Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sponsored By View Obscura Comics
As many of you may or may not know collecting classic movie posters, lobby cards and photographs is a real passion of mine. I often times spend hours rummaging through thrift stores, antique malls, flea markets and yard sales looking for authentic movie related items. I have put together quite a collection and one day I hope to get everything framed and up on my walls.
See Also: Movie Memorabilia at View Obscura
That being said, I woke up this morning with monster movie posters on my mind so I decided to post a collection of some great ones here for all to enjoy.
What makes for a great monster movie poster? Well a great monster is a good start but as you can see from some of the examples here a great work of art can sometimes make a bad monster look good. Of course that is the general idea isn't it? After all the sole purpose for these posters were to put butts in theater seats.
Another great element that most great monster movie posters share is a sexy damsel in distress. Monster plus half-naked woman means box office gold ... or so was the general idea during the golden age of monster films.
A great example of a great monster movie poster is this one (above) from "When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth". You have dinosaurs fighting in the background, a giant dinosaur eating a bikini-clad cave girl, people chained up, more bikini-clad cave girls and yet another bikini-clad cave girl with a spear front and center.
Would you want to see this movie? Oh, hell yes!
Here are more such posters, some with sexy girls and some without, some with great monsters and some without:
A great poster here! A giant dragon taking out the Golden Gate Bridge. Too bad the movie didn't live up to this artwork.
Reptilicus, a giant monster film about a fictional prehistoric reptile, is a Danish-American co-production, produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studios, and is upon close examination two distinctly different films helmed by two different directors.
The original version, which was shot in Danish was directed by Danish director Poul Bang and released in Denmark on February 25, 1961.
The American version, which was in English with a nearly identical cast, was directed by the film's American producer-director Sidney W. Pink; this version was initially deemed virtually unreleasable by American International Pictures and had to be extensively reworked by the film's Danish-American screenwriter, Ib Melchior, before being finally released in America in 1962.
King Kong (1933)
Of all the zillions of King Kong posters that were produced this one has always been my favorite. Great colors, great action pose, what's not to love?
King Kong is a Pre-Code 1933 fantasy monster adventure film co-directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, and written by Ruth Rose and James Ashmore Creelman after a story by Cooper and Edgar Wallace. The film tells of a gigantic island-dwelling gorilla-like creature called Kong who dies in an attempt to possess a beautiful young woman. The film stars Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong and opened in New York City on March 2, 1933 to good reviews. Kong is distinguished for its stop-motion animation by Willis O'Brien and its musical score by Max Steiner. The film has been released to video, DVD, and Blu-ray, and has been computer colorized. In 1991, the film was deemed "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
The Green Slime
Again everything you want in a monster movie poster. A sexy girls, great monster art and great action. The movie .... well not so good, but one of my faves none the less.
The Green Slime (ガンマー第3号 宇宙大作戦, Ganmā Daisan Gō: Uchū Daisakusen, aka Gamma 3: Operation Outer Space) is a 1968 science-fiction film produced by MGM in the United States and shot in Japan at the studios of Toei Company by director Kinji Fukasaku. The film was spearheaded by the same creative team who produced similar Italian outings including Wild, Wild Planet, Ivan Reiner and Walter Manley.
Frankenstein meets The Wolf Man
Two great monsters combine for one great poster. There's Frankie carrying off a woman in her night-gown .... ya gotta have that .... and you have The Monster and The Wolf Man trying to kick the crap out of each other. Nuff said.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, released in 1943, is an American monster horror film produced by Universal Studios starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster. The movie was the first of a series of "ensemble" monster films combining characters from several film series. This film, therefore, is both the fifth in the series of films based upon Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and a sequel to The Wolf Man.
What can I say about this one? Great image of a sexy woman cowering in fear in the shadow of a truly grotesque looking Frankenstein silhouette. This one is just about perfect.
Frankenstein 1970 is a 1958 science fiction horror film, starring Boris Karloff and Don 'Red' Barry. This independent film was directed by Howard W. Koch, and its alternative titles were Frankenstein 1960 and Frankenstein 1975. Released on a low budget, the film was originally intended to be named Frankenstein 1960 but it did not sound futuristic enough. In October 2009, Warner Brothers released the DVD "Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics" which includes Frankenstein 1970 as one of the four films and features an audio commentary by co-star Charlotte Austin and historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns.
Destroy All Monsters
This is pure monster heaven! You have just about every great Japanese movie monster in one poster. Japanese monster posters are always amazing and this one stands out on top!
Destroy All Monsters, released in Japan as Charge of the Monsters (怪獣総進撃, Kaijū Sōshingeki), is a 1968 Japanese science fiction kaiju. The ninth in Toho Studios' Godzilla series, it was directed by Ishirō Honda with special effects by Sadamasa Arikawa (supervised by Eiji Tsuburaya.) This is the fifth film to feature Mothra, third to feature King Ghidorah, fourth to feature Rodan, and second to feature Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Minilla, Baragon, and Varan. This film is also considered that last of the more classical era of Showa films.
Bride of the Monster
Great classic vampire poster! Again the reoccurring theme of the monster (or in this case vampire) carrying off a rather buxom maiden. What's with the meatball with tentacles?
Bride of the Monster is a 1955 sci-fi horror film starring Bela Lugosi, along with Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy and Loretta King Hadler. It was produced, directed and co-written by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
A sequel, entitled Night of the Ghouls, was finished in 1959, but due to last-minute financial problems, was not released until 1987.
With this one you don't even need a mummy in the poster to sell the film. A severed hand choking a buxom victim ... that's all you really need. I love the look of terror on the woman's face. Great poster!
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is a 1971 British film starring Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, and James Villiers. This was director Seth Holt's final film, and was adapted from Bram Stoker's novel The Jewel of Seven Stars. The film was released as the support feature to Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.
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