Over the decades Batman has assembled the most impressive rouges gallery in all of pop culture. The mere fact that we can do a Top 20 list and still feel like we’re leaving people off speaks to the quality of Gotham’s villains. Any how, this thing is long enough already, so let’s just get started.
Collectors of poster art are well aware of the reputation Mondo has. This is a company that sells out off its stock within minutes of it becoming available to the public. The prices can be on the high side, but you definitely get your moneys worth. The quality of poster they produce is top notch and they are sought after collector’s pieces on Ebay. Though their limited editions sell out so quickly that people who have slow broadband can miss out in an instant, it has not stopped people coming back for more. Now Mondo has far too expansive a back catalogue to do a definitive list of my favorites as their work dates back to 1998. But I thought it may be fun to see what type of posters have come out in 2013. So here we have the top 15 Mondo film posters of the year (some may be considered NSFW, fair warning).
15) Gremlins by Drew Millward
This poster just sums up the Japanese culture for me and it is appropriate for the style to be like this, because Gizmo was owned by an old Asian shop keeper before coming to suburbia. The extreme melting of Spikes face and the rays of sunshine gleaming down on him meld perfectly with the design frame of the picture which looks like Japanese manuscript (or a calendar if you are more aware of that).
14) The Deadly Spawn by PhantomCity Creative
What do most people remember from this cult ’80s horror classic? The big alien monster with loads of teeth, that’s what. The entire film is encapsulated in this simplistic yet knock out design. The battered look of the poster only adds to the ensemble and makes it look exactly like an old poster you would see in your local video rental store (when they were still around, that is).
13) Maniac by Jeff Proctor
Now Maniac (remake) has never promoted itself as a family friendly film, and this poster for the movie is very explicit in its intent. The hiding of the face makes this killing seem more disturbing because of the loss of identity and it also ties nicely into the fact that we only ever see Elijah Wood’s face when he looks in the mirror. The undone jeans adds an extra uncomfortable element of sexuality to the piece. Not something you could hang in your front room but something to be admired never the less.
12) Man of Steel by Martin Ansin
The artwork reminded me a lot of Alex Ross’ work, which certainly makes an impact. The motion lines around Superman which show key characters in the movie are superb and you get the feeling of heroism, which is what Man of Steel was supposed to be all about.
11) The Thing by Randy Ortiz
Now the remake/prequel was a huge disappointment to most, but this poster reminds us just how great the original really was (and still is). The mist of the coffee turning into the alien spider legs looks incredible and the body morphing that amazed us in the film is exploited to the maximum here to great effect.
10) Boogie Nights by Rockin’ Jelly Bean
This slightly cheeky poster gives this movie based on the rise of Dirk Diggler a very ’70s flavour. Though it is not an exact match for Heather Graham, the woman taking center stage certainly arouses your attention, in more ways than one. The ’70s color scheme is stunning. Who would have thought so many yellows, browns and oranges could make such an amazing visual?
9) Evil Dead 2 by Jason Edmiston
I covered Jason’s work before in an article about ’80s inspired art work, and here we get to see how he takes on Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2. This guy’s artwork is mind blowing, adding elements of tension to a story we know all so well. Ash has never looked creepier and his battle with the raping trees in the forest is something that would have been amazing to see in the movie itself. Not since House has a door opening looked so menacing.
8) Robocop by Jay Shaw
Grizzly Bomb did an article about posters from abroad and how there styles differed greatly from the US or the UK. In that article there were plenty of examples of Polish art which is stunning but also mind blowing in its bizarreness. Artist Jay Shaw has gone for this polish style in his Robocop poster, and it shows all the pathos and pain Alex Murphy suffers from as he becomes Detroit City’s ultimate law enforcer. The single blood stained tears speaks volumes and the clever use of OCP as his eye (they built him, own him and also constantly watch him) goes great with the black and white coloring which brings the whole image to life.
7) Scarface by Mike Mitchell
This one image manages to completely sum up Tony Montana’s character. Cocky, arrogant, controlling, dangerous and powerful, it all comes out in this piece. The palm trees in the back further show the life style Tony dreams of from the start and manages to grab through force. For some reason it manages to sum up the 80s for me. Must be too much Miami Vice as a kid, I guess!
6) Argo by Kilian Eng
The main reason I love this poster art is because it focuses on the false movie and not the events that occurred. The movie is an incredibly tense and fascinating film, but all the way through viewing it my thoughts wandered slightly. “What would this film really be like if they had made it?” Well, this poster helps put those thoughts to rest. If it was to become anything like Kilian has drawn it, it would have been a master piece. Filled with 70’s psychedelic it looks like a cross between Logans Run and 2001.
5) Iron Man 3 by PhantomCity Creative
It’s a simple diagnostic poster but it’s this simplistic style which drew me to it. With Tony Stark as its focal point it gives us a massive display of the suits he used in Iron Man 3. One of the many fun things about this film was trying to spot what suit was in the film and its role for Tony. Here all that information is laid out for you so anyone who missed a suit can stare at all of them now in the comfort of their own home.
4) Battle Royale by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Bryan is better known for being the creative genius behind the super popular Scott Pilgrim, and his style perfectly suits this film. Much like the movie where cute Japanese students are forced to do horrible things, Bryan’s mix of Manga inspired cute art works superbly with the juxtaposition of graphical violent acts we are seeing the characters perform. The graphic novel of Battle Royale is even more disturbing to read and has the same power Bryan’s poster has here.
3) Friday the 13th by Francesco Francavilla
The face seen in the imagery on view motif (the best name I could come up with for this type of art) is seen a lot in horror movies, so its great to see this getting used for one of the greatest Slasher movies of the ’80s. If the menacing skull was not enough to give you a chill then look for the references to other movies within this poster. The pitch fork pops up a few times in the series but the cabin in the back is first found in Friday the 13th Part II. Now whether it has Mrs. Voorhees head in it I don’t know, but this attention to detail with the franchise impressed me, as did the tiny skull hidden in the ground far right of the pitchfork.
2) The Lost Boys by PhantomCity Creative
Never have vampires felt so much like a dark creature from Peter Pan than in The Lost Boys, a movie about immortal youths that can fly away and take your children while they sleep. The reason this poster piqued my interest is because it covered the scenes in the movie that always amazed me, the flying scenes. Very rarely before this had I ever seen vampires fly in non-bat form, so at the start when they swoop onto the unlucky couple in the car and when they drop off the bridge it amazed me, and that’s what this visual happily brought back.
1) Jaws by Laurent Durieux
What is not shown is the most important element of this poster. It seems exactly like the type of promotional poster that would have been used to promote the beaches. As the films plot does cover the lengths people went to making sure the tourists did not know there was a shark in the sea it works perfectly well. The design is a spot on copy of those holiday resort style promotional posters, but the hidden sense of dread is definitely there in this seemingly calm beach. With all the crazy shark movies coming out at the moment it is nice to take a break from them all for just a few minutes and look at where it all began, Jaws.
Mondo are constantly making incredible pieces like those on this list, and they are only a small segment of what they have to offer. Check out their web site here to see more of what they have to offer.