There may be a slight possibility that standards for movie titles have become more lenient over the years, since we can't really fathom an action movie like this week's "Bullet to the Head" coming out in 1954 with a title like that. No sir.
The Sylvester Stallone vehicle does stick in your head for some reason, so we thought we'd dig in and find the most gruesome, lurid and downright threatening movie titles ever conceived. Remember, the criteria here ain't the violent content of the film itself, just its nastified handle.
15. '8 Million Ways to Die' (1986)
The unlikely combination of star Jeff Bridges, screenwriter Oliver Stone and director Hal Ashby ("Harold and Maude") came up with this neo-noir concoction, which failed to ignite at the box office and ultimately served as Ashby's swan song. The film itself has a pulpy, sub-"Miami Vice" plot about an alcoholic ex-detective drawn into a web of seduction and murder (the coolest kind of web) by a hot call-girl played by Rosanna Arquette.
14. 'Tokyo Gore Police' (2008)
We imagine when avid video gamers enter the police academy, this is the unit they have their eyes on after graduation. There are literal geysers of blood in this deranged sci-fi horror hybrid that involves people fusing their wounds to weapons. Faces get chopped off, eyeballs get popped out and a gun that fires severed fists are just some of the blood-caked delights in this Japanese bento box of viscera.
13. 'Bullet in the Head' (1990)
That's right, director John Woo had a title similar to the new Stallone vehicle decades before, but it's that preposition "in" that really makes all the difference. You see, for Stallone's movie, the "Bullet" in question is merely on its way towards a cranial destination, but in this Tony Leung actioner, that bullet already done been there. Part gun-fu, part Vietnam epic, the film contains Woo's signature action and exploding blood packs aplenty.
12. 'Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave' (1976)
This 'Bruceploitation' movie was released after the kung-fu legend had already been dead and buried for three years, but it still seems pretty tasteless. Imagine if someone made "Heath Ledger's Corpse Goes Back to Brokeback" with some double masquerading as the late Aussie? The imposter here is Korean martial artist Jun Chong (credited as Bruce K.L. Lea), and despite a cheaply shot opening with lightning striking Bruce's burial site and him jumping out in attack mode, the rest of the flick has nothing to do with Lee. "You can't keep a good man down!"
11. 'The Blood Spattered Bride' (1972)
Maybe it's the fashion police in us, but getting blood all over your white bridal gown is NOT in this year. This Spanish horror flick chronicles a newlywed chick named Susan (Maribel Martín) who winds up entwined in a lesbian vampire relationship that leads to a bloody murder spree. Wouldn't wanna be the one who caught the bouquet at this wedding, damn. The husband winds up having to use some unconventional methods of vampire removal: shooting their cuckold coffins and cutting out their hearts.
10. 'Splatter: Naked Blood' (1996)
Leave it to the Japanese to up the sick quotient to 11. Itself a remake of another film called "Genuine Rape," "Splatter" involves a test drug that transforms pain into pleasure. One of the female guinea pigs covers her hand with tempura batter, cooks it in hot oil, and eats it, but that's just child's play compared to the most notorious scene where the gluttonous woman eventually chows down on her own nipple, labia, and finally eyeball. In any Japanese McDonald's that's a #6 Extra Value Meal and comes with fries and a soda.
9. 'Bloodfist' (1989)
Don 'The Dragon' Wilson was the poor man's Bruce Lee — or, depending on your POV, the rich man's Bruce K.L. Lea. The kickboxing champion fought his way through this Roger Corman-produced, Manila-shot cheapie and its seven sequels, often against real kickboxing stars such as Tae Bo honcho Billy Blanks. The hits are authentic but all the punches are pulled in the acting department.
8. 'A Cat in the Brain' (1990)
Prefiguring the meta-horror antics of Wes Craven, the late Italian Grand Guignol master Lucio Fulci ("Zombi 2") stars as himself, a director of horror films whose psychotherapy may be turning deadly … or is it all just the lurid after-effects of making so many damn gore flicks? Oh, and do you want to see some gore? This thing's got it in spades, including multiple (and we mean multiple) beheadings, eyeball pops, chainsawings, and, yes, a feline going to town on someone's grey matter. Now that's a fancy feast!
7. 'Man Bites Dog' (1992)
That dog DO hunt. In this Belgian mockumentary (which could technically be classified as found footage), a film crew follows a serial killer around as he expounds on his antics with a lot of critical flourish. Even though its "hero" is killing old ladies and other innocent folk, this black and white expose is really about the desensitizing nature of violence in cinema, as in a scene where the killer murders someone at his birthday party and no one seems to mind much ... especially not, oh, the film crew.
6. 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (1974)
Massacres are always pretty bad, but director Tobe Hooper decided he needed to get more specific to truly stir the pot of public interest … and stir he did! We're like 12 sequels deep into the franchise, but the original hook-hanging, skin-grafting good time is still the most potent in the Leatherface canon. One of the few horror flicks that truly delivers on the promise of its title.
5. 'Slaughtered Vomit Dolls' (2006)
A 19-year-old bulimic runaway stripper turned prostitute hallucinates her ass off as she drives the porcelain bus. These hallucinations include dismemberments, torture and a whole lot of ladies revisiting their breakfast onto clear glass tables for your … amusement? Some horrormeister/ Satanist named Lucifer Valentine envisioned a "Vomit Gore" trilogy, which also includes "ReGOREgitated Sacrifice" (2008) and "Slow Torture Puke Chamber" (2010).
4. 'House of 1000 Corpses' (2003)
If you're talking pure volume, then Rob Zombie has your dead body needs covered. For his feature debut the White Zombie frontman decided to dip his dreads into the waters of '70s style shocksploitation a la "Texas Chainsaw" and came up with the supremely messed-up Firefly family. This backwoods clan takes some unsuspecting college youngsters on a first-class trip through hell, which includes torture, burnings, scalpings, skinnings, stabbings, choppings and the wearing of skin. Followed by the comparatively rather tame-sounding sequel, "The Devil's Rejects."
3. 'I Dismember Mama' (1974) / 'I Eat Your Skin' (1970) / 'I Spit on Your Grave' (1978)
The "I" trilogy, as we like to call it, as only the '70s could provide. Though they're all completely unrelated, it was too hard to just pick one since first-person exclamations make it so direct. "I Eat Your Skin" is a standard zombie flick from the '60s that was originally on a double bill with "I Drink Your Blood." "Grave" is one of the all-time classic rape-revenge flicks, while we'll always remember "Dismember" as one of the first movies to provide a barf bag ... as well as being on a double-bill with "Blood Spattered Bride."
2. 'Cannibal Holocaust' (1980)
Hey, we've got an idea: Let's make a found footage exploitation gore movie titled with perhaps the two most evocatively violent words in the English language … oh wait, this Italian dude already did it. The prototype for "The Blair Witch Project" has a crew of white a***oles going out to the Amazon to find primitive tribes and then harassing them in order to get good footage. Of course, they get what's coming to them but good. Features copious flesh eating, vaginal impalings and actual legit turtle murder.
1. 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' (1992)
It's not just a punchline; it's Freudian as hell. Even though this notorious bomb may not be as graphic as some of the others on this list, somehow the thought of Estelle Getty murdering us due to some inadvertent senior moment fills us with existential dread. Having Stallone in there is a bonus, but despite the comic intentions (all unfulfilled), that seems like one very threatening title. Thanks, Sly!
"Bloodbath at the House of Death," "Blood Feast," "Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh and Blood," "The Driller Killer," "Exit Wounds," "Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane," "Flesh for Frankenstein," "Violent Cop," "Shoot to Kill," "Kamikaze Taxi," "Surf Nazis Must Die," "Thou Shalt Not Kill ... Except"