I had a blast sharing some of my favorite foreign horror movie posters with you last year, but those ones merely scratched the surface of what's still lurking out there. In case you didn't know, the posters most of us associate with our favorite horror movies aren't always the same in other countries. Not only are they not the same, but I dare say that the horror movie posters in other countries are often superior to the ones here in the U.S. where many of those classic horror movies were filmed. On some, the artwork is absolutely brilliant, on others, it's incredibly insane. With that in mind, I'm happy to present you with another gallery of some of my very favorite foreign horror movie posters along with my observations about them.
The Toxic Avenger
I have some more crazy horror posters from Ghana to share with you, as they are without a doubt the source of by far the most insane foreign horror artwork on the planet. Of course, one should be eased into such forms of madness, so let's start with one of the tamer Ghanaian works in the form of the poster for The Toxic Avenger. The Toxic Avenger will always be one of my favorite movies, because I saw it soooo many times back when it was constantly playing on TV during the glory days of the USA Network. Considering how much gore there is in the movie, I'm surprised the Ghanian version of the poster doesn't depict any of that carnage, and instead does its best to immitate the original US version. Granted, they still added in some of their own elements such as half-nude women, a torn white tank top shirt, and blue shins. Still, this might be the most sensible poster to come out of Ghana, so enjoy this brief moment of sanity.
Here we have the absolutely fantastic Thai poster for Scanners. While the original poster shows Michael Ironside too, this one depicts him practically on fire with green veins popping out of his arms. I also appreciate that they included the infamous head explosion scene on the poster, even if it's not quite as splattertastic as the actual scene in the film. Overall, it's a poster that improves on the original with a nice collage of scenes from the film along with having Ironside engulfed in green flames. Or maybe he's becoming the Incredible Hulk. Either way, I approve.
Man's Best Friend
It's time to start ramping up the Ghanaian madness with the poster for Man's Best Friend. Don't get me wrong, it's still batshit crazy, what with Max the dog looking more like a wolf-bat hybrid, but at least they're kind of referencing something that actually happens in the movie. Max does chase a cat up a tree and proceeds to eat it whole, so they at least got that part right. I just don't recall him shooting beams out of his eyes at any point which somehow hypnotize a poorly drawn Lance Henriksen to fire his gun off at who knows what. Hopefully it wasn't at Ally Sheedy. Also, no clue what's going on with that white robot-cat mutant that's running around on the ground, but it's far scarier looking than Max if you ask me. Wait, maybe Max isn't eating cats in this poster; maybe he's barfing up killer robo-cats instead. So many unanswered questions...
This UK quad poster for Critters is easily my favorite promotional design for any film in the entire series. It's one of those posters where when you see it, you immediately think to yourself, "Yeah, I want that hanging on my wall." And what better place for the Critters to attack an unsuspecting victim than by bursting out of a mailbox? So devious. So perfect. I kinda wish I had one taking up residence in my mailbox... at least then that would explain why some of my mail arrives so damn late.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Here's Ghana's gory take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There's just so much going on here it's hard to decide where to begin. You have several axes that have apparently chopped off the limbs of various victims, which doesn't really make sense since they're trying to depict a chainsaw massacre. Then there's Leatherface, who for some reason appears to be wearing a leather surgical mask rather than one of his victim's faces. Or perhaps it's a beetle that decided to nest on his face... I honestly can't say for sure. I also like the guy sitting the chair who's just allowing his lower legs to be sawed off. He's not strapped in or fighting or anything. Maybe Leatherface caught him napping? Who knows. Gotta love the promotional text on the poster too, "Very, very brutal! Don't miss this!" As if the inherent brutality wasn't already perfectly clear, given the nature of the artwork here.
While it can't compare to the hilarity of the original film's Japanese poster that I featured in the previous installment, this Halloween II poster still has some nice artwork on it, including a depiction of the scene where Michael Myers jabs a hypodermic needle directly into somebody's eyeball. More interesting to me, however, is how Michael's mask has a huge gash torn in it and his skin underneath looks less like that of a human being and more akin to Swamp Thing.
Wait, Michael Myers is actually Swamp Thing? Now there's a truly scary thought.
The Thai poster for Terror Train is about as colorful and busy as they come, in all the best possible ways. It features a variety of characters from the movie, including the alien lizard costume, a blow-up doll, and of course... a train.
Come on, what's not to love?
He may be the Headless Horseman, but according to one artist in Ghana, he sure grew a nice rack in Sleepy Hollow.
The original VHS art for The Funhouse with the murderous jack-in-the-box is one of my earliest memories video rental store horror sections. And while I have loads of nostalgia associated with that artwork, I honestly think this Spanish version is superior. It's just nice to see the silhouette of Gunther, the deformed "monster" of the movie, depicted so well as he rides in one of the moving funhouse carts, ready to attack with a hatchet. Having him backlit by a crazed clown sign makes it all the better. It wouldn't surprise me if the film would've done even better rental numbers had they used this artwork in the US.
The Evil Dead
Remember that time in The Evil Dead when Ash wolfed out and became Teen Wolf right before he chopped some poor woman's head right off with a machete? Cool, me too. It sure was a stunning sequel to Ghost, huh. Thank you, Ghana.
Friday the 13th Part III
This Friday the 13th Part III Swedish poster is one of the strangest I've seen due to how it's an original photograph and Jason Voorhees looks nothing like how we've seen him depicted before. It appears as though Jason's human-flesh has started growing on top of his hockey mask, and then to give audiences a classic 3D scare, he's head-butting his way through a sheet of glass. Even his hockey mask is completely different. I'm not sure exactly why they chose to do their own photo shoot, but I sure am glad they did.
Maybe I need to rewatch Anaconda 3; I only remember it spitting blood at one point. However, if the titular snake actually barfs up what appears to be stomach acids onto its victims while squeezing them to death, as seen on this Ghanaian poster, then it's clearly worth giving another shot.
This Ghoulies poster is one of the nicer ones to come out of Ghana, and surpisingly doesn't have random bloody limbs scattered all over the ground. Instead it's just the Ghoulies hanging out with a girl and having a grand ol' time. And honestly, if you saw the Ghoulies, isn't that what you'd want to do? I dunno about you, but if I saw them, I wouldn't go running off in absolute terror; I'd invite them to have a party with me. Granted, it'd probably be somewhere more interesting than a party in a field of wheat, but if anybody could make a party in a field of wheat exciting, you can bet your ass it'd be the Ghoulies.
I also like how one of the Ghoulies basically looks like a pine tree with a big jaw.
You probably already knew that The Monster Squad is one of my all-time favorite monster movies, but you probably didn't know that it went by the name "Monster Busters" in Germany as you can see in this fantastic poster. True, the poster does kind of spoil how the movie ends with the monsters being sucked into a vortex, but there's no denying that the artwork here is truly excellent. Besides, I'll always give the thumbs up to any poster that shows Horace armed with a shotgun.
As awesome as the German version is, I honestly think this overhead shot Spanish poster art for The Monster Squad is the greatest ever created for the film. Shadowed silhouettes of each classic monster standing in town square ready to attack all the citizens in some kind of Western style showdown, just waiting for the clock to strike midnight; it's absolutely perfect!
I really dig the Japanese poster artwork for Deadly Friend. It makes the film seem far more serious than it actually turned out to be. Not only does it have Samantha's flesh rotting off to reveal a cyborg-like skeleton underneath (which I assure you does not happen in the movie), but given her hand gesture, she may also be a Vulcan. Almost makes you forget that this is the same movie where she threw a basketball so hard that it splattered Anne Ramsey's head on impact. Almost.
According to the people of Ghana, Cujo isn't just the tale of a killer dog, it's the tale of a depressed basset hound who has some kind of twisted hybrid horse-bear body. Well, I gotta hand it to 'em... they actually found a way to make Cujo more terrifying than the original story. But hey, would you expect anything less from a company like "Rolls Royce Video"? Nope.
Prince of Darkness
Lastly, we have the Japanese poster art for my all-time favorite horror film, John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. While I still prefer the Thai version more, I absolutely love how this one blends elements from the original poster, scenes from the movie, and some completely new artwork. In particular, we have a member of the Brotherhood of Sleep (perhaps Donald Pleasance himself?) standing in the foreground, with the green satan-liquid pouring out of where his head shoud be. I'm not even sure what the other characters on the sides are... possibly stone demons & gargoyles from around the church or monsters being brought forth from the other side? Whatever the case, it all makes for a hell of a striking image and I'm a big fan of it.
Big thanks to everyone who mailed in suggestions and collected poster images! Now that you've seen some of my favorite foreign horror movie posters, it's your turn once again. Which ones out of this lot were your favorites and why? Also, are there any additional posters I didn't mention that you think should be included in a future follow-up article? Lemme know!
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