10 Horror Movie Ads from the 1980s That Lied to Us

1984 Publishing
1984 Publishing

If one of the joys of being a horror fan in the 1980s was being seduced by the shocking and lurid come-ons in the newspaper advertisements for these movies, one of the downers was going to the theater and not getting all those ads promised. In the quest to sell tickets, movie marketing often exaggerated what the films themselves had to offer, and occasionally they flat-out lied to us. Here are 10 examples, culled from my new book Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s, available now from 1984 Publishing.

1. ALMOST HUMAN (1980)

An ad forAlmost Human (1980)
1984 Publishing

Distributor Joseph Brenner was a frequent purveyor of Italian fright flicks in the U.S., but when he got ahold of a 1975 crime thriller called Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare (Milan Hates: The Police Cannot Shoot), he decided not to trust the appeal of its action and sold it as some kind of creature feature.


An ad for 'I Spit on Your Grave'
1984 Publishing

While the vengeful heroine of this notorious rape-revenge film does wreak horrible revenge on the men who assaulted her, Jerry Gross Organization’s copy still fibbed a bit: She dispatches only four guys, and not one of them is burned.


An ad for 'The Day After Halloween'
1984 Publishing

Months before the official Halloween II hit theaters, Group 1 tried to con fans of John Carpenter’s hit original by passing off an Aussie psycho-thriller initially titled Snapshot (directed by Simon Wincer, who would go on to helm Free Willy and TV’s Lonesome Dove) as a sequel.

4. BEYOND THE FOG (1981)

An ad for 'Beyond the Fog'
1984 Publishing

Released around the same time as The Day After Halloween, here’s another faux Carpenter knockoff, courtesy of Independent-International. This one wasn’t even a new movie; it was a 1972 British production first released at home as Tower of Evil and in the States under that moniker as well as Horror on Snape Island.

5. NIGHTMARE (1981)

The original ad for 'Nightmare'
1984 Publishing

21st Century Distribution’s initial ads for this slasher bloodfest credited gore-makeup god Tom Savini as its “Special Effects Director.” But according to Savini, he only served as a consultant, and the text was altered in the later print promos.

A later ad for 'Nightmare'
1984 Publishing

6. SCREAMERS (1982)

An ad for 'Screamers'
1984 Publishing

This New World Pictures ad should come with a warning all right, but one about its dishonesty: You will not, in fact, see a man turned inside out at any point in this Italian import, originally known as Island of the Fish Men.


An ad for 'Doctor Butcher M.D.'
1984 Publishing

In addition to being a “bloodthirsty, homicidal killer,” Aquarius Releasing claimed the doc to be a “depraved, sadistic rapist.” The truth is, he is neither of these, nor does he make house calls; he’s a scientist creating zombies deep in a tropical island jungle.

8. MORTUARY (1983)

An ad for 'Mortuary'
1984 Publishing

Though a mortuary does figure into the plot, this is actually a slasher film (with none other than a young Bill Paxton as the psycho). But by the time it opened, the stalk-and-kill genre was running out of gas, so Film Ventures International misleadingly sold it in both the print ads and trailers as a back-from-the-dead opus.


An ad for 'Chopping Mall'
1984 Publishing

Read the fine print on this Concorde Pictures ad: The menace terrorizing young people in a galleria after hours is not the grotesque humanoid that image promises, but a trio of security robots running amok.


An ad for 'Saturday the 14th Strikes Back'
1984 Publishing

Here’s a different kind of lie. Concorde Pictures took out this ad in the New York area, giving the impression the film was being released there—but according to those who went looking for it at the time, the movie didn’t actually play at those theaters!

Growing up in the 1980s, Michael Gingold became obsessed with horror movies, and his love of the genre led him to become a Fangoria writer and editor for nearly 30 years, as well as a Rue Morgue contributor. But before all that, he took his scissors to local newspapers, collecting countless ads for horror movies, big and small. Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s is a year-by-year deep dive into the Gingold archive, with more than 450 ads.

1984 Publishing

Swear Off Toilet Paper With This Bidet Toilet Seat That's Easy to Install and Costs Less Than $100


The recent coronavirus-related toilet paper shortage has put the spotlight on the TP-less alternative that Americans have yet to truly embrace: the bidet.

It's not exactly a secret that toilet paper is wasteful—it's estimated to cost 437 billion gallons of water and 15 million trees to produce our yearly supply of the stuff. But while the numbers are plain to see, bidets still aren't common in the United States.

Well, if price was ever the biggest barrier standing in the way of swearing off toilet paper for good, there's now a cost-effective way to make the switch. Right now, you can get the space-saving Tushy bidet for less than $100. And you'll be able to install it yourself in just 10 minutes.

What is a Bidet?

Before we go any further, let’s just go ahead and get the awkward technical details out of the way. Instead of using toilet paper after going to the bathroom, bidets get you clean by using a stream of concentrated water that comes out of a faucet or nozzle. Traditional bidets look like weird toilets without tanks or lids, and while they’re pretty uncommon in the United States, you’ve definitely seen one if you’ve ever been to Europe or Asia.

That said, bidets aren’t just good for your butt. When you reduce toilet paper usage, you also reduce the amount of chemicals and emissions required to produce it, which is good for the environment. At the same time, you’re also saving money. So this is a huge win-win.

Unfortunately, traditional bidets are not an option for most Americans because they take up a lot of bathroom space and require extra plumbing. That’s where Tushy comes in.

The Tushy Classic Bidet Toilet Seat.

Unlike traditional bidets, the Tushy bidet doesn’t take up any extra space in your bathroom. It’s an attachment for your existing toilet that places an adjustable self-cleaning nozzle at the back of the bowl, just underneath the seat. But it doesn’t require any additional plumbing or electricity. All you have to do is remove the seat from your toilet, connect the Tushy to the clean water supply behind the toilet, and replace the seat on top of the Tushy attachment.

The Tushy has a control panel that lets you adjust the angle and pressure of the water stream for a perfect custom clean. The nozzle lowers when the Tushy is activated and retracts into its housing when not in use, keeping it clean and sanitary.

Like all bidets, the Tushy system takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to use toilet paper again. In fact, Tushy is so sure you’ll love their product, they offer customers a 60-day risk-free guarantee. If you don’t love your Tushy, you can send it back for a full refund, minus shipping and handling.

Normally, the Tushy Classic retails for $109, but right now you can get the Tushy Classic for just $89. So if you’ve been thinking about going TP-free, now is definitely the time to do it.

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You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: How Jaws’s Most Famous Line Came to Be


The line "You're gonna need a bigger boat" from Jaws (1975) has gone down as one of the most iconic quotes in movie history. Spoken by Chief Brody moments after the eponymous shark appears behind the Orca, it's been referenced countless times in film and television, and ranks 35th on AFI's list of top 100 movie quotes. It was famously ad-libbed by Roy Scheider, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor didn't pull the line out of thin air.

Carl Gottlieb, who co-wrote the screenplay for Jaws, revealed the origin of "You're gonna need a bigger boat" to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. Filming Jaws on the water made for a troubled production, with the crew working off a barge that carried the equipment and craft services plus a smaller support boat. Crew members complained to producers that this support boat was too small, which was how they coined the soon-to-be-famous phrase.

"[Richard] Zanuck and [David] Brown were very stingy producers, so everyone kept telling them, 'You're gonna need a bigger boat,'" Gottlieb told The Hollywood Reporter. "It became a catchphrase for anytime anything went wrong—if lunch was late or the swells were rocking the camera, someone would say, 'You're gonna need a bigger boat.'"

Scheider eventually picked up the saying and started sneaking it into takes. One of his ad-libs came after his character's first confrontation with the shark, which is also the audience's first good look at the human-eating antagonist following an hour of suspense-building. Scheider's timing and delivery instantly made movie history. "It was so appropriate and so real and it came at the right moment, thanks to Verna Fields's editing," Gottlieb said.

The stories of the making of Jaws have almost become as famous as the film itself. Here are more facts about Steven Spielberg's classic monster movie.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]