Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Lost Art: Exploitation Posters By The Boatload

Oh, fuck yeah...

"Horror, Sci-fi, exploitation, cult, trash, B-Movie posters"

All high res, and all fucking awesome. I've wasted at least a week of my life on this site and only discovered it yesterday... I admit I wish the site had a strict "year 2000" cut-off date, but hell, I guess the occasional modern feature thrown in just for comparison's sake isn't hurting anything.

The art of the theatrical poster is, for all intents and purposes, a completely dead art form. In this age of viral marketing and leaked screeners and IMDb, there's virtually no need to advertise a movie anymore; everyone will know all about it without even trying, will dismiss it without having seen it, and then pay to see it in a theater even after they've seen a shoddy cam copy subtitled in Russian with some asshole farting all through the final reel. The poster seems quaint now when odds are you can watch the entire fucking movie on youtube in 10 postage-stamp sized chunks, but it was the only advanced marketing most non-blockbusters saw, and in the days before home video, it was literally their one and only shot to make some damn money. Because of this most of them were clever, enticing, and often just plain gorgeous... though odds are absolutely nothing you saw in the poster really appeared in the film...

Holy fucking Christ on a sybian, just look at that poster!
Lamberto Bava's DEVIL FISH must be the best. Movie. EVER.

A real pet peeve of mine is when films of a bygone era get modern photoshop nightmare covers... but that's something I'll have to rag on another day. There are a hand-full of films that try, bless them, to inject the elegant look of painted art - Mya, Anchor Bay, even X-Rated Kult has commissioned new pieces - but it's all an imitation... a well meaning throwback to an era long gone.

That doesn't make the posters we do have any less sweet, though.

...seriously, "Is The Father Black Enough"? I can't tell if this thing is legit, or if some bored anon just made it all up. The smirking nigra pumping his fist in the air looks oddly contemporary for a vintage piece, there's zero yellowing or reflections in the "white", the elements (text, logos, etc) don't look like physical cutouts, and the "Joy-Oke Production" tag is a hell of a red flag... still, the fact that it stuck into the page at all is a testament to the 'throwback' thing I was talking about, so kudos to Joy-Oke for making me laugh.