Friday, 3 November 2017

The Art of Horror Movies - An illustrated history

Of all the genres of movies there are, none has produced movie posters that are as colourful and lurid as those created to sell the humble horror movie. In fact, the more humble the horror movie, the more lurid the cover. Some of history's greatest movie posters are reprinted in this sumptuous coffee table book that spans from the earliest silents right through to Resident Evils and Underworlds that were around and about at the cinema in recent times.

Considering the length of the publishing process, no book can ever hope to be completely up to date, but considering that the art of the movie poster is dying on its feet with the advent of photoshop and video screen advertising, this may the last book to celebrate the art of the nasty poster for nasty movies.

It's not just filled with posters for the likes of Nosferatu, The Curse of the Werewolf and (ahem) The Human Centipede, there are some original pieces that celebrate the likes of The Masque of the Red Death, The Mummy and Pan's Labyrinth.

There are words as well, though they rarely amount to half the page and don't really tell any hardcore horror or movie poster fan anything that they didn't already know about or didn't really need to know about. The words, though, are not what books like this are about. The pictures are the thing and it's unlikely that you're going to find a more comprehensive and visually appealing collection of horror movie poster art anywhere.

Horror art is always going to be something of an acquired taste and certainly this book's audience is going to be limited by the subject matter, but if you've acquired that taste then there is plenty here to enjoy.

So, with Halloween just over and Christmas on the horizon, treat the gore-lover in your life to this hefty tome of bright, black and red-drenched cinematic horror delights, the like of which we are unlikely to see again.

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