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November 5, 2009 9:55 AM   Subscribe

[FlickrPoolFilter] Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers: Here, you will find Tom Cruise's hit movie, Pepe Likes Tacos. In this universe, Star Wars features Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dustin Hoffman stars in Lost in Translation; witches, pirates, and hobbits inhabit the same world. Titles are improved upon. Reviews are refreshingly frank (if they make any sense at all). Your DVD may also contain subtitles in French, Chinese, Spamsoc, or Martian. (Don't say there was no warning.) Remember, kids: Piracy Creates Jobs!
posted by not_on_display (58 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are great! Why do they need to make mockups with English? Because these come out before the real DVD?
posted by smackfu at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2009


This is wonderful.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:04 AM on November 5, 2009


I am so watching this movie, whatever it is.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:06 AM on November 5, 2009


What do you mean "crappy?"
posted by oddman at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2009


OMG OMG OMG I am never going to stop laughing at the description of Howards End, of all things, being used on the Mr. Bean cover.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:17 AM on November 5, 2009


from the "reviews" link: “Reviews of the movie were so positive that we were very disappointed. In fact, we only saw the Polish segment and the beginning of the French segment. We thought the movie pretentious, confusing, dull, and shocking (what on earth did the girl die of in the midst of quite stirring music?). Jacob is pretty, no doubt, but a bit of plot would not have been amiss.”

Jesus, they thought this about Le Double Vie de Veronique? Those DVD bootleggers are a goddamned picky bunch! Although "what on earth did the girl die of in the midst of quite stirring music?" is going to be the title of my next ponderous, overintellectual indie-pop album.
posted by koeselitz at 10:21 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love the blurb on the back of The Loin King II . "Not as good as the first one, but okay."
posted by dortmunder at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


To be fair, tacos are pretty great.
posted by boo_radley at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


50 Fist Dates

The expression makes it work.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can i get a netflix account in another dimension? Cause I really want to watch Arnold beat up some hobbits.
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


smackfu: “Why do they need to make mockups with English? Because these come out before the real DVD?”

Because a lot of people in Asia speak English, and depending on where you are you a variant of English might be a more common dialect than whatever Chinese dialect you happen to speak.
posted by koeselitz at 10:26 AM on November 5, 2009


but why couldn't they just use the original covers instead of shopping a bunch of random elements together?

These are awesome by the way.
posted by Think_Long at 10:29 AM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I saw a copy of Master and Commander where all the text on the back was ripped from View from the top. It was a bit surreal looking at the list of special features and seeing something like "The History of Flight Attendants".
posted by ODiV at 10:37 AM on November 5, 2009


This is the best post thank you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Witches, pirates, and hobbits DO inhabit the same world. A world called HOLLYWOOOOD!
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Think_Long: but why couldn't they just use the original covers instead of shopping a bunch of random elements together?

I'm thinking that's a story that begins with some financier's kid liking Schwarzenegger and ending with a Google Image search.
posted by mkultra at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2009


I hate it when I get a pirate DVD and I have to sit through a compulsory message from the copyright holder and a minute of copyright notices before I can watch the movie I paid for. I much prefer the genuine article where you just put it in and you go striaight to the movie.

Oh, no, I forgot: it's the other way round.
posted by alasdair at 10:40 AM on November 5, 2009 [16 favorites]


Most of these look rather silly, but I actually am completely convinced that the BBC should alter their current dvd packaging to look exactly like this. I would certainly buy more BBC tv shows on dvd if the package looked like a training manual for some covert organization.
posted by koeselitz at 10:41 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by Think_Long:
"but why couldn't they just use the original covers instead of shopping a bunch of random elements together?"

A lot of times, these are copies that are out at the same time (or before) the movie is in theaters. Some of them are actually videotaped in a theater. So they will pull promotional stills, reviews, etc., from websites in a rush job to get them out into the stalls on the streets.
posted by not_on_display at 10:41 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's like they're punching my heart... over the internet... with laughter!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


The Star Wars one does use the DVD packaging, so there I guess they just think Arnold will sell more DVDs. I think I like the bootleg design better. Pretty nice Photoshopping too.
posted by smackfu at 10:44 AM on November 5, 2009


"catch me if you can"s blurb should be put into verse

When she touched something on the back of the youth
She was surprised and asked he with her beautiful eyes
The man was very excited to show her figure which was supported by bamboo.

How surprised the girl was!
The figure was the girl drawn on big paper.
And the paper was her as herself.

Having seen that the girl was so angry
blame the youth why do it in this desperate time.
She was so ad to die.

While the man take a whisper on her ear,
Smile spread on the girls face.
The sun was rising the morning.
It was a really nice day.

posted by Think_Long at 10:47 AM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Just wait until you get a load of the subtitles.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:49 AM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


I am having a shitty day. Thank you for making me laugh.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:52 AM on November 5, 2009


This,.. is incredible. All DVDs should be like this.
posted by odinsdream at 10:55 AM on November 5, 2009


Can i get a netflix account in another dimension? Cause I really want to watch Arnold beat up some hobbits.

1) Get a copy of The Last Action Hero

2) Watch it over and over and over again until your eyes start to blur.

3) While the movie is playing, click your heels together and chant "there's no place like Jack Slater V, there's no place like Jack Slater V." Continue doing this through subsequent replays of the movie.

4) Hope for the best. I don't know if this actually works but apparently something like 900,000 people go missing every year just in the US. They've got to be going somewhere, right?
posted by Naberius at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]



smackfu: “Why do they need to make mockups with English? Because these come out before the real DVD?”

koeslitz: "Because a lot of people in Asia speak English, and depending on where you are you a variant of English might be a more common dialect than whatever Chinese dialect you happen to speak."


Um, I'm not sure this makes the argument you think it makes. Clearly, the target market for these discs does not speak English, or the English would make some kind of sense.
posted by Naberius at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2009


These things are pretty common here in Mexico, and there's a lot of clever marketing going on. For instance, I once saw a copy of "Passion of the Christ" where Mel Gibson and Jim Caviezel's names had been switched around, so that it seemed like Gibson was the star of the movie, while Caviezel had directed it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2009


I gather Spamsoc is what a totalitarian government run by bloody Vikings claims to believe in?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2009


[Yeah, Naberius, I feel a little stupid now. Nobody who did any of these damned things knows anything about English.]

louche mustachio, those are the funniest fucking thing I've ever seen. I love:

what food u got

& also the fact that apparently somebody thought the best translation of 'Jedi Council' was 'Presbyterian Church.'
posted by koeselitz at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2009


posted by Joakim Ziegler:
"For instance, I once saw a copy of 'Passion of the Christ...'"

You mean Mel Gidson's The Passion of the Cheist? Or was it The Passion of Christ: Jesus Speaks Nigerian Languags?
posted by not_on_display at 11:23 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


For some reason, the phrase "Pepe Likes Tacos" is making me giggle.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:23 AM on November 5, 2009


My God, Pepe Loves Tacos. It's been ages since I've seen that film. All I remember about it is that little fucker really loved him some goddamn tacos.

Jesus, that Tom Cruise could eat some fucking tacos.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I have a strong sense that "Pepe Like Tacos" -- that is, the movie of it that would exist in an alternate universe in which what was featured on the cover was actually in the movie -- would be 1000 times better than the movie "Cocktail" (barf) ever was.
posted by blucevalo at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2009


“You want some tacos, in case there are no gay people there?”
posted by blucevalo at 11:27 AM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


50 Fist Dates

Um...ouch.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:41 AM on November 5, 2009


You mean Mel Gidson's The Passion of the Cheist?

I like how most of the typos are to similarly shaped letters. I don't doubt we would make the same mistakes if we were trying to copy Chinese characters without knowing what they meant.
posted by smackfu at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like tacos too, but that whole dancing atop a sofa to show how much he liked tacos was pretty extreme.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:09 PM on November 5, 2009


Shit, I just saw the title of the post. Laughing all over again.
posted by Beardman at 1:13 PM on November 5, 2009


...and here's a classic McSweeney's piece with reviews to accompany those street DVDs.
posted by perfecta at 1:16 PM on November 5, 2009


Because a lot of people in Asia speak English,

I think the titling and subtitles demonstrate that the number of people in Asia who speak English is somewhat smaller than the number who think they speak English.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:30 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pepe Likes Tacos is my contribution to the pool, so it made me happy to see you include it. I only kept two of the fake covers from when we lived in China - that Cocktail one and the one for "Star War: Episode I", which featured the cast of Star Wars flying The Enterprise.

Most of the bootlegs we bought living in China were for movies that were in the theater in the U.S. and Europe. So the covers were created by a sort of cut and paste process - using old pictures of the actors, added to promotional stills for the movie, added to movie poster images.

We bought ours in back alleys or from shady vendors hanging out by the night market, sometimes having to stand still and quiet in a dark, locked room while the police walked by outside looking for activity. I always thought that the cover art was there to give you a feel for which movie you were actually buying, as the vendors had no idea of the correct names for the films and generally spoke no English. But it wasn't just the expats/tourists buying them, so perhaps it is partially the cachet of using English that drives the language choice for the covers.

My two worst/best bootleg experiences: 1) Watching "The Iron Giant" and loving it, despite the poor camera work. Then, suddenly, they must have run out of tape. Instead of the ending, we were treated to a shot of a dingy concrete apartment in the background and in the foreground a hand-lettered sign that said "The End". 2) Getting The Blair Witch Project and thinking it was kind of cool, until the movie cut off just before the ending "standing in a corner" shot. We were really confused about what happened - it made the whole movie just kind of annoying - until we hunted down a different edition that included the actual ending.
posted by gemmy at 1:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


the cast of Star Wars flying The Enterprise

!!! A must-have.

Vader in the captain's chair: I need warp power NOW.

Cut to R2 in engineering: @#&$@**!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ok, apparently that was Q*bert in engineering.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:47 PM on November 5, 2009


Blair Witch Project ... cut off just before the ending "standing in a corner" shot. We were really confused about what happened - it made the whole movie just kind of annoying - until we hunted down a different edition that included the actual ending.

How disappointed you must have been when you saw that the actual ending was just as unhelpful and annoying.
posted by Naberius at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


My favorite, from a mall in Manila: Sean Connery vs The Cock

(not porno, just a collection of movies starring Sean Connery or The Rock)
posted by ropeladder at 3:29 PM on November 5, 2009


I've got a bunch of these from China. My favorite is The Matrix. The cover is the same as the DVD, except they printed "The Terror of Crystal Lake is Back!" over the front. Which would have made a pretty sweet movie if Neo fought Jason with guns and kung fu.
posted by Furie at 3:35 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Blade Runner is familiar to cuntless fans.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that cuntless fans are men who haven't gotten laid in awhile-- because they have been spending too many hours at home on the couch watching Blade Runner.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:45 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a strong sense that "Pepe Like Tacos" -- that is, the movie of it that would exist in an alternate universe in which what was featured on the cover was actually in the movie -- would be 1000 times better than the movie "Cocktail" (barf) ever was.

The impression I get is that it'd be an American Pie-style gross-out comedy. The "tacos" would be a reference to the titular character (played by Seann William Scott or someone) being a bit of a slacker/stoner, and also played as a reference to the female genital regions.

And Spamsoc must mean the machine-generated variant of English used to pad out unsolicited Viagra emails.
posted by acb at 3:58 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


That reminds me... what ever happened to I Love Tacos and Tacos Are Pretty Great?
posted by Rhomboid at 4:41 PM on November 5, 2009


...that user was eaten by Pepe. Because Pepe Likes Tacos!
posted by not_on_display at 5:18 PM on November 5, 2009


This is super! At home, I have a very unfortunate Stop Making Sense by Talking Head.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:20 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


In a shared house I once lived in, I saw a Chinese bootleg DVD of the TV series Oz on which the names of the actors had no relation to the cast, but seemed to be made-up names which presumably sounded American to a Chinese speaker, i.e., "Crisudoph", "Oniel Hardson" and "Tairy Kenny".

I imagine that Oniel Hardson would either be an off-brand Bruce Willis or a fiftysomething African-American actor who makes a living playing tough-yet-honest police chiefs.
posted by acb at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


SHOW ME THE TACOS!

...

Ahem.

Living in Taiwan, I was at first very entertained by the bizarre pseudo-English on DVD covers. Then I became more fascinated than entertained. Why, as Smackfu asked, do they need to have English on the packages? Why not just go with pure Chinese (or whatever the lingua franca of the target market is)?

My pet theory is that it's a combination of cachet, unfamiliarity with English and desire for authenticity. The cachet: Having a T-shirt with English on it looks cool in East Asia, like having a tattoo in nonsensical pseudo-Chinese looks cool in the US. Unfamiliarity with English: a lot of people want English, but don't necessarily know enough to (or have time enough to check that) "Spamsoc" isn't a word. Authenticity: They want the real article if they can get it, not some crappy copy made with a hand-held camera in the theater, but they don't want to (or can't afford to) pay legitimate prices. So the manufacturers have a constant impetus to keep putting pseudo-English on their DVD packages.
posted by jiawen at 9:09 PM on November 5, 2009


Here's one that I took a picture of, in all places, a bookstore in Philadelphia's Chinatown. I kind of wish I'd bought it, in the hopes that it would have those infamous Star Wars-caliber mistranslations in the captioning. Ah well.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:22 PM on November 5, 2009


My old roommate has a bootleg box set of the entire run of the video on video CDs. The cover features the cast of the show superimposed over the Sydney waterfront, with the Opera House clearly in view.
posted by deafmute at 12:12 AM on November 7, 2009


hahahaha awesome. got a true LOL from me. 50 fist dates hahahaha - soup herb

and http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_flat/112951505/in/pool-crappybootlegs - hahahah best. review. evar!
posted by marienbad at 12:01 PM on November 8, 2009


Andrew Sullivan reposted this FPP to his blog today.
posted by EarBucket at 9:57 AM on November 16, 2009


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