First, a big thanks to everyone who voted in yesterday’s opening round of Paste’s first ever Bracket of the Week. It was a solid beginning, and we’ve now winnowed the bracket down to eight truly terrible movie titles. Once again, you’ll be asked to vote to narrow it down further to a final four, but first, let’s check out yesterday’s results:
(1) Rapture Palooza def. (16) Sunlight Jr., 80% – 20%
In the history of Bracket of the Week, a 16-seed has never beaten a 1-seed, and I say that fact is relevant even if this happens to be the first Bracket of the Week. Rapture Palooza was always going to be tough to beat, and even though Sunlight Jr. is one of those sneaky-bad titles that can catch you by surprise, it never had enough firepower to win this very difficult match-up.
(8) Big Ass Spider def. (9) Grace Unplugged, 61% – 39%
Grace Unplugged is the kind of bad title that you’d see in a freshman fiction writing seminar, and while that makes it obnoxious to a certain group of people, Big Ass Spider has a huge mass appeal that reaches into every segment of our culture. In a lot of ways, it’s surprising that Big Ass Spider never reached Snakes on a Plane levels of notoriety, but maybe this bracket is the start of a Big Ass Spider renaissance. It will have its hands full with Rapture Palooza in the next round, but if it can take down the top seed, we could be talking about a title run.
(13) Sharknado def. (5) Reaching for the Moon, 64% – 36%
Movies with animals in the title are currently undefeated at 2-0 in this bracket, and even though this was a statistical upset, it was always going to be hard to take down Sharknado. Reaching for the Moon had a generic badness to it, but Sharknado was highly specific and highly terrible. It was a tornado with sharks in it, guys! Looking ahead, there’s a potential Big Ass Spider vs. Sharknado Final Four showdown looming, and I’m already excited.
(12) Dead Man Down def. (4) White House Down, 57% – 43%
The battle of the Down movies ended in our second upset of the tournament, and honestly, this might have been a bad job of seeding by me. Because while White House Down seems to describe a perilous political situation in the U.S., Dead Man Down is just idiotic and fairly meaningless. Of course it won! It’s just way, way worse, and you have to wonder how many people had to sign off on this title before it made the final cut. You’d think someone along the line would have raised his or her hand carefully and made the polite objection that the title of their movie was empirically stupid. But is it stupid enough to compete with Sharknado in the next round?
(3) Dhoom: 3 def. (14) Only God Forgives, 83% – 17%
This was the biggest blowout of the first round, and with the animal movies all on the other side of the bracket, Dhoom: 3 has to be considered a favorite to reach the title game. Only God Forgives is a legitimately bad action movie title, so the fact that it could only muster 17 percent of the vote is really telling. The rest of the movies on this side of the bracket might be…DHOOMED. (Three.)
(11) Money is the Master def. (6) Knife Fight, 55% – 45%
The experts were all saying that this might have been the weakest match-up of the bunch. Both titles are weak, but in a tepid kind of way. Money is the Master is the junior high beginner’s philosophy title, and Knife Fight is the elementary school script written by the three angriest kids on the playground, but I’m afraid either one was always destined to be blown out of the water by Dhoom: 3 in round two.
(7) The Last Exorcism: Part II def. (10) An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, 57% – 43%
Wow. I hate to see either one of these movie titles lose. The joke in The Last Exorcism: Part II is right there in the title (how can we ever trust that this will indeed be the last exorcism ever again?), but An Oversimplification… is so long and cumbersome and unwieldy that it makes me laugh every time. When I first included it on the list, I thought for sure it was a bad translation of a foreign film, but nope, it’s American. We’ll miss you, Oversimplification of Her Beauty, and we’ll miss the 30 seconds it takes to say your name.
(2) Vikingdom def. (15) People of a Feather, 59% – 41%
I bet it really annoys the writers of Vikingdom if you pronounce the movie title like vie-KING-dom instead of VIE-king-dom. So make sure the next time you say this to your friends (never?), that you do it the wrong way. People of a Feather had a pretty strong showing for a 15-seed, but it’s bad take-off on a decent cliche was never going to be high impact. Still, I would like to point out that since the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” is almost always used to talk about human beings, it’s even more inane that they changed the key word to “people.” As if the writers really thought it was about birds in the first place. “Hey, you know what? I just thought of something—this saying about birds could easily be applied to people. Easily, guys.”
Here’s the updated bracket, click to enlarge on a new page:
And now it’s up to you! Vote now, and remember that you’re choosing the worst movie title of the two. This is a competition of badness. And check back tomorrow for the Final Four.