Edited by: Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh
The cover of this book is slightly misleading. It features instantly recognisable images from Frankenstein, Dracula, Jaws, The Shining and The Exorcist. But it also features many under-rated gems as well as a lot of unknown images from the 80 years of horror movies covered. I wouldn’t want anyone who sees this book to dismiss it as a generic horror poster book.
Although there is depth, there’s maybe not enough. The collection and work that’s gone into finding these prints is commendable, yet there’s room here for so much more. But considering how vast a spectrum of work any genre of film brings, it’s a noble effort which gives a taste of both the prime and forgotten examples of work out there. You’ll definitely be wondering about certain missing images, but don’t let that damage your opinion of the book.
Unlike the Decade poster books we covered by the same editors, this book comes with written pieces on many of the posters included. There’s also a foreword by Sir Christopher Frayling who Leone fans may recognise from the biography he wrote or the Dollar trilogy films to which he contributed commentary and documentary time (not to mention showing off his huge collection of poster art for those films too!).
Gems include a pulled teaser poster for A Nightmare On Elm Street 4 which features a very Bond-esque poster of Freddy Kruger (naughty naughty), a cool Frankenstein 3-D poster which shows how 3-D was marketed back in the 70s. It doesn’t matter what your preference is – Dracula, Frankenstein, mummies, vampires, zombies, slashers – they’re all given space and room to breathe. You want devil worship or possession? You’ll find The Omen (with an interesting alternative poster), The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. There’s even space given to Tom and Jerry and Mickey Mouse!
Published by Aurum, this is a step forward for the Reel Poster gallery in presenting us with a book that seeks to go deeper still, covering a collection of images spanning the better part of a century. It’s interesting to see just how far we’ve come in the industry both in terms of film making and marketing. And also to see how artwork has changed over the decades to fit the current audience.