Trailers are great 'n all, but there's no denying that it's the posters for many horror movies that really get fans interested in seeing them. We're talking about posters for films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and more than have become as iconic as the movie monsters themselves. Well, you may not be aware of it, but 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 a gallery of some of my very favorite foreign horror movie posters.
The Lost Boys
Here we have the German version of the poster for The Lost Boys. Fantastic isn't it? I'll take brilliant artwork like this over the black & white cast photo on the U.S. poster for the film any day of the week. First off, we have the floating head of David (Kiefer) looking ferocious as a vampire can be, next to a miniature moon that's covered in some kind of green slime substance. Perhaps a lot of vampires were splattered by the Frog Brothers up there too. Also above David, we see his other vampire pals and Michael from the scene in the movie in which they're dangling from steel rods under a train bridge. Even with a slime covered moon, this poster does a far superior job of representing the movie and making me want to see it than the original ever did.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Okay... so... here's the deal. While the poster artists of Ghana are somewhat lacking in artistic skills, they more than make up for it with batshit crazy posters to promote the movies. The seventh installment of Friday the 13th is still one of my favorites in the series to this day, and the original poster art was nice too. But this Ghanaian version of the poster? Holy shit, just look at it! Where do we even begin? Well, for starters, Jason has apparently dumped the ol' hockey mask and is no happy to show off his ever-decaying face. He looks less like a zombie monster and more like somebody's wacky ol' grandpa who lost an eye in the war. I do love that he's also holding an axe AND the tree trimmer blade from the movie.
We also can't ignore the fact that there's not one, but three bloody victims right there on the poster. I mean, there's a naked woman literally sawed in half right there on the ground, another bloodied person hung upside-down, and somebody with an arm nailed to a tree. I don't even know what's going on with the two people on the right, since their lower torsos are no longer there and I can only assume they've been sewn together.
Lastly, the movie is called Friday the 13. How great is that?
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors
Speaking of great, how about using "Freddy 3" as a name for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors instead? The original poster for this movie is an absolute classic, what with the Dream Warriors ready for battle as they stare down Freddy Krueger, but I really like this version too. It still has a giant Freddy head on it, only now he's actually slashing through the poster itself with three of his four razor finger blades. Even better, is we see Joey feeling a little tongue tied on the bed after his encounter with nurse Krueger. Add in a few extra flashes from the movie such as the big Freddy snake, mom's severed head, and Freddy's house, and you have another great poster.
John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness
Now this is one I really love. Prince of Darkness is my all-time favorite horror movie, but the poster wasn't too memorable. This Thai version of the poster takes care of that and then some. You still have the church shooting out pure, concentrated green evil off in the distance, but now you also have all kinds of highlights from the film including Donald Pleasance as the priest with an axe and a girl coughing up liquid Satan. Oddly enough, there's no girl in a nightgown who gets tossed through a mirror in the film, but hey, it looks pretty awesome on the poster here, so who cares?
Holy crapballs! You can't tell me this poster isn't absolutely amazing. If the shark actually had two jaws in Jaws 2 as depicted on this Polish poster, it may have been even better than the original Jaws. That is seriously incredible, and I only wish the designer of this poster had some other variations to show us. Who wouldn't want to see a double-jawed Quint? Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies...
Day of the Dead
Yes! I love the original poster for George Romero's Day of the Dead as much as anybody, but this one just sells is so well. For starters, you have a fantastic zombie in the foreground along with those nightmarish zombie hands bursting through the wall scene. More importantly we see Rhodes twice on the poster: one shot of him shooting his gun, and another shot of that famous scene where he's being torn apart while telling the zombies, "Choke on 'em!" My only gripe is that we don't really see Bub the zombie anywhere. I suspect that's supposed to be him in the foreground there, what with the collar 'n all, but they probably thought he needed to look scarier. And surely he does look like a menacing zombie, but Bub should've still made an appearance somewhere on the poster.
Freddy vs. Jason
Hey, remember that scene in Freddy vs. Jason where Jason bursts through a window to choke the life out of Stephen Wright while the headless body of Freddy sits idly next to a young Jason Voorhees and a bloody sickle at the table? Good. Me too.
As excited as I was for Freddy vs. Jason, I've always hoped for a Critters vs. Gremlins movie too. While that will likely never happen, I can still be entertained by this awesome Critters poster from Spain. I love this poster because it prominently features the hunters from the films in addition to a big Critter. And just look how happy they hard there to have bagged three of those deadly Critters while holding giant alien bazookas 'n what have you. Also, the big critter on this poster is a serious braggart too, because he's basically saying, "The small, furry critters are clever and dangerous and they devour everything!" Wow. I'm glad they don't speak in the movies.
Army of Darkness
Now here's a departure from your average Army of Darkness poster. So how do you make Ash look like even more of a badass than he already is? Japan has apparently discovered the answer by having him stand atop giant cans of Campbell's soup. Bruce Campbell's soup to be precise. There's also a grocery bag from S-Mart towards the top right, shots from the movie in each of the four corners, toothbrushes near a yellow bald guy saying "MOOOONN", and dolphins diving through coat hangers in the background. Goddamn... I love Japan so much.
Moving right along, we have another fantastic poster from Thailand for the sci-fi horror classic, They Live. I like this poster a lot because it features a nice collage of many things from the film. Sure you have Roddy Piper holding up the glasses and seeing the aliens in the reflection, but we also see some of the alien police troops, Keith David blasting away, Meg Foster with her haunting eyes, and a few alien messages scattered about. What I don't get is why they featured the drifter turned alien collaborator (George Flower) so prominently on the poster. Nothing wrong with him or anything, but he doesn't exactly have the largest role in the movie, which makes it all the more amusing that he's presented larger than Keith or Meg.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Oh Ghana... you truly are a place of wonder. Not only does this Elm Street poster simply titled "A Nightmare", but it also features two completely different looking Freddy Kruegers. The one up top appears more furry than burned (not to mention the baby carriage is from the fifth movie instead of the original), and the one on the bottom has some extremely long razor fingers on his glove. Then again, it doesn't really matter, because that other guy down there got chopped in the face with an axe before Krueger even had a chance to get to him. Hey... accidents happen.
Look, the original Ghoulies poster is pretty much perfect, so I'm not going to tell you this one is far superior or anything. What I do like is that this one is a hand-painted version of that same photo from the original poster, and the artist decided to spice things up a bit by removing the back of the toilet and instead adding in some small flying Ghoulies to the mix. Works for me!
Evil Dead 2
This Evil Dead 2 poster proves that Ash is such a badass that he can keep sawing deadites to pieces even after his head has been chopped off. I approve.
Dead Alive / Braindead is one of my favorite horror-comedy films in the world, and I assure you, at no point in the movie does the above scene take place. That said... I kinda wish it did, so I could understand just what in the hell is going on here with the sexy nurse and the troublemaking zombie kid. I just have to know how this is going to play out.
Friday the 13th
It's a simple poster, but still a striking image for any Friday the 13th fan: a bloody axe chopping through some pillows presumably in one of the cabins at Camp Crystal Lake. I guess what I really like about this Italian poster, aside from the quality of the art, is the idea that Jason ran out of people to kill, so he decided to take out his agression on some pillows. I guess even unstoppable maniacs need to blow off a little steam every now 'n then.
Return of the Living Dead
It's tough to top the punk rock zombie motif of the original Return of the Living Dead poster, but this Thai one does a pretty damn good job of it. If I had to pick a favorite thing, it would have to be the zombie hand bursting up from the earth to tag the name with a can of spray paint. It's also funny seeing Trash (Linnea Quigley) leaning up against a tombstone looking somewhat annoyed at the girl rising up in the foreground with the wet t-shirt. Is Trash jealous that this girl took away her opportunity to be the center of attention with her infamous topless graveyard dance? It's also nice to see some of the other prominent zombies from the film featured on the poster, including the zombie who coined the classic "braiiiins" line, Tar Man! Top that all that off with more tombstones, zombies, and some evil looking spirits floating in the sky, and you have yourself one hell of a nice poster.
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
Come on... would you rather have the original Tales from the Crypt movie poster, or a copy of it that looks like it was submitted for an elementary school art contest? Gotta love how the Cryptkeeper is morphing into an alligator on this one.
Return to Horror High
Return to Horror High was one of the earliest horror movies I ever reviewed here on I-Mockery, and that's mainly because it was one I remembered renting solely based on the poster & VHS art. Finding out that Maureen McCormick (aka: Marsha Brady) and George Clooney were among the stars of the movie was the icing on the cake. I'm glad they didn't lose the awesome skeleton cheerleader from the original poster here, because she's definitely an essential element, but they added in some other great stuff. We have a bunch of body parts and some severed heads, and I can't ignore the fact that the one on the far left looks like Tony Danza. Who's the boss now, Tony? Would've been nice to see Maureen or George featured on the poster, but I'm glad they included the room full of prom girl skeletons in the mix.
This may be the most infamous of the foreign posters, simply because the art is so incredibly hilarious. I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure the art for The Fly poster in Poland was created by an eight-year-old on an old Amiga computer. Can you imagine somebody seeing this poster and then watching the movie without having seen the trailer or anything else? I would go into that film expecting to see an animated creature with the head of Karl Pilkington, barfing up stomach acids all over the ground.
And lastly, this might be my favorite poster of all. In this Japanese Halloween poster, they've managed to make the menacing Michael Myers look like a cross between Gollum from Lord of the Rings and a smiling anime character. He's no longer an emotionless boogeyman with hollow eyes, he's a happy-go-lucky guy who just happens to enjoy stabbing ladies in the skull. Golly, I bet that smarts, Mikey!
Alright, you've now seen some of my favorite foreign horror movie posters, now it's your turn? Which ones out of this lot were your favorites and why? Also, are there any posters I didn't mention that you think should be included in a future follow-up article? Lemme know! Also be sure to check out PART 2 of my favorite foreign horror movie posters!
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