Yet, there is a sometimes even better way of movie titling. It’s the German way of the marketing gurus to add additional titles nobody ever needs. Admitted, the additional titles most often are the results of the worst efforts to not only please the movie fan but also the average guy out there at the same time.
Despite those good intentions my beloved German movie titlers still have a unique talent to wreck any title given to them, so the additional titles don’t have to fear any comparison with the worst examples of their big brothers.
Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a lot of agony and fun with the following list of ten stupid additional movie titles you only find in Germany including an appropriate translation.
German: Signs – Zeichen
Translation: Signs – Signs
Comment: You know, in the case someone doesn’t know the word. And don’t start a discussion about simply translating the normal movie title only. It’s way too obvious…
Orginal: Total Recall
German: Total Recall – Totale Erinnerung
Translation: Total Recall – Total Recollection / Total Memory
Comment: You know, somehow it fits. But at the same time it’s way too obvious, non-fitting and the more to take it seriously or even think about.
Orginal: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
German: Pirates of the Caribbean – Fluch der Karibik 2
Translation: Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Caribbean 2
Comment: What you see above is the result of pure “destiny” that came some years later to kick some asses. You know, for the first movie of this franchise, the title gurus in Germany decided to give it the title “Fluch der Karibik” (The Curse of the Caribbean) while completely ditching the additional title “The Curse of the Black Pearl”. Some years later, when the sequel was released, the title makers were overstrained in any way possible and the stuff above is the crappy way out of this title mess.
German: Saved! – Die Highschool-Missionarinnen
Translation: Saved! – The Highschool Missionaries
Comment: I have to admit I didn’t see this movie, but quite frankly I’ll never want to. Not because the movie might be bad (which it quite surely is). It’s to not give money to the guys who did this. Enough said, eh, written…By the way: Macaulay Culkin?
German: Twilight – Biss zum Morgengrauen
Translation: Twilight – Bite ’til dawn
Comment: Okay, this one is hard to translate because the German word “bis” means “until”, while “biss” (with two “s”) means “bite”, so they added a seemingly funny wordplay and patted themselves on the back for this spark of genius. Well, they thought it was one. The addition in any case gives the average moviegoer the impression of a cheap slasher movie. Terrible.
German: Tremors – Im Land der Raketenwürmer
Translation: Tremors – In the land of Rocket Worms
Comment: Admitted, those beasts are fast in that movie. But as far as I know they don’t use rockets and don’t really look like rockets. Or live in rockets. Or think they are rockets. Or…
Original: Hot Fuzz
German: Hot Fuzz – Zwei abgewichste Profis
Translation: Hot Fuzz – Two fucked up pros
Comment: This title combination is a perfect example for the plague that haunts any movie lover in Germany: the marketing “gurus” believe they need to spice up the title for the idiot living in his cellar and hence create stupidity beyond believe. I love the movie, especially the fucked up last third. But this additional title is a mess.
Orginal: Wild Hogs
German: Born to be Wild – Saumäßig unterwegs
Translation: Born to be Wild – Beastly on the road
Comment: I know, I know. The German title doesn’t even come close to its English counterpart. Yet the additional title is so %&%$ it hurts (and hard to translate). Especially considering they had the chance to translate the original title but went for different English title with this addition. Oh, and here’s a small anecdote: I often go to sneak previews in my cinema of choice. There they not only sneak movies but also have a moderator who talks about the week before, gives some tips for next week and tosses presents into the audience. So, when this movie was about to be sneaked, the moderator gave his tips, and the internet forum started guessing. One week later we had a massive list of possible movies. One entry was “Wild Hogs”, another entry was “Born to be wild” and another one was “Saumaessig unterwegs”. We all in the audience thought those were three different movies – until the moderator cleared things up. That’s how you mess up one movie title.
Orginal: Guess Who
German: Guess Who – Meine Tochter kriegst du nicht!
Translation: Guess Who – You won’t get my daughter!
Comment: The movie was quite funny as far as I remember. One thing I didn’t remember was the title. Admitted, the original title is not that engaging either, but a nice example of wording minimalism. The German additional title on the other hand reeks of incompetence.
German: Final Call – Wenn er auflegt muss sie sterben
Translation: Final Call – When he hangs up she has to die
Comment: They seriously cannot stop this insanity! This example is another entry in this world of we-don’t-translate-the-english-title-but-use-a-different-one-with-a-stupid-addition. Funnily enough, the new English title “Final Call” might sound a little bit too sensational, but at least it is indefinitely better than the additional title. One of the big winners in the loser category.
Well, that the list of the best ten entries I have found to date. If nothing else there is one thing I learned from the searching: I so hope the German marketing and movie title gurus will one day wake up from their slumber of stupidity and either give us original titles only or start to make good additional movie titles.
Whatever they do, they can only do better…
So, which additional title is the most stupid to you? Did you perhaps encounter an even stupider one before? Feel free to add your comment!