Near the beginning of Frank Darabont’s cult horror hit The Mist, Thomas Jane’s movie poster artist David Drayton (a thinly veiled nod to legendary poster painter Drew Struzan) complains about the state of his industry. If he fails to deliver one of this intricately painted works, his studio bosses “could whip up some bad Photoshop poster in an afternoon. They do it all the time, two big heads.”
But the art of the truly “artistic” movie poster may not be lost, according to Matthew Chojnacki, the author of the new book Alternative Movie Posters II: More Film Art From the Underground. Chojnacki’s follow up to his 2013 collection once again mines the fringes of art house festivals, international releases, and other places where nostalgia and movie buffery meet to showcase some of the best left field takes on classic works.
Cleveland, Ohio-based Chojnacki is a film and music historian and writer who started putting together these visually driven coffee table books back in 2011 with his compendium of vinyl cover art called Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute.
Although the focus is largely on established classics (both cult and mainstream, like John Carpenter’s 1981 dystopian action flick Escape from New York and Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 perennial “greatest movie ever made” go-to pick The Godfather), the collection also boasts more recent entries celebrating the work of directors like Edgar Wright, Harmony Korine, Duncan Jones, and Nicolas Winding Refn.
Check out the slide show above for more examples from Chojnacki’s collection, and start cultivating an appreciation for posters that think outside the “two big heads.”