TIME movies

The 13 Worst Sci-fi and Horror Movie Titles

No surprise: the actual movies are pretty bad, too

Sci-fi and horror movies pose a philosophically problematic question: can you judge a terrible movie by it’s title?

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)


As Martian parents begin to feel that TV might not be good
for their children, they consult a wizened sage (with a Yiddish name)
who underscores the importance of providing entertainment for their kids.
His solution: kidnapping Santa. [ SPOILER: Santa escapes.]


The Astro-Zombies (1968)


The title is a bit misleading, as the “zombies” are, in fact,
not extraterrestrials, but rather, Frankenstein-like monsters
created by (you guessed it) a mad scientist who collects organs from murder
victims. The creatures escape—and the CIA becomes involved.


The Incredibly Strange Creatures
Who Stopped Living and Became
Mixed-Up Zombies!!?


This monster-horror-musical — arguably the best ever —
about a woman who can turn men into zombies through
hypnosis puts the bang in interrobang.


The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1959)


A scientist’s fiancée is decapitated in a car crash,
he keeps her head on ice. But there’s a hiccup: his wife’s amazing
body didn’t make it, so he needs to find her a new one.
Yearning instead for death, (and, understandably,
not terribly thrilled by the idea of having to shop for a new wardrobe)
she has a laboratory monster kill her husband.


Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)


Ignored by world leaders, an alien commander petulantly
enacts “Plan 9,” which re-animates Earth’s dead and turns them
into zombies. Director Ed Wood added footage from an
unreleased vampire movie to this astonishingly awful
film (widely considered among the all-time worst).


Orgy of the Dead (1965)


A young girl (played by a softcore porn actress) and a
young man are tied down and forced to watch a strange
ceremony involving dead spirits. Watch for some vampire character
overlap with Plan 9 from Outer Space.


Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)


Nazi officers preserve the heart of Frankenstein, who was
immortal because of his protein consumption. Years later, in Japan,
a feral child eats protein, becomes Frankenstein, and goes on a rampage.


Robot Monster (1953)


When a production company is divided on which is scarier,
robots, or monsters, you get Robot Monster —
a gorilla (monster) with a diver’s helmet (robot).


Sssssss (1973)


There may have been some debate about how many S’s
to include in the original poster (and to clarify,
Sssssss is a snake sound—it was released as Ssssnake
for the less perspicacious UK audience).
A deluded pothead turns a man into a snake.


Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)


A demon falls in love, and builds a bed to seduce his beloved.
The bed becomes possessed, and unsuspecting travelers,
who see an elegant and comfortable bed, face their death as they
are sucked into the furniture’s evil digestive tract.
Newly immortalized in a killer (and NSFW) bit by comedian Patton Oswalt.


I Dismember Mama (1974)


This film, whose title is a matricidic pun on the title of
a play I Remember Mama, features Albert, the man
who tried to kill his mother once, failed, and escaped from an
asylum for a second go. Ultimately, his heart is melted by
the kindness of a young girl.


Attack of the Puppet People (1958)


Mr. Franz, the owner of Dolls Inc. has a rather severe case
of jealous separation anxiety. So severe, in fact,
that anyone who tries to abandon him is subjected to a
special machine that can shrink people and turn them into dolls.
That way, they can never leave.


House II: The Second Story (1987)


When House didn’t quite work out, the writer decided to scrap
the original characters, and plotline, and turn what was
originally a horror series into a comedy. The main characters
dig up the remains of a long-dead relative, who, surprisingly,
actually turns out to be a really nice guy.

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