Jaws is a perfect movie poster in that it tells you everything you need to know about the movie in one simple sheet: a terrifying killer shark is gobbling up beach-goers. You can easily make that assumption from the poster, and when you saw the movie your expectations would be met and exceeded. But not all posters are like that. There are many, many, many posters that are vague and downright confusing, and if you didn’t know anything else about the movie other than what you saw on the poster you might expect something completely different than what the movie actually turns out to be. This column spotlights those posters, and theorizes what the movies could be about based on what the artists give us.
What the poster seems like the movie is about:
Four aging friends get away from the wives for a weekend to hit the links, but find themselves trapped at the course when a radioactive rodent, transformed to gargantuan size due to a toxic waste spill that happened when his home was destroyed in order to build the golf course, annihilates everything in its path. They don’t belong on his course, and on this day, the gopher shall have his sweet revenge…
What the movie is really about:
A wacky comedy where the lowly caddies get into crazy shenanigans, and the snobbish members won’t stand for it! Rodney Dangerfield plays Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray plays your dad.
Which is better?
It’s pretty close, but probably the real thing. Caddyshack is one of the best comedies of all time, and while a campy horror film about a killer giant gopher starring Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray would have been pretty awesome, there was a flood of similar movies around that time such as Night of the Lepus, Frogs and Day of the Animals.
Biggest problem with the poster?
Pasting pictures of the four main characters together in the hole looks worse than Hulk Hogan’s current hairline, and it’s obvious that Chevy Chase couldn’t be bothered to do a publicity shoot. And the rest of the poster is hand-drawn, so they probably should have went the Drew Struzan route and drawn the main characters, as well.
• Afternoon of the Gopher
• Greens of Blood
• Hole In Dead
• Danger Field