Often, a movie's title tells us everything we need to know. Four Weddings and a Funeral, Hoover, and Edward Scissorhands are all aptly titled flicks that deliver what their monikers promise. But for every Psycho or Outbreak, there's a film that hides its true subject matter behind a clever, ironic title.
That's all well and good, except on Valentine's Day, when you're hoping for a film about lakeside picnics and endless devotion, but instead you get one about incest, mental illness, infectious disease, having sex with dead people, eating dog shit, and/or debilitating poverty.
To avoid that fate, check out our list of disturbing movies with misleadingly romantic titles so you know what not to watch this Valentine's Day -- unless your goal is making your sweetheart puke up those beautiful hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries you made.
The title of this famous late '90s dark (thinkobsidian dark
) comedy suggests rainbows and butterflies, but delivers something closer to rejection, pedophilia, and shit storms.Happiness
follows the intersecting lives of several outwardly normal, inwardly effed-up people. There's a seemingly perfect doctor and husband who's hiding an unhealthy fascination with his son's 11-year-old classmates, and also fantasizes about committing a massacre in a park. Then there's the elderly couple, who look like the quintessential portrait of lasting love -- except the husband wants to ditch his wife of 40 years and ride solo down to Florida. This film (though brilliant) should have single-handedly inspired the phrase "feel-bad movie." It's guaranteed to put you off sex for days.
This movie, directed by and starring Stanley Tucci, has a title with great romantic potential. What could be sweeter than a couple who wins the one-in-a-million game of falling in love at first sight during a low-expectations fix-up? But this is, well, not that. It's actually about a married couple that set up themselves up on staged blind date after staged blind date, torturing each other psychologically as they try unsuccessfully to get over the life-altering trauma that plagues them. This movie asks the question, "Is love worth the endless struggle?" and then it answers its own question: "No."
John Waters has never been mistaken for a traditional romantic, nor a traditional anything else for that matter. But the title Pink Flamingos might still fool a few people into thinking it's a film about romantic sunsets by the Florida seaside, complete with slow-moving serene pink birds.
So imagine their surprise when they discover that the movie is really about a competition for the title of "Filthiest Person in the World," and the only real birds in the film are the chickens that Crackers, son of sleaze queen title-holder Divine, defiles in the coop behind their mobile home. The trash really starts to stink when Mr. and Mrs. Marbles, a degenerate married couple, enter the competition by peddling heroin to school children and kidnapping and impregnating female hitchhikers, chaining them as hostages in their basement, and then selling the babies to lesbian couples. All this filth could only be rounded out by a scene in which Divine eats a steaming handful of freshly crapped dog shit. Oooh baby, it doesn't get any sexier than that.
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Not a linguist? Then maybe you weren't expecting this to be a movie about sex with corpses. (Though if you didn't get the hint from the VHS cover, you deserve what you get.) Anyway, this is the story of Rob, a guy who works for a human body disposal company who also happens to enjoy having sex with rotting dead bodies. He gets his equally twisted girlfriend Betty involved in the action, and soon she absconds with the dead and decaying part of their menage a trois. Graphic necrophiliac sex scenes, actual blood baths, and pet slaughter are common themes in this film that was banned in several countries. Even the trailer is so offensive that we didn't dare embed it here. So please don't pay undue mind to the "romantik" part of this title when making your Valentine's Day film selections.
Just in case you were hiding under a soundproof rock in 2009, this movie is not a touching story of young love or a fairy tale about a romantic treasure hunt. It's about rape, HIV, addiction, teen pregnancy, and a bunch of other shitty stuff we all try to pretend doesn't happen in this country. The film has value as a raw look at a heartbreaking side of American life, but Valentine's Day is probably an inappropriate time to boldly face these heavy realities. Unless you're single and alone and depressed anyway, in which case, maybe a reminder that your life's not so bad couldn't hurt.