|Classic Universal Monsters
movies (Living room)
On one section of the wall I just put the posters of the seven classic monsters everyone associates with that period (in chronological order, of course): Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
|Here's a wide shot of the living
decorated for the Halloween party. It's too far away to see, but
the poster in the center of the image (far corner on the yellow wall)
is a poster made from a publicity
photo from Dracula (possibly a lobby card; I haven't seen it
|At the opposite end of the room,
I have three more posters around the rolltop: The Mummy, Dracula, and
Bride of Frankenstein (L to R). The one from Bride
is a lobby card. Most depictions of the character herself aren't
very good on the posters where the character is painted, so I went with
an image from the film.
That's a Philco Predicta tv to the right of the rolltop.
|One more poster as you head up
the stairs: Phantom of the Opera featuring the Phantom in his
Red Death costume.
That room covers all the classic Universal monsters except for the Hunchback and Mr. Hyde, although neither of these characters were really in monster films made by Universal. The studio wasn't yet called Universal back when Lon Chaney played the Hunchback*, and the only Hyde portrayal by Universal was in an Abbott and Costello picture, which hardly qualifies!
*This is true for the Phantom as well, I believe, but the story was retold by Universal with the Claude Rains version which, admittedly, isn't as good on any level except perhaps that it was in color, and even that's debatable as a merit.
|Here we're heading from the
living room into the breakfast room. I took these pics to capture
decorations rather than posters, so I didn't realize this was the only
shot that showed some of the posters hung too high to make it into
other photos. What you're looking at are The Mole People and War of the
Worlds. (I went back and added a better shot several images
|'50s sci-fi movies
Still filled with decorations/leftovers from the Halloween party, this the breakfast room. It's in the middle of the first floor, so there's lots of wall space (i.e., no exterior windows, just the pass-through to the kitchen on the left). The room is filled with sci-fi posters from the '50s and '60s: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Them!, Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the Saucer Men, The Fly, Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Mole People, War of the Worlds, and This Island Earth.
| On the left are The
Day the Earth Stood Still, The
Island Earth. And on the right are Them! and Forbidden Planet.
As you can see, I went with a lot more horizontal images for this group. It's about 50:50, although I kind of wish I had gone with the conventional vertical one-sheet for Forbidden Planet now.
|I usually have this room set up
as something of a "mad scientist's lab" or vaguely like the set of a
'50s or '60s horror host. On the top of the bookshelf are
beakers, flasks, skulls, and a Jacob's
ladder. Then there's
lots of candy, the Complete
Fiction of HP Lovecraft, along with some
other classic horror novels.
There's also my horror movie
DVD packs, the angels/demons,
and some empty Monster Cereal boxes from a
few years back.
|A couple more posters: Invasion of the Saucer Men and The Fly.|
|Here's a look into the kitchen through the pass-through.|
|Looking up at The Mole People and War of the Worlds. I used existing nails for most of these, which is why they're kind of oddly placed. I also wanted them up out of the way of any decorations.|
|This is looking out of the
breakfast room toward the servants' stairs and north porch. (Most
people don't even know we have another porch on this side of the
house.) I put a few "orphan" posters up in here until I have more
related ones with which to group them.
On the left is a family portrait of the Munsters. This was a glossy we had autographed by Pat Priest (who played Marilyn Munster for most of the series) at the Munster Mansion in Waxahatchie, TX in 2009. It reads, "To Stan, my favorite little Munster, Pat Priest "Marilyn." (He was only about three months old at the time.)
To the right is a poster of the Vincent Price movie The House on Haunted Hill. I wanted at least one William Castle movie represented since he loved making movies fun. (More about his work here.)
|Monster cereal boxes
Not posters per se, but I framed the box faces for the General Mills monster cereals. This is the complete set that came out in 2013. This included the much rarer Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy boxes that were re-released for the first time in ages. Leiann cut them up for me. I think Dani matted them to fit. The frames were from the dollar store and barely worth that much!
|Rocky Horror Picture Show
I originally had this poster on the mantle until we mounted the black Stratocaster up there. I moved it to the hallway because I thought the yellow complimented it nicely, and the walls framed it as well. Also, I really didn't have anywhere else to put it that it wouldn't be in the way. It was a full-size movie poster (unlike all the rest shown in these pictures). I found it at a garage sale two doors down from us for $3, frame included!.
|Slasher movies of the '70s
and '80s (Stairs)
As you move up the stairs, you pass through more film history. The posters are arranged in chronological order (although I'm probably the only one who would know or notice that): Halloween, Phantasm, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm St., and Hellraiser. I would have also included Re-Animator in this group, had I seen it years ago. Unfortunately, I was late in finally getting around to it and only watched it for the first time about a year after I put these up.
Update: I've since moved these posters to the other side of the breakfast room (not shown; they're now above the area where The House on Haunted Hill is hanging), above the tool closet, broom closet, and the entrance to the kitchen. The reason is that we've been filling the stairs with family photos, so now this wall is pics of us in Halloween costumes from the past decade plus. The side opposite what's shown at left is already covered with our non-Halloween pictures.
|Vintage Star Wars posters
(Stan's room and playroom)
I'm calling these "vintage" not because they're original (They aren't; they're reprints) but because the artwork dates from the late '70s. Although there are good modern works, my favorite Star Wars posters are the ones from the era of the original films, which is what all these are (as well as all the ones on my "wish list").
The first of these is the John Berkey painting that many of you will recognize from the novelization of the first film. Stan's bedroom is already space-themed, so there isn't a lot of room left on the walls (most of which are covered with windows or stars), but there was a spot on the closet door.
|I'm not as happy with the
placement of these, but in the playroom I put up a series of prints
of the Burger King
posters. These were originally given out as promotions during the
same time as the famous Star Wars glasses, for which they were the
basis, albeit much more detailed. They even have the same text
(character bio) used on the
glasses. This is a wide shot of the whole room (using a wide
lens, hence the distortion of angles). That's Ikea furniture
loaded with milk crates full of toys, but as you can see, Stan still
get them all over the floor.
|Here are some close-ups so you have a better
idea which images I'm talking about. They're actually very nice
and stand out as both movie-accurate and high-quality, things you can't
say about most art from that era in Star Wars history (e.g., the green
Darth Vader on the cover of the Marvel Comics movie adaption).
I also have several framed full-size posters of the original trilogy, but I haven't put those up yet. My son doesn't know that Star Wars is a series yet, since we're concentrating on just the first film for the moment.
Well, I have plenty more posters on my wish list, and I even bought additional frames when I bought the first set. For one thing, there are several more Star Wars posters I would like. I also have full-sized framed posters of the original trilogy which I haven't hung up yet. Then there are many modern sci-fi and horror films from the '80s to present that deserve to be displayed such as Alien, Dune, Blade Runner, Planet Terror, and so many others. Just haven't had enough time to finish decorating.
There are a number of ways you could do it, but I would start by making a list of the movies you like and then looking at the posters for those that you like. You're likely to find that you are going to end up with a group of posters and styles that fit together neatly.
I also wanted to cover important titles in the history of film, so I looked at lists of the essential sci-fi and essential horror movies. There are groupings within those lists that reveal eras in the history of film, hence my posters follow certain groupings as well (e.g., the Universal monsters era, '50s sci-fi, '80s slasher movies, etc.) even if there are a few orphans like the aforementioned House on Haunted Hill that got just because I liked it and the movie.
And an important point when collecting anything is that you get what you like. Don't be guided by what others have collected. Your collection should make you happy, regardless of what others think. I think any collection is going to be best appreciated by the collector. For example, no one who sees my House on Haunted Hill poster is going to get what it means. To me, it represents what makes movies fun: it's about thrills the way a roller coaster is, and it was one of the best films by a director who always employed that philosophy in his work. To most folks, it's just a cute poster with Vincent Price, a skeleton, and a spooky old house, and that's fine because I like it for those things too!
See also Kirk Hammett's book Too Much Horror Business which showcases his collection of old movie posters (all original, btw; no reprints) among other items.