11 Points

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 post was originally published on Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 12:01:00 AM under the category Movies.

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 Worst Movie Posters of the 2000s

11 Reminders From the 2010 Oscars That Everyone's Career Starts Off Suckin'

Archive of all Movies posts
11 Simpsons Side Characters With the Most Dialogue, Plus Analysis
11 Simpsons Side Characters With the Most Dialogue, Plus Analysis
Published Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category TV
This List of the Best Cereals Ever Confirms There Are Cereal Hipsters
This List of the Best Cereals Ever Confirms There Are Cereal Hipsters
Published Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Food & Drink
MacGruber Is One of the Best Dumb Comedies Ever Made
MacGruber Is One of the Best Dumb Comedies Ever Made
Published Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Movies
11 Songs That Have Been Called the Worst Song Ever
11 Songs That Have Been Called the Worst Song Ever
Published Monday, September 26, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Music
11 Perfect On-Screen Captions From Maury
11 Perfect On-Screen Captions From Maury
Published Friday, September 23, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category TV
The 11 U.S. Towns With the Least Badass Names
The 11 U.S. Towns With the Least Badass Names
Published Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Travel
Full Archive



Follow
Mailing list
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram
RSS

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

Follow
11 Points

Mailing list


Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Pinterest


RSS