Email list
11 Points
11 Points Guide To Hooking Up
11 Worst Movie Posters of the 80s
written by Sam Greenspan

I went through at least 1,000 movie posters from the 1980s to pick the 11 for this list. It probably would've been fewer, but, because of the hip-hop world, there are at least 100 variations of the "Scarface" poster now cluttering up any '80s movie poster repository.

Here are the 11 worst posters from '80s movies. No "Scarface" ones included.
  1. "Victory" (1981) - They're trying to make the three leads for a "V"... but instead, it looks like all three are part of some freakish three-torsoed, Black Power-saluting hydra. Also, the multiple spellings and translations of "VICTORY" in the background just look like typos.


  2. "Superman III" (1983) - Yes, that's Superman carrying Richard Pryor over the Grand Canyon. More than 25 years later, this almost seems like a joke, like something someone entered in a Photoshop contest where they replaced a comely Lois Lane with Richard Pryor. But it's real. And ridiculous.

    (I'm just a bit too young to remember the early '80s but, based on what I've gathered, there was a brief period where Hollywood was determined to use Richard Pryor's status and fanbase in the stand-up world to make him into a movie star. It never really worked. It's exactly what happened with Chris Rock and, now, Dane Cook.)


  3. "Soul Man" (1986) - "Soul Man" is a really good high-concept comedy premise, with a white guy using tanning pills to turn himself black so he can get a free ride to Harvard. Of course, he finds out that being black is more than he bargained for. (That last line is really corny so you should read it in the "Rob Schneider is... a stapler" voiceover style.)

    So why did the poster mention none of that and just chose to have mid-level movie star C. Thomas Howell stand there, in full-on honky mode, next to a completely irrelevant tagline? I have absolutely no idea.


  4. "The Blue Lagoon" (1980) - I guess it's a good thing that, almost 30 years later, our societal sensibilities would never allow for a movie poster talking about "a sensual story of natural love [featuring] two children."

    I'm not a fan of the ongoing morality police/censorship culture that has been cultivated in the past six or seven years... but when it keeps stories like this from happening, maybe it's not all bad.


  5. "One Crazy Summer" (1986) - You have John Cusack, fresh off "The Sure Thing" and "Better Off Dead"... and you have Demi Moore, fresh off "St. Elmo's Fire" and "About Last Night..." So what gets the focus on two-thirds of the movie poster? Why a hideous, gigantic, maniacally-evil cartoon sun that appears to be doing a Jack Nicholson impresson, of course.


  6. "Conan the Barbarian" (1982) - I get that Arnold Schwarzenegger is muscular. No one has ever denied that. But those are not natural abs. No one in history has had abs like that.

    It looked to me like he has a giant brain in his stomach... which instantly made me think of Krang from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". And to better flesh out that thought, I've included an insert of Krang in the picture below.


  7. "Body Rock" (1984) - This movie poster contains the most simultaneous '80s cliches of any poster from the entire decade.

    The color scheme: Blue background with neon lasers and hot pink. (Not that I have any right to criticize hot pink, what with the design choices I made on my website, but whatever.)

    Six people, each with an outfit more '80s than the person before them. Breakdancing. People talking about dreams of dancing. And, most importantly, Lorenzo Lamas.

    All that's missing is Max Headroom drinking an Orange Julius.


  8. "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986) - This poster actually made me laugh out loud. Spock and Kirk ride the rainbow to San Francisco, where they look around bewildered at the gays... that's pretty freaking funny.

    It's still a hideous, over-the-top, awful poster in every way... but, on some level, it makes me want to go watch "Star Trek IV" for its sheer hilarity. And I never watch "Star Trek" movies.


  9. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) - Apparently, for the first Indiana Jones movie, they thought it might be a good idea to market Indy as a clean-cut sales rep or Gap shirt folder who happens to hold a whip. I've seen some other posters for "Raiders" that use the correct Indiana Jones font and at least show him wearing a hat... possibly after this early poster made people wonder when Han Solo had time to go yuppie.


  10. "Teen Wolf" (1985) - The corny double thumbs up is pretty bad. The pre-Photoshop cartoonish airbrushing is worst. But my biggest beef is with the marketing team having the audacity to say Michael J. Fox is better in "Teen Wolf" than "Back to the Future".

    I mean, really. "Teen Wolf" is camp. It's funny in its absurdity, but it's not, by any account, a "good" movie. I'm not sure how any poster idea for "Teen Wolf" could have been any worse.


  11. "Teen Wolf Too" (1987) - I stand corrected. This one's way worse.


This list was originally published on Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 12:01:00 AM under the category Movies.
It currently has View Comments.

Facebookery?
11 '80s Fads I Totally Bought Into

11 Disappointments About He-Man, In Retrospect

11 Garbage Pail Kids That Have the Same Names as Real People

11 Yearbook Photos That Actors Wish We'd Never Seen

11 Amazing Photos of Dogs Dressed as Superheroes

Archive of all Movies lists

Most Profound Deep Thoughts I've Found on the Internet
11 Most Profound Deep Thoughts I've Found on the Internet
Published Friday, August 29, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal
Totally Unexpected But Brilliantly Useful Online Dating Statistical Insights
11 Totally Unexpected But Brilliantly Useful Online Dating Statistical Insights
Published Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Dating & Sex
Book Covers Turned Risque by Bad Price Tag Placement
11 Book Covers Turned Risque by Bad Price Tag Placement
Published Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Books
Tattoos People Regret Getting the Most
11 Tattoos People Regret Getting the Most
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc
Things Men Should Stop Wearing As an Adult - 11 Points Countdown
11 Things Men Should Stop Wearing As an Adult - 11 Points Countdown
Published Monday, August 18, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Countdown
Absurdly Comical Video Game Console Knockoffs
11 Absurdly Comical Video Game Console Knockoffs
Published Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Games
Full Archive



Follow
Mailing list
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram
RSS

Categories
Personal lists
Dating & Sex lists
Books lists
Misc lists
Countdown lists
Games lists
Food & Drink lists
News & Politics lists
Music lists
Movies lists
Web & Tech lists
TV lists
Sports lists
Travel lists
Interviews lists
Full archive

Follow
11 Points

Mailing list


Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Pinterest


RSS