Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Freaky Film Posters or: Do they feel all right in Poland? pt. 1

In my search for foreign film posters I have come to the conclusion that Poland has made the absolutely largest amount of disturbing ones. I almost feel the need to buy an airplane ticket there to see how the people are feeling. Has it to to with Hitler's invasion '39?
Well, anyway. I wanted to display some of them for you (you've already seen the poster for The Time Machine and A Clockwork Orange), so you can come with theories of what's going on in that country for yourselves!

This is part 1:

First out: After Hours (1985) by Martin Scorsese. I haven't seen this film, but it's supposed to have a Kubrick touch and a feeling of claustrophobia. But still... what is wrong with this poster?! If I owned that poster I would frame it and give it to my 7 year old niece. I hear fright is good for the character.

Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986). Seriously, what is that thing on the first poster?! And on the second one? "The Revenge of the Murder Bubbles"!

Amadeus (1984). This is probably among the top five best films of the 1980's. Or, it is without a doubt one of the best, because that decade sucks. And yes, it can be quite dark every now and then, but why did Poland make it look like a freaking nightmare? Why does Mozart have horns?

WHAT? And I thought the scene in The Big Lebowski (1998) where he flies through space with a bowling ball was weird, but that was before I saw this poster. It looks like a marijuana commercial. Or more like a really bad trip.

This poster for The Birds (1963) is perhaps the closest we come to a Polish-poster-justification. But it's still disturbing. It's flying skulls, for Pete's sake!

Boogie Nights (1997). A colorful art deco nightmare.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's 2: Holly Golightly this!" I would have a lot easier to believe that this poster was for a dark 1980's sequel of Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), but no...

It would actually be quite fun to use these posters for a "Guess the movie" quiz. Who would believe that this is the Polish poster for Brief Encounter (1945)? I wonder if those who design these film posters had seen the movies they are supposed to represent.

Remember that funny western drama with Paul Newman and Robert Redford? What was it's name again... The one with the blood stained poster. Oh, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), that's right!

I'll end part one of the Polish film poster theme with the freakiest of the freaky: Cabaret (1972)!

Happy nightmares!


Bill Stankus said...

Sort of blending 1950's USSR Commie propaganda art, de Sade and Zap Comics while doing acid.

Totally cool!

Mykal said...

Lolita: Wow. I like the one for Boogie Nights the best. Other than the obvious sexual content, it misses the feel of the film entirely. One would think Boogie Nights was perhaps a film about the art-deco jazz age. That's what I love about it. It aggressively misses the style of the film, and seems damn proud of it. -- Mykal

Courtney said...

All I can think are two things... Ewwww, and What the funky?

Samuel Wilson said...

That's a nice collection. I was just watching a French film, Deux Hommes dans la Ville in which Alain Delon as a Polish movie poster on his door. I couldn't make out which movie was being advertised, except that it was French from some of the names listed, but the image was someone's head with a huge mouth opening on the side near the top. Most likely it was some comedy. Ha ha.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher said...

this is one of my faves..

Elizabeth said...

Wow. Those are disturbing.

Lolita said...

Bill Stankus:
Pretty good summary of these posters, Bill! Haha! Hang on for more ;)

Yes, me too! That's what I love about these posters - the total lack of anything reminiscent of the original movie! Okay, in the Brief Encounter poster there is the silhouettes of a couple and a train station, but it doesn't really capture the feeling of the film, right? And Holly Golightly looks like a crack whore.

"What the funky" is an expression I will have to steal from you! ;)

Samuel Wilson:
I will have to have that in mind when I search for disturbing posters in the future! And I will tell you if I find it ;) Was the Alain Delon film any good?

Wow, cool! Seems like Czechoslovakia had their problems, too... Maybe I'll do a follow up on the Polish poster posts with Czech poster posts!

To say the least... Haha.

DKoren said...

Yikes! You aren't kidding! Those are definitely nightmare material. I love the After Hours one (though I haven't seen that film either).

Anonymous said...

I am a poster lover, but that was a really bomb in my mind. I don't catch them at all. Its a freaky show. I don't believe in my eyes.
Italian, Japanese and Germany posters with the old American posters are the best.
Some Japanese posters are for sure art of work.
But its a nice and interest post. I liked it cos if you dont have seen the bas how you can respect the good?

Lolita said...

Haha! That one is my favorite too, and something tells me I will disappointed if I see the film and don't find any gigantic ravens trying to eat the leading man!

Don Corleone:
Freak show is right! I love them, in a strange hate/love kind of way.
I agree with you, I have found a lot of Italian and Japanese posters that are lovely. And French!

NoirGirl said...

Oh my gosh Lolita! I think you are channeling my Graphic Design professor! We've been having a huge discussion about Polish film posters lately, looking at tons of examples, including many of your featured ones.

He told us that the reason they often have nothing to do with the actual plot is because the posters were created by artists for underground film houses, often without seeing the film beforehand. They would only have a vague description to work with, a couple of plot points, the title, the actors names - that's all.

No wonder they make little sense! I think maybe some of our modern poster designers should try this now, at least we'd get away from the "floating head" phenomenon. ;)

I love the one for Brief Encounter! When you've seen the film, it actually does make sense! The text used for the actors names is lovely!

Anonymous said...

I’ve meant to post about something like this on my webpage and you gave me an idea. Cheers..