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13 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

FX’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 we 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 13 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!

13 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.13 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display

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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. Yeah, still mad about that.

13 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display
13 Controversial Horror Movie Posters That Were Banned from Public Display


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John Squires

I have a beard. And two cats.