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James Hibberd

FX's Unnecessarily Creepy Posters: A Portfolio

July 12, 2007 6:49 PM


FX is earning praise for its season four “Rescue Me” marketing poster. The network said the poster is inspired by Munch’s “The Scream” (though I also thought it had a Goya vibe). The poster continues a recent trend for FX posters to have a certain creepy sensibility despite the fact that the shows themselves are not creepy. Next slide, please.


“Dirt.” Billed as a lurid Hollywood drama, the red-and-black poster has Courteney Cox as the queen vampire of Hollywood, lording over the town. But the true creep factor is the bodies writhing under her dress. What are they doing under there, exactly? What’s happening? Is this the first basic-cable drama about vagina dentata? Next slide.


“The Riches,” a comedy drama about a family of con artists hiding in suburbia. The poster takes a literal approach with the black ski mask over a home that resembles a face. The windows-as-eyes harks back to the original “Amityville Horror” poster. An FX spokesman said their poster is meant to be comic, but when the house is glowering down at you from a La Cienega billboard at night, not so much. Continue.


Previous “Shield” posters relied on the action movie staple of hero Vic Mackey holding his gun. In this round, Mackey is handcuffed to a dead Strike Team member. Though perfectly capturing the theme of the season, being stuck in traffic next to a blue-lipped corpse plastered on the side of a bus is a bit of a downer.

The upside is: All the FX posters are artful and discussion-prompting, which is arguably the whole point.

According to Landgraf, the posters reflect the FX brand. “Every one of those shows is funny, but they’re also dark – we don’t do ‘Characters Welcome,’” he said, referring to the USA Network tagline. “You’re never going to see a show on air that doesn’t have almost-gothic themes.”


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