was a much different, much better movie altogether, in fact.

10. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

New Line Cinema

What It Suggests

That Freddy Krueger is dead and that this time it’s forever and there won’t be any more stories in which he terrorises victims from their nightmares.

The Truth

So, you can’t really argue with the first part of title, because Krueger absolutely IS dead. He’s been dead for ages, but it’s the inference that he’s really dead dead and won’t be coming back that’s the problem. Sure, they didn’t pull any post-credits boo-hockey by bringing him back immediately, but this was NOT the Final Nightmare.

The reality is that there have been three more Nightmare On Elm Street movies since this sixth chapter was released. And there will be more.

9. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

Disney

What It Suggests

That the film will centre on a curse attached to The Black Pearl, the titular ship that Captain Jack Sparrow used to be the captain of and which currently sits under the command of Barbosa.

The Truth

There is a curse in The Curse Of The Black Pearl, but it is not the Black Pearl that is cursed. The curse is actually on the crew, as a result of them stealing cursed treasure. If they were to leave the ship, the ship would not be cursed – it would just be a ship.

Also, very few of those pirates are from the Caribbean.

8. Three Kings

Warner Bros.

What It Suggests

Well, this one is clearly a riff on the Three Kings legend from the Bible, but it would have been pretty safe to assume that it was going to involve three central characters, with some sort of link to precious treasures or gifts.

The Truth

While the inference of precious things was spot on – since this is a movie about treasure, after all – the big problem with this title is that it ignores the fact that there are four main characters. Sure, that might have compromised the biblical element, but that wasn’t even important in the first place.

Plus, it might have been nice for Spike Jonze to have been acknowledged at all in the marketing. As it was, he was clearly deemed not famous enough and ended up missing from both the title and the cover and poster art. Bit harsh, particularly since he ends up being killed off anyway.

7. Across The Pacific

Warner Bros.

What It Suggests

That something happens involving something crossing the Pacific, in the broadest sense. Given that it was marketed as a war movie, you’d think that it might have something to do with a Pacific battle.

The Truth

Nothing happens involving the Pacific. It’s never even glimpsed in the film and nobody crosses it.

In this case, the title was never intended to be a lie: the film WAS initially Pacific-focused as it was supposed to involve a Japanese plot to bomb Pearl Harbour. Unfortunately, life imitated planned art and when the real bombing of Pearl Harbour happened, Warner Bros changed the film, rewriting it to be about an attack on Panama, which is in the Caribbean, not the Pacific.

For some reason, the title simply wasn’t changed.

6. The Lone Ranger

Disney

What It Suggests

That the titular hero operates alone. Ranges alone too, more specifically.

The Truth

He does nothing of the sort. He spends pretty much all of his time with a side-kick – Tonto the Comanche – and is hardly alone at all. Even when he dies at the start, he does so in the company of a gang of riders. Strictly speaking, he’s also not a ranger – he’s a lawyer who is deputised and then becomes a spirit walker.

So really, this film should have been called The Companioned Spirit Walker, which is much less catchy. But then Disney didn’t know how to market it anyway, so who even cares?

The name is actually the subject of a joke in Brendan Frasier’s rock movie Airheads, in which his band (with three members) is called The Lone Rangers and someone points out the name should be The Three Rangers.

5. Abbott And Costello Meet The Killer, Boris Karloff

Universal

What It Suggests

That comedy duo Abbott and Costello meet Boris Karloff, who is a killer.

The Truth

Well, it’s half right, because the pair do meet Boris Karloff, but the other key part of the title is wrong.

The plot here involves a mysterious killer in a hotel, who the pair believe could well be the evil Swami as played by Boris Karloff. He’s definitely evil, since he and the other accused hotel guests attempt to frame Costello’s Freddie for the murders (he actually tried to hyptonise him into killing himself), but their plan fails.

It actually turns out that Karloff’s character isn’t the killer at all, and that it was the hotel manager, played by Alan Mowbray, which would have been a far more difficult movie to market, presumably.

Incidentally, they lied again in the title of Abbott and Costello Go to Mars in which Abbott and Costello go to Venus and not Mars as intended.

4. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Artisan Entertainment

What It Suggests

When you stick any title prefix or suffix on a sequel, you’re basically supposed to be setting out the key thrust of it. The Lost World: Jurassic Park, for instance was about the “lost world” of Isla Sorna and the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies all set out their stories after the colon.

So, this Blair Witch sequel seemed to be suggesting that the story would centre on a mythical Book Of Shadows.

The Truth

In the sequel, there is precisely zero mention of any “Book of Shadows”. Their is Wicca involved, but it seems that the film was basically trying to capitalise on the success of Charmed by borrowing a key element and then never referring to it again.

Sure, you could claim that the book the “heroes” are researching could have been called that, but if that was the case, they should probably have at least bloody mentioned it.

3. The Karate Kid

Sony

What It Suggests

That in this remake of the beloved 1980s classic, there is a kid and he is taught karate, just as he was in the original by the charming, enigmatic Mr Miyagi.

The Truth

It’s perhaps a harmless lie, but there is no karate in The Karate Kid. There’s a kid and a Mr Miyagi, though he’s called Mr Han here (perhaps to draw a distinction between Jackie Chan’s new version).

The film instead focuses on Jaden Smith’s kid learning Kung Fu, which is definitely not Karate and comes from an entirely different country. For a while, the idea of changing the title was apparently entertained by Sony, but producer Jerry Weintraub rejected the idea.

It was known as The Kung Fu Dream in China and Best Kid in Japan and South Korea, which is also a lie, to be honest.

2. Assault On Precinct 13 (1976)

The CKK Corporation

What It Suggests

That the film would be film would be following an assault on the 13th precinct.

The Truth

The assult of the title does happen – and it’s great – but it doesn’t happen on Precinct 13 at all. The actual location of the movie’s central action is Precinct 9, Division 13, which would have made for a far more unwieldy title.

Apparently, the film’s distributor thought that using the number 13 was too cool an opportunity to pass up, even if it made no sense, and they chose the more ominous title believing it sounded better. To be fair, they weren’t entirely wrong.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

TriStar

What It Suggests

That the second Terminator movie would be focused on Judgment Day – the day the machines rose and took over and everything went to Terminator-shaped hell.

The Truth

Actually, Judgment Day wouldn’t have happened in this film even if the now-morally realigned Terminator and the Connor family hadn’t managed to change the course of history (temporarily). The film is in fact set two years before Judgment Day was even supposed to happen and it ends up being reverted anyway.

The third Terminator film, called Rise of The Machines, should have been called Judgment Day, since the event actually does happen in that movie. But then it would have been one of those titles that gives away the plot and it would have ended up on another one of our lists.

 

 

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