I love art. Even as a kid I could find appreciation from a painting, sketch, comic book or even merchandise packaging. Shit, I even attended art class during my college days.
Which reminds me of all those nekkid women models being paraded about for the sake of sketching! Ah, memories!
One of the advantages of being an admirer of art and a film buff is the clever aesthetic impressions I would get from the various horror and science fiction movie posters of ye olden days.
Here are but a few that stood out to me for the most part.
John Carpenter’s The Thing
This poster, from one of the greatest reboots of all time, was so iconic that it was displayed in a scene from Stephen King’s The Mist.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
I have chosen this one as opposed to the other collage poster that most moviegoers are familiar with. Here’s Darth Vader wielding a light saber in such a menacing stance while underneath his cape appears to be a swarm of Tie Fighters.
At the bottom center are Stormtroopers advancing into battle. I suppose and on both sides, you can feel the dread from the main protagonists (Luke, Han and Leia) just by looking at their facial expressions.
The pale blue saturated highlights from Vader blends perfectly with planet Hoth’s sky.
His extended hand is obviously from the infamous scene where he attempts to convince his son Luke to join the Empire so that they can bring “order to the Galaxy”! Oh, and there’s Billy Dee sans Colt 45!
Confession: What’s funny is over a month ago. I selected this poster as one of the contenders for this article and low and behold, my colleague Scott Colbert had aired a Podcast mostly dedicated to the classic 1980 slasher Spinell cult classic. Now that’s a coincidence for ya!
This poster says it all, Spinell’s character appears to be holding a severed woman’s head with his left hand and what appears to be a hunting knife in the other.
His attire is stained with blood and a messy pool of red tells me that this sick fucker means business!
Also convincing was that caption:
“I warned you not to go out tonight!”
Like the classic film itself, this poster has a unique creepy vibe.
At the upper center, you see Michael in a falling position (just like it was shown within the movie) while in the center is the sphere with blades and screw affixed. I’m certain that many who first glanced the poster, would ask “What the fuck is that”?
To complement the silver ball is, of course, the iconic and menacing Tall Man. The red background saturates both the protagonist and The Tall Man’s underlings while the ball and the frightful face bears a cool whitish shade. Both contrast and juxtaposition worked very well for the Phantasm poster. It bears subtle aesthetics of Hell (Top) and cold vibe of Death itself (Bottom).
Escape from New York
Ah, another reason why I love this movie so much. As a matter of fact, it was due to this poster plastered as an advertisement billboard inside a NYC subway, which first caught my interest of this movie. The highlight of the poster is obviously the detached head of Lady Liberty while center below outlaw Snake Plissken, The President of the United States and Maggie are fleeing a very irate mob of inmates.
The row of abandoned buildings on each side give off a claustrophobic feel like as if there’s no salvation to be found whatsoever. Snake firing the Mac 10 SMG must have been an afterthought since it looks as if he wasn’t aiming toward anyone or anything for that matter.
I may have not been interested in seeing this film had it not been for this poster.
The Incredible Melting Man
When I first got wind of this film, I thought to myself; “A grotesque decaying zombie with super strength, speed and a voracious hunger for human flesh?? Cool”!!!
Unfortunately, the movie seriously failed to live up to my expectations.
It was as cheesy as the titular character. God awful! At least the film helped to launch the career of Rick Baker. That being said, the movie poster itself is what I would call, “Incredible”!
I’m not referring to the one that was actually used in the theaters, but this one done specifically for Arrow Films’ DVD/Blu-Ray release.
The entire poster bears a bluish-green color scheme with astronaut Steve West’s face (or what’s left of it) as the focal point of the painting. What’s fascinating is the ring around his left eye that is similar to the planet Saturn, which was responsible for his “skin condition”.
That’s a very good addition as with the titular character’s silhouette at underneath the mouth and with a glowing aura around him. Let’s not forget that severed head oozing down the edge of the logo’s wall.
All of the aforementioned features, served as integral parts of the cult film. Great painting and it’s really sad that the film itself couldn’t measure up to what was presented from those scary-ass posters.
Well those were my picks and I’m sure that I missed a shitload of great if not better choices.
Have any favorite posters in mind?
Don’t be so modest and drop ’em in the comments section below.
But wait!! I’m not done yet!
As a bonus, I have included a few re-imagined retro like movie posters.
These artists deserves props a plenty!