Besides low budgets, cheesy special effects and overwrought acting, science fiction horror movies of the fifties were often united in theme—the unintended consequences of scientific progress. The central menace of these movies—space alien, undersea mutant or invisible force—was typically rolled out in stages. Audiences would first see the damage done by said creature, then shadowy glimpses of the beast until the film's climax, where the thing was finally presented in all its horrifying (or unintentionally hilarious) glory.
The creative forces behind the movies’ posters were not nearly as coy, depicting full-bodied fiends in vivid color, usually shown terrorizing a scantily clad starlet or the population at large. And, at times, the monsters on the one-sheets proved to be more compelling than the ones onscreen.
Here are 25 examples of such boldly theatrical artwork.