40 Baffling, Outrageous Mexican Movie Title Translations! (Part 1)

Contributor; Mexico City, Mexico (@ElMachoBionico)
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Mexico, like many Latin American countries, has a long tradition of giving Spanish titles that make no sense to foreign films. Honestly, each week there's a new title translation to laugh at. For example, Michael Bay's Pain & Gain was released just last Friday under the title of Sangre, Sudor y Gloria (Blood, Sweat and Glory). And Terrence Malick's To the Wonder opens this week as Deberás Amar (You Shall Love).

Sometimes the weird and independent movies that aren't released theatrically in Mexico are hard to find, simply because they're available on DVD with a completely different title. You have to look carefully at the local store, or else you won't realize that the cheap DVD called Asesino por Encargo (Killer by Request) is actually William Friedkin's Killer Joe.

And so, I'd like to share some of the highlights of the last several decades with you. Because there are so many funny, ridiculous and inexplicable Mexican title translations, I'm making this a two-part article (with 40 titles each), featuring films both new and old. Part one offers such classics as Yojimbo, Jaws and Poltergeist, as well as recent titles like Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Stoker

Note: Some slides in the gallery contain more than one movie title translation, hence, while I cover 40 movies here, there are only 32 slides. 

Original title: Lost in Translation

Mexican title: Perdidos en Tokio (Lost in Tokyo)

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Mexican Movie Title Translations
  • El Chilar

    Nobody will ever beat "The Lawnmower Man": "El Jardinero Asesino Inocente".

  • juan soto

    But, you know what? Thats not our fault, its Your Northamerican companies thats release this films (Warner, Fox, Sony Pictures, etc). They take this decisions and i dont understeand why. There is a theory that states that are strategies for people can more easily remember these titles.

  • disqus_BHVJGuoqpc

    Yep... three other memorable cases are:

    Grown Ups, which was translated as "Son Como Niños" (They're Like Children) and then it just gets stupid when you add a "2" after that.

    Then there's Ocean's Elven which, as mentioned before, was translated as "La Gran Estafa (The Big Fraud)", then Ocean's Twelve was called "La Nueva Gran Estafa (The New Big Fraud)" and finally, without much creativity, Ocean's Thirteen was called "Ahora Son Trece (Now There's Thirteen)"

    My favorite, the Spanish film Timecrimes (original and literal Spanish title in Spain: Cronocrimenes) was changed to "Rewind" in an attempt to get people to asociate it with the Spanish zombie film: REC.

    It really gets on my nerves how they insist on extending the titles that don't require it, like Juno, which was expanded to "Juno: Crecer, Correr y Tropezar (Juno: Grow, Run and Fall)"

  • Ard Vijn

    After I LOOK FOR MY DESTINY and I LOOK FOR MY WAY, will the next generation of EASY RIDER be renamed as DUDE, I'M LOST?

  • Gus Palomo

    I'm from Mexico, and yes, i hate the changes in the titles, and this is only because "people will get the wrong idea" (markteters say).

  • sitenoise

    Wish I had the patience for 40 clicks

  • Diego

    I always get confused by these:

    The Italian Job - La estafa maestra (The Master Fraud)
    Ocean's Eleven - La gran estafa (The Big Fraud)

  • jadzia

    and ocean's thirteen "Y ahora son trece" (now there are 13). Wat.

  • Jorge

    The worst of all must be turning "Felidae" into "Francis el detectigato" (Francis the cat-detective). Not a bad title but a misleading one (it seems like a movie for kids). Anyway, sometimes spanish titles hit the right spot for me ("Quatermass and the pitt" becoming the more mysterious "¿Qué sucedió entonces?" in Spain is fine by me).

  • Grey Ratt

    I imagine Despicable Me - Mi Villano Favorito (My Favourite Villain) will appear in the second part.

  • Frank Zuñiga Guevara

    When i was looking for Evil Dead (el despertar del diablo) I bought The Hills Have Eyes, wich has the exact same name on mexican translation (el despertar del diablo)

  • Ard Vijn

    The Mel Brooks titles are spectacularly awful.

  • Mr. Cavin

    That's Dr. Brooks, doll.

  • Alejandro Rc

    on point, in spain the same thing happens!

  • Brian Clark

    I think THE BLEEDING CABIN is actually cooler than CABIN FEVER...

  • Hlime

    You're forgetting the greatest one: "Thelma & Louise: Un final inesperado" which translates as "Thelma & Louise: an unexpected ending"

    Well, is not that UNEXPECTED now is it

  • Eric Ortiz

    coming in part 2, don't worry! ;)

  • Ana Karen Gerardo Reséndiz

    I told you, haha.

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