I feel like todays theatrical films just don’t embrace a quotable tagline like they use to on a poster, trailer or tv spot. Sure there is the odd film here and there that had a good one but this decade has been pretty slim. The only place they are most consistent is straight to dvd/blu ray releases. Last one I dug was probably for Closer. “If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking.”
Film advertising campaigns in general have gone down the shitter. As budgets increase, studios try to mke sure they don’t risk alienating a single potential audience member by being too clever or subtle. Trailers are awful, posters are worse, taglines tend to be lousy puns…
Here’s a couple of my favorite relatively recent taglines:
“Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail.” – The Big Lebowski
“On May 6th … see Paris die!” – House of Wax remake
“Family isn’t a word. It’s a sentence.” – The Royal Tenenbaums
I always really adored the tagline from the original Carnival of Souls: “Is there death after life?”
“No one does it to you like Roman Polanski.”
You have the right to remain silent…FOREVER – Maniac Cop (1988)
I liked the one for Closer, primarily because I thought it shed insight into what the film was about. On that note, do people think that taglines can be used to help better understand what a film is about?
I liked Hellshocked’s list of recent ones. I definitely remember the House of Wax and Royal Tennenbaum ones, but love The Big Lebowski one!!
Yeah, the only taglines that stand out to me are older ones, one of my favorite being: This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition… but no jury in America would ever convict her!
From I Spit on Your Grave.
Did they use that tagline for the remake??
@Jazz: I never thought about that question, if taglines help us understand what the film is about, but from the ones I can think of…. It seems like they slightly do, if nothing else you get the tone or genre of the film in a quick blurb, but I always viewed taglines more as earworms, kind of getting that catchy line in your head so you can’t stop thinking about the film and will ultimately see it, no matter what it’s about.
Late ’70’s horror had this stuff perfected
Dawn of the Dead – When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the EarthJaws 2 – Just when you though it was safe to go back in the water Phantasm – If this one doesn’t scare you, you’re already deadAlien – In space, no one can hear you scream
A general question to all: do film trailers and commercials use taglines? I don’t watch movie commercials, so I’m not sure. I do know that I remember taglines from the past, more than taglines of recent films, and I wondering if taglines were more prominent in commercials. Also, I wonder if movie posters reached more people in the past than they do now.
I suspect that most taglines are meant to attract viewers, more than shed light on the film. I wonder if directors even care about the tagline.
Good ones. As a nine year old, the Alien definitely stuck in my brain.
I assume almost all taglines are drawn up by publicity people, no?
Alien 3 had a great tagline – The Bitch is Back.
Probably because it seems corny today, perhaps, but i love the old taglines. The Aliens and Jaws ones were always good.
Jaws 3D – The third dimension is terror! haha
Yeah, I think there’s a truism that the worse the film, the better the tagline.
Jaws 2’s tagline, I think, is better known that Jaws: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”
And Jaws the Revenge: This time it’s personal (a definite WTF tagline – it’s a fucking shark!).
favs of the last 20 years:
Hot Shots 2 – Just Deux It!
Mars Attacks – Nice planet. We’ll take it!
Clerks -Just Because They Serve you, Doesn’t mean they like you
Naked Gun 3 – From the brother of the director of Ghost
40 Year Old Virgin – The longer you wait, the harder it gets
Alien Vs Predator – Whoever wins, we lose(correct, but not in the way the makers intended!)
Army Of Darkness – Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas
Ford Fairlane – Ford Fairlane, rock ‘n roll detective. To clients he’s the greatest. To everyone else, he’s just a dick.
Bride Of Chucky – Chucky gets lucky.
i forgot how amazing she was:
Tom Cruise as a hot-shot bartender in “Cocktail”: “When He Pours, He Reigns.” Awful and brilliant.
“The Stepfather”: “The Perfect American Family….He’d Kill for It.”
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”: “For Three Men, the Civil War wasn’t Hell, it was Practice.”
Clash Of The Titans – ‘Titans Will Clash.’
Great feedback guys and a few I forgot about. Yes even the sequel Wraith of the Titans tagline is very lazy “Feel the Wraith”.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid – “It’s not a diary, it’s a movie.”
That one’s pretty lazy, too, although I guess it did give permission to the millions of little boys who think diaries are for girls permission to see the non-diary.
I love “Man is The Warmest Place to Hide” from The Thing.
“We Are Going to Eat You!” from Zombi 2 is pretty amusing.
Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke (1978)
“DON’T go straight to see this movie!”
Repo Man (1984)
“It’s 4 A.M. – do you know where your car is?”
I always dug the simplicity of the one for : Twelve Monkeys “The future is history”
I saw a tagline the other day that I was surprised the studio got away with.
For the new 21 Jump Street movie: “The only thing getting blown tonight is there cover”
My fav. tagline is from Teenage Caveman
“The Future Sucks.”
I must admit that I just saw a final poster for “21 Jump Street” at a local theatre last week that was one of the best I’ve seen in ages. Pretty edgy to be hanging at AMC
“The only thing getting blown tonight is their cover"
“Pray for Rosemary’s baby” and “In space, no one can hear you scream” both created by the ad man responsible for “Lays! Bet you can’t eat just one!”
One of the many Cannibal Holocaust taglines…
“Better to rest in peace in the warm body of a friend than in the cold ground”
LOL I’m a big fan of those ones too.
As a kid I always thought the tagline of Ghoulies was genius. “They’ll get you in the end”. Yes.. the poster has a Ghoulie popping out of the toilet.
Dracula’s soul brother! – Blacula
Can a full grown woman really love a midget? – Freaks
They will make cemetaries their cathedrals and the cities will be your tombs. – Demons (as far as promise goes, perhaps the best tagline I’ve ever heard)
It’s exactly what you think it is – Pieces (most honest tagline in the history of advertising)
There’s Only One Thing Wrong With The Davis Baby — IT’S ALIVE