The best horror/exploitation movie taglines

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)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
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. (94 mins.)
Director: Gary A. Sherman
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
2.
The Funhouse (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask. (96 mins.)
Director: Tobe Hooper
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
3.
Don't Go in the House (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower. (82 mins.)
Director: Joseph Ellison
“ "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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
4.
The Mutilator (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A teenager who accidentally committed matricide finds himself being hunted together with his girlfriend and mates by his now crazed father. (86 mins.)
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
5.
Antropophagus (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
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. (90 mins.)
Director: Joe D'Amato
“ "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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
6.
Asylum (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In order to secure a job at a mental institution, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum. (88 mins.)
Director: Roy Ward Baker
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
7.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (127 mins.)
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
8.
Humongous (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
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. (94 mins.)
Director: Paul Lynch
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
9.
Crawlspace (1972 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A childless middle-age couple adopt a troubled youth they find living in their crawlspace and attempt... (74 mins.)
Director: John Newland
“ "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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
10.
The Vault of Horror (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An anthology of five horror stories shared by five men trapped in the basement of an office building. (87 mins.)
Director: Roy Ward Baker
“ "Everything that makes life worth leaving!"

Another great Amicus anthology tag line! ” - sbaldwin999
 
11.
Pieces (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
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. (85 mins.)
Director: J.Piquer Simon
“ "...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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
12.
The Prowler (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
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. (89 mins.)
Director: Joseph Zito
“ "If you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong!"

Like I said, slasher movies tend to have excellent tag lines. ” - sbaldwin999
 
13.
Phantasm (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (88 mins.)
Director: Don Coscarelli
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
14.
Re-Animator (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (104 mins.)
Director: Stuart Gordon
“ "Herbert West has a very good head on his shoulders... and another one in a dish on is desk."

Classic. ” - sbaldwin999
 
15.
Zombie (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (91 mins.)
Director: Lucio Fulci
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
16.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge. (101 mins.)
Director: Meir Zarchi
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
17.
The Blob (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A strange lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. (95 mins.)
Director: Chuck Russell
“ "Terror has no shape."

I like this one, it's incredibly literal... ” - sbaldwin999
 
18.
The Thing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A research facility in Antarctica comes across an alien force that can become anything it touches with 100% accuracy. The members must now find out who's human and who's not before it's too late. (109 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
19.
Snuff (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  
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. (80 mins.)
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
20.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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 life-form, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ "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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
21.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town. (88 mins.)
Director: Stephen Chiodo
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
22.
Motel Hell (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A seemingly friendly farmer and his sister kidnap unsuspecting travelers and bury them alive, using them to create the "special ingredient" of their famous roadside fritters. (101 mins.)
Director: Kevin Connor
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
23.
Westworld (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park. (88 mins.)
“ "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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
24.
Deathstalker (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
The warrior Deathstalker is tasked by an old witch lady to obtain and unite the three powers of creation - a chalice... (80 mins.)
Director: John Watson
“ "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) ” - sbaldwin999
 
25.
Sole Survivor (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A lone survivor of a plane crash is haunted by a feeling unworthy of survival. Dead people start coming after her to collect her. (85 mins.)
Director: Thom Eberhardt
“ "It wants her... It's waiting... It won't be long now."

Pretty ominous. ” - sbaldwin999
 
26.
SS Experiment Love Camp (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  
Near the end of WW2, prisoners of war are used in experiments to perfect the Arian race. (94 mins.)
Director: Sergio Garrone
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
27.
Akira (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (124 mins.)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
28.
Mortuary (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
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. (91 mins.)
Director: Howard Avedis
“ "Where nobody rests in peace."

A little bit of Irony in your tag line is always a good thing! ” - sbaldwin999
 
29.
Phenomena (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (116 mins.)
Director: Dario Argento
“ "Jennifer has a few million close friends. She's going to need them all." ” - sbaldwin999
 
30.
The Conqueror Worm (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter. (86 mins.)
Director: Michael Reeves
“ "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! ” - sbaldwin999
 
31.
Zombie Holocaust (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
An expedition in the East Indies, encounters not only the cannibals they were looking for, but also an evil scientist and his zombie army. (84 mins.)
Director: Frank Martin
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
32.
Night of the Bloody Apes (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
This cheap Mexican horror film is a remake of Cardona's Doctor of Doom (1962), spiced with nudity, medical footage... (81 mins.)
Director: René Cardona
“ "Half Man, Half Beast, ALL HORROR!"

Silly but enjoyable movie with a great tag line. ” - sbaldwin999
 
33.
Graduation Day (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
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. (96 mins.)
Director: Herb Freed
“ "Some kids are dying to graduate..." ” - sbaldwin999
 
34.
Alone in the Dark (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A quartet of murderous psychopaths break out of a mental hospital during a power blackout and lay siege to their doctor's house. (92 mins.)
Director: Jack Sholder
“ "When the lights go out the terror begins."

I think this one fits nicely with the title of the movie. ” - sbaldwin999
 
35.
Nightbeast (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  
A creature from outer space crash lands in a small town and starts killing people. (80 mins.)
Director: Don Dohler
“ "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. ” - sbaldwin999
 
36.
The Stuff (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
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. (87 mins.)
Director: Larry Cohen
“ "Are you eating it ...or is it eating you?" ” - sbaldwin999
 
37.
The Howling (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
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. (91 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
“ "Imagine your worst fear a reality."

I haven't seen this one either but I like the over the top tag line. ” - sbaldwin999
 
38.
The Beast Within (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
In the beginning of the movie you see a woman getting raped by a man-creature of some sort. The movie... (98 mins.)
Director: Philippe Mora
“ "He was on the verge of becoming a man... EATER!"

Gruesome. ” - sbaldwin999
 
39.
The Sentinel (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
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. (92 mins.)
Director: Michael Winner
“ "She is young, she is beautiful, she is next..." ” - sbaldwin999