Overshadowed By Controversy
Don't remember it by title? Don't worry, neither did we, and now the Cracked IT guys are asking why we have "Dakota Fanning rape" in our Google cache.
There are some well-known works that gathered controversy throughout the years, and there are also famously controversial works in which the controversy, whether rightful or not, would overshadow most other aspects. Which isn't to say that works in the latter category have no other redeeming factor, just that most people would know little else aside from the controversial aspects.
Bad reviews alone do not make a controversial moment, and in fact some works can be well-regarded by critics and those who watched, read or played the work, and not all works listed here are either laughably bad
or just downright terrible
. Plot-related twists are generally not what makes up the category either, even if such cases are subjective and arguable. The major qualifier is that the works would be known beyond the fans of a particular genre that there's little knowledge of some other parts of a work to the general public.
Controversies can be a result of the following:
See also Colbert Bump
, Dancing Bear
, Just Here for Godzilla
, Mainstream Obscurity
, Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch
, and Watch It for the Meme
. Compare and contrast No Such Thing as Bad Publicity
, and Controversy Proof Image
. When a whole genre gets held under controversy, it would become The New Rock & Roll
Please be cautious about editing this page
. It isn't supposed to imply that there's no other redeeming factor for the works on this list.
- The Brown Bunny is a film known mostly for an unsimulated oral sex scene, being booed harshly at the Cannes Film Festival and the subsequent media catfight between Roger Ebert and the director. The film was later Re Cut and given a wide release, and Ebert gave the recut a three star review.
- Cannibal Holocaust was notorious to a degree that it forced director Ruggero Deodato and the actors to explain that nobody died in production and the gore was just special effects. There is still a great deal of controversy to this day relating to animal cruelty, such as an infamous scene in which an actual, live turtle is brutally decapitated onscreen. Seven animals were killed during the film's production. Although the director himself condemned his past actions and seems genuinely regretful, many people are turned off by premise of actual deaths onscreen.
- Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ had sparked protests from religious groups worldwide, including the infamous attack at a Paris cinema where the use of Molotov cocktails injured 13 patrons and brought the theater under heavy repairs for the next three years.
- Likewise, Taxi Driver is good enough to stand on its own merits, but it will forever be linked to John Hinckley and his attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.
- Twilight Zone: The Movie will be forever tainted by the helicopter crash death of Vic Morrow and two child actors during filming.
- Monty Python's Life of Brian was considered by the troupe to be their best movie, but the protests surrounding its supposed heresy will always limit its popularity.
- At the time of release, protests by religious groups were described by the Pythons as the best publicity they could have hoped for. It really raised a lot of awareness of the film's existence, and led to a much higher box office taking. No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.
- Disney's Song of the South, like the stories it is based on, is remembered more for the Unfortunate Implications of a happy black ex-slave living in the American South than for anything other than, perhaps "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah".
- Melancholia gets remembered more for the infamous interview of its director Lars von Trier about how he "was a Nazi", and then how that got him banned from Cannes.
- HoundDog, as quoted on the page description above, was infamously referred to as the Dakota Fanning rape film by critics and moviegoers alike.
- Gangster Squad ended up being some scenes reshot because a theater shooting that occurred in the film resembled the real life 2012 theater massacre that had just occurred in Aurora, Colorado. Yet even with the reshoot, the film as whole was deemed to be so violent that it was still hard to forget the parallel with Aurora. It didn't help that the film was released about a month after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins received a lot of press for their violent content, which many considered too extreme for the PG ratings they were initially given. But it was agreed that they were also not explicit enough to deserve an R rating, and so PG-13 was created.
- Eraserhead - two words: the baby. Primarily because no one associated with the film (ESPECIALLY David Lynch) cares to discuss what the baby was made out of.
- "They're not even sure it IS a baby..."
- Fanny Hill is well known for having been a subject of obscenity tests and for having been banned in America from inception until a 1966 Supreme Court case ruled that the book has redeeming social value. When it was published in 1748, it got the author arrested on obscenity charges.
- Lolita is unfortunately more famous for the controversy that surrounds it than the actual content and quality of the novel: Vladimir Nabokov went through many publishers who refused to publish it, and after it was published, it was banned in many places for being "pornographic" or "an instruction manual for paedophilia" (which it is not). Even for people who aren't familiar with the history of the book, a lot of the covers/jackets make it look like erotica.
- The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie is recalled more for the ensuing fatwa declared on the author by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and for the fallout from that incident, than for the novel itself.
- The Uncle Remus stories are a group of actual fables told by slaves and former slaves in the American South, making them a valuable cultural resource. However, though once popular, they are now nearly unknown. Compiler and editor Joel Chandler Harris' fictional character who tells the stories, Uncle Remus, was written as an elderly ex-slave who was basically content to continue to work for a white family. The implied racism is now almost all that is known of the stories. The fables themselves, taken out of the Remus context, are stories about animals using their wiles to trick each other, and man, in order to survive. Unlike Aesop's fables, they are not meant to be morally instructive, but are a commentary on man resorting to animal-like behaviors in desperate circumstances.
- Uncle Tom's Cabin had a controversy that the publication of this book inspired over slavery, particularly in the years leading up to The American Civil War. However, few people have actually read the book, even those who (inaccurately) slur supposedly servile African Americans as "Uncle Toms".
- Rage by Stephen King is probably best known for being King's Old Shame after several school shootings were possibly inspired by the novel. King has let the work fall out of print.
- The Turner Diaries, a white supremacist novel by William L. Pierce, is best known for its association with Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber.
- The children's book The Pet Goat probably wouldn't have an article on The Other Wiki if it weren't for the fact that George W. Bush was reading it as he was notified of 9/11, and the subsequent debate over whether he should have left or kept reading like he did.
- The Sex Pistols are mostly known for trying to play "God Save The Queen" from a barge during the Queen's Jubilee after being prohibited from playing the song on land. Much of the bad press was intentional.
- As was the bad press they received for "Belsen Was a Gas", which was more of the Dude, Not Funny! variety.
- Black Metal is mostly associated with crimes committed by a few of it's members. This was not helped by said members exaggerating their own acts. As noted by Lords of Chaos in reference to an article in Kerrang:
Like it or not, however, the Kerrang! article was what brought Norwegian Black Metal to the rest of the world’s attention. It probably meant the crimes would eternally overshadow the music, but it was undoubtedly the best piece of international P.R. the scene would ever receive.
- This trope tends to be zigzaged with hip-hop artist. Sometimes they're overshadowed by controversy, other times they're FUELED by it.
- Evony, a browser-based, allegedly free strategy game, is more known for its infamous advertising campaign and false promises of boobs than for anything else. On top of that, the publishers have been accused of plagarism, spamming and distributing spyware, and they tried to sue a British blogger for libel for pointing it out (which backfired predictably).
- Very few knew of Innocence of Muslims on YouTube until protests in the Muslim world were triggered after an excerpt was aired on an Egyptian television station.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction The Conversion Bureau and its numerous spinoffs are most well known for their misanthropy, Unfortunate Implications and the intense Flame Wars that often accompany these fics.
- The majority of Chatoyance's stories are overshadowed by three very controversial works: "Ten Minutes: Aftermath", a Fix Fic that was interpreted (due to how Chatoyance posted a link right on the original author's comments page) as a middle finger to the fans of "Ten Minutes"; Around the Bend, a screed against Season Two; "New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus", a In Name Only Conversion Bureau fic that veered straight into Unfortunate Implications with its overtly misandric messages.
- More generally, her stories are most well known for their extreme misanthropy.
- WWE's 1999 Over the Edge pay-per-view will forever be known as the event where Owen Hart fell to his death.
- Survivor Series 1997: The Montreal Screwjob is pretty much the only thing this event is remembered for.
- Custer's Revenge was an unauthorized third-party game for the Atari 2600 in 1982. It gathered quite a bit of negative attention, particularly from feminist and Native American groups, as the objective involved raping an Indian woman. From the next generation of consoles onward, manufacturers require approval for games to be released on their machines.
- Daikatana, aside from its years spent in development hell, picked up controversy over its advertising campaign, which stated that "John Romero's about to make you his bitch. Suck it down." The game has mostly been forgotten aside from the aforementioned campaign and the negative press that brought Romero's development career down with it.
- The Manhunt series was best known for its premise of being about a convict being forced to take part in snuff films (the gameplay was mostly stealth based, with elements of Survival Horror). The first game was given mixed reviews, with some marking it down for the gorn and others praising it for its atmosphere, the sequel received average reviews across the board and the series was mostly forgotten.
- The Postal series is well-known for being a common target for Moral Guardians to campaign against video game violence, more so than any quality of gameplay, as opposed to other common targets like Doom or Grand Theft Auto.
- Night Trap was one of the video games that contributed to the creation of the ESRB ratings in the United States. An infamous bathroom scenenote in particular was what led to intense senate hearings with proponents of the ban saying it glorified violence toward women, while many of them admitted they hadn't played the game.
- The prequel to Fear Effect on the Playstation was known for having the first lesbian couple in the history of video game. A third game was supposed to be released but finally got cancelled.
- Mortal Kombat for being the game that singlehandedly created the ESRB.
- Coonskin, Ralph Bakshi's satirical Blaxploitation reimagining of the Uncle Remus tales. The Rev. Al Sharpton famously criticized the film without even seeing it, saying, "I don't got to see shit; I can smell shit!"
- The ''South Park" episodes "200" and "201" is a Milestone Celebration and we learn the real truth behind Cartman's father. However, "200" caused a Muslim group to send death threats to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for depicting Muhammad in a bear suit (even though it was really Santa Claus), Comedy Central altered "201" so all audio and visual references to Muhammad were censored, thus resparking the Muhammed cartoon controversy in real life. To this day, it has never been reran, it's not available for legal streaming and only the censored version has been released on DVD.
- The Adventure Time episode "What Was Missing" immediately became popular, AND controversial, for the alleged lesbian subtext between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen.