I don’t consider myself a typical movie-memorabilia collector, since I have no interest in the stuff coveted by most collectors which snags big bucks at auctions and movie memorabilia conventions. My poster perversion sprang out of my love for horror and exploitation films from the 60’s to the 80’s, and so instead of original posters for Star Wars, I have ones for Starcrash, a delirious Italian sci-fi turkey inspired by the George Lucas film. Instead of Marilyn Monroe, I have lots of Laura Gemser. And James Bond doesn’t have a place in my collection, though Filipino midget super-spy Weng Weng sure does… as do posters hyping oddities with titles like Scum of the Earth, Roadside Torture Chamber, The Gestapo’s Last Orgy and The Sinful Dwarf. For me, the weirder and more obscure the film the better – bonus points if iMDB.com doesn’t have a listing for it. The mere fact that posters and lobby cards for these films still exist and have actually hung in local drive-ins, grindhouses and cinemas around the world impresses me more than their rarity or market value.
Yes, a lot of these posters are bloody, sexist, gratuitous and politically incorrect. They serve as reminders that times have indeed changed, not only for the film industry and audience tastes but for movie-marketing as well. They definitely don’t make ‘em like they used to – what’s missing nowadays is ATTITUDE. Compare the wild, devil-may-care abandon of the artwork on this site to the majority of contemporary movie posters which are boring and formulaic: over-Photoshopped images of the three or four stars of the film spliced together on a one-sheet with the focus-group tested title and tagline slapped on them. What’s worse is, you’ll see the same McPoster in almost every country where that movie is playing – only the titles and taglines will have been versioned for the local market. Yet there was a time when each country would have it’s own version of a movie poster depending on the whims of the local distributor or imagination of the graphic designer. You can contrast how widely a film’s poster art could vary from country to country within these galleries yourselves.
These posters, ad mats, pressbooks and lobby cards are not only artifacts of a bygone era of film-making and film-marketing. They also take me back to my childhood when I was too young to see these films in the theaters but was captivated by their lurid and titillating promotional artwork in the movie-theater listings of the local newspaper. I was ten years old in 1979 when ads for movies like Phantasm and Dawn of the Dead (with the chilling tagline “When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth”) stoked my imagination, though no sane adult would have ever taken me to see those kinds of movies then. Nowadays the digital revolution has made these movies and others of their kind readily available with the click of a mouse, and with the aid of the same technology, I can share their wild, weird and wonderful promotional artwork with all of you.
In putting together this website, my aim is to post images which best reflect what the actual posters look like. For that reason, most of them have been scanned in pieces on an A3 scanner, then ‘sewn’ together in a graphics program. I have made minor color and contrast adjustments to bring the scan more in line with the actual poster, but I have not tried to clean up any of the images. All folds, tears, pinholes, spots and other signs of age and imperfection are left intact as time intended them to be. In fact, I think they add character and a history to what is otherwise a large sheet of printed paper. After all, these are vintage posters, most of which hung in movie theater lobbies and window displays in towns all over the U.S., Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Thailand, Turkey and Poland, and I feel it’s only natural they reflect that. Regretfully, the only thing I haven’t been able to reproduce here is the musty smell of old paper!
Exploitation films were often released and re-released under several different titles, even within the same country. For simplicity’s sake, I have tried to use the most popular or well-known English-language titles for each film, including non-English language productions if they were released with English titles in English-speaking countries. For non-English language films which were never released in English-language versions, I have used their original titles.
I encourage you to utilize the social media options included under every image to ‘like’, share or comment on posters. You can also join the POSTER PERVERSION Facebook group or Twitter feed (@PosterPerv) to be informed of new additions to the galleries. I will be posting new images on a regular basis.
All of my posters here are 100% originals – no reproductions have been included. At some point, I may want to sell off parts of my collection, but for now the posters are not for sale. However, if you have something interesting to trade…
Hope your eyeballs don’t pop out,