Have you ever returned to the cinema? As I browse movies for my first movie to celebrate the multiplexes reopening (I went with Shang-Chi because duh!), I can’t help but notice the difference between the Thai posters of today’s Hollywood movies. ‘hui and those of past years. While Thai blockbuster posters remain true today by transliterating its English title with Thai letters and translating its subtitle almost verbatim (e.g. Shang-Chi With Mysterious Legends of Ten Rings), vintage counterparts are increasingly further explained. Not only do they feature different designs that are recreated by talented Thai artists with Thai titles that have nothing to do with the original titles, but also spew out several visual spoilers. Here are some Thai Hollywood movie posters with crazy headlines and slogans for your entertainment.
PS As I discuss these posters, key plot moments will come up, so spoiler alert.
PPS Most of them are horror movies, so this post can serve as a Halloween watch list.
John Carpenter’s cult film They live is Neither ghosts nor humans in thai. The slogan reads: “No one on Earth can see them unless they wear these sunglasses because they are …”. The Thai poster clearly reveals the main plot of humans being subliminally controlled by aliens, who look a bit like skinned humans, and the only device to detect who one of us (or them) is is these special sunglasses. The original poster only hints at the meaning of these sunglasses, but the Thai poster screams it at you.
Another cult classic of Carpenter is that of 1982 The thing. In Thai, it is The thing that devours the world and features the slogan, “If it’s with a human, it becomes human. If it’s with an animal, it becomes the animal. It kills anything nearby.” The tagline simply explains the modus operandi of a mysterious alien being who horribly assimilates any living being they come in contact with. The thingThe goal of seems to take over the world by being the only thing.
Stuart gordon Re-animator not so subtly pass by A man who changes the head of another man in Thai and if you look closely you will notice that the word khon at the end of the Thai title is overthrown. The slogan reads: “This man has two heads. One on his shoulders since birth. The other on the table!”. It’s not far from the original which says: “Herbert West has a good head on his shoulders … and another on his desk”. However, if you search for the original poster, you’ll see how the Thai version gets extra bloody, clearly showing the moment of the head in the tray, a bottle of glow reagent, and bloodier moments on the left corner.
Roger spottiswoode Train of terror is rather badly named Train of demons in Thai. With this title you would expect some supernatural elements in the plot, but Train of terror is essentially a slasher movie set on a train. College students have a NYE costume party on a train (like you do) and a serial killer is on board to get them as well. This Canadian film wins the longest slogan with the most exclamation points from me. He said, “He comes with the wheels!” It appears through the windows! He appears in the toilet! He appears for an endless hunt! duh! ”It’s succinct, it isn’t. The Thai writer may have taken inspiration from the whole concept of the train.
Incredibly, Am I wrong not to be human? is the Thai name of Avi Nesher Time bomb. The original slogan reads: “Eddy Kay has been trained to kill, ordered to destroy, programmed to forget. Now the world’s most dangerous man is about to explode.” Sounds like it comes from an omniscient narrator in a crisp tone worthy of a sci-fi action movie, but somehow its Thai tagline reads like a self-pity soliloquy on oneself, worthy of an existential drama. It reads: “Humans don’t want me to be human. I have been trained to kill and programmed to destroy … and forget it completely. I’m not wrong not to be human, is isn’t it? ” The translator may have too much sympathy for the protagonist, who discovers he was part of a secret government program to create assassins.
Given today’s sensibilities, the Thai poster from the 1985s The last dragon will not see the light of day due to the very breed insensitive Thai title which is “Bl ***** the Kung Fu Master: You’re So Great That I Love You”. The tagline also refers to Taimak, the male lead, as Black Dragon. I know we are bound to find fault every time we judge things of the past with today’s values or standards, but this poster was not that long ago. Trying to be condescending and cute at the same time? WTH!