8 Classic Movies with Shitty Posters

#4. The Descendants -- George Clooney is a Pervert at the Beach

Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Classic Movie:

Is The Descendants starring George Clooney a classic? To me, yes, it absolutely is, because it's 4 a.m., and I'd like to finish this column at some point. In all seriousness, this Academy Award winning dramedy co-written by the Dean from Community deals with issues like family, and responsibility, and betrayal, and ... OK that's probably enough words about this one.

The Shitty Poster:

Hey, so, I'm not crazy for thinking this poster is specifically designed to make George Clooney look like a potential child molester scouting the terrain, right? He's clearly sneaking a peek at those teenagers and trying not to look suspicious, but the "rubbing his hands together at the thought of those firm young bodies" part sorta gives him away. The kids are blurry because they're not people to him: they are objects of sexual gratification.

My best guess is that the real idea behind the poster was "George Clooney keeps an eye on his daughter and her boyfriend, so they don't have sex (thus giving Clooney descendants);" but, instead, it looks like he's the one about to rub one out. There's another poster that shows him looking in another direction:

Fox Searchlight Pictures
"Oh, shit, they saw me."

And yet another where he's sitting in such a way as to conceal his boner:

Fox Searchlight Pictures
The little tower is a metaphor.

In conclusion, I'm pretty sure Clooney slept with the designer's wife (or someone in his family, anyway).

#3. The Italian Job -- This Tea-Sipping Mobster Accidentally Drew His Heist Plan on a Lady

Paramount Pictures

The Classic Movie:

Not only one of the greatest heist movies ever, it also contains one of the best one-liners put to film. Michael Caine and pals want to steal some gold passing through Italy before the Mafia can do it, which they successfully pull off through cleverness and funny accents (at least until the infuriating cliffhanger ending happens).

The Shitty Poster:

Well, no wonder the Mafia lost: due to some staggering oversight, they wrote down their heist plan on some lady's back instead of on a piece of paper, or any other easy to carry medium. Whoever dropped the ball there must have felt awfully embarrassed when someone pointed out the mistake.

Paramount Pictures
"This explains all the paper cuts in my dick."

It should be noted that this poster was only used in the US: in England, it had a more sensible one highlighting the car chasing and Michael Caining you could expect from the movie, and it was a hit. In America, on the other hand, most people apparently thought the poster was advertising a career as walking stationary, and it flopped.

Paramount Pictures
The job is helping the mobster drink that tea with his hands busy.

Caine himself blamed the flop specifically on this image. Not that his presence on a poster is a guarantee for success, though ...

#2. Victory -- The Stallone/Caine/Pele Abomination

Paramount Pictures

The ... Classic Movie?

I'd never heard of this movie before, but apparently it uses famous footballers instead of actors, so I'm sure it's really good. It's the true-ish story of a bunch of Allied POWs forced to play an exhibition match of soccer with the Nazis. This is exactly why the Geneva Conventions exist.

The Shitty Poster:


Paramount Pictures

Apparently, the Allies lost the match and as a result, they were handed over to Josef Mengele for experimentation. Mengele then turned three of them (played by the unlikely trio of Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and Pele) into an abomination with three heads and three arms but one torso, and presumably a single pair of legs. The prisoners' only request was that the lower section be Pele's, for obvious reasons.

Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox
Mengele had other plans.

Upon closer inspection, you actually see the part where Stallone's torso separates from Caine's, but the fact that the shirts are the same color and that they're all standing so uncomfortably close still makes it too easy to see them as some sort of creature of myth. Thankfully, Egypt had a simple yet elegant solution to this problem:

Paramount Pictures
Playing without a shirt is against FIFA regulations, though.

#1. The Shining -- That Face. That Fucking Face.

Warner Bros.

The Classic Movie:

Yep, "a masterpiece of modern horror" sounds about right. This is a movie about, in no particular order: a hotel possessed by ghosts, a father who goes nuts and tries to axe his family, a kid and a cook with mental powers, a sadistic director psychologically torturing an actress, and a man in a bear suit fellating a dapper gentleman.

The Shitty Poster:

So why is that the poster? There's a lot of weird shit in this movie, but an orgasming ET isn't one of them. Is my memory blocking a whole subplot about Jack Nicholson getting abducted by aliens and then fucking them? Because, come to think of it, that does sound like something that would happen in a Stanley Kubrick movie (I'm imagining a combination between the fast-forward threesome in A Clockwork Orange and the space bedroom in A Space Odyssey).

Another explanation: this is a rage comic that got displaced in time through some Kubrickean plot twist.

knowyourmeme.com, Warner Bros.

Otherwise, who the hell is that supposed to be? Shelley Duvall? Scatman Crothers? Stephen King? Oh God, is this the face inside the bear suit? That would explain why the mouth is wide open.

Maxwell Yezpitelok has a free comic you can read and a Twitter you can follow.

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