13 Worst Sci-fi and Horror Movie Titles

No surprise: the actual movies are pretty bad, too

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Sci-fi and horror movies pose a philosophically problematic question: can you judge a terrible movie by it’s title?  The recent news of a (rather inevitable) sequel to Sharknado inspired us to go back and scrape the bottom of the barrel of films that leave no room for mystery.

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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

santa_claus_conquers_martians_poster_01

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.]

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The Astro-Zombies (1968)

ASTRO ZOMBIES-POSTER

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.

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The Incredibly Strange Creatures
Who Stopped Living and Became
Mixed-Up Zombies!!?  
(1964)

incredibly_strange_creatures

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

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The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1959)

brain_that_wouldnt_die_poster_01

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.

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Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

plan-9-from-outer-space-ed-wood-poster

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).

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Orgy of the Dead (1965)

orgy-of-the-dead-movie-poster

 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.

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Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)

frankenstein_conquers_the_world_poster_02

 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.

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Robot Monster (1953)

ROBOT-MONSTER

 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).

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Sssssss (1973)

sssssss_poster_01

 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.

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Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)

Death-Bed-The-Bed-That-Eats-poster

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.

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I Dismember Mama (1974)

i-dismember-mama-1974-everett

 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.

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Attack of the Puppet People (1958)

attack-of-the-puppet-people-movie-poster-1958-1020143951

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.

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House II: The Second Story (1987)

house_2_poster_01

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.

19 comments
ScottNeese
ScottNeese

OK, we're talking worst movie titles, not movie quality.

So how does "House II: The Second Story" even remotely qualify as a bad movie title. Matter of fact, it's marginally more clever than the typical movie title. "The Second Story" has a nice double meaning, second floor and second tale. That's not bad at all.

Guessing author had a deadline to meet...

AndyRauchwarter
AndyRauchwarter

Leprachaun "In da hood" is far worse than any of these titles.

HunterSBatman
HunterSBatman

The author clearly needs to watch more MST3K. 

imaginativescreenname
imaginativescreenname

hey now, some of these really don't qualify as "WORST." many of them are actually watchable, and actually quite entertaining.  

"Orgy Of The Dead" boasts a great scene with gold coins being dumped on a woman while a drooling man rants "MORE GOLD!!!" before having her dipped in a cauldron filled with molten gold.


Death Bed is artsy, surreal and the obvious inspiration for a particular scene in the original "nightmare on Elm Street."


House II is imho  far superior to the original, and is one of the few movies I loved in childhood that holds up today. Watching the 200 year old man feeding a baby bottle to  a caterpillar\puppy creature is an unforgettable, trippy cinematic moment.

Now, if you're going to tout words like "WORST horror and sci-fi," it would help to actually do some research and watch more than 10 movies before writing. Try "Oasis Of The Dead," "The Oracle," "Milpetas Monster," "Terror At Tenkiller," "The Last Slumber Party," and "Moon In Scorpio, " for starters. THESE are movies that are truly among the WORST in cinematic history and are quite tough to spot redeeming features in.

cowboyesfan
cowboyesfan

I would add in "Nightfall", the movie based on Asimov's short story by the same name and "Millenium" starring Cheryl Ladd, Kris Kristoferson, and Roy Schrader as big budget Hollywood movies gone bad.

jrem
jrem

Added to that list could be "Forbidden Planet," a terrible title to what could be one of the greatest sci-fi films ever, competing with Star Wars, Star Trek and Spielberg creations. A plot line from Shakespeare's The Tempest, it is highly intellectual, well acted, extremely well written, with great set of special effects and comedic relief. Still, a horrible title.

The other is The Monster of Piedras Blancas, one of my favorite worst movies of all time, including a scene where the monster is carrying the unconscious heroine to the water's edge to bring her to his lair (she doesn't drown in the process?) but is stopped when the hero, high atop a lighthouse at least 100 yards away witnesses this, takes the lighthouse lantern which must weight 200 pounds, and throws it in the direction of the monster. The film cuts to the monster being hit in the back with the lantern, and angrily dropping the girl to do battle (bad idea, by the way). That had to be the greatest, furthest and most accurate toss of a 200 pound object in the highest of tossing. Hilarious fun, but a bad film.

DanGivens
DanGivens

Certainly Episode 1 of the Star Wars series belongs on this list. What a piece of $#@*!

roknsteve
roknsteve

They forgot "Eegah!" with Arch Hall Jr. whose dad was a millionaire and financed all his movies.

bill1
bill1

I think <i>Attack of the Killer Tomatoes</i> was the worst!

shaperdennis
shaperdennis

Worst titles, not movies...but hey, I think they probably qualify as both in many cases.

cowboyesfan
cowboyesfan

Forbidden World is a sci-fi classic.  The introduction of Robbie the Robot makes it a genuine orginal.

timeserf
timeserf

@DanGivens Maybe a future release will ensure that honor by renaming it "Tyler  Perry's Star Wars Episode  One, Medeaa's Phantom Menace."

shaperdennis
shaperdennis

@cowboyesfan It's Forbidden Planet, and he said it's terrific...again this is a bad titles article.