Candy’s great. But once the kids pack it in for the night, take a moment to remember what Halloween is really all about: things that go bump, blah, boo, and ree! ree! ree! in the night.
So pop some corn, scrape together the last few fun-size Twixes, kill the lights, grab a spot on the couch next to the sultry stewardess or Medusa in your life, and pop in one of the horror classics below—chosen as much for their cinematic glory as for their eery and avant-garde poster designs.
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)—poster by Bill Gold
Children of the Damned (1963)
Christine (1985)—poster by Jakub Erol
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)—poster by Frankfurt Gips Balkind
The Beast Within (1982)
The Shining (1980)—poster by Saul Bass
Beetlejuice (1988)—poster by B.D. Fox Independent
Further Reading (and Watching): For a complete list of ‘The 50 Greatest Horror Movie Posters of All Time,’ visit Film.com. We found their article via the website of poster artist Midnight Marauder—revisit his top-five horror flicks from last Halloween here.
The 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony airs this Sunday evening at 4pm Pacific on ABC. Have you seen all the films yet? With nine nominees crowding the Best Picture category alone, we won’t blame you if you haven’t. However, these things are always more interesting when you have a dog in the fight (and something to talk about at Oscar parties come Sunday)—so if your Friday and Saturday plans permit, consider taking in a last-minute film or two.
We’re honored to have five original, exclusive poster designs below, created just for us by LA-based graphic artist (and film buff) Midnight Marauder, representing five of his favorite Best Picture nominees. Read his crib notes, watch the trailers, and then hit up Fandango to find a screening near you, pre-Oscar night.
ARGO – Directed by Ben Affleck. “I went a little Syriana on this design. I guess the film struck me as CIA on a mission. George Clooney produced the film, so it has that vibe to it.”
LINCOLN – Directed by Steven Spielberg. “I’m a big Civil War buff. I ritually watch Civil War by [documentary filmmaker] Ken Burns a few times a year. So the entire Lincoln story is something I’m deeply passionate about. Only a true maverick like Daniel Day-Lewis could bring Lincoln’s last few months to the screen with such vigor. For the design, I wanted something simple and nostalgic.”
DJANGO UNCHAINED – Directed by Quentin Tarantino. “QT is a marvelous writer. I can imagine him giddy with excitement when he called Christoph Waltz over to read his part. I loved the energy of each character—but when Waltz and DiCaprio left the film, it lost me a little.”
AMOUR – Directed by Michael Haneke. “Haneke has crafted quite a love story, with devastating effects. This one will really get to you if you let it. I couldn’t help bringing a Polish touch to such a depressing and beautiful film.” [Ed. note: Artists in Poland have been particularly renowned in the realm of poster art for decades.]
ZERO DARK THIRTY – Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. “Female directors are a bit rare in the industry, but I love Bigelow’s films. She’s right up there with action guys like Paul Greengrass and Guy Ritchie. Again, I was feeling inspired by Polish poster design.”
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The Real Winner: As many critics might attest, the year’s truly best movies don’t always win awards—or even get nominated. In Mr. Marauder’s opinion: “Honestly, the best picture this year is The Master. It’s a shame that Paul Thomas Anderson [director of There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights, among others] hasn’t yet gotten the recognition he rightly deserves.”
More Midnight Marauder: The grid above contains just a few of our latest favorites from Marauder’s vast archive of hundreds of eye-widening poster designs, spanning from celluloid classics to upcoming releases. We chose these based solely on aesthetics—but given the designer’s taste level, you can bet money each is worth adding to your Netflix queue as well. [Click images to enlarge. Ryan Gosling’s The Place Beyond the Pines, bottom left, is due in theaters late March.]
Marauder’s latest limited-edition print—created for a recent ‘Oscar Legends’ exhibit at Hero Complex Gallery in San Francisco—is still available for sale (framed if you so desire). It depicts 1978 Best-Picture winner The Deer Hunter, about which Marauder had the following to say: “One of my favorite films of all time…it encapsulates everything that I adore in cinema. Director Michael Cimino’s intimate epic about family, brotherhood and war is the ultimate ’70s film. The Russian roulette scene is one of the greatest gifts to cinema ever realized.”
If you find yourself in the Portland, Oregon, area this Sunday—see the Deer Hunter print in person, along with Oscar Legends as depicted by many other artists, at Hero Complex’s pop-up gallery at the Hollywood Theatre.
In honor of today’s ominous holiday, movie buff and design mastermind Midnight Marauder recently released a series of re-imagined movie posters inspired by his favorite horror films of the past 40 years.
In a true feat of artistic prowess, the LA-based graphic designer constructed a self-imposed challenge of creating five posters in five days. The results are below, along with notes from Marauder himself. Now all you need is the proverbial bowl of candy on the porch, so trick-or-treaters don’t egg your house while you’re busy freaking the [expletive] out in front of your flat-screen tonight.
#1 of 5: The Exorcist. “For the first poster in the series, I wanted as little color as possible. I also tried to bring an edge that the film gives from the very beginning—as if the film was made by a demented Polish director.” [Editor’s note: Some might call the on-set methods of Amercian director William Friedkin demented indeed.]
The Exorcist airs on IFC tonight.
#2 of 5: Drag Me to Hell. “One of my favorite horror thrillers of the last 10 years. It’s a gem, a masterpiece of a film—it’s a ‘Treehouse of Horror’ story put to film. I tried to really bring the sense of evil, with the hands clawing themselves up, and the eyes that stare right back at you.”
#3 of 5: The Fly. “Cronenberg’s fascination with the human body takes new form in his remake of the classic. Not much color to speak of—I didn’t want any colors that we tend to associate with the film, glowing greens and blues. Metal-grey is more bleak. The halftone image represents the molecules morphing within the teleportation machine.”
#4 of 5: Let the Right One In. “This film really moved me like no other vampire film has ever done before. It’s a beautiful love story. With this poster, I didn’t want to use any element from the film. I had this old photo of a little girl that reminded me of the girl in the film, so I fixed it up slightly, and the final poster is rather chilling.”
#5 of 5: The Silence of the Lambs. “Everyone knows this one, it’s a marvelous film. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are amazing, but I think the real star of the film is Ted Levine. A pure genius in acting, hands-down the greatest serial killer in movie history. The poster has various levels of shapes and hidden surprises. The colors are simple as with all the posters in the series. I wanted simplicity with the entire group.”
The latest limited-edition print by LA artist (and movie-poster revisionist) Midnight Marauder pays tribute to 2001’s surrealist Hollywood head-trip Mulholland Drive.
It’s not every day you can pick up a piece of home-theater decor that mixes eerie visual impact with intellectual street cred to a degree guaranteed to impress your Xbox buddies and highbrow film-buff friends alike. (Nab a signed and numbered print for just $40—details here.)
Just don’t ask David Lynch—the film’s abstract-expressionist auteur and winner of a Cannes best-director prize for his work here—what exactly the movie is about.
Although critics, fans, and cast members have their theories on the film’s meaning, Lynch insists on leaving it open-ended. As is true of a piece of music, or even a dream, the director feels adamant that a film’s ideas, once put into motion, cannot adequately be translated back into words. (Watch an in-depth interview on the subject—fascinating for Lynchephiles and casual film fans alike.)
As always, Marauder’s poster design wordlessly conveys the filmmaker’s intentions better than a small army of critics ever could. Askew, dueling blondes, implying the film’s identity crises…The subject’s obscured gaze (a classically anarchic punk-rock poster motif)…Minimalist elements used to maximum effect. It all adds up to a strange but powerful feeling—similar to that imparted by the film’s moody score (see above) and Lynch’s one-of-a-kind work itself.
Film buffs and design fans rejoice—you can now take home your very own visually gripping piece of cinema history from LA graphic artist (and dedicated cinephile) Midnight Marauder.
Marauder gained internet buzz recently for his quietly chilling concepts for Prometheusand Drive. For his inaugural set of limited-edition prints, though, the artist delved deep into his archives—selecting a classic homage to 1980’s brooding boxer biography Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro (whose portrayal of troubled, tough-as-nails boxer Jake LaMotta earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor).
Details for ordering an 18×24 screen-printed poster of your own can be found here. It’s a limited run of 250, so don’t procrastinate. (We have #22 at home, and trust us: The print looks even better in person.) While you’re waiting for the mailman, go ahead and re-watch Raging Bull this weekend—here’s the original trailer to get you started:
The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan’s third and final contribution to the pantheon of Batman blockbusters, premieres two weeks from tonight.
LA-based graphic designer (and master of the reimagined movie poster) Midnight Marauder jumped on this gold mine of visual inspiration weeks ago. A few of his poster designs appear below—but it’s the DVD-cover concept he composed for Tim Burton’s 1989 classic, above, that prompts a difficult question: No matter how stellar a sequel is, can it ever measure up to a truly legendary original?
Nolan has his work cut out for him. As if Burton’s superhero-noir masterpiece didn’t present big enough shoes to fill, Nolan has his own two Batman prequels to live up to—the most recent of which garnered the late Heath Ledger more than 20 supporting-actor awards for his diabolical performance as the Joker.
That’s a tough act to follow, but if anyone’s capable of surprising jaded moviegoers, it’s the Oscar-nominated mastermind behind twist-laden thrillers like Memento and Inception. Judge for yourself starting with midnight showings July 19. In the meantime, read our previous post on Midnight Marauder, watch the dueling trailers below, and cast your vote in the comments section: What film is the odds-on favorite to be the best Batman ever?
With a punk-meets-minimalist aesthetic and impeccable taste in legendary guy movies, the graphic designer known only by the pen name (mouse name?) Midnight Marauder elevates fan art to fine art.
His recent poster prototypes for Alien prequel Prometheus(in theaters today) have been reblogged maniacally across the web—but it’s once you go a click further, to the artist’s own Tumblr, that you get the real payoff: an archive of more than 200 eye-popping homages to films from Kubrick to the Coen Brothers, Woody Allen to Ridley Scott.
You’ll be able to purchase prints soon. In the meantime, the value of Marauder’s digital masterpieces is twofold: They look sharp on your desktop background and, more importantly, provide a visual checklist of classic films you should Netflix immediately.
Bonus Feature: Marauder released this brand-new poster (a so-called “reject” from his 12-piece Prometheus series) about an hour before midnight premiere screenings last night.