Various lists indicate that – even leaving remakes, re-titlings, translations and straight-out rip-offs out of the equation – there have been something like 150 recorded instances of two films carrying the same title.
So that’s not so rare. What is rare, however, is both films in any given pairing achieving the same measure of ongoing success. Almost always, in the end one of the two will position itself in the public consciousness as “the” film of that name. Mention Independence Day to someone, for example, and “small-town drama” probably isn’t the first thing that will spring to mind.
Here at the B-Masters, however, “obvious” is a dirty word. So join us as we take a look at some films that live in the shadow of their title-twins—and which tend to cause confusion, cross-purpose conversation, and finally a cry of—
|1000 Misspent Hours and Counting||xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||Crash! (1976)||It takes a certain kind of chutzpah to pad out a film so shamelessly, and at the same time with such disregard for narrative coherence. I may say that I was utterly confused when the tow-truck turned up with the convertible—last seen causing the blowing up of a garage before speeding off. When it dawned on me that about 50% of the film I’d been watching hadn’t actually happened yet—that it is only now that the convertible begins its destructive journey towards San Cecilia, as marked by the constant mile-signs—my indignation knew no bounds.|
|And You Call Yourself A Scientist!||Project X (1968)||Yet serious as the film’s core certainly is, it is almost possible to completely lose sight of the fact thanks to the level of visual distraction provided by the production’s costuming, art direction and special effects. It is impossible not to see the fingerprints of Star Trek all over Project X, from its parti-coloured but completely impractical design to the world’s most uncomfortable leisure-wear to the endless techno-babble via which the story’s science is conveyed to the viewer. It’s difficult to focus on a terrifying vision of the future when this requires dragging your attention away from the see-through plastic helmets favoured by the military. And as with the original Trek, whether or not you enjoy Project X may depend upon your capacity to see past the surface tackiness to the ideas working beyond.|
|Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension|
|Mezzanotte||The Invisible Man (1954)|
|The Unknown Movies||Screamers (1979 / 1981)||It’s always amusing to see Cameron Mitchell make a fool out of himself as he often did in low budget movies of this period. Naturally, he does get slaughtered, and that just adds to the amusement of his presence. Speaking of slaughter, this opening does boast some pretty good gruesome material, such as rotting corpses and bloody killings (including a head being ripped off.) All of this stuff is indeed fun to watch. But at the same time, all this entertaining material does not hide the fact that this twelve minute new opening has absolutely no bearing on what is to follow. As you watch the rest of the movie, likely you will eventually realize that this opening was essentially just gratuitous padding.|
|The Unknown Movies||Slither (1973)||In the end, I learned one other thing about treasure hunting – stick to watching movies about it instead of doing it for yourself. Sometimes you can find real gems – “real gems” of course meaning well done enough cinematic efforts. That’s what I found with Slither…|