Monday, 14 October 2013

Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art From the Underground Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Matthew Chojnacki

Published By Schiffer Publishing Ltd

Art, Movie Posters


Over the years the motion picture industry has (sadly) gravitated to generating poorly cropped and heavily airbrushed posters that rely far too often on celebrity head shots.

Thankfully, an underground network of graphic designers and artists has reinvigorated the art of the movie poster, crafting stunning pieces for classic and cult films.

Here is the first comprehensive look at the movement, presenting this eclectic and dynamic medium through more than 200 eye-popping posters from over 100 cutting-edge artists, coupled with fascinating commentary and behind-the-scenes information.

These new, underground posters have quickly become the most coveted by ardent moviegoers; they are typically produced in very limited runs, sell out within minutes, and command upwards of several hundred dollars each.

With a smart, fresh visual perspective, alternative movie posters celebrate classics like Star Wars, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining as well as cult favorites: The Big Lebowski, Blade Runner, and Pink Flamingos.


After seeing the Gallery 1988 book about cult movie art, I was very eager to take a look at this one to a) see some different style movie posters and b) to see if  the art would match up to that release.

Well, it most definitely did.

There are some absolutely fantastic movie posters here, some of which are just so brilliantly thought out that they make this collection worth every penny.

The problem with modern movie posters is that there never seems to be any effort put in to them.  In fact, they always seem to just be a bit of fancy writing, a picture, or two if you're really lucky, of a couple of the stars and that's it.  It's a shame really because for a long time the posters were one of the most important marketing tools in a getting a movie to gain a foothold in the cinema world.

The 70's and 80's were a fantastic yet garish time for these posters and some of them were really 'out there' as far as the designs used go and some of these hark back to those colorful times.  Others are really off kilter and a bit strange yet they work.  Hell, if I saw any of these posters I would honestly buy a ticket to the movie regardless of what it was about.

One of the things that I loved about this collection was the fact that the artists themselves spoke about their ideas behind the designs, their favorite movies, their inspirations and everything in between.  I think that was a superb touch because some movie art books just stick the pictures in and leave it at that.

All in all this collection is a superb addition to any art lovers collection.  If you love movie art in particular then I would even go so far as to put it on the same level of quality as the Gallery 1988 book.  It really is that good.

Presentation 8/10
Informative 8/10
Recommended 8/10
Overall 24/30

'Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art From the Underground' is available to buy from October 28th

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