So I should begin by saying that I am a really awful horror fan. Why you ask? Because I know next to nothing about Italian horror. I know…Its despicable and I really do feel awful about it. But I still wanted to contribute something to the spectacular Italian Horror Week here at The Blood Sprayer. So I thought to myself, what do I know?
And then it came to me. I know movie posters and one of my favorite things about movie posters are the wonderful (sometimes outrageous) foreign counterparts to American films. It is interesting to note that Italian versions of American posters were more often than not near replicas of American art with foreign text. However, a gem could be found every now and then. So I picked 15 (in alphabetical order) American horror film posters along with their Italian equivalents. Here’s part one of my 15 favorite!
15.) Abbot and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Here is an example of two really amazing pieces of art. On the left, you have the classic American style Abbot and Costello art featuring all of the characters as more cartoony versions of themselves. The Italian version is not a whole lot different in tone, although the dark setting, red font and screaming woman definitely give it a more ominous feel.
14.) An American Werewolf In London
Here’s one that speaks a lot of the marketing departments for both countries. If one were to look at either poster, you really couldn’t gather much about the film (aside from the word Werewolf in the title) and that’s what’s brilliant about them. Both are understated with the Italian version having a slightly creepier edge due to the unusual color palette.
13.) The Blob
Sure this flick is one of the quintessential creature features, starring one of America’s biggest bad asses Steve McQueen AND the poster is the definition of classic…but take a look at that Italian print. IT’S TERRIFYING!!! Where the American version leaves the viewer with a little hope that “hey, it looks like they might get away!”, the Italian leaves nothing to the imagination. The Blob will get you. It will smother you. You will die. And how bout that title? Although I’m an Italian fella I don’t speak a word of the language but I’m pretty sure it mean FLUID DEATH!
12.) Brides of Dracula
I’ll say it…That American poster is truly one of the most God awful prints ever created. Its boring and really, really ugly. The Italian version, however, is a work of art. The color palette is rich and vibrant and is infinitely more appealing than the American. As a matter of fact, the American version is so ugly that many theater owners requested the British print to keep patrons from throwing up in their mouths…ok the throwing up part may not be true.
11.) Drag Me To Hell
I really dig both versions here. The American version is definitely more straightforward that the Italian but there is something unsettling about a decaying Mrs. Ganush in a coffin too. Although I was unable to find an answer, I would like to know why the Italian art was chosen. I have a feelings its the draw of an insane European villain…
10.) The Exorcist
Who can deny the power of the American poster art? It essentially provides the perfect amount of intrigue, mystery and terror. The Italian version doesn’t really stand up against the American but it is still creepy as hell isn’t it? Regan’s eyes and the open window just cause a dread in you. Fun fact: I can’t watch this movie without pissing myself.
09.) Godzilla (1998)…Just kidding (1956)
This is an example of an American piece that I feel just has too much happening. The amount of text is a little overwhelming and actual Godzilla action is more than needed for the poster. I love that the Italian version is just Godzilla with a path of destruction in his wake. The title is the only text that really shares the stage with the big guy and that’s the way it should be.
08.) House of 1,000 Corpses
love or hate the film, the poster art is intriguing in both. The American version leaves the viewer wondering what the deal is with the ghoul depicted (a mystery never fully solved I think) and the Italian shows next to nothing. The great thing about the Italian version is how it is presented as such a sterile scene which is broken by the bloody hand print and text. Not to mention the Italian “Welcome” is pretty creepy.
07.) The Monster Squad
I blew these up for two reasons: 1 to illustrate how beautiful the American version is. It is truly one of the most perfect pieces of poster art ever created…and 2 to illustrate how bat shit crazy the Italian version is. Aside from the obvious cartoony flaws (bib, tie, crown) since when was there a chick sporting a Don King, holding a phallic candle, baring it all? Was that one of the club meetings that was cut from the final film? I truly didn’t believe it was the same flick until I saw the credits at the bottom. I mean come Italy, did you even watch the fucking thing? Although, it could be concept art for the remake…
This is the end of Parte Uno of the poster countdown! check back later this week for Parte Due and be sure to check out all other really amazing Italian Horror articles being written here at The Blood Sprayer!