The original poster for When Time Ran Out... shows only the three main stars, some helicopters, a vague explosion, and a man dangling from some sort of sci-fi elevator. Combined with the tagline - "Caught in a game of power. Playing time: 24 hours. Prize: Untold riches. Rules: None." - it makes it seem like some sort of action-packed political thriller. It's actually a disaster movie about a volcanic eruption; the "game of power" is just one of many subplots that sets up character conflicts before the mountain blows.
The Blu-ray cover for the "Special Edition" of Batman: The Movie (The 1967 Adam West one) makes it look like one of the later, darker, non-comedy movies.
The cover for the direct-to-video movie My Pet Monster showed the actual toy that the movie was named after (and loosely based on), but the monster in the actual movie looks nothing like that.
The cover for the movie Blue Valentine features the two leads along with the words "A love story". Oh honey. This is NOT a love story. Far from it.
The poster and tagline of Robert De Niro's A Bronx Tale makes the movie seem like an outright war between De Niro's and Chazz Palminteri's characters (an ordinary father and a local crime boss, respectively) over the life of the former's son, who is apparently getting caught up in the latter's evil crime syndicate. Their rivalry is barely noticeable, and they spent a mere two scenes together. The crime boss isn't a bad guy either: the movie is actually a Coming-of-Age Story, and he functions as the son's mentor, repeatedly advising him not to follow him in his criminal lifestyle and making sure he doesn't get himself into trouble. Also, at no point in the movie does the son have to run away from a huge explosion.
This dvd cover for the boxing film Black Cloud. Although Cloud is the main character, of the four characters displayed he is pushed all the way to the back. Tim McGraw and Ricky Schroder occupy more of the cover than the protagonists.
The 2011 Echo Bridge release of the film on Blu-ray mistakenly included a picture of Rebecca Gayheart on the back cover even though she doesn't actually appear in the film. The picture was taken from the prequel The Hangman's Daughter.
A lesser example: American Psycho's uncut edition has a blurb on the back cover that states that Patrick Bateman rapes his female victims too. Yet not once is it shown or implied in the film that he actually rapes anybody. This was probably done as a ploy to get fans who hadn't seen the uncut edition to buy the DVD.
The reprint of The Last House on the Left (1972) makes the cover look so modern that it is easily mistaken for the 2009 remake of the film◊; it also doesn't appear to use the original actress on the cover. Only in tiny-text does it say on the bottom of the box that it is the 1972 version of the film. Arguably it says that it is written and directed by Wes Craven on the front, which the remake was not.
The Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs is a subtle thriller with four male leads, but all the female leads are as window dressing. Unfortunately for the international poster, a random chick with a gun who never appears in the movie was added for titillation. The poster looks a campy Bond knockoff instead of a cop movie.
The poster for Sky High (2005) chose some... interesting positions to place the actors in relative to their characters' roles in the film. In particular, Layla is crammed into the back-right corner, and Warren is posed to look as menacing as possible.
The back of the DVD cover for Tootsie features an image of Dustin Hoffman's character, Michael, kissing his coworker Julie while in full Dorothy Michaels regalia, even though the two never kiss at any time while he is dressed as a woman.
The Wishmaster DVD cover suggests the villain is a vampire; he's actually a genie.
Klay World: Off the Table. The DVD cover makes it look like one of those cheap, direct-to-video family movies. Although it IS cheap and direct-to-video, the language and violent (albeit cartoony) on-screen deaths proves that this ain't a kids flick. The writer/director lampshades this in one of the DVD commentaries.
The American Hogfather DVD case goes out of its way to obscure the central concept of the movie (that Death is replacing the Discworld's Santa Claus for a night... for instance, his servant Albert appears on the cover, but not Death himself), and prominently features the young actors who play Bilious and Violet (who aren't really involved in the action). The whole effect is to make the whole thing seem much less dark.
A second edition DVD released in the States is only a marginal improvement; the new cover art focuses on Susan Sto Helit, who is more central to the plotline than Albert, with the two kids. But there's no images of Death on either the front or back of the cover.
The cover of a live-action adaptation of Animal Farm made the movie seem like any other nice, kid-friendly movie about talking animals. The plot summary on the back even used words like "delightful" and "charming" in its description...
The girl standing with Nicolas Cage in the movie poster for Valley Girl is not actually the titular character played by Deborah Foreman. Word of God says that the model in the poster is the actress who actually plays the ex-girlfriend of Cage's character. A budget DVD release of Valley Girl with The Sure Thing (as the Totally Awesome 80s Double Feature: The Sure Thing / Valley Girl) has Foreman's head obviously Photoshopped onto the other actress' body on the front cover.
Speaking of Cage, There exists a DVD/Blu-Ray cover of Left Behind (2014) which includes screenshots on the back of the cover of Nicolas Cage walking around in front of a crashed plane during daytime. While this is seen at the end of the film, it is during the night time when it happens and Cage's character is wearing his pilot-captain's uniform insted of a casual looking jacket. It turns out that the screenshots in question are actually from the other apocaleptic disaster-themed Nic Cage movie, Knowing.
The posters and most promotional material for Air America depict it as a light-hearted buddy romp. The poster is Mel Gibson and Robert Downey, Jr. smiling at the audience. However, this is a film set during The Vietnam War, about opium trading and corrupt generals, and it's also based on a non-fiction book.
Look at the 2006 DVD cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, and you'll see Gordon Mcrae whisper sweet nothings into Shirley Jones's ear, as they stand near a carousel while green grass grows and colorful balloons float into the sky. Watch the actual movie, and you'll be treated to a musical about a Domestic Abuser who dies during his wife's pregnancy. Also, when they meet at that carousel, no grass is growing, no balloons float into the sky, and the sun doesn't even shine, since it's nighttime.
The movie about Norwegian War Hero Max Manus, a muted, tense story about the Norwegian Resistance during World War II and the eponymous character, had a fairly indicative poster and cover in the original release. The international cover has this picture◊ instead, from a very brief backstory action scene. Not quite lying as much as stretching the truth a lot, though.
Judging by the poster for She Gods Of Shark Reef you'd think the movie was all kinds of awesome. In reality it's an hour long slog, badly shot and horribly dubbed, with nothing happening.
The cover for Mazes and Monsters makes it appear to be a dark fantasy story, with a picture of a labyrinth, a dark tower, and a night sky filled with bats. Turns out it's just an Anvilicious story based on the D&D scare of the early '80s. Also, the picture of Tom Hanks on the cover was taken years after the movie was made.
Of the five "Arcade posters◊" for Pixels, three show the aliens attacking cities they don't even visit in the film itself, and two have Pac-Man and Donkey Kong as an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever instead of being barely twice the height of human as they are in the film. Moreover, Donkey Kong is seen attacking a city, while in the movie he's the final boss and doesn't leave the Mothership.
The cover◊ of the film Slaughter In The Ring declares the star of the film to be a muscular fellow named Lee Van Dorn....except no one named Lee Van Dorn is in the movie. The cover also features a blonde woman holding a shotgun who doesn't appear in the movie, and the back cover has a picture of a funeral scene that is nowhere to be found in the film.
The Troma Collectors' Edition cover of the godawful sex comedy The First Turn-On! boasts that co-star Vincent D'Onofrio (in his rather embarrassing film debut) is an Academy Award nominee. Vincent D'Onofrio has yet to be nominated for an Academy Awardnote Apparently D'Onofrio's 1998 Emmy nomination was mistaken for an Academy Award nomination.
Just take a look at this hilariously misleading cover art◊ for Troll 2. Three guesses as to whether the big beastie actually appears in the film or not and the first two don't count. The plot synopsis on the back of the VHS cover◊ is also misleading. It's like a mix between that movie's plot and the plot of the original Troll.
Feast your eyes on this DVD cover for Future War. No one resembling the African American man on the left appears at any time in the film.
The film poster and DVD cover for 2007's Atonement show Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, making it seem as if the film is about star-crossed lovers. The main character, however, is not featured on the cover.
All of the marketing for Scary Movie 3 makes it look like Denise Richards has a prominent role in the film as a love interest to Charlie Sheen (they were married at the time) or playing a role similar to Carmen Electra's. She has a grand total of one scene in the movie (in a flashback parodying a scene from Signs) and adds no importance to the film.
The poster for Scary Movie 4 features among the others King Kong smoking a cigar, but there are no parodies of Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) (or any other King Kong for that matter) in the actual film.
The video cover to the B-movie Street Asylum features G. Gordon Liddy as a cyborg, when he actually turns out to be an S&M obsessed, facist human politician.
The DVD covers issued for the Korean horror movies The Wig and Voice are given bad direct to video horror covers, with a disturbing picture of a bloody hand reaching out from a stitched-up shaved head, and a bloody hand coming out of some woman's mouth, respectably. Both are advertised as unrated, even though both movies could probably just as easily get an R-rating as most. The cover to Voice is perhaps the most unreliable one ever seen, as it's unrelated to the movie's plot; the movie is a weird ghost/killer movie with some blood and gore, but no hands coming out of people's mouths. Likewise, there is also no hand coming out of anybody's stitched-up head in Wig, just a killer hair piece.
The cover of the 1985 movie The Journey of Natty Gann might make the viewer think that John Cusack was one half of an established pairing, or at least in most of the movie. The viewer would be wrong on both counts. Not only does his presence not contribute all that much to the story, but said presence is all of twenty minutes.
The American release of the Australian film Cosi depicts it as being a Muriel's Wedding-type comedy with Toni Collette as the star. The film is actually a bit darker than that (it's set in a mental institution and Collette plays a recovering drug addict mistakenly placed in one) and Collette is the third-billed actor in the film (Ben Mendelsohn and Barry Otto are the stars, a writer and director who are staging a talent show that becomes "Cosi Fan Tutte").
After Casino Royale (2006) came out, Daniel Craig's earlier film Layer Cake was given a new DVD release. Instead of the original cover, which showed a group photo of some of the film's ensemble cast, the new cover shows Craig in a very James Bond-style pose holding a Luger pistol. He does carry that pistol in the film...for exactly one scene. And he does pose like that...as a gag (and, again, only in that one scene). The cover also features an example of Billing Displacement: Sienna Miller is the only other cast member now deemed worthy to appear alongside Craig. In the film, she has a very minor role (which was reflected in the credits: she was listed third from the last in the opening titles). But she had become more famous since the film's original release due to her role in the remake of Alfie, so there she is.
The poster of Gremlins 2: The New Batch makes it look a lot darker than it is; in reality it's a much more slapsticky movie than the first one. The DVD cover is more straightforward about this.
The cover for The Help looks like some kind of awkward romantic comedy. It certainly does not suggest a serious period drama about a young woman secretly discovering what life is like for black maids in the 1960's and trying to expose the truth whilst avoiding persecution by her racist peers.
Posters for The Cave give the impression that the caving team is attacked at one point by a massive waterdwelling fish monster. While there are in fact monsters that do travel through water as well (they can, among others things, even fly), they're all human-sized.
The DVD cover to Stand and Deliver showed what many people thought that Lou Diamond Phillips was the main character, but in reality it was Edward James Olmos.
The cover of the American release of Cotton Mary shows a scantily-clad young woman kissing a man, suggesting an incipient sex scene. In reality, the film is about a much older woman who goes crazy in a horrible and very unsexy way, and who actually interrupts the one brief sex scene before it gets very far.
The cover of Brassed Off makes you think you're about to watch a romantic comedy starring Ewan McGregor and... some woman history has forgotten. They both are in the film, but their love story is one of five equally important plots, which deal with poverty, violence, destruction and death.
Not as major as most of these, but early promotional images for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World implied Lucas Lee was the leader of the League of Evil Exes, as he is depicted in the center of the group and looming directly over Scott. Later promos used the proper character for the position, Gideon Graves.
True Grit was re-released on DVD around the time of the Coen Brothers remake, with a monochrome gray tone and typography similar to the latter. The original was more of a comedy compared to the recent one.
Look at any poster for Escape from New York and one of the big things they often show is the head of the decapitated Statue of Liberty lying in the street. In actuality, the statue only appears very briefly in the opening scene (the only moment in the film actually shot in New York), during which it is perfectly intact. (This brazen deceit was so outrageous that it actually inspired the creators of Cloverfield to make it happen for real in their movie.) Other minor details, such as the location of Snake's tattoo and the weapon he carries, are off-model too.
Drinking Buddies: The cover art shows both Luke and Chris as clean-shaven. They have a full beard and permastubble respectively. Presumably, this was done so people would recognize Jake Johnson from his role in New Girl.
The posters and DVD cover for Soul Survivors had Eliza Dushku in the centre placed in front of three other cast members, and a demonic evil eyed face above them, implying that the film was a Final Destination-ish supernatural 'slasher' film with Eliza Dusku as the Final Girl. In the film itself, Eliza Dushku doesn't play the main character. The main character is played by Melissa Sagemiller, who is in the background on the cover. The events in the film are a bit random and confusing, but the plot, such as it is, isn't so much a supernatural 'slasher' film as a ghost story set around a car accident.
The DVD cover for the 2009 film Frenemy (or if you watched it before Lionsgate realized they had a bomb on their hands, Little Fish, Strange Pond) makes it seem like Zach Galifianakis with a huge head badly Photoshopped onto another body is the star of the film, when it's really an anthology film where he barely appears, and said anthology is connected by two characters played by Matthew Modine and Callum Blue wandering around Los Angeles watching people do dark things.
The box art for The Devil Inside features a very scary-looking blind nun. She does appear in the film. For a few seconds as a background character.
This VHS cover◊ of Julius Caesar starring Charlton Heston. The problem: the cover art proclaims that Heston plays Caesar; he actually plays Marc Antony. Just because he has top billing doesn't generally mean he played the title character.
The Raid UK DVD cover◊ modified the original cover/poster adding helicopters and multiple explosions on the outside of the building. First of all, only one explosion happens in the movie and two: no helicopters appear in the film at all. This is really odd because when the movie was first released in theaters internationally, they all used the same original poster.
The cover for the Silent Night, Deadly Night box set of films III, IV and V shows a killer Santa, which is ironic, as they're the only films in the series without a killer Santa.
Cop Dog, just Cop Dog. The cover makes it look like every other silly kids' movie about dogs ever. The summary of the movie describes it as " a heartfelt tale about a boy and his dog who set out to solve the death of the young boy's father." Also, what the summary, the cover, and the movie's title fail to tell us is that the dog is dead for most of the movie. That's right, not even a quarter through the movie, and the dog is run over by a car. The whole movie is about helping the dog fulfill his final desire, as in solving his master's murder, so he can cross over.
Taken to magnificent extremes during the 80's with VHS home video releases. Two excellent examples are this cover of◊ Frogs, a film not featuring giant man-eating frogs at all, and Survivors of the Last Race◊ which at no time features anything at all on the front cover and instead is a film about a small group of bad actors trapped in a fallout bunker.
The DVD cover of BASEketball depicts Jenny McCarthy in between Trey Parker and Matt Stone, seemingly implying that the film is a romantic comedy with sports elements. In actuality, McCarthy's character works for the villain and is never in a relationship with the two characters (Yasmine Bleeth played the love interest).
This cover◊ for the film Norma Rae, which features a cheerful Sally Field in jeans and a t-shirt and the film's title in pink cursive, implies "cheerful romantic comedy!" Norma Rae is actually a gritty and powerful drama about the title character's attempt to unionize textile workers, which won Sally Field an Academy Award for Best Actress and an enduring place in the pantheon of great American actresses.
The entire print campaign and video covers for Almost Famous depict it as starring Kate Hudson. The actual lead is Patrick Fugit (with Philip Seymour Hoffman's character having a lot of presence as Fugit's character's idol) and Billy Crudup with Hudson being a glorified supporting character. I guess the studio decided that selling it as a generic 1970's movie instead of the semi-biopic of the director was an easier sell (either way, the film was still an expensive flop despite critical acclaim).
The official promotional posters for the first Soviet release of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. 3 alien heads, a scrapyard-assembled cowboy, a panther with lightsaber mane and a rock head. By painters off their meds. The texts are technically correct: "Star Wars: a galactic Western" or "Star Wars: a space Western".
And there was also this◊ poster for the American release. Mark Hamil is more muscular than he actually was, and is holding a lightsaber in a fighting pose; in the movie, the character only used one in the training scene, and wouldn't fight with one until the next movie. Another version of the poster was even more deceptive showing Carrie Fischer in a sexier outfit, much unlike the modest one she actually wore in the movie.
This article collects various international posters, including the aforementioned Soviet Russian release. The Hungarian posters feature only aliens that never appear in the movie and a vaguely Darth Vader-esque figure who looks almost nothing like him. One of the Polish posters for the series looks like a the cover to a Sega Master System flight sim as opposed to anything related to Star Wars. Another Polish poster depicts only C3-PO, as if he is the star of the film and not merely a supporting cast member. Safe to say, the posters from former communist states tend to be the most bizarre.
Then there's the somewhat notorious Polish poster◊ for Return of the Jedi, which depicts Darth Vader's head exploding. According to the artist, he was told that Darth Vader was going to die, so he felt free to go nuts with how it'd happen. Weirdly, Darth Vader's head sort of does explode in a dream sequence in The Empire Strikes Back, which could be where he got the idea.
The cover for the 2000 made for tv film Road Rageshows a truck tailgating a mustang, but unfortunately in the actual film the protagonists are in a Lincoln, not a Mustang.
The famous poster for Falling Down shows Michael Douglas' character in a white shirt and tie with a shotgun in one hand and a briefcase in the other. He is never actually seen with that combination in the movie.
The poster for the DTV movie The Adventures of Young Van Helsing features The Hero, his Love Interest and a tough looking black guy. This gives the impression that they are the three main characters of the film, when in fact the last guy is the drummer in the main character's band, appears in maybe two scenes, and neither have any impact on the film's plot.
A different release of the film, Quest for the Lost City, depicts none◊ of the actual actors in the film and appears to depict a Grecian ruin as the supposed city. In fact, the only thing on the cover that does appear in the film is the crude map that starts the plot in the first place.
The second example is worse because Rowsdower is not a hunky young Kevin Sorbo nor is Troy a teenage, darker-haired Val Kilmer clone (back when Kilmer was slim and hot).
Chopping Mall does not feature robots with humanlike, scaly looking arms (instead they have stubby, robotic claws), and no-one's body parts get stuffed into a shopping bag.
Quest of the Delta Knights has a poster that not only gets the title wrong◊, but aside from including publicity headshots of two actual characters, puts an armored knight on a horse front and center. This character does not appear in the movie and none of the knights look like this.
The DVD cover of the '80s heavy-metal horror film Trick or Treat has Gene Simmons' and Ozzy Osbourne's floating heads, and their names above the title. However, each one of them has a mere cameo in the film.
The poster for Oblivion (2013) shows a waterfall cascading down by the Empire State Building, but in the film is buried up to the observation deck all around. Another poster shows the George Washington Bridge free and at an angle, while in the movie it is half-buried and standing straight.
One of the posters for Kiss of the Spider Woman makes it look like, as Cracked put it, "a ghost-faced monster lady who catches people in a giant spider web and eats them to death, or a superheroine with powers comparable to Spider-Woman breaking up cartel supply rings in the South American jungle". In reality, it's a film about two political prisoners sharing a cell in Brazil.
Compare◊ the US cover of the Australian film The Sapphires (left) with the Australian cover (right). You could say it's a clear cut case of institutional racism or just a marketing team doing its job while bearing in mind the fact that a white story simply sells better than a black story, and that O'Dowd is the film's biggest drawcard in the US, unlike in Australia where Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman are both better known. Either way there are Unfortunate Implications.
Several of the posters for X-Men: The Last Stand showed Angel clad in an X-Men uniform and acting as part of the team. Not only does Angel not wear a costume in the movie, he doesn't even officially join the X-Men either.
The international posters and US home video covers for Pain and Gain put the Sorina character with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, despite the fact that the character appears for less than 10 minutes and has little to do with the film's plot. The US poster sold the film much more accurately (and paired Anthony Mackie with the two leads).
The cover for the MGM/CBS Home Video release of the 1974 film of a Bolshoi Ballet production of Giselle actually shows a still from their production of Romeo and Juliet, which MGM/CBS would release on videocassette the next year.
Both the old VHS and the DVD covers of the Guyver live-action film adaptation show the Guyver armor mergin with Mark Hamill's face... but Mark Hamill does not portray the lead character who becomes the Guyver.
The DVD cover for the film version of 1776 features Richard Henry Lee twice, flanking Thomas and Martha Jefferson in an embrace and some Congressmen below. Nowhere appears John Adams, the actual protagonist. Now, John Adams did predict, and the line was used in the play, that he would be forgotten by history... but for a musical that specifically sought to give him credit for his role in American independence? Ouch.
A fan-made Photoshopped poster for Thor: The Dark World, with brothers Thor and Loki in a rather homoerotic embrace, accidentally wound up as legitimate advertising in Shanghai!
One the most widespread movie poster images for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan depicts a space battle between the Enterprise and the Regula I space station instead of the stolen starship Reliant. Regula I was an unarmed science research station.
The DVD covers for the B-Movie The Barber featuring Malcolm McDowell use a grunge style typically associated with gory slasher flicks. However, the film has no onscreen violence or blood. It is more of a psychological "cat and mouse" thriller with a generous helping of Black Comedy.
The very famous poster for Defcon 4 is a reuse of 1976 artwork by Angus Mckie.
Every DVD cover for the 1951 film Hometown Story boasts Marilyn Monroe on the front cover with top billing, as if she's the star. In reality, she only had a small part as a secretary, on screen for maybe five minutes. The (otherwise forgettable) film has seen so many DVD releases because it has fallen into the Public Domain. There's even a box set of 100 public domain films with Monroe featured rather boldly on the front cover as the set's "big star." Hometown Story, and her very brief appearance in it, is actually all you get.
The US marketing campaign and poster art for Mothra vs. Godzilla renamed the film "Godzilla Vs The Thing" and depicted Mothra as an entirely different, tentacled monster that towers over Godzilla, a monster claimed to be so terrifying that the art of it had to be censored—quite the opposite of Mothra herself, who is a good monster who isn't remotely terrifying.
The American poster◊ for Godzilla vs. Megalon shows the two title characters attacking each other from atop the Twin Towers in New York. None of the film takes place in New York, let alone on top of the World Trade Center.
The poster◊ for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla implies that Godzilla, Anguirus and King Caesar all get in a big brawl with Mechagodzilla, with Anguirus being fired upon with Mechagodzilla's vast arsenal of energy weapons. In the actual movie, Anguirus only fights Mechagodzilla briefly near the beginning before disappearing for the rest of the time to nurse his wounds, and Mechagodzilla was still in his Godzilla disguise at the time.
The theatrical poster for the first fully American Godzilla film is also not accurate; in the movie itself, Zilla is depicted as 300 feet tall, with his feet barely being big enough to act as a ramp for a taxi. The poster◊ would have you believe that Zilla was way bigger than that.
Operation: Dumbo Drop: The poster depicts an African elephant in camouflage depicted as going to war. The movie is about the delivery of an Asian elephant.
The cover for the DVD release of Return to Oz. There, we see Dorothy, Billina, Tik Tok and Jack Pumpkinhead flying over The Gump, but then you see the Tin Man among them... Why? The Tin Man appears about a total of a minute or so in the whole movie, he doesn't take any important part in the plot and doesn't even have lines. Someone in the Design Department for some reason photoshoped the Tin Man in there...
But also, there's the theatrical poster for the movie. Not only the Tin Man, but also the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion... How can The Gump fly with all that weight?
An old Japanese VHS cover◊ is more accurate to the actual film overall, showing Dorothy, Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Gump, with the Nome King, Mombi and a Wheeler as Evil Overlookers. However, it also depicts the Nome King's larger form slightly behind the actual character, implying they're separate characters, when they aren't in the actual movie - plus it implies the Wheelers as major antagonists, when they're minor henchmen in the film itself.
Gregory's Girl: The DVD cover shows Gregory in a white suit jacket and Dorothy in a blue blouse. They're never together when he's wearing the jacket, which he borrowed specifically for their date.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: The Theatrical release poster depict two Dream Warrior (one would possibly be Kincaid) weilding a Baseball Bat and a Mace which never at one point appear in the actual film, Taryn having 80's white punk hair when in reality she have a mohawk hairstyle and she's wielding what appear to be Dagger rather than switchblade and also featured a brunette woman who doesn't resemble the main character Kristen although the said girl had white streak (which Nancy usually had in the film), this is possibly due to the facts that this was from an earlier script in which the characters where different than the characters are in the actual film)
One of the several covers under which Day of the Dead (1985) has been marketed features many arms reaching to grab at a frightened woman, an event that occurs only in a brief dream-sequence. Another depicts an open-mouthed alligator among a crowd of zombies and other threats, as if it's one of the dangers the characters will face. An alligator briefly appears on-screen, but it's merely hauling itself out of the way of some zombies, and none of the living characters even see the creature.
Looking at the poster◊ for the British musical Little Voice, one would think that it's a warm, fluffy tale about a young woman's (Jane Horrocks) rise to stardom, and the colorful cast of characters, including Michael Caine, who help her get there. In actuality, the story is an extremely dark one about Horrocks being bullied into a singing career she doesn't want by Caine's character, a corrupt talent agent, in order to cover his debts to the mob.
The cover of 13/13/13 depicts a bloody child holding a teddy bear and casting the shadow of a demon. The tagline states that humanity has become demons. The blurb on the back talks about a plague of demons. The film has no demons in it.
All of◊ the many◊ covers for◊ the movie◊ Saved! depict Mandy Moore in the center as the star, while Jena Malone is off to the side, and given devil horns as if she is the antagonist. The exact opposite is true.
The 1974 film, Cockfighter which is about cockfighting and bombed upon being released, was re-released under the title "Born to Kill" and given a poster that makes it look like a totally different movie, that has nothing to do with cockfighting!
The poster for the cheesy sci-fi movie R.O.T.O.R. depicts an armored robot firing in an apocalyptic wasteland, two points that do not appear in the movie.
First, there's this poster◊, which seems to make the movie out to be the second coming of Animal House. In fact, the movie was a kids' movie and NOTHING like Animal House, but you wouldn't know it by looking at that poster. To wit: there were no supermodels in string bikinis and daisy dukes (there was probably only one bikini in the entire movie, and it was far more modest), the kids didn't tie up a guy in a suit and spray him with water, and most of the cast was in junior high school. But there were Super Soakers, so that poster wasn't completely wrong.
Likewise this poster.◊ The four leads don't tie Christopher Lloyd's character to a stake at any point in the movie. In fact, that character helps them with their con.
Escape from Sobibór is a drama about the massive breakout of prisoners from a Nazi extermination camp in eastern Poland in 1943. At least one particularely puzzling poster depicts its most recognizable star Rutger Hauer (who plays a captured Red Army soldier) in a wife beater and holding a BFG while he runs away from a huge explosion. Needless to say it's far from an 80s action film...
Of the blurb variety. Golden Winter mentions a "bank robbery" on the back. No such bank robbery happens. The heist is at an Elk's Club, trying to steal a donation for a local Boy's Club.
Looking at the poster from the film version of Evita, one would think it to be about a tempestuous romance between the title character and Antonio Banderas. Banderas's character, Che, is in fact the narrator and Greek Chorus, and has no real interaction with Eva Peron. Che appears throughout the film as several characters, who are unlikely to "really" be the same person (he's seen as a both a poor railroad worker and a guest at a high-society party, for instance), showing up wherever he needs to be to tell the story. The scene depicted on the poster is in the film, but it's actually a dream sequence where Eva hallucinates a waltz between herself and Che, who in this scene takes on the role of Eva's conscience; rather than a love scene, this sequence depicts Eva struggling with herself. Eva's actual love interest, as per history, is her husband Juan Peron, who is played by Jonathan Pryce.
The VHS cover for Clifford has the title character chained up next to a dog house - nothing like this happens in the movie, and there aren't any dogs featured in it. The design is justified by a tagline making a Bait-and-Switch Comparison between Clifford and a Pitbull. However, it seems likely that the marketing department was hoping potential viewers would miss the tagline, read too much into the very prominent dog house, and mistakenly conclude that it was either a live action adaptation of the Clifford the Big Red Dog books, something similar to the Beethoven films (which also starred Charles Grodin), or both.
There is actually a dog in the film which Clifford takes from the airport whom he calls "Sneakers."
The poster for Saving Christmas suggests it to be a deliberately cheesy action-comedy flick with Kirk Cameron leaping through explosions and beating people up with a candy cane. The film is actually an Author Filibuster shot mostly in what appears to be Kirk Cameron's living room, and the only jokes or action are half-assed slapstick sequences aimed at the Straw Atheists who disagree with the film's bizarre message.
The poster for The Boss depicts Melissa McCarthy as Michelle Darnell sitting on a chair, burning banknotes while two Dobermans sit on either side of her. The Dobermans belong to Peter Dinklage's character, the film's villain, and not Michelle.
On the back of the DVD for the 1981 slasher Eyes of a Stranger, it says boldly, "Jennifer Jason Leigh is stalked by a killer." While Leigh's character does confront the killer at the end in true Final Girl fashion, it is her character's sister (played by the lesser-known Lauren Tewes) who is actually the investigative protagonist of the film. Despite all this, it can be argued that Tewes' character stalks the killer more than the other way around.
The DVD box-art for Dracula 3000 features a grotesque alien-looking vampire as if it was designed by H. R. Giger. Yet, no vampire even looks close to that. The main villain is just a rather silly-looking Classical Movie Vampire. To top it off, despite the story being a sci-fi adaptation of the Dracula novel IN SPACE!, the Big Bad is not Dracula, rather he is named Orlock instead.
A poster for Disaster Movie references The Simpsons Movie. The film has absolutely nothing to do with the Simpsons in the least, yet there's a poster showing nothing but it. It may be the most misleading movie poster ever created.
The poster for Dreamscape is almost an inversion, as all the images in the outer "framework" of the picture actually happen in the film. The exceptions are that the Snake Man's nature as a Humanoid Abomination are concealed, making the creature appear like a regular limbless snake, and the poster's central image - Alex holding a torch, standing protectively in front of Buddy and Jane - never happens. (He does protect Buddy in one of the nightmare sequences, but Jane is never directly endangered at any point in the film.)
One poster for The Night Walker features the lead Barbara Stanwyck being menaced by a demonic goat horned creature, said creature never appears in the film.
The cover art◊ for Doctor Mordrid shows the titular character wearing clothes that never appear in the film. It also implies that at least some of the film takes place in outer space, when it's actually in another dimension.
One poster◊ for the film Would You Rather shows someone cutting a woman's eye with a razor blade. In the film it's a man's eye that's cut, and he does it to himself.
Virtual Combat: The VHS cover depicts the female lead in a white uniform that she doesn't wear at any point in the film.
The back cover of the 1996 Vampirella movie shows the heroine in her traditional comicbook costume, concealing the fact that it was actually substituted with a less skimpier version.
Final Girl: The poster makes it seem like William is part of the group of psychopaths hunting girls in the woods, when in fact he's the one who trained Veronica to be an effective Serial-Killer Killer.
One DVD cover for Evidence of Love◊ shows star Barbara Hershey with long straight hair, even though she sports a short curly hairstyle in the movie.
A poster for The Heiress◊ shows Olivia de Havilland with her hair down, even though she never wears her hair that way in the film.
While most versions of the Re-Animator poster avert this, the Japanese version of the poster◊ that was also used for the VHS covers along with having the amazing title of Zombio only shows stills from the climax, mainly the re-animated head of Dr. Hill and the scene where he tries to rape Megan giving the impression that it's an Eroguro film. Likely resulting in thousands of Otakus disappointed in the lack of Fanservice.
The poster for It Comes at Night depicts the family dog barking into a forest nightscape, clearly hinting that the dog is barking at the "it" of the title "coming at night." The scene this is taken from occurs during the day, and it's never made clear what the title refers to.