When I was younger and living in southern Texas – from about the fifth grade until I graduated from high school – my parents would take my siblings and I into Mexico every weekend to visit and check on my grandparents. Sometimes we’d spend complete Christmas vacations and Spring Breaks there and the more we spent time there, the more I absorbed things from food, culture, television shows, and movies. Surprisingly, there was a lot of the American influence down there. I mean, I could watch every Hanna-Barbera cartoon known to man in Spanish. I could watch Garfield and Friends and Who’s The Boss? in Spanish. So why could I watch horror films in Spanish? Oh yeah, right. I wasn’t old enough to get into a horror film at the cinema, much less be allowed to walk into a cinema back in those days. One thing I used to remember doing – rather vividly – is thumbing endlessly though Monterrey’s local newspaper El Norte and staring longingly at the full page of ads for all of the little cinemas and grindhouses of the city. And back then there were ads ranging from American films to Italian films to Adult XXX films sprawled in black in white across that one page. So where am I going with this? Well, it so happens that as I was on the night shift tonight at work and looking through some horror articles online, I came across an a random one regarding Mexican/Spanish lobby cards and posters for American/European horror films and I was immediately taken back to the 80’s, lying on my grandmother’s bed and looking through the newspapers, trying to see how many horror ads I could point out. Here are a couple of them that I remember looking at as a kid and another reason why I long for the days when 80’s horror ruled!
Lobby card for Lucio Fluci's Zombie (title on this card is The Living Dead). I remember this title but I remember seeing the ad that was a dupe of the now-infamous U.S. one-sheet.
One for Graduation Day. The title on this one reads Infernal School. The caption reads "Graduating wasn't just an obstacle, it was a killer!"
One for Creature. The tagline reads "For 2000 years it has been sleeping peacefully on Saturn's moons and now it's just awakened!"
One for All The Colors of the Dark. I think there's a typo in the title as the Spanish word for "darkness" or "the dark" is actually Oscuridad. The "B" here changes the definition to "Obscurity". So this actually says "The Colors of Obscurity"... which is quite funny. The inner caption reads "A Labyrinth of Terror, of Madness, Witchcraft and Death!"
Demonoid: Messenger of Death! Tagline reads "The hand from another world that comes to grab hold of you!" The title here is literally translated as Macabre: The Devil's Hand.
One for the classic Bay of Blood (Twitch of the Death Nerve). Here the title is actually Bay of Blood. Note the non-corresponding art on the top right. If you know your 70's/80's horror (Of course you do, why else would you be here?) you will note that art belongs to The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. The tagline reads "The true essence of horror and panic will penetrate your mind!"
A really nice one for The Dark. Top caption reads "After the sunshine and the fog comes The Dark." Bottom caption reads "Beyond the terror, beyond the panic you will find...THE DARK."
One for Squirm or better known on this poster as The Infernal Worms.
One for the awesomeness that is the original Nightmare On Elm Street known in Mexico on some of the original promotional items/posters as Nightmare on Hell Street (Pesadilla En La Calle del Infierno) (which I personally prefer). The tagline on top is the exact one on the U.S. one sheet. The bottom caption reads "A camera films, finally, the inside of a nightmare."
These is for some of my all time favorites Friday the 13th Part 2 and Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning. I like the slight differences in the taglines and titles. Here Part 2 reads "Just like a nightmare, the body count continues." Later titles such as Part VI have the title as Tuesday the 13th as in Mexico that is considered the one "unlucky day". I added a few lobby cards, too. (I'd wanted to include some I found for Jason Lives but they wouldn't upload properly.)
And lastly, the Spanish lobby card for my all time favorite horror film Suspiria. The literal Spanish translation of the title, though, would be Scream.
There are several that stick out the most in my head from those years (which I sadly, could not locate): The one for Madman known across the border as La Hacha Asesina (The Killer Axe), No Entres Al Bosque...Solo! (Don't Go In The Woods...Alone!), Supersticion (Superstition/The Witch) and Pesadilla known better to us as Nightmare or Nightmares In a Damaged Brain. As strange as this is going to sound, these bring back some of the best memories of my childhood as I did spend a lot of time looking through newspaper after newspaper just to see what I could find. As a horror fan, I would love to have some of these in my collection as now that I think about it, I don't have anything in Spanish in my vast arsenal. I hope that you enjoy these as much as I did. If you know of any websites where I can see more of these, feel free to comment!
Thanks for reading!