I may not be sure of many things in this life, but one thing I am sure of is that the Japanese posters for some of my favorite science fiction films are straight-up bonkers, and in the very best way possible. Sometimes it’s just that the Japanese lettering plastered all over everything is actually perfectly consistent with the universe of the story, as with this Blade Runner poster.
Other times they’re just flat-out amazing, like this one for the cult classic Flash Gordon.
But my favorites are the ones where the English title isn’t prominently displayed, where it takes two or three looks to figure out what the hell the poster is actually promoting. Like this one, where I’ve taken the liberty of blacking out the tiny identifying title at the bottom. How thorough is your knowledge of semi-obscure 1980s science fiction?
Give up? It’s actually a poster for one of my favorite sci-fi flicks of all time, Enemy Mine, starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. How about this one, where I’ve again blacked out the English title?
That’d be for the 1981 Sean Connery movie Outland. But they certainly didn’t go out of their way to stick Connery’s face on the poster, did they? Here’s another, again sans title.
It’s for the Charlton Heston flick Soylent Green. Which, as you may recall, is made of people. A fact that makes the bulldozer full of bodies kind of hysterically morbid if you ask me.
You can check out many more below, ranging from well-known titles such as The Thing and Alien down to ones the considerably more obscure, such as Saturn 3 and Silent Running. Kudos once again to the treasure-trove blog of Gavin Rothery for the find.