There’s a report that the four forthcoming Avatar sequels will be titled The Way of Water, The Seed Bearer, The Tulkun Rider and The Quest for Eywa. They all sound like YA dogshit to me — like movies aimed at fans of fantasy-adventures in the Tolkien or Campbell traditions, which I’ve never had the slightest interest in. Like ever.

Who thought that The Way of Water would be catchy, especially in the wake of Guillermo del Toro‘s recent The Shape of Water? Not to mention The Weight of Water, an 18 year-old thriller by Cameron’s ex-girlfriend Kathryn Bigelow?

But so-whattish as The Way of Water sounds, it still sounds more enticing than The Fucking Seed Bearer, The Tulkun Rider and The Never-Ending Quest for Eywa, Whose Fate Will Definitely Concern You Once The Marketing Kicks In.

None of these sound as if they’re about anything other than what their titles precisely suggest while the best titles often convey a double meaning of some kind. Like Peter Weir‘s Witness, for example — a film about an eyewitness to a crime and about the spiritual-religious implications a la “I must make my witness.”

What defines a seriously shitty movie title? First and foremost, one that makes you not want to see the film in question. The second definition, I suppose, would be a title you can’t remember. Third, one you can’t spell. A fourth would be a title that sounds like it’s too caught up in its own cleverness (i.e., Mark Robson‘s Phffft). Fifth would be a title that suggests some kind of cheap throwaway exploitation (C.H.U.D., Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo).

I for one always liked Operation Dumbo Drop — sounds like fun, a little silly, light-hearted, maybe something more. Ditto Dude, Where’s My Car?, I Heart Huckabees.

Some of the allegedly worst titles of all time: The Men Who Stare at Goats, We Bought A Zoo, Lucky Number Slevin, Aloha (should have been called Deep Tiki). Love Guru, Existenz, Leonard, Part 6, V.I. Warshawski, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

HE: (plus)