20 Reasons 80s Movie Posters Ruled

by Staff & Contributors on June 22, 2015

in Movies, The 80s

If your favorite poster isn’t on this list, it’s not because I haven’t seen it. It’s because I didn’t think it was awesome enough. Feel free to wrangle with me in the comments. Cheap shots welcome.

Thanks to the Internet Movie Poster Awards for artist credits and images.


20. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Siskel and Ebert famously excoriated Silent Night, Deadly Night as “sick and sleazy and mean-spirited,” thereby increasing its notoriety and profits a hundredfold. It’s a shame, because the brilliant poster renders the ho-hum movie superfluous.


19. The Evil Dead (1981)

An angle is a powerful thing. So is the Necronomicon, apparently.


18. Scanners (1981)

The dude is about to explode. Even without the perfect blurb, you know the dude is about to explode.


17. Excalibur (1981)

Epic subject matter demands epic art. The epic artist is Bob Peak (Apocalypse Now, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), “father of the modern Hollywood movie poster.”


16. House (1986)

Nothing fancy. Just a lopped off hand trailing leaky blood vessels while floating in the air and ringing the doorbell of the house it’s currently haunting.

Next page: Nightmares, high school and Vietnam –>


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Sammy July 12, 2013 at 12:25 am

That Scanners poster is bad as hell

Hail Mary July 12, 2013 at 12:54 am

Great list. The only poster that stands out to me as one that you missed is the minimalist poster for Batman that had nothing more than the logo and date of release.

Howard Decker July 12, 2013 at 8:50 am

Ooh good call I love that poster

Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner) July 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

I am on record as saying it is my favorite poster of all time and I have it framed (and hanging in my basement)

Bianchi79 July 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

Great choices. I was looking for Jaws but saw you mentioned it at the end. I’d add Ghostbusters to this list, but I do realize it’s not labeled as a “20 Best Movie Posters of the 80s” list, which I like.

2 Warps to Neptune July 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

This is my personal “best of” list. I thought a lot about Ghostbusters. It’s one of the most brilliant marketing ideas ever, but ultimately it’s more logo than symbol. Whereas the helmet on Full Metal Jacket is all symbol.

The Batman poster is cool (too shiny for the character, in my opinion), but the logo had by that point been around for a long time.

Lamar the Revenger July 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Great list! I seriously thought Excalibur was rated PG… If it came out now it would be PG-13..

jrm July 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Great list. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the list is dominated by horror and sci-fi movies as the artist just has the ability for so much range given the subject matter. I think the simplicity of the Full Metal Jacket poster is what makes it work so well and the Pink Floyd poster borrowing The Scream was just brilliant. While I’ve seen almost all the posters before at some point, the only one I could still see in my mind was the Silent Night, Deadly Night poster. Probably because I was around 9 when the movie came out and it was Santa…sort of.

FPN July 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Interesting choices! But, what about the Dark Crystal or Labyrinth? Not enough blood/gore?

Count_Marzo July 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Friday the 13th is my favorite from these 20. 🙂

tanya July 14, 2013 at 9:30 am

really good choices. I see a horror sci-fi tendency here but hard to argue against those being the best posters

frankc July 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm

good list, own a few of these.
the friday the 13th one is actually Jasons mom,
he doesn’t start killing until Fri 13th Part 2

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