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12 Posters From Popular 90s Movies That Need a Little Explaining

These classic movies have some posters that don't quite tell the story.

Marketing for movies is a big business and account for a substantial part of the film’s budget, which includes creating and publishing the title’s theatrical poster. There have been a lot of memorable, even iconic one-sheets throughout cinema history, and yet a few not so much. The 1990s is no exception. Here are 12 posters from the 90s that need just a little explaining.

Home Alone (1990)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Home Alone ©20th Century Fox

Okay, so given what we’re seeing, little Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) is terrified at the idea of two armed burglars about to break into his house, right? Nope. Turns out that’s just aftershave. And even though Marv (Daniel Stern) looks like he about to satiate the creepy child-chewing voiced in his head and Harry (Joe Pesci) seems disappointed the extra large bean burrito he had for lunch isn’t working on his week-old constipation, it’s Culkin’s lifeless, demon-portal eyes that make this the stuff of nightmares. Why can’t I look away?

Pretty Woman (1990)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Pretty Woman ©Buena Vista Pictures

Where is Julia Roberts‘ neck? What wrong with her head? Oh and wait a minute. She’s a redhead in this movie, not a brunette. And hey, Richard Gere. He’s got salt and pepper in this flick, not whatever shade of blackhole eternal void of damnation this is.

 Groundhog Day (1993)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Groundhog Day ©Columbia Pictures

Groundhog Day, the movie about a man who’s trapped his own humunculus in a clock and uses it to seduce women. No? It’s actually about a man who spends a long, long time repeating the same day over and over again, so if anything, shouldn’t Bill Murray‘s baby-bottom-smooth disembodied hands be holding a calendar? Also, it appears the same overlords who cut and pasted Julia Roberts’ head in the previous poster had dealings with whatever that monstrosity is telling us it’s 10:05 here.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Mrs. Doubtfire ©20th Century Fox

The late Robin Williams was a big star, yes, but an actual giant? According to this poster he is. Look at him. He’s a certified goliath in this picture. Dressed like a nanny. You can’t unsee that. And that stare. Stop judging me, Doubtfire! We all have demons! And are we being attacked by alien corn muffins? What is going on back there?

Cruel Intentions (1999)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Cruel Intentions ©Columbia Pictures

After great effort, and considerable sacrifice, we have finally come into possession of the plans behind the poster marketing of Cruel Intentions, the reinterpretation of the classic French story Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Many Bothans died to bring us this information. According to the top secret strategy, a single word was said in order to fix the look of the original design, which featured just the floating heads of its stars, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar: Boobs.

12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
12 Monkeys ©Universal Pictures

If this poster is to be believed, the follow-up to Terminator II is called 12 Monkeys and stars Bruce Willis as the latest unstoppable cyborg assassin. That’s clearly a Skynet robot in this picture with its glowing red eye coming to hunt whichever Conner is on the list for terminating this time. And come on. “The Future is History”? How much more Terminatory can it get? Yeah, sure it turns out it’s actually about a guy traveling through time trying to stop a loopy chemical terrorist he saw as a kid, but there’s no way you’re convincing me that is Brad Pitt‘s face sticking out of the dark there.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Sleepless In Seattle ©TriStar Pictures

By the looks of this poster, I’m guessing the artist mistook “Chicago” for “Seattle” when it came to putting this one together. (That’s a Windy City joke folks, and yes, I know wind has nothing to do with that name). But pause for a moment and really look at Meg Ryan‘s hair(?) in this picture, which appears to be trailing off her face like the tentacles of an alien sea beast. What is going on here? Is her hair molting? What is it doing? Also, is that Mars?

Any Given Sunday (1999)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Any Given Sunday ©Warner Bros.

So there you are standing in line at the movies and catch a glimpse of this poster and naturally get curious about what you naturally assume must be the chilling story of a football obsessed serial killer and his psycho wall of pictures. Using his signature “jumping jack” stamp as clues, he faces off against an alien race of yellow space detectives and their mortal enemies, a gang of blue-skinned hired guns looking to recruit the murderer. Imagine you’re disappointment when you buy a ticket and realize it’s just a sports movie.


12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Godzilla ©TriStar Pictures

Okay. Deep breath here. Given the dimensions of this solitary reptilian foot, what? . . . the head of this monster is in space? Are we fighting it with shuttles and the Hubble telescope? With a creature big enough to tilt Earth off its axis, and one who leaves a surprisingly destruction-free swath of buildings behind it (thank you, Godzilla), is there any logic to attacking its toes with Apache helicopters? Yes, little man in the corner, run. Run back and watch Jurassic Park.

The Edge (1997)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
The Edge ©20th Century Fox

The Edge, as this poster surely makes clear, will be a two-hour movie experience where we the viewer are pushed to the limits as a pair of men stand in the woods and make loud bear noises at each other. Sold!

Six Days, Seven Nights (1998)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
Six Days, Seven Nights ©Buena Vista Pictures

So this looks like a pleasant adventure movie. Some attractive stars. An island setting. A little romance an–OH GOD! The hands! Looks at the hands! What kind of outer space alien monster death grip does this woman have on that man’s thumb, elongating it to a ghastly length? Is this a Species sequel?

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

12 Posters from Popular 90s Movies
While You Were Sleeping ©Buena Vista Pictures

Ah, time for a nice romantic comedy where an adorable quirky girl falls for a seemingly down-to-Earth man with a nice job, good teeth . . . and an insidious plan to toss her into an oncoming commuter train. It’s the perfect first-date movie!

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  1. movierob August 29, 2016
  2. lebeau August 30, 2016