The saying oges that one man's trash is another's treasure. Then there's "Trash," a treasure chest of exploitation movie poster art assembled by Jacques Boyreau and published by Chronicle Books ($19.95).
You don't have to have seen the movies to enjoy the gaudy graphics and pure bad taste in "Trash"; if you've seen more than a handful of them, you might want to seek professional help. You don't even have to know what an exploitation movies is (loosely defined, it's a cheaply made movie that addresses a hot topic with reckless abandon). Just bring a dark sense of humor and an appreciation for kitsch.
Many of the posters in "Trash" may make you laugh and cringe at the same time.
Take the poster for "Corruption" (1968). The color art shows three corpses lying in a bedroom with smoke streaming in from the edges. Then there's the ad copy, scrawled in what looks like black and red crayon: "Corruption is not a woman's picture! Therefore: No Woman Will Be Admitted Alone To See This Super-Shock Film!!" It's sexism and violence all rolled into one, the epitome of trash marketing.
Of course the more blatant sexploitation came in the form of large-breasted she-killers. "Hustler Squad" (1976) certainly owed a debt to Russ Meyer. The poster shows a bevy of buxom, barely dressed women pumping lead into their male adversaries. "Professionals...You Pay For The Pleasure, The Killing Is Free!" reads the copy. Like the current movie marketing departments that quote "critics," trash posters had a real thing for exclamation points.
And no exploitation display would be complete without blaxploitation, the genre that helped lift Hollywood out of deep financial crisis in the early '70s. Blaxploitation was so big that it even crossed over to Mexico: The poster for "El Salvaje Negro" shows a black man dressed in black with an orange poncho, blasting a flame-thrower into the air as - guess who? - buxom beauties fire their machine guns in the background.
As offensive as y
Trash: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Poster Art proudly assembles more than 150 masterpieces of twisted brilliance: lowbrow graphic poster art from the sickest, sleaziest, sexiest, and weirdest films from the 1950s through the 1980s. Most poster art and film poster surveys focus on design, composition, and vintage wonder. Trash rolls in the mud with graphic art of such questionable (social) quality that it practically redefines the poster as advertising medium. Chapters each define a key trash topic (Sex Trash, Action Trash, Sick Trash, Race Trash, Groovy Trash, and Docu Trash), collecting the funniest, most disturbing, and desperate posters from each genre. Short introductions set the tone, offer eye-opening context, and then just get out of the way to let the posters themselves run riot on the page. Thrill to unfortunate star turns, plagues of frogs, meteors headed straight for earth, sex-starved zombies, and explosion after explosion. Includes jaw-dropping vintage ad mats (ads as they ran in newspapers, Astro Zombies cheek-by-jowl with The Godfather) and promotional materials (salacious sell kits given to theater owners to reel in customers).
One glance at the bold and astonishing artwork convinces.