The best horror/exploitation movie taglinesby sbaldwin999 | created - 19 Aug 2011 | updated - 05 Jun 2012 | Public
Back in the days before the internet, film distributors who couldn't afford the high price of broadcasting a trailer over TV had to find creative ways to get their movies known by the general public. Movies posters were a big way to draw people in... bright colors, sensational images and big bold titles were the key to catching peoples eyes. A memorable tag line to accompany the poster is hard to forget and usually was a sure way to get people intrigued. This is a list devoted to some of my favorite and what I consider to be the most effective tag lines from the past. This list is comprised of movies I have seen or am at least familiar with, recommendations are accepted cause I know there are a plethora of great tag lines just waiting to be discovered! Enjoy
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1. Dead & Buried (1981)
R | 94 min | Horror, Mystery
A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.
Votes: 7,925 | Gross: $0.22M
"It will take your breath away... all of it."
I remember seeing this VHS cover as a child and thinking that a movie with a image and a tag line like that had to be absolutely terrifying. The movie is good but not THAT scary, still, the box manages to send chills down my spine.
2. The Funhouse (1981)
R | 96 min | Horror
Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.
Votes: 9,813 | Gross: $7.89M
"Pay to get in. Pray to get out."
Slasher movies, to me, have the greatest tag lines. They are usually pretty clever, The Funhouse's tag line is the best example of that.
3. Don't Go in the House (1979)
R | 82 min | Horror
A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower.
"You have been warned!"
It is kind of warning you to go see this movie with caution... Why? cause this movie is very dark and very disturbing... you have been warned!
4. The Mutilator (1984)
R | 86 min | Horror
A teenager who accidentally committed matricide finds himself being hunted together with his girlfriend and mates by his now crazed father.
"By pick, by axe, by sword, bye bye!"
I have not actually seen this one but the tag line is so great I had to include it on the list. Another clever one for a slasher movie.
5. Antropophagus (1980)
90 min | Horror
A group of tourists become stranded on an uninhabited island where they are stalked by an insane, violent, and grotesque killer that slaughtered the town's former residents.
"It's not fear that tears you apart... It's him!"
This is a personal favorite of mine. This tag line is pretty vicious but so is George Eastman's insane character in the movie. Great stuff!
6. Asylum (I) (1972)
PG | 88 min | Horror
In order to secure a job at a mental institution, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum.
"You have nothing to lose but your mind."
The Amicus anthology movies had some of the best tag lines, best of all being the one for this movie. Asylum is about the minds of the mentally disturbed so this tag line fits perfectly.
7. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Unrated | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
Votes: 97,149 | Gross: $5.10M
"When there is no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth"
Absolutely unforgettable tag-line to an unforgettable movie! Another one that you hear a character say in the movie too.
8. Humongous (1982)
R | 97 min | Horror, Romance
The monstrous offspring of a violent crime grows up in seclusion on a remote island, where a boat-full of hapless teens have shipwrecked, unaware of what's lurking in the woods.
"Here are the monster's little toys. Once they were little girls and boys."
You have to love tag lines that rhyme, they are usually the best about getting stuck in your head.
9. Crawlspace (1972 TV Movie)
74 min | Horror, Thriller
A childless middle-age couple adopt a troubled youth they find living in their crawlspace and attempt to get him to rejoin society with tragic results.
"They wanted a son... he gave them a nightmare!"
I have not seen this made-for-TV film but I want to. Especially with a great tag line like that!
10. The Vault of Horror (1973)
R | 87 min | Horror
An anthology of five horror stories shared by five men trapped in the basement of an office building.
"Everything that makes life worth leaving!"
Another great Amicus anthology tag line!
11. Pieces (1982)
Unrated | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Young co-eds are being dismembered by a mysterious murderer on a college campus. The killer is attempting to put together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts.
Votes: 6,181 | Gross: $2.03M
"...It's exactly what you think it is!"
I love this one cause it's NOT trying to be clever or ironic, its pretty direct in letting you know what the movie is about. Still it sparks your curiosity and makes want to see the movie just to know how far it goes. Also a fantastic poster that adds to the brutality of the tag line too!
12. The Prowler (1981)
R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
"If you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong!"
Like I said, slasher movies tend to have excellent tag lines.
13. Phantasm (1979)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.
Votes: 25,770 | Gross: $11.99M
"If this one doesn't scare you, you're already dead!"
I think this film might be a little overrated but the poster and tag line are perfect.
14. Re-Animator (1985)
Unrated | 105 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.
Votes: 44,977 | Gross: $2.02M
"Herbert West has a very good head on his shoulders... and another one in a dish on is desk."
15. Zombie (1979)
R | 91 min | Horror
Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.
"We are going to eat you!"
Could be the most famous tag line on the list. This is Jerry Gross again, promising you exactly what you are going to get from this nasty little gem. And look at that poster, its just a straight portrait shot of the most gruesome zombie in the movie! Jerry was a genius.
16. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller
An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.
"This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition... but no jury in America would ever convict her!"
Makes you ask, "Why!? Why wont a jury convict her?". See the movie and find out! again, one of Jerry Gross' legendary ad campaigns along with that super-sexy poster.
17. The Blob (1988)
R | 95 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Remake of the 1958 sci-fi horror classic about a deadly blob from another planet which consumes everything in its path. Teenagers attempt without success to warn the townspeople, who refuse to take them seriously.
Votes: 25,419 | Gross: $8.25M
"Terror has no shape."
I like this one, it's incredibly literal...
18. The Thing (1982)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.
Votes: 292,980 | Gross: $13.78M
"Man is the warmest place to hide."
This is a famous one, I love it because it's one you might not understand going into the movie but coming out, it will make perfect sense.
19. Snuff (1975)
X | 80 min | Horror
A so-called "snuff" movie involving the exploits of a cult leader leading a gang of bikers in a series of supposedly real killings on film.
"A film that could only be made in South America, where life is CHEAP!"
An awful movie with one of the most ingenious ad campaigns in the history of film. The tag line is just a small part of it.
20. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 642,295 | Gross: $78.90M
"In space, no one can hear you scream."
Possibly the most memorable thing about this movie next to the chest bursting scene. But, according to the show, The Universe, you actually can hear people scream in space... Nobody says you have to be scientifically accurate to be a great tagline though!
21. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.
Votes: 25,843 | Gross: $15.63M
"In space, no one can eat ice-cream."
I hilarious take on the infamous Alien tag-line. I love this movie for not taking itself seriously.
22. Motel Hell (1980)
R | 101 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller
A seemingly friendly farmer and his sister kidnap unsuspecting travelers and bury them alive, using them to create the "special meat" they are famous for.
Votes: 7,689 | Gross: $6.34M
"Checking in is easy... checking out is hell."
There are a couple more famous tag lines for this horror comedy but I like this one best. Again, slasher movie, keeping it simple and fun.
23. Westworld (1973)
PG | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.
"Boy have we got a vacation for you."
This one is great cause it is one of those tag lines that a character actually says in the movie!
24. Deathstalker (1983)
R | 80 min | Adventure, Fantasy
The warrior Deathstalker is tasked by an old witch lady to obtain and unite the three powers of creation - a chalice, an amulet, and a sword - lest the evil magician Munkar get them and use... See full summary »
Votes: 2,817 | Gross: $11.92M
"Journey to an age of awesome magic."
"Awesome" is a great word for a tag line to a super cheesy but totally fun movie like Deathstalker. If your making a sword and sorcery movie, it's good to throw in words like that, considering the kind of people that will be watching those movies (12-24 year old males)
25. Sole Survivor (1984)
R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller
A lone survivor of a plane crash is haunted by a feeling unworthy of survival. Dead people start coming after her to collect her.
"It wants her... It's waiting... It won't be long now."
26. Lager SSadis Kastrat Kommandantur (1976)
Not Rated | 94 min | Horror, War
Near the end of WW2, prisoners of war are used in experiments to perfect the Arian race.
"Sex experiments in pursuit of a better tomorrow!"
This one is funny, in a tasteless sort of way. The movie contains some offensive subject matter but really it doesn't take itself too seriously. So, it's good for a laugh and I think the silly tag line compliments that nicely.
27. Akira (1988)
R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Votes: 120,710 | Gross: $0.55M
"Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E."
Just incase you don't understand the magnitude of distruction found in this movie, they literally S.P.E.L.L. it out for you.
28. Mortuary (I) (1983)
R | 91 min | Horror
Convinced that her father's death was not accidental, a beautiful girl decides to investigate to find out the truth, aided by her boyfriend. Her sleuthing draws her to a local mortuary, where many secrets will be revealed.
Votes: 994 | Gross: $4.32M
"Where nobody rests in peace."
A little bit of Irony in your tag line is always a good thing!
29. Phenomena (1985)
Not Rated | 116 min | Horror, Mystery
A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.
"Jennifer has a few million close friends. She's going to need them all."
30. The Conqueror Worm (1968)
Unrated | 86 min | Biography, Drama, Horror
A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter.
"Leave the children home! ...and if you are squeamish, stay home with them!!!!!!!"
The English tagline is awful but when the movie was brought to America, they changed it to this masterpiece to draw in the masses. BTW, no this movie is not really squirm inducing at all, but it's a great drama/thriller!
31. Zombie Holocaust (1980)
R | 84 min | Horror
An expedition in the East Indies, encounters not only the cannibals they were looking for, but also an evil scientist and his zombie army.
"He's a depraved, homicidal killer... and he makes house calls!"
This one goes with the movies alternate US title, Dr. Butcher Medical Deviate. It's a great tag line that is very misleading. To me it sounds like a slasher movie set in a hospital... but it's a zombie/cannibal adventure movie. Created by the legendary distributor Jerry Gross.
32. Night of the Bloody Apes (1969)
R | 81 min | Horror
This cheap Mexican horror film is a remake of Cardona's Doctor of Doom (1962), spiced with nudity, medical footage, women wrestling, and cheap gore shots. Female masked wrestler Lucy (who ... See full summary »
"Half Man, Half Beast, ALL HORROR!"
Silly but enjoyable movie with a great tag line.
33. Graduation Day (1981)
R | 96 min | Horror, Mystery
A masked killer begins murdering students on the school track team after a track runner dies upon completion of a 30 second 200-meter race.
Votes: 2,304 | Gross: $23.89M
"Some kids are dying to graduate..."
34. Alone in the Dark (1982)
R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller
A quartet of murderous psychopaths break out of a mental hospital during a power blackout and lay siege to their doctor's house.
"When the lights go out the terror begins."
I think this one fits nicely with the title of the movie.
35. Nightbeast (1982)
R | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A creature from outer space crash lands in a small town and starts killing people.
"If you have guts... he wants them!"
I don't know if this is an official tag line from the movies first release. It is included on the DVD box though and it's great, so I'm including it regardless.
36. The Stuff (1985)
R | 87 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
A delicious, mysterious goo that oozes from the earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation, but the tasty treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers who only want to consume more of the strange substance at any cost begin infesting the world.
"Are you eating it ...or is it eating you?"
37. The Howling (1981)
R | 91 min | Horror
After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.
Votes: 25,097 | Gross: $17.99M
"Imagine your worst fear a reality."
I haven't seen this one either but I like the over the top tag line.
38. The Beast Within (1982)
R | 98 min | Horror
A young woman gets raped by a mysterious man-creature, and years later her son begins a horrific transformation into a similar Beast.
Votes: 2,550 | Gross: $7.74M
"He was on the verge of becoming a man... EATER!"
39. The Sentinel (1977)
R | 92 min | Horror
Not ready for marriage, a fashion model moves into an unbelievably cheap Brooklyn Heights apartment, where weird occurrences turn into a much more frightening turn of events.
"She is young, she is beautiful, she is next..."