A discussion the other night about movie taglines reminded me of my favorite one. The film Howard the Duck was a terrible failure, one of the great failures of movie history as I understand it. However, the ads were great. There was the duck on the poster, poking his head through something and looking freaked, and the tagline was “Trapped in a world he never made.”

Which was enough of an in-joke that I’m sure they didn’t care at that point who didn’t get it; the movie was already tanked.

Who remembers why they used that? And can quote the source? Hm? 😉

6 thoughts on “quack

  1. Ok, I’ll embarrass myself and guess it’s Catcher in the Rye (I *think* that’s right, but it’s been awhile. I need to reread my Salinger.). I don’t know why they used it though!

  2. Well, so far as I know, the first instance of that term was A. E. Housman’s line: “I, a stranger and afraid/In a world I never made.” Wasn’t it also used liberally in the comic books?

  3. It was the tagline of the comic book, prominently displayed atop the cover of the first issue.
    Yes, I’m sad enough that I checked. And even sadder in that I checked by looking at The Essential Howard the Duck #1 compilation, rather than my copy of the first issue itself.

    1. Also, for what it’s worth, it’s the refrain of the song “Trapped” by Utopia, leading off their 1973 album Oops! Wrong Planet. I’ve always been fond of the opening verse:
      Brother John saw visions of God
      So they put him in chains
      For acting too odd
      As the crowd shouted, “Off with his head”
      The priest said, “Have mercy
      Let’s burn him instead”

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