Monday, January 2, 2012

Oh, the Horror!

Today's post has my spider senses tingling. I have never seen the 2002 horror movie Eight Legged Freaks, but if the title is any indication, the David Arquette film has something to do with eight freaks who have legs. That's how it reads.

Where the heck is the hyphen? The movie is about mutant spiders, obviously, so the title should be Eight-Legged Freaks, which would refer to freaks who have eight legs. The makers of Eight Legged Freaks may want to consider changing that tagline from "let the squashing begin" to "let the hyphenating begin."

Eight Legged Freaks bugs me (pun intended), but it isn't alone. I'm pointing my movie-critic finger at you, The 40 Year-Old Virgin. You went 1 for 2 in hyphen usage. Where's the one between 40 and year? Without it, your movie is about 40 virgins who are a year old!

It takes a team — a big team — of talented individuals to make a movie, so it always surprises me when something as straightforward as a punctuation error goes unnoticed. All it takes is one person to say, "Um, the title of our movie really needs a hyphen." I'd be happy to move to Hollywood and be that person.

As the end credits roll during today's post, I'll leave you with a few honorable mentions in the "titular trouble" category. Here goes...

  • Two Weeks Notice (What I notice is that the apostrophe is absent.)
  • Law Abiding Citizen (Yet another case of the missing hyphen.)
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Unless Who is the name of a person, this title desperately needs a question mark.)


  1. While doing some research on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" today, I came across a blurb about the flick in "The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations" which stated, "No, there is no question mark, as it's considered bad luck in a film title." I had never heard that bit of trivia before and found it interesting. Thought you might, too. :) Producers of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" obviously did not heed that bad luck warning and included a question mark in their title. The flick went on to win five Academy Awards, so it seems to be a silly superstition. ;)

    1. I actually had heard about that "bad luck" notion, but thanks for sharing. I don't remember where I read about it, though I recall "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" being used as an example, along with the Reese Witherspoon movie "How Do You Know." Silly superstition is right. To be a bit more blunt, I find it ridiculous. If the title of your film is a question, I suggest — gasp! — including a question mark. My new goal in life is to move to Hollywood and write a winning screenplay for a movie called "Why Does This Title Have No Question Mark." That title, without the proper punctuation — oh, the irony! ;)

    2. Oh, "How Do You Know"! One of the WORST movies I have ever seen in my life! In fact, it was so bad I did not even finish it. Even a question mark could not have saved that one! ;)