Bart Simpson, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fruitvale Station, Goldfinger, James Bond, Jaws, Minion, Rain Man, Ralph Wiggum, Se7en, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, SpongeBob Squarepants, Spoof movie posters, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Taken 2, The Constant Gardner, Up
While I was searching for movie posters to include in my Poster of the Week feature, I came across quite a few spoof versions, most of which were obvious or clumsy in execution. But there were some that stood out in terms of originality and for putting a clever spin on the original poster. Here are ten of the best, and in no particular order of popularity or preference. I hope you like them as much as I do.
1 – Fruitvale Station (2013)
There’s nothing like getting to the heart of the matter or telling it straight, which is what makes this “serious” spoof so effective. It’s an example of the “honest poster” and the title change from Fruitvale Station says it all, and for an extra twist of the knife, the tagline rams the message home quite forcefully and with no apologies for its stance.
2 – Jaws (1975)
There are dozens of spoof Jaws movie posters out there, and almost all of them try to retain the title as much as they can, but few keep the whole word with just the addition of a single extra letter. Congratulations then to this poster for being so creative and for providing a mash-up of two movie series into the bargain.
3 – Taken 2 (2012)
Sometimes, the best spoofs are those that poke fun at movies that take themselves just a little bit too seriously. And Taken 2 was certainly a gloomy revenge thriller, with Liam Neeson glowering throughout. But this example of the spoof poster takes all that gloominess and the oppressive atmosphere and literally “dumps” all over it.
4 – Rain Man (1988)
The Simpsons feature in a lot of spoof movie posters but this is one of the best, recreating the original’s style and looking more like an animated sequel than a humorous homage to Rain Man itself. The expressions are fantastic as well, and the whole thing is so simple it just adds another layer of quality to the finished poster.
5 – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
As with the Simpsons, those little yellow Minions feature in quite a few spoof movie posters as well, and trying to choose just one was really difficult, but in the end this example won out because it’s visually striking as well as funny, and isn’t a case of someone just photoshopping a Minion onto the head of Darth Maul.
6 – Se7en (1995)
Mash-ups are popular with spoof movie poster designers, and this combination of Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and modern serial killer movie Se7en is inspired (though John Doe is still scarier than Maleficent). And to add to the fun you can try and work out which dwarf matches up with which deadly sin.
7 – Up (2009)
A simple enough exercise that retains the bright colour scheme of the original, and still manages to capture Up‘s spirit of adventure, this poster is an obvious response perhaps, but again it’s the way in which the original look and feel has been recreated, and still manages to raise a smile, this time of happy acknowledgement.
8 – Goldfinger (1964)
If ever there was a movie series that deserved to be spoofed (as it has been) then it’s the James Bond franchise. This French poster for Goldfinger takes an obvious title change and adds a picture of the item in question and does nothing else, keeping the rest of the poster intact and making it look – at first glance at least – as if it’s a genuine Bond movie.
9 – The Constant Gardener (2005)
One small change to a title can make all the difference sometimes, and this example turns The Constant Gardener‘s paranoid thriller into something very different indeed. The graphics are a little too “in your face” but the humour is guaranteed to “raise” a smile, and is a good example of how a little smut can go a long way.
10 – Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
A lot of spoof movie posters work by subverting the original image and/or juxtaposing it with an image that is completely at odds or at a considerable distance from the original image and its intentions. Such is the case with this version of Fifty Shades of Grey, where Christian Grey’s replacement – and the careless absurdity of his being at the window in the first place – just makes it all the funnier (and might just make for a more interesting and entertaining movie).