Everyone has got a favourite movie poster but let’s be honest, these airbrushed and photoshopped pieces of art can, after a while, all start to look the same.
If you are after something a little bit different, say an alternative take on Mrs. Doubtfire, Batman or Jurassic Park then look no further than the wonderful world of African movie posters.
When movies were shown in certain countries and theatres in Africa, a lot of the time they had received no prior knowledge or information about the movie other than its title and the odd picture.
Due to licensing laws in the 70s and 80s which prevented the importation of large-scale printing presses, some theatres would often employ an artist to create a poster for them using only the resources that they had available.
The results, as proven by this Twitter thread shared by @Retr0Joe, is proof that some of these artists had a far more vivid imagination than some whizz kid with great Photoshop skills.
Prepare for unnecessary violence, lots of machine guns and artists who clearly have no idea about the film they have made a poster for.
Here are some of our favourites (and don’t blame us if they ruin some of your most cherished childhood memories).
Jurassic Park (which was clearly influenced by the Jeff Goldblum meme)
Mission Impossible starring Tom Cruise???
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Alien vs Predator
E.T. starring Michael Jackson and the face-hugger from Alien???
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (for clarification: there are no ghost dogs in Ghost Dog)
Indiana Jones – were not sure which one of the Indy film’s this is supposed to be
The Mummy Returns starring The Rock???
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Mortal Kombat 3 – we should add that this film doesn’t exist
Batman (this doesn’t happen in the film)
According to a feature from The Atlantic in 2016 on African movie posters many of these originate from Ghana.
Nowadays posters of this kind no longer exist as advances in technology and change in-laws have allowed more traditional Western posters to become commonplace.
The posters have since become a cult phenomenon thanks to collectors in the west, who are now selling the posters for as much as $15,000. We can only hope the original artists get a cut of that.
According to LA art dealer Ernie Wolfe:
These posters appeal to people because [they] invite this really incredible dialogue—a comparison between what you know of a film and how the painter imagined it. And they’re also just really cool drawings.