Believers in astrology say that every birth happens under a star sign. For its latest series of infographics, U.K. chart makers Dorothy have taken that idea and run with it, sketching out the entire history of horror and sci-fi cinema in zodiac form. Imagine constellations of Draculas, and Big Dippers made up of time machines, and you’ve got the idea.
The central design conceit of Dorothy’s Star Chart series is simple. Take a place and time in cinematic history, and sketch out the way the stars would have looked in the sky above at that moment: for example, how the stars were aligned above Los Angeles on October 6, 1927, when Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer heralded in the talkies. Dorothy then uses the resulting Star Chart as a skeleton to sketch out a horoscope of the films, directors, and movie stars who came after.
For the Science Fiction Star Chart, Dorothy pegs the birth of sci-fi cinema to September 1, 1902, the night of the first screening of Georges Méliès surrealist classic, Le Voyage dans la Lune (Voyage to the Moon), at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin in Paris. If you’re going to choose a birthdate for sci-fi cinema, that’s a good one: While there are earlier sci-fi films–such as the Lumière Brothers’ humorous short about a robot butcher, La Charcuterie Mécanique–they aren’t nearly as well-known.
Pegging the start of the cinematic horror genre is a little harder. Because they required less complicated special effects, horror films were fairly common in the earliest days of silent cinema. The first examples of horror in film dated back to the 1890s, and Thomas Edison’s own movie studio adapted Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein into a 16-minute short in 1910.
Dorothy’s ultimate choice for the birthplace of horror cinema is hard to fault. Their Horror Star Chart maps out the night sky as it appeared on March 4, 1922, below the Berlin Zoological Garden. The film debuting that night was F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, his unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Regardless of whether you’re looking at the Science Fiction or the Horror Star Chart, both of Dorothy’s latest charts fill out the night sky with as many films, actors, directors, and writers as there are stars. (Well, almost.) In the case of science fiction, these movies range from early silent films such as Metropolis to schlock-fests like Plan 9 from Outer Space, and from 1950s classics, including The Day the Earth Stood Still to contemporary blockbusters such as Inception and Gravity. The Horror Chart, meanwhile, makes a zodiac out of everyone from Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff to Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, while also covering classics, such as Psycho, Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, and Carrie.
Both the Horror Star Chart and the Science Fiction Star Chart are available to purchase as a print today, starting at around $42. No matter what genre you lean to, both of Dorothy’s charts make literal Dr. David Bowman’s last words in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey: “My god, it’s full of stars!”