Men in Tights: Super-Hero Movie Poster Silliness Throughout the Ages

While I was “researching” my piece on my favorite super-hero movie posters, I ended up running across quite a few silly examples of the genre. What is it about grown men wearing their underwear over their pants that makes for such silly posters? Hmm, forget I asked that.

Anyways, since Spider-Man 3 was once again the most seen film over the weekend, it seems like a good time to take a look at some very silly super-hero movie posters. This time, let’s do it chronologically. And let’s start with the 60’s, since there weren’t many super-hero movies before that decade.

The 60’s

The 60’s are remarkable mostly for bringing us the first Batman movie. Yes, that is right, the Batman you know, the one with Michael Keaton, wasn’t the first. This little pearl came over 20 years before.

Batman (1966)

Holy bad movie poster Batman!

The 60’s also brought us John Voight as Fearless Frank.

Fearless Frank Movie Poster

Apparently, having a huge head makes you fearless.

Fearless Frank is a spoof, so the poster was intentionally trying to be silly. I wish I could say the same about the Batman one.

The 70’s

The 70’s were the exploitation decade, so it’s no surprise to find x-rated twists on old superheroes, such as The Erotic Adventures of Zorro…

The Erotic Adventures of Zorro Poster

Z is for some nudie fun.

… and “Flesh Gordon”

Flesh Gordon Poster

“Not to be confused with the original Flash Gordon”. Hmm, thanks for the warning.

It’s also not surprising to discover that this decade saw many black super-heros, the most remarkable one probably being The Human Tornado.

The Human Tornado Poster

I love how happy the guy in the background looks. “Wiiiiiii, I’m flying!”

But let’s not forget that other 70’s super-hero gem, the one that launched a brand new star. I’m talking about Hercules in New York.

Hercules in New York

“Believe it or not, I will be Governor some day.”

The 80’s

The 80’s feature not one, but two Dolph Lundgren posters. First we have The Punisher.

The Punisher Poster

“I will punish you, by starring at you in a menacing way.”

And if you didn’t think the recent rumors about Brad Pitt becoming He-Man were silly, take a look at Dolph as the Prince of Eternia.

Masters of the Universe Poster

“I will save Eternia, by starring at you in a menacing way. And by showing my huge pecks.”

From 1983 comes Superman 3, aka, the film the killed a once great series.

Superman 3 Poster

Richard Pryor in a Superman movie? That’s the greatest idea ever!

Also from the 80’s are some original super-hero movies such as Megaforce…

Megaforce Movie Poster

There has never been a super hero like Ace Hunter. Because he has … a beard!

…and the infamous Dungeon Master.

Dungeon Master Movie Poster

Why must all films with the words Dungeon and Master suck?

Finnally, the 80’s also brought us some movies that had a little fun with the whole super-hero genre. There was Buckarro Banzai.

Buckaroo Banzai Movie Poster

This guy is now working towards a PhD in Italian Renaissance art history from UCLA. No, seriously.

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger Poster

“The First Super-Hero … From New Jersey!” I love it.

And The Return of the swamp Thing.

Return of the Swamp Thing Movie Poster

Yes, that is Heather Locklear.

The 90’s

The 90’s saw many stars try out the super-hero genre. We had Shaquille O’Neal as Steel.

Steel Movie Poster

They were hoping he would act better than he shoots free throws. Alas…

Van Damme as a Street Fighter.

Street Fighter Movie Poster

He looks mean.

Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd.

Judge Dredd Movie Poster


He looks meaner.

Billy Zane as The Phantom

The Phantom Movie Poster

He looks pink.

And Matthew Broderick as Inspector Gadget.

Inspector Gadget Movie Poster

Hey, it pays the bills.

The 90’s also brought us the first version of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer…

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Movie Poster

“You mean there is going to be a very successful TV series made out of this? And I won’t be part of it? Goddamn!”

… and the second coming of those teenage turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Movie Poster

“Ohhhh, look! There is shiny green slime coming out of that.”

But most important of all, the 90’s were the decade of the Joel Schumacher Batmans, and of Chris O’Donnell as Robin.

Batman Forever Ronin Poster

“Yeah! I’m a super hero!”

The poster above is from Batman Forever. Apparently the studio people liked Chris so much in that role they decided to bring him back for Batman & Robin.

Batman & Robin - Robin Poster

“I want you!”

Yeah, good choice.

The 00’s

Well, the decade is not over yet, but super-hero movies turned into a pretty mainstream, serious thing this decade. And the posters show it. There are some silly ones, but since most are quite good, I decided not to nitpick. Feel free too mention your favorite silly posters from the 00’s in comments or by e-mail, if you want to.

10 thoughts on “Men in Tights: Super-Hero Movie Poster Silliness Throughout the Ages”

  1. Why not Van Damme as the Timecop? And how could you forget George Hamilton’s turn as Zorro in ‘Zorro, The Gay Blade”?

    Anyway, it was nice to see the Flesh Gordon Poster again.

  2. Don’t know how I could forget it, but forget I did.

    As for Timecop, one Van Damme poster was already almost more than I could handle.

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  4. hehe flesh gordon, probably better than flash then! Those movies sucked! Hey does any one remember a hero movie where there was a shrinking black man, a guy who shot lightning and a sadistic proffesor there were more heros but dont remember them all, the professor used to squirt water at the guy who could shoot lightning it burned him, its a comedy

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