Through the Legs Darkly
While browsing the new release wall at our local video store, we were surprised to discover not one, not two, but three DVD covers with nearly identical visuals: an on-the-ground shot of the main character(s) looking through the legs of a well-built woman. Which apparently is a long-running theme in movie poster art. A quick trip through movie poster history landed us at this poster for the 1933 musical classic “42nd Street,” which may have been the inspiration for all those that followed.
It is National Lampoon, however, that seems to be single-handedly keeping the through-the-legs cliche on the map with the covers of their straight-to-DVD teen sex comedies.
Here are another pair of posters — and legs from National Lampoon flicks. Can you spot Jon Bon Jovi? He hasn’t seen legs that smooth since working with Emilio Estevez on “Young Guns.”
The “Pretty Cool” series explores what happens when a high school senior learns how to read people’s minds. We’re assuming the screenplay is as original as the box covers.
Have you been wondering what Bobcat Goldthwait’s been up to lately? Us either. Directing, apparently.
These two posters continue the theme nicely.
A recent political documentary puts a new spin on the visual. Can you imagine how big his nuts must be?
The Russell Crowe-Christian Bale Western “3:10 to Yuma” also uses a man’s legs instead of a woman’s, which changes the theme from sexy to sinister.
These posters tweak the cliche slightly while still managing to convey a similar message about their subject matter.
And then there’s “Secretary,” not just a great film, but a great poster too, since it manages to convey the film’s S&M overtones in a simple, alluring way.