“... so, many things happen in the 70s to transform the horror genre. Present end premodern fears mix, birthing scary movies which are more seedy, grim, but also more artistic and religious. Criminal evil escapes the prison of murder-mystery and revenge plots, making us see trough the eyes of killer and victim. Supernatural evil is freed from the gothic frame, making viewers believe again in the reality of the devil and other medieval superstitions. If the 60s were about love, the spirit of the 70s is fear. Which means they are more horribly real, more perversely in touch with the dark mystery.”
― Nicola Masciandaro, SACER
LOW BUDGET, HIGH ART
Grindhouse horror posters have a long and storied history dating back to the early days of cinema. In the 1920s and 1930s, posters for horror films were often illustrated with macabre imagery, featuring ghostly figures, wild monsters, and other terrifying creatures. These posters were designed to appeal to audiences who were drawn to the new thrill and excitement of emerging horror films at the time.
As the genre evolved in the 40s and 50s, so did the posters, which often featured bold, graphic designs and lurid headlines, emphasizing the blood and gore of the films they advertised. The posters of this era were designed to shock, scare and invoke morbid curiosity of audiences, and they often depicted graphic violence and hyper-sexuality.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the grindhouse era of film began, and with it came a new style of marvellous poster art. These posters were often hand-drawn and featured colourful, over-the-top imagery, such as near nude women, monstrous creatures, and blood-soaked action scenes. Designed to appeal to audiences who were becoming drawn to the gritty, low-budget horror and exploitation films that began playing in seedy grindhouse theatres.
The genre continued to evolve further in 80s, with posters of this new era often featuring more photorealistic imagery as well as bold, stylized text. Today, grindhouse movie posters are still popular among fans of the genre, they are often seen as collectors' items and are highly sought after by horror fans and enthusiasts.
THE RISE OF TABOO
The rise of 1970s exploitation films can be attributed to a number of factors, including changes in societal attitudes towards sex and violence, as well as the emergence of independent filmmakers.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a growing sense of rebellion and counterculture, and this was reflected in the films of the era. Filmmakers began to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable on-screen, depicting graphic violence and sexual content in their films.
As the cost of filmmaking equipment decreased, more and more filmmakers were able to produce their own films without the backing of major studios. This allowed them to explore more controversial and taboo subjects in their films, and it also allowed them to reach a wider audience through the notorious exploitation film market.
The rise of the drive-in theatre also played a role in the popularity of exploitation films. These theatres often showed low-budget movies, most notably graphic horror, pornography and exploitation flicks, which attracted audiences looking for cheap thrills and entertainment.
The exploitation films of the 1970s reflected the social and political issues of the era, such as the Civil Rights Movement, the feminist movement, and the Vietnam War. Many exploitation films of this era tackled these issues head-on, often depicting marginalized groups as the heroes of the story, and the mainstream society as the villains.