During the '80s and '90s, African artists were tasked with making Hollywood movie posters seem as exciting as possible, regardless of plot. Not only that, a fair share of the time they were creating promotional material for popular movies they hadn't even see. Their works had to sell tickets, so if the movie was said to be gory, the poster had to be the goriest - we're talking skulls, blood, skulls dripping blood, crushed skulls, etc.

Arguably most of these hand-painted bootleg movie posters were produced in Ghana. "World cinema is a lingua franca we all understand," Los Angeles Ernie Wolfe art dealer and collector told The Atlantic. He first noted these weird drawings while traveling in the country in 1990. "These posters appeal to people because [they] invite this really incredible dialogue—a comparison between what you know of a film and how the painter imagined it. And they’re also just really cool drawings."

During the military dictatorships of the 1970s and '80s, restrictive laws cut off the importation of the large-scale offset printing presses, usually used for poster making everywhere else in the world. Because of that, Ghanaians hand-crafted movie posters and other signage well into the 1990s.

The only restriction was the size of the canvases. Any particular one had to fit on one side of a 50kg flour bag or two sides stitched together. Apart from that, there were no limits.

However, with changes in political climate and technology, the hand-crafted posters eventually became obsolete. Until art collectors from the West took an interest. Now, the best movie posters are being sold for as much as $15,000. As the new global market opened, local artists started to create these posters anew.

(h/t cnn)

#1

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

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Moo Jar
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one's better than the original

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#2

Alien vs. Predator

Alien vs. Predator

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Hans
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Alien must have mated with Godzilla.

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#3

Terminator I

Terminator I

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Iván Galarraga
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You say potato and I say po-tah-to You say terminato and I say termi-nah-to? Let's call the whole thing off!

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#4

Home Alone 2 Lost In New York

Home Alone 2 Lost In New York

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Hans
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is pretty much how I remember the original poster.

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#5

The Matrix

The Matrix

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#6

X-Men

X-Men

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#7

Fair Game

Fair Game

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#9

Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible

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#10

Invasion U.S.A.

Invasion U.S.A.

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C Hypercube
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

From the same person that botched the Jesus painting, comes a new masterpiece.

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#11

Apocalypto

Apocalypto

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#13

Sister Act

Sister Act

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#14

Terminator 2

Terminator 2

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#15

Cujo The Killer Dog

Cujo The Killer Dog

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Just Curious
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aw, who's a good killer dog? Who's a good killer dog??

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#16

007: The Spy Who Loved Me

007: The Spy Who Loved Me

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#17

The Mask Of Zoro

The Mask Of Zoro

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#18

Jason vs. Freddy

Jason vs. Freddy

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#19

Gladiator

Gladiator

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#20

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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#21

Alien

Alien

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Randall Bray
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ummmm....huh? Would never know what that movie was about from the poster! What's up with the blade?

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#22

Night Of The Demons

Night Of The Demons

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#23

Conan The Destroyer

Conan The Destroyer

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#24

A Nightmare

A Nightmare

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#25

Top Dog

Top Dog

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Just Curious
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Starting Chuck in, and Norris the dog, apparently

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#26

Anaconda 3

Anaconda 3

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#27

Mr. Nice Guy

Mr. Nice Guy

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Taryn Wallace
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Starring Jackie Chan and his lesser known blonde, totally ripped twin sister Jaqueline Chan

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#28

Terminator 3

Terminator 3

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#29

Desperado

Desperado

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Winkwoga
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Starring Javier Bardem and the Rock

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#30

The Mummy

The Mummy

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Heidrance
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i mean, sure, john hannah is in it... not exactly the headliner.

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#31

Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Arc

Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Arc

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#33

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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diane a
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

why do so many of these have a yellow border? - kind of like National Geographic Magazine covers

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#34

Sleep Walkers

Sleep Walkers

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#35

Desperado

Desperado

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Just Curious
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That gun looks useful for shooting in 2 directions at once...

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#36

Man's Best Friend

Man's Best Friend

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Rebekah
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everyone on this, boy, cat, "dog", all need some roughage. Constipation is no laughing matter.

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#38

The Thing

The Thing

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Just Curious
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn't know homeless Keanu Reeves was in this movie!

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#39

Dracula

Dracula

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#40

Hell Boy

Hell Boy

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Heidrance
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kroenen is very "draw me like one of your French girls" in this pose...

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#41

Poltergeist 2

Poltergeist 2

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#42

Hellraiser 2

Hellraiser 2

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#43

Friday The 13th

Friday The 13th

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#44

Children Of The Corn 3

Children Of The Corn 3

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#45

Commando

Commando

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Winkwoga
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No Alyssa Milano??? Simply unacceptable

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#46

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

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Rebekah
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ghost Ship makes some pretty clean cuts.

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#47

Freddy vs. Jason

Freddy vs. Jason

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#48

The World Of Drunken Master

The World Of Drunken Master

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#49

A.W.O.L.

A.W.O.L.

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Moo Jar
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Honor or revenge, he has no choice". Well, he kinda does have a choice

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#50

The Mummy

The Mummy

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#51

Hard Target

Hard Target

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#52

Movie Posters From Africa

Movie Posters From Africa

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Just Curious
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Um, I believe the correct title was "Interview With the Fierce Ghost Eats Human Region"...

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#53

Ghost

Ghost

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Winkwoga
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even not-swayze is saying "what the hell is this"??

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#55

Elektra

Elektra

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Tara B.
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Elektra lookin like a dude...or Hillary Swank.

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#57

Movie Posters From Africa

Movie Posters From Africa

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Christopher Marriott
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can't even make a joke about this cuz this is nightmare fuel/pee myself scary...

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#58

Mission Impossible 2

Mission Impossible 2

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stellermatt
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017