June 26, 2021


Movie posters are a dying art. Today, most are little more than quickly slapped-together Photoshopped montages. But back in the days before the internet, posters really had to sell movies, which meant hiring artists and photographers with enough creativity to (sometimes deviously) get butts planted in theater seats. In the tradition of P.T. Barnum, sometimes the best posters were used to entice moviegoers into seeing the worst movies...

DEATH MACHINES - Who wouldn’t wanna check out a metallic monster built for the sole purpose of eating people? Unfortunately, the so-called ‘death machines’ in this disco-era cheapie are zombified martial arts assassins.

DEEPSTAR SIX - Producer-director Sean S. Cunningham’s intent was  to crank this out and get it in theaters before similar, bigger-budgeted films like The Abyss and Leviathan. Mission accomplished, but it's silly and sloppy. On the plus side, Miguel Ferrer is amusing and the eviscerated diver on the poster isn’t simply aesthetic. It actually happens in the film.

HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP - Babe-humpin’ beasties from the briny deep! This is something of a cult classic, though the poster art is far creepier and sexier than anything in the movie. Believe it or not, this one also features the late, great James Horner’s first-ever film score.

THE CAR - The concept of an automobile from Hell turning the good and not-so-good folks of a small desert town into road pizza is proof positive that Robert Evans wasn’t the only studio executive from the 70s doing too much cocaine. Stll, the sleek minimalism of this poster suggests maybe the movie might be scary after all.

DAMNATION ALLEY - This was supposed to be 20th Century Fox’s big sci-fi blockbuster of 1977. It didn’t turn out that way, of course, but the poster does prominently feature the one legitimately cool aspect of the film - the multi-wheeled Landmaster - arguably a better selling tool than killer cockroaches and giant scorpions.

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