Movie posters have become somewhat of a lost art—while their main purpose is to advertise the film they seem to lack any desire to be anything more than that. Today’s film posters are corny, cheap-looking, boring and without a certain sense of timelessness. In short: They predominately suck.
This year has been no different, with the possible exceptions of “Tree of Life” (foot poster), “Super 8,” “Drive,” “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Midnight in Paris.” This is part of the reason why expensive limited edition posters have become so popular, because while I love “Groundhog Day” I would never put that god-awful poster on my wall.
It doesn’t appear as though this horrific trend is showing any signs of slowing down, however. Thanks to Peter Stults and the wonders of photoshop we can imagine what some contemporary classics would look like with a vintage facelift. Stults, who drew inspiration from Sean Hartter’s idea, took modern films, recast them and created retro B-movie posters in their likeness.
Most of the posters seem to be quite an improvement on on their conventional modern counterparts, but the real fun is in the re-casting. Imagine
“Pulp Fiction” starring Charlton Heston instead of John Travolta, “Drive” starring rebel without a cause himself James Dean or “Avatar” with priceline.com’s favorite spokesman, William Shatner. The hypothetical possibilities are endless, and the posters are brilliant. Granted most of these films’ themes, like dream extraction and becoming a 16-foot-tall blue person, wouldn’t have worked in the 1950s, but it’s fun to imagine.
Studios should really try harder when it comes to creating film posters—there are so many beloved films that college students won’t let grace their dorm room wall. While it may be the golden age for movie trailers, posters are getting left behind. Classic films deserve worthy posters.
While Stults’ work is interesting and even thought provoking, it finally reveals the sad state of film posters. Some of these films will be considered classics of our time yet these posters, which are simple B-list posters of the 40s and 50s, outshine their originals. With all the tools at our exposure, that should never be the case.