Sewer Cinema: Manholes in Movie Posters

I’ve come to notice several movie posters with characters popping out of sewers in that hey-look-at-me-I’m-in-the-sewer-so-I-must-be-funny sort of way. Sometimes this makes sense as with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They live in the sewers hence posters with them emerging from the sewers seems natural. Also, with the Turtles mostly obscured by the manhole cover this works as a great teaser for film, especially for the first movie where the live action Ninja Turtles were kept back a little bit as a surprise for the audience.

However, other films make less sense. Like Short Circuit 2, which features neither a sewer nor coming out of a sewer in the actual film. Some of these movie posters remind me of the fake movie Sack Lunch in an episode of Seinfeld. The movie poster featured a family in a brown paper bag, which makes Elaine wonder how they got in there: So d'you think they got shrunk down, or is it just a giant sack?

That’s what some of these movie posters seem to be doing, making us wonder what sort of predicament could possibly occur to make Johnny 5 and Ben Jahrvi get into the sewer? Are they hiding in the sewers? Are they exploring the sewers? Are they looking for One-Eyed Willie’s lost treasure? For comedies, these posters promise that if you watch this movie you will see a logical chain of shenanigans to get this upstanding character into the sewer, wackiness will ensue.

Horror movies on the other hand concentrate on the unwacky side of sewage. The gross, hideous dark parts of the sewer. This is the sewer where we flush our dead fish, the mail-order alligators our moms wouldn’t let us have, and all our dirty little secrets. But there’s still something slightly whimsical in that the sewer is still where our poo goes, which inevitably leads to a 98% chance likeliness of poo joke.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT Poster
The green standard in sewer movies.

Short Circuit 2

Short Circuit 2
No actual sewer in the film.

Follow up:

Just Visiting

Just Visiting
No sewer. I think coming out of a manhole let’s people now this is a wacky comedy that takes place in the big city because anyone wacky enough in a large enough city inevitably ends up in the sewer.

Enchanted

Enchanted
The manhole is a portal to another world. Mario would agree.

The Out-of-Towners


The In-the-Sewerers. By this point, I think the lessened learned is never go to a city. Thanks Mankauf.

Ghoulies

Ghoulies
Toilets count (It’s just a sewer opening with more pipes… and porcelain)

C.H.U.D.

C.H.U.D.
Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Beneath the Planet of the Apes
What’s beneath the Planet of the Apes? Sewers, lots of monkeys, and one hot chick.

The Italian Job

The Italian Job
What’s crazier than a man in the sewer? A car in the sewer.

Caddyshack

Caddyshack
While not a sewer, it is a hole in the ground and what is a manhole besides a hole in the ground? Caddyshack is the precursor to a dozen 80’s comedies and I think Seinfeld’s Sack Lunch. I see this poster and I think how did they all fit in that hole, is it a giant golf course or were they shrunk on the 19th green?
  • flickerbat
    Comment from: flickerbat
    08/21/11 @ 12:04:20 pm

    Then there is The Third Man...in the sewer! http://www.listal.com/viewimage/167772 (The Criterion Collection Blu-ray cover is good too)

  • dresses
    Comment from: dresses
    08/24/11 @ 02:10:23 am

    Reminds me of the many classic movie. I like Enchanted~

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