Sometimes a movie poster perfectly conveys the spirit of the movie it's advertising, effectively capsulizing every reason you should see the film into a single engrossing image. Other times, poster designers get handed the title of the film and a note that says "Use your imagination" in their mother tongue. That's the only possible explanation for these ...
#15. Return of the Jedi -- Russia
Who can forget Return of the Jedi, the classic tale of the one-eyed purple Nightmare-Gonzo and the green goblin who took off his winking aardvark mask? This list is full of posters with no clear correlation to the movies they supposedly represent, but at least you can tell what dimension they're supposed to be in. But this one takes place in a world in which the characters are two-dimensional chalk sketches layered on top of one another, while the shooting stars from every NBC "The More You Know" segment in the '90s converge to do battle in a three-dimensional sky.
Actually, two-dimensional characters stacked on top of each other in an awesome three-dimensional universe? Maybe they did know what franchise they were trying to draw after all.
#14. Jaws 2 -- Poland
You should already know by now that Polish movie posters are insane. But we've never seen the essence of Polish jokes so perfectly captured in a piece of art. Picture it: The designer of the submarine screen door comes in with an assignment to draw the poster for a movie titled Jaws 2 that's about a shark. The Polish poster designer stops painting Wite-Out on his computer screen and asks how a movie about one shark could be called Jaws 2. After an all-night brainstorm session, they arrive at the above diagram of one shark with two jaws and join their 30 colleagues in charge of spinning around the guy who holds the light bulb that needs screwing in.
#13. Surrogates -- USA
Admit it: She's still hot, even with a terminal case of Terminator abdomen. Unfortunately, Angelina Jolie is never caught off-guard while stripping down to reveal her amazing cyborg breasts. In fact, it doesn't feature Angelina Jolie at all. Surrogates takes place in a futuristic world where humans remote-control androids to live their lives for them so as to avoid any harm or imminent death. The movie tanked, presumably because the studio couldn't figure out a way to monetize the sighs of disappointed men.
#12. The Godfather -- Spain
This Spanish poster for The Godfather was based on an early draft of the script, in which a young Michael Corleone must choose between a life of managing his family's world-renowned spaghetti restaurant and his dreams of becoming a world champion chess player. Needless to say, not much of this original draft made it into the final film, although the knight chess piece did spark one pretty good idea in the minds of the screenwriters.
Either that, or Spanish people are super racist and decided that their fellow Spaniards would know that this wasn't a movie about chess if you put a forkful of spaghetti on there, since Italian people don't possess the mental faculties to play anything above checkers.
#11. Saving Private Ryan -- Poland
Leszek Zebrowski via Polish Poster
This poster was clearly designed by someone who stopped watching the movie as soon as the first character was killed and misunderstood the realistic violence to be an insult. At least they deleted the word bubble coming out of his mouth that said, "Uh look, I'm the stupid idiot who got shot in the head like DUHRRR." Either that, or the Polish release of the film is an alternate Lord of the Rings tale in which Gollum joins up with the Allies and promptly discovers that Normandy was a lot like Mordor, only with way more brain bits flying about.
#10. The Rules of Attraction -- USA
People always talk about thinking outside the box like it's a good thing. And here we see the other side of the coin: ideas that are just way too outside the box, otherwise known as stuffed animals fucking in different positions. In case you haven't seen The Rules of Attraction, it's a cross between American Psycho (based on a novel by the same author), a Tarantino movie (stylized camera angles, nonlinear storytelling) and Dawson's Creek (Dawson is the star, for some reason), and it has nothing to do with teddy bears eating pussy.
We have to imagine that thousands of people with strange stuffed-animal fetishes were disappointed. But not as disappointed as the thousands of children who had no way of knowing what those adorable animals were doing to each other.
#9. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- Germany
Captain Kirk? Spock? Fuck those guys (you too, Scotty) -- Star Trek is all about the Chekov.
#8. The Big Lebowski -- Poland
Andrzej Krajewski via Polish Poster
Once again, the poster designers of Poland have betrayed their habit of only watching a single scene of the film they're trying to capture. In this case, we get a crazily detailed Bayeux Tapestry devoted to the 90-second scene in which Walter and the Dude visit a boy named Little Larry's house and mistakenly beat the shit out of his neighbor's red sports car. We can tell they've seen that portion of the film because all of the characters are meticulously labeled and vaguely look like themselves. They've even reproduced a single snippet of dialogue -- the neighbor shouting "I just bought that car!" a line that is delivered during the neighbor's only 15 seconds onscreen.
This brings us to all the reasons they've clearly not seen a single frame of the rest of the film: The neighbor character getting the only speaking line on the poster for a movie in which he only has one speaking line. Depicting Little Larry as a sinister figure pulling the strings in a vast conspiracy, even though this is the last we ever see of him. Most baffling of all are the failed attempts to depict the major characters who don't appear in the scene: Maude, who is played by Julianne Moore, and not The Nanny-era Fran Drescher, as the poster suggests; Donny, who is not, as the poster would indicate, a tiny green red-headed alien; and the hilariously ass-backward Yosemite Sam-like appearance of the Buddha-like Cowboy. This is essentially the movie poster equivalent of telling a lie that just keeps building on itself until you don't know what you're saying anymore. Maybe just stick to drawing the first crazy Rorschach inkblot of madness that pops into your head upon hearing the title, Poland.