retro poster

Some of my favorite horror movie poster designs show illustrations from the movie, giving the viewer a glimpse of what they will see upon actually heading out to the theater and viewing the entire film. The poster design for the 1960 movie "Village of the Damned" shows imagery from the movie of the blond haired, glowing eyed children alongside bright, contrasting colors and a great tag line.

If you like weird 80's horror movies involving creepy kids, then "The Pit" will be right up your alley. Jamie is an awkward 12 year old boy who is neglected by his parents and bullied by his peers. He finds solace in talking to his teddy bear and spending time alone or spying on his babysitter. When he finds a pit of troll-like creatures in a hole in the woods, he uses their hunger to take revenge on the people who have mistreated him. I'm not sure if this movie was made with the intention of being a silly dark comedy, but that's exactly what this is.

When a single mom drops her daughter of at her first day of nursery school, you'd think she would use better judgement when she is unable to locate any teachers. Instead she chooses to drop her daughter off under the supervision of the school's head cook and is shocked to find out that her daughter is missing at the end of the day. Based on the novel of the same name by Marryam Modell, this film has developed quite the cult following over the years and rightfully so. The film, shot in black in white, is heavy in atmospheric creepiness with some amazing performances by the cast.

Joseph Adler's "Scream, Baby, Scream" can pretty much be summed up as a bad acid trip. Written by Larry Cohen ("It's Alive"), we meet a world renowned artist who plans on taking his artwork to the next level by creating living masterpieces with women that he's kidnapped. The bad dialogue, goofy fashions, and the tripped out camera angles give the feeling of many of those fun 60's monster movies. Unfortunately, it doesn't really have much going for it other than some fun psychedelic poster art. That and a weird scene where teenagers take acid and go play in a monkey cage at the zoo.

A fun and interesting poster made for a pretty crappy movie, "Snuff" doesn't have much going for it except for the buzz surrounding the ending. The whole movie follows a sadistic biker gang around as they kill people on camera. Marketed as if it were an actual snuff film, the notorious "tacked on" ending caused quite a stir in the 70's for featuring a supposedly "real" murder involving a female being butchered by the film crew. The film distributors even hired fake protestors to picket theaters in an effort to play up the snuff film urban legend.

Lucio Fulci's "Don't Torture a Duckling" was one of those movies that I saw once in it's entirety about 10 years ago and promptly pushed to the back of my mind. I had the chance to revisit it recently on Netflix and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Although not as violent and gory as Fulci's other movies, the film plays out more as a mystery with a few horror elements mixed in for good measure. Most notably, a gruesome scene in which a woman is beaten with chains by an angry mob is often the topic a conversation when discussing the movie.

20 years after Cyrus West's death, family members gather at his mansion for a reading of the will. Laura La Plante, who stars as Cyrus' niece Annabelle, learns that she is the only beneficiary of her uncle's will. The catch? A doctor must declare her sane in order to receive the fortne. As luck would have it, an escaped mental patient who thinks he's a cat, has taken refuge in the mansion, planning to rip apart his victims as a cat would a canary.

The 1978 Australian exploitation flick "Patrick" takes place in a hospital where the young main character, Patrick, lies comatose after brutally killing his mother and her lover. He uses telekinesis and psychic abilities to communicate with a young nurse and terrorize the hospital staff from his hospital bed. The film is a bit slow and relies mainly on the dialogue and acting to play out the story and is rated PG.

Many horror movie posters of the 1930's and 40's share a lot of the same characteristics and "Murders in the Zoo" is no different. Bright and bold fonts contrast with dark backgrounds and hand painted illustrations of the film's stars make posters from this time period a favorite for many horror nerds. In "Murders in the Zoo," Lionel Atwill stars as Eric Gorman, a wealthy and jealous zookeeper who catches his wife cheating on him. He will stop at nothing to keep her all to himself, even if that means having his zoo animals kill for him.

The movie poster for the 1974 horror classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" has all of the elements of a great horror movie poster. While the tag line asks its audience an ominous question and the illustration pulls audiences in with its gruesome nature, what I tend to focus on most is the subtitle at the very bottom of the poster promising the movie you are about to watch is true. The poster for Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is one of the most iconic horror movie posters for us horror fans.