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cover copy monolith

Mega-Meta 4 Category 9 Recap: Worst Cover Copy

We might not have you covered (as Iron Chef Smithee has just learned that the gummy chicken feet he was planning on serving at the Mega-Metas have been discontinued), but this category has its respective films covered.

Worst Cover Copy is awarded to a cover that is unnecessarily lurid, intentionally misleading, be about a different movie altogether, am have bad grammars error or unconventioneeel speeling -- and ideally, all of the above.

Smithee 16: Lake of Dracula (1971) (Smithee link here!)

Our first cover from Smithee 16 back in Ought Seven was from Lake of Dracula. In a nutshell, the movie is about a vampire who express freights himself to an idyllic Japanese coastal town in order to start wreaking vampire mayhem. He soon snares the girlfriend of a young inquisitive scientist, which piques the young man's curiosity enough to start investigating the rash of oddities that have cropped up in town.

The IMDb link has the cover we snagged...more or less but the somewhat lame silhouetted man that has the DRACULA SHADOW!!! isn't what we nominated the cover for. If you can believe that. What we did think worthy of mockery was the back in all its...well let me just write it out for you:

A delivery truck pulls up, the driver steps out, then removes the cargo: a coffin. Addressed to you.

Do you accept it? (Think carefully. There is a right answer!) Let's say you don't do the right thing. You accept the shipment, perhaps thinking it's the two-in-one exercise machine and weed whacker you ordered in a moment of couch-potato weakness. Then, after the delivery truck is long gone, you realize the box is a coffin. Do you nevertheless OPEN IT?

The mysteriously delivered coffin is opened in Lake of Dracula. And of course, it belongs to the heir of you-know-who. The Evil Count has extended his bloodline all the way to Japan, giving midnight rise to new creatures of the night...and a new legacy of terror.

It's choose your own adventure back cover blurbing! If you open the coffin, skip to chapter mark 14. If you do not, skip to chapter mark 7. Note that this movie's videocassette is brought to you by Master Sharp(TM), a trademark of Rank Video Services America. Finally ... truth in advertising!

Smithee 17: Robo Vampire (1988) (Smithee Link Here!)

Smithee 17's case of Bad Wrap was from Robo Vampire. When two drug smuggling operations make war on one another, a US anti-narcotics agent gets caught in the middle. He is killed by a powerful hopping Vampire Beast raised by a Taoist, then brought back to life as a Robo Warrior.

There is no cover in IMDb, but a quick Google image search will pull up two different versions of the one we're looking at today. The front cover has a goofy drawing of RoboCop a Robot Cop holding a Hopping Vampire in a headlock and standing in front of a tableau of something exploding while a helicopter hovers nearby.

While it's safe to say that this scene never appears in the film, the filmmarketers liked the drawing so much that they included it in their collection of back cover stills as well. And the text:

Narcotics agent tom Wilde is given a second chance at life after being shot and killed. In a futuristic experiment, agent Wilde is returned to life as an Android Robot. He is sent on a very dangerous mission into the depths of the Golden Triangle to rescue Sophie a beautiful undercover agent who has been captured by the evil drug warlord Mr. Young and and his inhuman creation the Vampire Beast. in a climactic battle, Tom must use all his robotic powers to defeat the savage drug lord and his monstrous blood-sucking creation!

I don't know about you, but but I imagine a very excited voice reading the entire back cover blurb. in one very long breath.

Smithee 18: Western Palace (1979) (Smithee link here!)

Smithee 18 brought us Western Palace (alternately Eunuch of the Western Palace) and sadly, the IMDb link doesn't show our cover. A quick Google-fu also does not pull up an image of our cover but, disturbingly, under the Chinese name (Bai ma su che gou hun fan) it pulls up the Blu-ray of Blade Runner and a lot of images of Gyoza. Not sure what that's about, but I do know what Western Palace is about: In Ancient China, a group of loyalists are trying to smuggle information to the emperor about the antics of the corrupt Eunuch overseer. They are, of course, harassed by the Eunuch's gang of minions and typical ninja martial arts mayhem ensues. What we found particularly amusing is the back cover blurb which states:

Eunuchs possessed a great deal of influence in ancient China, and the power hungry Wang is no exception. When he tries to gain ruling power, a series of warriors try to stop him - some hold damaging information against him, and some serve as mere decoys, but all are targets of Wang's evil Bureau of Informatio.
Color, English, Approx. 93 minutes

'Power hungry Eunuch Wang' *snicker*. Yes, we are 12. We are also amused that Wang's right hand man is named Hung. Because one of them should be. Anyway, grade school humor aside, the description and title are a bit misleading as Wang never appears in the movie at all. His goons (the Bureau of Informatio guys) do, and people talk about Wang, but no Wang appears in this film. Which should be right on par with him being a Eunuch and all. There is also no Western Palace, save maybe in that the Emperor lives there, but the action never actually gets to the titular palace. They might have eaten gyoza, which would explain why those images pop up in the Chinese title search. It might have been a better title too: Loyalists Eat Gyoza While Trying To Warn The Emperor.

Smithee 19: Bruce Lee Fights Back From The Grave (1976) (Smithee Link Here!)

Come Smithee 19, Bruce Lee Fights Back From The Grave was ready for us, but we were not ready for it. Wong arrives in America to visit a friend -- but the friend has recently been murdered. Wong investigates, tracks down the bad guys, and kills them.

The cover in IMDb is not our cover, and according to my Google image searches, our cover is The Rare Red and Fuzzy Edition. On the front, there is a grainy reddish image of Bruce Lee (not appearing in this film), standing next to the logo "STARRING BRUCE LEA." This contrasts nicely with the back cover image of the actual Bruce K.L. Lea. And the text:

A lightning bolt striking the grave of Bruce Lee, bringing him back for action. Bruce Lee, plays a kung fu instructor who starts a quest to avenge a friend's death, and on the way gets romantically involved with a girl that has similar problems. He eventually finds the bad guys behind it all, and they live to regret it.

Nearly every single point on this back cover is wrong. Bruce Lee is not brought back from the dead (not even fictionally). Bruce Lee does not play anything. Bruce Lea plays a man who gets involved with a girl that has completely different problems. Although he finds the bad guys, he quickly dispatches them. Nobody lives to regret anything except Bruce -- and those of us who watched this turkey.

See also that this movie is in Color, and (like Western Palace) it is in English, Approximately.

Smithee 20: Kraa! the Sea Monster (1998) (Smithee Link Here!)

By Smithee 20, we were relieved to find that Kraa! The Sea Monster has only one cover image, and it's the one that appears in IMDb. An intergalactic villain (Lord Doom) dispatches a giant monster (Kraa!) to destroy Earth. Unfortunately, the intergalactic authorities (The Planet Patrol) are trapped a dozen light years away -- so they send a crab-like agent with a bad Italian accent named Mogyar. Mogyar teams up with a biker (who turns out to be an astrophysicist) and the sassy owner of a local diner in order to defeat Kraa!

Note the front cover has a goofy drawing of KRAA! (which is disturbingly accurate in that Kraa! does look like Wolverine's giant second cousin). He is rising out of the water (he is never in the water in the movie), and menacing two teens dressed in blue (they never get within 16 light-years of Earth). The front text reads: "Big Alien..." "Bad Attitude" "Huge Family Fun!" And on the back?

From the deepest regions of space, to the darkest depths of the ocean... KRAA! has arrived. Over 250 feet long from tip to tail, the massive sea creature has been sent to destroy all life on Earth and claim the "Warm Planet" in the name of the evil LORD DOOM. The only hope of survival now rests with THE PLANET PATROL, four powerful young intergalactic crime fighters. The biggest, baddest battle in the universe is about to begin!

Note the difference in tone between back and front covers: Destruction of All Life on Earth! Huge Family Fun!

In my family, we only played the game of Life -- we didn't try to wipe it from the face of the planet.



'Power hungry Eunuch Wang' *snicker*. Yes, we are 12.

I think Beavis and Butt-Head are older than that, although not by much. Then again, they're real dumb.


iI don't get how Kraa can be a Sea Monster if he never gets in the water... operationox.blogspot.com

operationox.blogspot.com I have an interest in giant monsters, or xenomorphs or kaiju, they are also called