You know, it isn’t just the actual content of movies that qualifies for That Was A Bit Mental.
There’s more to a film than watching it, you see: there’s the trailer, there’s the potential DVD special features and, of course, there’s the poster promoting it.
For the most part American and British posters are relatively dull. Get the main actors, slap photos of them all looking moody on the front, stick the name of the film at the top and print that prick.
In other countries, however, there’s a bit of thought involved. With that in mind, here’s the first of a series of features imaginatively titled ‘mental foreign film posters’, in which I show… look, we both know I don’t need to even finish that sentence.
Since I usually like to start on a high and deliver increasingly disappointing offerings as time goes on, I’m beginning with the country that provides arguably the weirdest films posters of all: Poland.
There seems to be something about Polish distributors that makes them hate using the widely accepted international posters for films. Instead, a lot of the time they’ll get artists to create new posters some of which have seemingly little bearing on the actual film.
Here’s a selection. Some of them have the name of the film on them in English, but for those that don’t, see if you can guess what the movie’s supposed to be before you find out. Chances are, you won’t.
Hey, remember that scene in Aliens where Signourney Weaver wears a skimpy dress with one strap sexily hanging off her shoulder, while blowing oily bubbles out of her midriff? Well, Poland apparently does.
Okay, let’s get this easy one out of the way early. This is clearly The Blues Brothers, albeit an alternative version of the film in which the Blues Brothers are a set of conjoined twins trying to solve the mystery of who parked a police car on John Belushi’s head.
Never before has an artist managed to capture the horror of The Shining with such startling realism. Ronaldinho lookalike Shelley Duvall’s mouth is maybe a tad too small though.
Ah, Christine. The Stephen King novel about avaginacar that kills people. Mind you, I’m fairly sure the car doesn’t have a big mouth like this in the film.
Jesus Christ. Rosemary’s Baby is a creepy enough film as it is, but this is bloody chilling. I can’t believe that mother has the audacity to paint her baby’s fingernails.
Oh, come on, spoilers! Maybe someone didn’t already know that Roman Polanski slices off part of Jack Nicholson’s nose in Chinatown. Or that Jack Nicholson’s head is twice the size of Polanski’s.
It seems the Poles have a minor boner for misleading posters advertising the Alien franchise. This one’s for the first Alien, featuring the deleted scene in which a ribcage grows eyes.
I know One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest took the idea of insane asylums and flipped it on its head, but I’m not sure that was supposed to be taken literally.
To be fair, if even The Elephant Man were to encounter this person in the street he’d exclaim: “Fuck me, what an ugly bastard.”
This one for Young Frankenstein is actually probably really clever, making some sort of statement about bringing the dead back to life in a humorous way. Probably.
No wonder Damien from The Omen was the son of the Devil. Imagine pushing your dad into a bearded man’s headpit.
Here’s another one for Rosemary’s Baby. Word of advice, Rose: when your baby goes blue you probably aren’t looking after it properly.
Cut this one down the middle and on the right you’d have a fairly decent attempt at a poster for A Clockwork Orange. Meanwhile, on the left you’d have a fairly decent attempt at the middle pages of a serial killer’s scrapbook.
Struggling with this one? What, don’t you recognise Jeff Goldblum when you see him? Why, it’s David Cronenberg’s version of The Fly, of course. Open your bloody eyes.
Just to show it isn’t just movies that get the bizarre Polish artwork treatment, here’s one for the first season of Twin Peaks, complete with a big arse in the middle.
I wonder if Gremlinswould have caught on if the titular creatures really were evil Doritos on springs that stole Santa hats from masked shadows. Maybe not.
Well, that’s what happens when you try to inflate your head with a bicycle pump. Apocalypse Now, indeed.
This one’s alright for the most part, apart for that yellow bit, where it would appear the artist was thinking about Psycho so much that their mind vomited into the windows.
If that first one for Aliens was a bit odd, then try this one on for size. An odd move to take a creature that doesn’t have any visible eyes then illustrate it by covering the whole fucking poster with them.
Christ, I don’t remember Raging Bull being that violent! No wonder Jake LaMotta had a reputation. Surely the WBO must consider that an illegal move.
Speaking of violent, here’s the Polish version of that bit in Saving Private Ryan where the chap’s head is blown apart. Still, according to this poster he was a zombie, so I suppose it was the right thing to do.
Amazingly, Trainspotting turns 18 years old this year. That’s why you’ve probably forgotten the scene in which Michael Stipe from REM vomits up a furry eye that looks like the thing from Flight Of The Navigator.
There’s so much imagery in The Exorcist that by completely ignoring all of it and instead drawing a snake wrapped round a tree we’re sure the Poles were just trolling Warner Bros.
Okay, we’ll give them this one. This Raiders Of The Lost Ark one is pretty awesome, if only for having the balls to cover a poster with swastikas and release it in Poland.
No matter how much you try, you’ll never convince me that a Return Of The Jedi poster showing Darth Vader’s mask exploding is nothing less than perfect.
It’s a little-known fact but Gandhi‘s ability to teleport was crucial in avoiding arrest from the authorities.
Who ever would have known that the best way to escape the cold clutches of The Terminator would be to cover his eyes with Tums?
I think it’s safe to say that if Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (seriously) actually ended like this a lot of people would be asking Spielberg where he got his acid from.
Here’s another swastika-infused Raiders Of The Lost Ark one, this time with added explosions. Hooray!
If you ask me, the American poster for The Empire Strikes Back should have been designed by Banksy too.
We’re nearly at the end, so here’s a third Rosemary’s Baby one for good measure. What is it with Poland and its insane posters for this specific film?
Finally, we have this beauty, that you will never guess even if you dedicated a full year to staring at it. That hand doing the heavy metal devil horns with a pair of eyeballs tied to it? That’s representing Weekend At Bernie’s. Yes, it actually is.
So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this feature, feedback is most welcome. If it was up enough people’s alleys then I’ll do more. Wait until you see what Ghana has in store.