When it comes to movie posters, science fiction films are at a distinct advantage. With such imaginative subject matter to draw upon, artists can go to town with their representations of far-flung worlds and impossible technologies.
But, compared to the rest of the world, Western posters tend to play it pretty safe. As importance has shifted from the poster to the trailer, something has been lost. A film like Interstellar, for instance, had evocative teasers, but pretty unsurprising posters.
I'm off to Budapest, Hungary on holiday soon, and while looking up things to do on may break, I stumbled upon a bumper crop of rare Star Wars posters. Now this is more like it! Most striking of all were the European efforts, and in particular, those from Hungary. Half the stuff in these posters weren't even in the films, or at least are madly liberal interpretations of familiar characters and scenes. I'm not sure what artists András Felvidéki and Tibor Helényi were on when they were working on these things, but it seems it helped them see very different films to the ones I remember!
A New Hope, by András Felvidéki, 1979
A New Hope, by Tibor Helényi, 1979
The Empire Strikes Back, by Tibor Helényi, 1982
Return of the Jedi, by Tibor Helényi, 1984
Check out the complete collection of oddities over at iO9.