Teen Beach Movie, Snakes on a Plane, Scary Movie: This is an article about generic and humourless film titles
Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Among the sillier genre films of the 1960s were the beach party movies: they depicted attractive young people in abbreviated swimwear beguiling the summer months with flirty horseplay and otiose bursts of song.
They often starred Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, with occasional appearances by the wholesome Sandra Dee, and had titles like Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Beach Blanket Bingo, Ride the Wild Surf and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (I know, I know. It was a long time ago.)
Walt Disney Studios is giving a post-modern nod to the genre in a movie aimed squarely at teenage retro-romantics. They’ve called it Teen Beach Movie. Just that. Could they be any more boring? A few years ago, when High School Musical came out, the title sounded cute, knowing, amusingly generic. Now it, and TBM, are evidence of a “Ronseal Tendency”: films that do exactly what it says in the name.
Snakes on a Plane was an early sighting, as was Scary Movie and its offshoots. But now we’ve got Teen Beach Movie, where can the generic movie title go from here? Can we expect to see “Expensive But Pointless Superhero Remake” arriving soon? “Clueless Romcom Starring Amy Adams” coming to an Odeon near you?
Will punters flock to “Cacophonous But Sub-Die Hard Heist Movie”? How about “Quentin Tarantino Seeks Revenge For Someone Else’s Racial or Ethnic Suffering”?
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant