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Death by Fright
Vintage Horror Movie Posters

Watching an epic, hour-long battle scene on Game of Thrones the other day, it occurred to me how immune I had become from scenes of violence. Graphic slayings, beheadings, throat-cuttings and flayings no longer made me squirm or look away. Since my childhood in the 80s, I have developed a thick skin, as have most of us, when it comes to realistic violence. But I think we are missing something – the art of making someone feel fear or suspense with striking illustrations. So I went looking for vintage horror movie posters, and I found gorgeous illustrations that beckoned viewers in with their bold colors and outrageous claims – like “any member of the audience is insured for $1,000 against DEATH BY FRIGHT.” You can see the progression from the earlier poster art – lots of text and illustrated scenes – to the slicker, more menacing posters of the 1980s, leading to the graphic designed, hyper-real poster art of today. There is a heady cocktail of innocence and menace in these illustrated posters that is more compelling than anything produced today. Scroll through the gallery below, and see the lost art of horror movie posters…

demons

death_race_2000

dead_are_alive

critters

curse_of_werewolf

dawn_of_mummy

dawn_of_the_dead

day_it_come_to_earth

day_of_the_dead

creepshow

creature_from_the_black_lagoon

creature_from_haunted_sea

creature_from_black_lake

crater_lake_monster

Classic-Horror-Movie-Posters-09

black-cat-2

Blood-Bath

burial_ground

cauldron_of_death

changeling

chopping_mall

black_sabbath_poster

bees

beast_of_blood

bat_people

attack_of_the_giant_leeches

atragon

Astro-Zombies-2

and_now_the_screaming_starts

alpha_incident

alligator

6030949001_1d27758c7e_b

351525

2nqdxu9[1]

1430

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Movie Poster

6928

10864

14087

devil_girl_from_mars

dorian_gray

dracula-movie-poster

dracula

eaten_alive

equinox

escape_from_new_york

evil_of_frankenstein

first_spaceship_on_venus

forbidden_planet

FRANKENSTEIN (1)

frankenstein

freaks

friday_the_13th

fright_night

galaxina

garden_of_the_dead

giant_spider_invasion

great_white

haunting_1963_poster_01

horror-movie-poster-boris-karloff-028

horrorofdraculablog

house_on_haunted_hill

house

il_570xN.433687524_a56w

invaders_from_mars

invasion_of_the_saucer_men

island_of_dr_moreau

it_came_from_outer_space_1953_poster_05

italiandraculaad72blog

kindred

King_Kong_1933_Danish_movie_poster

king_kong

kingdom_of_the_spiders

land_that_time_forgot

Last-Man-on-earth-2355

legacy

little_girl_who_lives_down_the_lane

lsz6

maniac_poster

meatcleaver_massacre

mortuary

night_of_the_living_dead_by_markwelser-d2yfam8

nosferatu

Old-Horror-Films-Retro-Film-Posters-The-Brain-Eaters-1024x788

pit_and_the_pendulum

plan_nine_from_outer_space

planet_of_dinosaurs

planet_of_vampires

POSTER-THEBRAINTHATWOULDNTDIE

re-animator

return-of-the-fly

road_games_poster

robinson_crusoe_on_mars

rollerball

scream_and_scream_again

silent_madness

silent_running

son-of-frankenstein-01

tales_of_terror

tarantula

terrorvision

The-Body-Snatcher-Vintage-Movie-Poster

the-hunger-movie-poster-1983-1020189658

the-invisible-man-movie-poster-1933-1020141475

the-invisible-ray-movie-poster-1936-1020199746

THE-OLD-DARK-HOUSE-1932

TheHoundoftheBaskervilles1939

Them-Vintage-Movie-Poster

thing

tomb_of_ligeia

tumblr_lfxl0hQfe31qgiwzco1_500

tumblr_m8eknjVJU01qfy3nvo1_500

tumblr_mbyg1bTZjx1qla11zo1_1280

vampire_lovers_poster_02

vampire-circus

vault_of_horror_poster

vicious_lips

vintage-movie-poster-the-conquering-worm-vincent-price

wicker_man

winged_serpent

x

zardoz

zombies_on_broadway_poster_02

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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