Book Review: The Art of the B Movie Poster

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The Art of the B Movie Poster
Edited by Adam Newell
Published by Gingko Press, 2016. 320 pages.

I’ve got a confession to make: I’m a sucker for poster books. I truly believe that movie poster art really is just that…artwork. It is also something that should be treated as such, meaning it should be saved and displayed. But most importantly though, it should be remembered, since there are hundreds of talented artists that put their soul into these and got little or no fanfare, let alone getting paid a decent price. It was because of the hard work of these artists put into these designs that made us go to the theater to see the film, sometimes solely based on what the poster showed them. As Pete Tombs writes in his wonderful introduction here about what this kind of art should be doing…”move, inspire, and entertain – and occasionally startle too, for that’s all part of the plan.”

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There have been many poster books published over the years, and quite a few that feature ones from the horror genre. But this latest book does something a little bit more than just show some cool posters. It shows us history. And just horror films, but sci-fi, sexploitation, action, and so much more. Editor Adam Newell hasn’t just compiled a collection of images but also got some scholars to gives us a little recap of that sub-genre that the particular chapter is covering. Each chapter covers a different era or genre of exploitation. Tombs gives us a little history of how these kind of posters started that would lure audiences to see films like Kroger Babb’s Mom and Dad. Ever see a poster for that one? It’s in here. But then other chapters cover subjects like what drugs can do to you, as well as plenty of titles about women that were young and wild. You get plenty of action posters from the times when the stars in these films weren’t your Hollywood blockbusters, but names like Dragon Lee, Keoma, or Sartana. And of course, as the cover promised, we get some horror!

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Just looking through this book, gazing at some of these pieces of art, I know some of these would definitely made me run to the theater. Thankfully Newell has gathered together these images, 1200 of them, and put them in a beautiful hardcover edition. The cost is $40, but this is one edition that is well worth the money. This is an amazing coffee table book that no self-respecting exploitation movie fan could walk past and not open it up and slowly start to page through.

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You an order this book directly from the publisher, Gingko Press. Just click HERE.

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