Day Three – The Changeling
It’s important to let an audience know the genre of your film. For example by not using any descriptive text one could view this movie poster as a comedy. How hard would it have been for the filmmakers to help their audience out a little? The Changeling is a fantastic movie. One of the great nuanced horror movies of the 80’s, a genre where grace and nuance weren’t considered virtues. A great performance by the late George C. Scott. A great performance by a rocking chair. A great performance by a ball. The Polish have brought the world many things. Like nail Polish and Furniture Polish and the Polish Brothers who made a couple of movies or some shit. Their finest export by far has been their movie posters, bizarre and oftentimes jaw-dropping interpretations of films from all over the world. Sometimes literal examinations of their source but sometimes absolutely batshit pieces of art that almost take on a life of their own. Over the next fifteen weekdays I’ll be sharing some of the best examples of how these creative necromancers interpret American cinema. The Changeling is about a mystery. About the paranormal. About subtlety. What I can only assume the artist did here was to try to illustrate the turmoil in George C. Scott’s head with this wet car crash. It’s what a painting would look like if Bob Ross was a Cenobite. It’s like Jackson Pollock after a shunting.
It’s not scary, really. I mean, if you saw this unfold in reality your brain would drip out your penis but it’s not SCARY. It’s too colorful. It’s like we’re trying to interpret this man’s thoughts about scary dead kids but all that’s coming out is colorful paint. If a few screaming eyes were coming out amidst the technicolor ejaculate it’d be one thing, but this is just baffling.
Luckily it says “horror”. Saves the day really.
What would this movie be like?
Like a Merchant/Ivory film projected onto a war wound. Introspective yet slathered in hate. Some films are Oscar bait. This is Rawhead Rex bait. And he’s bitin’.
Who is the audience for this film?
Folks who haven’t yet realized they’re napping on train tracks. Pentecosts. The descendents of Idi Amin. Me.
What the fucking fuck is fucking fucking?
You tell me! What happens to a face in Poland? Why can’t faces be faces over there?
The domestic poster for The Changeling:
Tagline vs. Tagline?
A conversation with a dead boy comprises the top portion of the domestic poster for The Changeling. A conversation with a goddamn kidghost. Meanwhile the Polish version simply tells us the genre of the film. The dichotomy is palpable. Polish posters are the least distilled pieces of artwork on eight planets yet they’re the ones with the moxie to let one word tell the story. Horror. Then again, if the image from the Polish poster were shown to a dead kid who still had corporeal ties to this plane, he’d poop ectoplasm and give up haunting forever.
What other movies could effectively use this poster?
Waking Ned Devine. Scanners. Scanner Cop. Face/Off. Enchanted.
Tomorrow: One of the best things.
The Changeling (1980) 107 min
A man staying at a secluded historical mansion, finds his life being haunted by the presence of a spectre.
- 03.28.1980 (Canada)
- Peter Medak
- Russell Hunter
- William Gray
- and 1 more credit
- George C. Scott
- Trish Van Devere
- Melvyn Douglas
- Jean Marsh
- John Colicos
- Watch or buy now