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17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public DisplayFX’s “The Strain,” is a show that generated a whole lot of controversy before it even aired. As we reported here on Dread, a billboard advertisement for the series was pulled by the network in the wake of several complaints from disgusted passersby…

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17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public DisplayFX’s “The Strain,” is a show that generated a whole lot of controversy before it even aired. As we reported here on Dread, a billboard advertisement for the series was pulled by the network in the wake of several complaints from disgusted passersby…

…who were quite horrified about the fact that the image of a woman with a worm coming out of her eyeball had become a part of their daily commute.

It certainly wasn’t the first time a piece of poster art for the kind of entertainment us horror fans love was targeted by angry citizens, resulting in it being banned and pulled from public display. In fact, it’s happened a whole lot more than you might think.

Today, we shine the spotlight on 17 other horror posters that were victimized in much the same way over the years, which we’ll present in chronological order. Read on for the full gallery, along with specific details about each incident!

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

One of the most infamously controversial horror films of all time is of course 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night, about an axe-wielding madman in a Santa suit. Naturally, the very idea of a killer dressed as Santa Claus pissed off a whole lot of people, leading to angry letters and even theatrical picketing. Amidst all the outcry, the film’s original distributor TriStar Pictures removed it from theaters and pulled all TV ads and posters, the latter of which depicted ‘Santa’ either going down or coming up a chimney with a big ole axe.

Years later, the film saw re-release from an independent company, with a much less controversial piece of art used to promote it – though it smartly played up the previous controversy.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

One of my personal favorite posters of all time is this one for Jason Takes Manhattan, a fun play on the iconic ‘I Love NY’ art that it’s hard to escape from, when visiting the city. Unfortunately, the New York State Department of Economic Development wasn’t as into the art as most horror fans were, deeming it an infringement on the copyright of that original art, and forcing Paramount to completely replace it with a much less enticing – but similar – poster.

I suppose the art was a bit of false advertising anyway, considering the fact that Jason spends such little time in New York City. Yea, still mad about that.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

As you can imagine, the folks at the MPAA aren’t exactly the biggest supporters of the Saw films, which have been promoted with a whole lot of gruesome imagery. Oddly enough, it was this fairly harmless poster for Saw 2 that pushed them over the edge, deeming the depiction of two severed fingers completely unacceptable.

After pulling the poster, Lionsgate replaced it with much the same piece of art, showing the same two fingers much more close up, which the MPAA was happy with – I suppose it wasn’t the fingers that bothered them, so much as it was the fact that they clearly weren’t attached to a hand, in the original art. Interesting to note that the original art was used on the cover of the film’s soundtrack.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Given the concept of the film, it should come as no surprise that 2007’s Teeth rubbed more than a few people the wrong way. For those that haven’t seen it, the film is about a young girl who quite literally has teeth in her vagina, which doesn’t exactly bode well for all the dudes who try to get it in. This UK poster, which visually depicts the oddball plot of the film, was rejected before ever making it out into the public, and only surfaced when Empire Magazine got a hold of it and gave it new life. Need. This. Poster.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Park Chan-wook’s exceptional vampire flick Thirst received some much deserved attention (any attention is good attention, in the movie world!) when South Korea’s Media Ratings Board banned the original poster for the film, due to its depiction of a priest in a sexually suggestive pose with a hot young lady.

As is the case with many banned posters, slight changes were made to the original art in order to get it past the ratings board, which saw the removal of Tae-ju’s legs, the covering up of her cleavage and the modification of Sang-hyeon’s hands. Still looks like they’re getting it on to me, but the minor changes did the trick, and the board approved the new art.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Long before “The Strain”’s billboard ads got under people’s skin and resulted in public outrage, 2007’s little-seen film Captivity had much the same effect, due to this particularly eye-catching billboard. The billboard essentially showed the complete process of being kidnapped, tortured and killed, which naturally didn’t sit well with too many morning bagels. Shortly after the billboards were posted in LA, as well as on taxi tops in New York City, both Lionsgate and the MPAA began receiving phone calls from uptight citizens, and it wasn’t long before the art was pulled. Producers of the film claimed that the billboards were put up by accident, and that the wrong art had been sent to the printer – likely story!

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Writer/director Eli Roth was pretty damn thrilled when the MPAA approved this meaty poster for Hostel: Part 2, excitedly taking to MySpace to express that surprised happiness. Interestingly enough, it was the theater chain Century/Cinemark that objected to the imagery, describing it as “ruthless,” and forbidding staff from putting it up at their theaters. Who knew a photograph of meat could be so controversial?!

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

2007 also saw the release of The Hills Have Eyes 2, a totally unnecessary and pretty damn awful sequel to the previous year’s exceptional remake. Above is the original art that was supposed to be used to promote the film, which the MPAA rejected.

What’s most interesting about this case is that this modified art was soon thereafter approved by the board, depicting legs dangling out of the mutant’s death sack rather than an arm. Only explanation I can come up with is that the victim in the first poster looks alive, while the one in the second isn’t showing much of a sign of life. That’s the MPAA for ya!

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

2008’s Australian film Dying Breed was based on the real-life tale of cannibalistic killer Alexander Pearce, who was dubbed ‘The Pieman.’ Not only did the film force many locals to flee theaters, faint and even vomit, but so too did the poster art induce similar nausea, thanks to its depiction of a pie filled with all sorts of human parts. It was actually the agency responsible for putting up ads in bus shelters that decided it was too gross for mass consumption, refusing to display the art in public. Mmm. Meat pie.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Over in the UK, this poster for the Eli Roth-produced The Last Exorcism didn’t terrorize the public for very long, as the Advertising Standards Authority removed all traces of it in the wake of over 100 parental complaints. It was the fact that these posters were placed in close proximity to schools that resulted in the majority of the outcry, with many parents finding the art distressing, and feeling that the girl looked like she had suffered a sexual assault of some kind. Here in the states, a black & white filter was put over top the art, and nobody – to my knowledge – complained about it.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Though this Bereavement poster probably doesn’t strike you as one that would be on the list, the MPAA thought otherwise. Because of the depiction of a young child holding a large knife, they banned the poster outright, which led to the knife being Photoshopped out of the kid’s hand, and into the adult’s hand.  Because adults killing people is okay. Kids doing it isn’t.

As is typically the case, the controversy did nothing but get more people to see a film that they probably otherwise wouldn’t have even known about. So thanks for that, MPAA!

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

Horror films don’t get much more controversial than the rape-revenge classic I Spit on Your Grave, and that controversy carried over to the 2010 remake. It’s of course almost impossible to think about the film without picturing the rear end of a knife-wielding woman, and so it was only natural that the remake’s poster looked much the same as the iconic original’s. I suppose it wasn’t much of a surprise when the art was deemed inappropriate and banned, and it seems to have been more an issue of the sexualization of a rape victim, than merely a matter of nice butt cheeks being unfit for human eyes. Consequently, the art for the remake’s sequel featured no butt cleavage, nor does early art for the upcoming third installment.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

And finally, this skull-shattering Final Destination 5 poster allegedly corrupted the minds of several London children over in the UK, which led to mass parental outrage. Thirteen parents in total issued complaints, and three of the thirteen claimed that their children were visibly upset by the imagery. Though Warner Bros. tried to throw water on the fire, issuing a statement that the image “accurately reflected the content of the film, in an appropriate manner”, the Advertising Standards Authority wasn’t hearing it, and they issued a ban on the poster.

17 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

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First Plot Details on Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate Movie

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When we first heard about the upcoming ninth film by Quentin Tarantino, it came with the rumor that the film would be centered around the recently deceased Charles Manson.

Tarantino then debunked the rumor saying the film was not about Manson but about the year 1969 in general. Whatever that means.

Today we (might) have a better idea of just what he meant by that as a recent article by Vanity Fair may have just revealed the plot of Tarantino’s mysterious film.

The site’s synopsis reads:

Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino’s upcoming movie, according to a source who read the script, focuses on a male TV actor who’s had one hit series and his looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick—who’s also his stunt double—is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story.

Stunt double?

And just like that I could give a sh*t about the whole “is it, or isn’t it about Manson?” debate and now all I want to know is “will the film be, or not be about Stuntman Mike and/or his older brother Stuntman Bob?”

Am I joking? Maybe. But this is Tarantino after all. And the man loves building up his own connected universe of films and characters so… you never know…

How excited are you for Tarantino’s new movie? Does this plot sound correct to you? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Tarantino’s ninth film is expected to start shooting in LA this June.

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: November 21, 2017

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We have kind of a slow week for you, folks. Aside from 1957’s Daughter Of Dr. Jekyll, all seven of our other releases are from the past five years, and I hate to admit this but I don’t know much about them.

I can say that American Mary, is always a fun title to watch. Fans of Katharine Isabelle, take notice. You can grab this on both Blu-ray and DVD.

For more information on some of this week’s other titles, from other Dread Central contributors, check out the following links:

Dark Signal

The Night Watchmen

Scarecrowd

And

Under The Bed

Keep checking back each week, folks. Next week is another smaller list but they will begin picking up again for the Christmas season. As always, pleasant viewing.



MOVIES:

American Mary (2012)

Starring:

Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk

Synopsis:

Strapped for cash while putting herself through medical school, medical student Mary Mason takes a job as a waitress at a strip bar, run by Billy Barker. As she becomes increasingly disillusioned with her studies, Billy introduces Mary to a new and extremely lucrative sideline, performing extreme body modifications to an odd collection of flesh-obsessed characters. Subsequently forced to drop out of medical school, she soon takes refuge in her new career. But as her demeanor steadily darkens, and her actions take on an altogether more vengeful twist, she begins to be known and feared as ‘Bloody Mary’.

BUY IT NOW!


Dark Signal (2016)

Starring:

Siwan Morris, Gareth David-Lloyd, Joanna Ignaczewska, Duncan Pow

Synopsis:

The spirit of a murdered girl returns with a message. Now a stranded woman must team up with the staff of a local radio station to solve the mystery of her death.

BUY IT NOW!


Daughter Of Dr. Jekyll (1957)

Starring:

John Agar, Gloria Talbott, Arthur Shields

Synopsis:

Janet, a young woman discovers she is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. She begins to believe that she may also have a split personality, one of whom is a ruthless killer after the bodies start to pile up around her. However, all is not what it seems…..

BUY IT NOW!


Housebound (2014)

Starring:

Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiati, Glen-Paul Waru

Synopsis:

Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is all the more unbearable because she has to live with her mother, a blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. But soon Kylie has reason to believe that her mother may be right.

BUY IT NOW!


The Night Watchmen (2016)

Starring:

James Remar, Matt Servitto

Synopsis:

Three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle to save their lives. A mistaken warehouse delivery unleashes a horde of hungry vampires, and these unlikely heroes must not only save themselves but also stop the scourge that threatens to take over the city of Baltimore.

BUY IT NOW!


Scarecrowd (2016)

Starring:

Fabrizio Occhipinti, Gabrielle Bergère, Antony Ferry

Synopsis:

Radiation from a nearby meteor strike turns farmer Tony Maio in a crazed mutant. He hides his appearance in the guise of a scarecrow, hunting down and killing nearby town folk to satisfy his newfound blood lust. The town will dread sundown and screams will be echo in the dark night when this Scarecrow hunts them down.

BUY IT NOW!


Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare (2014) (Limited Edition, Just 100 Sold)

Starring:

Kaitlyn Yurkiw, Lauren Richardson, Hillary Kaplan, Martha Staus, Kirk Munaweera, Payton John Bonn, Kevin Paynter

Synopsis:

Four teens on Spring Break plan the ultimate slumber party… Beer! Porn! Dancing! Girl Talk! There’s a first time for everything – including the deranged stalker who’s followed them home. He leaves them love notes, but the girls laugh it off. He spies through the windows, but they don’t know it. Soon he sneaks in, masked and carrying his rusty power drill. A young man’s obsession becomes a nightmare in this driller killer slasher.

BUY IT NOW!


Under the Bed (2012)

Starring:

Jonny Weston, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander

Synopsis:

Two brothers team up to battle a creature under the bed, in what is being described as a “suburban nightmare” tale.

BUY IT NOW!

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Three 1970’s Horrors That Remind Us Why We Enjoy Getting Mental at the Movies

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Crazy is always creepy in horror movies, and it usually comes in two forms: insane escapees or the sane among the crazies.

It’s one storytelling technique when a mental patient escapes and enters our own ordered, peaceful world. It’s quite another when a film drops us in the middle of an asylum to cope with crazy people who, in those movies, always seem to want to stab us.

First off, let me say the mentally ill are one of the most misunderstood and scapegoated minorities in movie history. Other stereotypes have disappeared from the silver screen over the years, but it’s still convenient to blame a killing rampage on an escaped mental patient. We’ll just chalk this up to lazy writing and move on.

Yes, “mentally ill” has become shorthand for “bloodthirsty and lacking in social etiquette.” Kudos to “American Horror Story’s” second season, subtitled “Asylum,” for adding some subtlety to that convention. Seventies horror movies, though, were riddled with stereotypes, enough so that when we travel back to that groovy and dangerous time, we can merrily ignore them and enjoy the scare.

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972) is a fairly standard who-is-the-killer flick that turns terrifying in the last 20 minutes, when all hell breaks loose and the inmates, quite literally, take over the asylum. There is a nice, icy buildup throughout.

The populace of a small town are suspiciously nervous when a local mansion that had once been a mental institution goes up for sale. Mary Woronov (Eating Raoul) plays it numbingly cool throughout, until the climax, adding punch to the big reveals.

Also known by Night of the Dark Full Moon and Death House, this film is directed by Theodore Gershuny and written by Gershuny, Jeffrey Konvitz and Ira Teller. It’s always a good sign for consistency of vision when the director is also a writer.

I don’t know a lot of people raving about this film. It’s certainly not perfect, but a solid effort in that ’70s B-movie category, seriously creepy, and worth watching. Recommended.

Asylum (1972) has everything I enjoy about well-done, early ’70s horror: a fairly simple premise, creepy sets, and solid acting. The anthology setup works well here, stringing four Robert Bloch stories together. Peter Cushing and Herbert Lom show up along with Britt Ekland and Barbara Parkins.

The effects are not at all bad. Hope you view a cut of this movie that shows a stagehand rather obviously moving a prop in the “Frozen Fear” segment because those kinds of mistakes are fun to see.

Directed by Roy Ward Baker, Asylum delivers like any of the Amicus horror movies: similar to Hammer in that you know you will be entertained. Recommended for classic pre-slasher horror movie fans.

Then there’s Don’t Look in the Basement (1973). I was smart enough to see this in a theater when it came out… but dumb enough to bring a date. What a terrible first date movie!

On the other hand, Don’t Look in the Basement is a very creepy horror film due to several elements that come together beautifully:

– First, it has that grainy, cheap look to it like many early ’70s B-movies that, for me, adds to the mood. That look tells me positively this is not a big studio production. “Oh, this is one of THOSE movies,” says my head. “Anything can happen!” Tension builds.

– Second, it has an obviousness to it that can be unnerving when filmed correctly. Hitchcock used to do this well: We in the audience know the danger, but the hero on screen is completely clueless. We know from the minute the blonde nurse accepts her new job she shouldn’t be there — heck, we knew she shouldn’t even have come into the house!

– Third, most all of the characters may be insane, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own distinct stories, personalities and phobias. Crazy is not random. As Grant Morrison wrote in Batman: Arkham Asylum, the thoughts of the insane are not unpatterned. Each person has his or her own complex view of reality, no matter how wrong that perception might be.

There’s also a good deal of blood. And a surprise reveal. Don’t Look in the Basement has been recognized as a B-movie classic, and I enthusiastically recommend it here.

Three 1972 to 1973 horror movies and all three recommended! You may or may not disagree, and if so, I want to hear why! What are your favorite asylum flicks? Comment below or on social media.

Gary Scott Beatty’s graphic novel Wounds is available on Amazon and Comixology. Is madness a way to survive the zombie apocalypse? The strangest zombie story ever written, Wounds throws us into a world where nothing is beyond doubt, except a father’s concern for his wife and daughter. If you enjoy that “What th-?” factor in graphic novels, you’ll enjoy Wounds.

For more from Gary Scott Beatty, visit him on Twitter and Facebook.

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