It’s funny what kinds of things can spark you into going down a rabbit hole and losing an evening of your time to some creative concept. The following conversation inspired me to finally learn something I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
Steve: First up on my Shudder playlist is Prince of Darkness, Sennentuntschi, The Old Dark House, VIY, The Changeling, The Beyond, Monster Party, Revenge, Phantasm Ravager.
Jeremy: You are just making those names up!
Jeremy: I kind of want to train a neural net to make horror movie titles now.
It turns out that with a little minor programming knowledge and some general technical know-how, you can build a neural network and train it off of text pretty easily. This Lifehacker article got me started. I got textgenrnn installed and up and running pretty easily, but the hardest part was figuring out how I was going to build my database of titles.
Luckily, the hard-working people behind Wikipedia had collated tables of movie titles throughout the decades. Copying and pasting a single column of an HTML table isn’t easily accomplished, except I found a Chrome extension that made it simple. From that, I began the laborous process of going through each year and decade and about an hour later, I had 3,500 horror movie titles to serve as grist for my neural mill. I just used all the titles from the 1940s onward that were in Wikipedia. I imagine there are many missing from my dataset, but it seemed large enough to work from.
I trained it on 10 epochs and played around with a temperature score from .5 to 1.0 (anything higher than 1.0 resulted in complete nonsense, and oddly, the rare actual title). Some of the results were awesome. Some were funny. Anyway, enough about methodology. You want to see some of the titles! Here are some of my favorites out of about 110 that I kept.
Top Ten Cool/Want to Actually See Or Possiblly Write
- Cat Mantis!
- Primal in the Red Wicks
- A Vampire’s Dead on Elsion
- Or, Vampire for the World of Grave
- The Nine Shelley
- Eat the Night
- The Chainsaw Mentor
- Creep Baseball
Top Ten Funny (Or At Least They Made Me Laugh)
- The Terror of Part II: The Dead Row
- Lake Bad Haunted Hunter
- Serial Sister
- Stard vs. Piss
- The Night Babes from Maris
- Shark 2
- Hot Ransomer
- Don’t Comb Your Soul
- Lips from the Wizard
- Pirhana 33DD (I spit out my soda when I saw this one)
Some of these, for all I know, may be actual titles, but I tried to check them against my master list.
Which ones are your favorites?