In the words of Shakespeare "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well if this is the case then why do some films have so many different names?
Some films sometimes seem to have an identity crisis, you look at the names which they were released under in different countries and they are totally different in fact some films sometimes even become sequels to films they have absolutely nothing to do with through the process of renaming. Sometimes there are also delicious rumours about alternate movie titles in different countries, ones that we would have believed before the internet was so prevalent but that now within fifteen seconds of googling we can unfortunately prove not to be true. The best I ever heard was a supposed oriental title for Pretty Woman which happened to be ‘’how to save money and marry a prostitute’’.
There are a few real gems out there though that happen to be true and not just rumours. Did you know what Die hard with a vengeance was known as in Denmark? Believe it or not it was called Die Hard: Mega Hard, I can’t help but chuckle hearing this it sounds like it’s the name of a Die Hard porno spoof.
It is important that a name fits the movie that it is attached to. For example if I was to show you a crappy low budget horror film with an original name then you would take it on face value it might still be crap but you wouldn’t be mad that mad about it, now if I was to make the same film and call it Evil Dead 4 then you would probably be screaming pissed if you got tricked and watched it expecting something on the lines of the earlier films carrying that title.
Sometimes though with all of the millions of films out there it’s kind of surprising that names don’t get repeated more often. As a child I was deeply in love with a film called Project X a 1987 film about a young Air Forces pilot who is due to his conduct reassigned to look after a bunch of chimps who are being used for a military experiment, then in 2012 a film came out called Project X about as far as I know an out of control house party (having not seen the film nor having any desire to I could be way off the mark here).
It would be easy to sit here and moan and go oh for goodness sake surly you can check what names have and haven’t been used for films but stop and think not only how many films have been made all over the world but also remember that sometimes when a film is shown in a new market it gets a new name with some having a whole list of Also known as references on websites such as IMDB.
I have a little first-hand experience in making a bit of a naming blunder as a youngster I made my own short film with friends, it was a gangster film and we decided that we would name it after an Iron Maiden song which we thought fitted the general theme, so we named it The Evil that Men Do. We didn’t realise at the time that a film starring Charles Bronson had come out in 1984 when we were all very little with this exact same title. We did copy this short to video and show it to friends and family but in the end it got forgotten about and unfortunately lost but it does show that you can come up with a name without realising its already been used. So while I will always moan when people try to use a false title to trick people I think you have to accept the same name will end up being used now and again.