If it's crap ... We'll tell you
There was a time before television, radio, and the internet made it possible for even the lowest budget film to advertise to millions of people. That time was 1925.
We've come a long way since then, and in the process, have lost out on an artform that few people even truly recognized as art in the first place.
I'm talking, of course, about movie posters.
With rare exception, incredible movie posters are a dying breed.
Back in the day a great movie poster was pretty much the only thing a low budget film could use to hook audiences in to paying to see them in a theater. That and the promise of a dark air conditioned room to grope your girlfriend in.
Movies big and small teased passersby with outrageous and tantalizing imagery, promises of an experience they could previously only dream of.
The greatest danger and disappointment in this world of marvelous artistic enticement was the realization that there's no way the movie you were about to see would be anywhere near as amazing as the poster that dragged you in to see it.
Listed here are the ten most bad-assed movie posters, and the ten disappointing films they're advertising.
The Gauntlet (1977)
What the Poster Promised: Painted by none other than the legendary Frank Frazetta, the only man to make Sondra Locke look anything near fuckable, the poster for The Gauntlet suggests what can only be described as a balls out action thrill-ride, which most likely culminates in Clint Eastwood boning a bus so hard it explodes.
Asses will be kicked.
Names will be taken.
Mothers will be fucked.
What the Movie Delivered: While not a terrible movie, this one makes the list due to its incredibly disappointing pay-off.
The Gauntlet completely fails to deliver on the action bonanza promised with its poster.
Clint Eastwood doesn't even kill anyone in this movie. Take a long hard look at that poster while rolling that around in your brain for a minute.
The climax consists of Eastwood sitting in a bus and driving straight down a road while policemen futilely shoot at it.
Not only is it a ridiculous premise, but the police are shooting at the bus from both sides of the street. Haven't they heard of crossfire?
What the Poster Promised: A movie featuring one of the creepiest looking monsters ever, made even more frightening by the implication that this is what it looks like when it's a baby.
When this bastard hatches you won't want to be anywhere near it, let alone its mother.
Go ahead, laugh at the rainbow colored font in the title. Keep laughing after this thing claws your face off and has sex with the hole where your nose used to be.
Closer inspection reveals the director to be John Frankenheimer, the same guy who made The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, and Grand Prix.
What the Movie Delivered: While it's directed with a certain eye for gloom and atmosphere, the film will lose you every time the monster appears on screen.
This thing looks like a bulldog that rolled around in shit and spaghetti sauce.
Really? This is what you give me Frankenheimer? You're lucky you made Ronin or you'd be off my seance call-list.
Not only does this movie have a monster that looks like an aborted pig fetus, it also has Armand Assante as John Hawks, son of an Opie Chieftain.
Yes, it literally has an Italian playing a Native American.
Warrior of the Lost World (1983)
What the Poster Promised: Every sci-fi-action-oriented wet dream a child of the 1980's could think up is on this poster.
Semi-Truck with metal spikes for a bumper? Check.
Sweet robot suit? Check.
Rocking shooting motorcycle? Check.
Donald Pleasence? Double Check!!
What the Movie Delivered: ... Jesus Christ...
Combat Shock (1986)
What the Poster Promised: Just look at the tagline! Fighting! Killing! Maiming! Torture cages! Agent Orange!
It looks like another title for this movie could be Rambo Takes Manhattan.
Bring the pain!!
What the Movie Delivered: An even better title would have been Boredom Shock. This movie meanders so much and for so long you'd almost forget you were watching it if it wasn't so unpleasant to look at.
It tries so hard to be bleak and scandalous, but in the end it's all just dull butt-ugly schlock.
Don't sell me garbage and try telling me it has a message, Troma, 'cuz I ain't buyin' it.
The Devil's Rain (1975)
What the Poster Promises: The layout on this poster is so confusing that it becomes awesome.
It looks like a shirtless William Shatner, strapped to a door, is crashing through the floor of a Satanist party.
He's being propelled from below by what can only be described as a megablast of orange soda.
There are apparently also red humans caught up in the blast as well... and a car.....
What the Movie Delivered: A mess somehow even more confusing than the poster, and a whole lot less awesome.
It wasn't all bad though... we did get this out of it...
... Better than the monster from Prophecy, anyway...
What the Poster Promised: A gigantic coked out Luke Skywalker fights Communist skeletons with an arm cannon as townspeople run from a flying brick that appears dead set on destroying every building in the vicinity.
In the distance, Luke's extraterrestrial uncle holds a SETI dish, and nods his approval.
What the Movie Delivered: ... Actually... the poster sums up the movie pretty well. Plus Eddie Deezen!!
Equalizer 2000 (1988)
What the Poster Promised: Remember the first time you watched Mad Max, and with clenched fists, you cried aloud "if only the hero had a massive gun and no chest hair!!"?
The makers of Equalizer 2000 heard your pussy flavored cries, and set about rectifying the situation.
Rectifying it with their gun. Their huge, glistening, hard gun...
.... Excuse me a moment, I must use the restroom...
What the Movie Delivered: A plot so non-existent that we at the IFC have watched it twice and still have no idea what's going on.
The best we can surmise is that it's okay to rip people off as long as you end up fucking the hero, the badguys are bad because they love feeding people, and a pre-T-1000 Robert Patrick acts circles around the rest of the cast without even trying.
And beards. Glorious glorious beards!! Double rations for everyone!!
Primal Rage (1988)
What the Poster Promised: The greatest video game ever made meets 28 Days Later when a greedy college professor and his jockish goons create a breed of vicious Were-Baboons, forcing the Virtuous Beasts to enlist the aid of sexy co-eds in order combat these lethal party animals!!
What the Movie Delivered: Well you know I can't give you any of that stuff, so would you settle for a movie that's 75% bad lighting and 25% rapist boners? Wait, why are you leaving? Don't go!! The costume party hasn't even started yet!!
1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982)
What the Poster Promised: A Hulked out Kirk Hammet leads Lando Calrissian and their she-male comrade to victory while his left leg explodes in to a miniature biker gang that does battle with evil flamethrower wielding horsemen.
If you don't have a hard-on by now then get out of my country you Fascist!!
You're gonna die motherfuckers!!
What the Movie Delivered: Instead of an all out assault against the forces of Flamethrowristan, we're treated to emotionally moving funeral scenes, cloak and dagger intrigues, and the most heated exchange the 1980's had to offer.
This shit is way too classy for me.
Escape from the Bronx (1983)
What the Poster Promised: Holy fuckin' shit, this is like the Jean Marco Andrade of posters.
It's like Conan the Barbarian went in to the future, got drunk, and fucked Blade Runner, then their offspring went in to the future and married The Terminator, and then their offspring went back in time and boned The Road Warrior.
This poster is so badassed it stole the theme from Dune and Dune didn't even mind, in fact Dune thanked it.
It's so God damned awesome they could devote entire college courses to properly appreciating it.
I... love you, Escape from the Bronx poster... I... I want you inside me, Escape from the Bronx poster...
What the Movie Delivered: Does it really even matter? Could anything live up to that poster?
If you must know, then watch this.
Watch it, and then weep with me.
Weep for what might have been but never was.