Book Review: Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art from the Underground



Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art from the Underground by Matthew Chojnacki


Rory Cashin eyes up the spectacular art of underground film posters in a new book, Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art from the Underground.

Starting with a foreword by the author about “how things just aren’t like they used to be” probably wasn’t the best way to get things off on the right foot. We’ve heard film critics tell how Hollywood has lost its lustre, how things have been all downhill since the 1970s, blah, blah, blah. Well, Chojnacki chimes in with something similar, telling us how movie posters just aren’t as good since the arrival of Photoshop and the likes, making sure everything is as blemish (and interest) free as possible.

Unfortunately, in this case, Chojnacki is all too correct, as trying to think of a great movie poster from the last decade amounts to less than you could count on one hand. So instead, he’s amassed a collection of Alternative Movie Posters (there’s that title!), with influences from every type of artist you could imagine, many of which are truly impressive.

Some poster artists have become (almost) household names by this point, with the likes of Olly Moss and Mondo Posters having found a hugely popular cult following, but this beautiful collection goes beyond what most folk may have already been exposed to. With over 200 gloriously reprinted images, covering movies from Blade Runner to Child’s Play 2, from Fight Club to The Third Man, and everything in between, this is a must-have for any movie fan you might know.

The art-work ranges hugely in style and substance, with some nothing more than an atmospheric representation of the movie, to artistic takes on the original poster, to minimalist graphics used to get the most across.

While the posters themselves are fantastically represented, some of the layout around them is a little messy, with the poster authors and details about the print displayed at a head-turning angle to the poster itself. Then there’s the more personal details underneath, with poster designers answering what their favorite movies are, or the first film they ever saw, when more time and space should have been devoted to the creative ideas behind the posters themselves.

But these are just minor niggles, as this is primarily a book about visuals, and the visuals are expansively impressive. A great coffee-table book, not to mention a great addition to anyone interested in design and promotion.


  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd (28 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764345664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764345661
  • Product Dimensions: 26.9 x 21.8 x 2.5 cm

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