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Photoshop Fails: 'Cook-Off!' Edition (AKA What Fresh Hell Is This?)

By Tori Preston | Industry | September 19, 2017 |

By Tori Preston | Industry | September 19, 2017 |

Yesterday we witnessed the glorious graphic design fail that was Tomb Raider. Well kids, hold on to your butts because today we’ve got a poster that’ll make Tomb Raider’s look like a National Geographic cover.

To be fair, the poster for the upcoming Melissa McCarthy comedy Cook-Off! is only part of the story. Remember how everyone was like “Holy Shit, Tulip Fever sat around for like 3 years before it got released!” Well, this movie has been shelved for a DECADE. Like, literally a fucking decade. Look it up on IMDb. Apparently it debuted at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado in 2007, then was shelved, and has now been picked up and reportedly re-edited by Lionsgate (according to Entertainment Weekly).

So is there any sort of over/under on movie releases? Some arbitrary date whereby if it hasn’t been released for public consumption then maybe, ya know, it shouldn’t be?

Would that arbitrary date happen to coincide with a DECADE?

And why release it now? My bet is that it’s a belated way to capitalize on not just Melissa McCarthy’s star power, but also the popular (and anxiety-inducing) video game Overcooked. Seriously, don’t play it. And if your friends are ever like “No really, it’s a great party game!” tell them to get the fuck out of your house.


Oh, but wait — there’s more! There’s also this trailer!

Look, there are a lot of genuinely funny people in this movie. Niecy Nash! Diedrich Bader! Ben Falcone (McCarthy’s husband)! Wendi McLendon-Covey, who co-wrote the film with director and co-star Cathryn Michon (who apparently also wrote A Dog’s Purpose… just to throw that out there…). And despite the very obvious Christopher Guest-ishness of it all, there is potentially fertile ground to cover in a mockumentary approach to cooking competitions (if Gordon Ramsay and Top Chef and The Great British Bake Off and all the rest are any indication).

But to get back to the heart of the matter: THIS POSTER.


This poster is NOT doing the movie any favors. This poster is not doing my sanity any favors. This poster defies any basic understanding of physics, and spacial awareness, and the essential duality of light as both a particle and a wave (as opposed to something that just hits faces from any angle with no coordinated source). It calls into question the nature of reality.

As Kristy pointed out, the graphic designers were likely working with whatever materials were made ten years ago when the movie was fresh, because there’s NO WAY any of these folks are coming back for a new key art photo shoot now. And that makes sense! That’s fair!

But that doesn’t explain why poor Wendi’s been lit on fire. If that happens in the movie, then ok — but it’s a spoiler.

Also why doesn’t Melissa’s head fit under her hair?

Why are award ribbons being hung from dishes that HAVEN’T FINISHED COOKING?

Where does Niecy think she’s going to pour that pot of food?

At least one thing is for certain: an essential mystery of Tomb Raider poster has been resolved!

Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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