In the 1980s video cassette technology made it possible for “mobile cinema” operators in Ghana to travel from town to town and village to village creating temporary cinemas. The touring film group would create a theatre by hooking up a TV and VCR onto a portable generator and playing the films for the people to see.
In order to promote these showings, artists were hired to paint large posters of the films (usually on used canvas flour sacks). The artists were given the artistic freedom to paint the posters as they desired - often adding elements that weren’t in the actual films, or without even having seen the movies. When the posters were finished they were rolled up and taken on the road (note the heavy damages). The “mobile cinema” began to decline in the mid-nineties due to greater availability of television and video; as a result the painted film posters were substituted for less interesting/artistic posters produced on photocopied paper.
The artistic freedom that these artists were given allowed for the creation of some very interesting and sometimes bizarre posters that, as screenwriter Walter Hill wrote, were quite often “more interesting than the films.”
Text and posters from: ephemera assemblyman and the accompanying links within. Click for mega sizes.
If you're into these, some are available rather inexpensively considering how cool and unique they are. One could only wish some of these movies were half as interesting as these representations. Steven Seagal never looked so good standing next to a corn cob.