Beyond the Valley of the Lurid Exploitation Film Posters of the 50s, 60s & 70s

Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan


A Lovecraftian poster for an odd 1960s mermaid thriller starring Dennis Hopper with a freaky cameo appearance by Marjorie Cameron, the bohemian witch of Los Angeles.

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

An American distributor purchased a historical film and repackaged it as a Nazisploitation thrill; the fact that the movie was years old at this point was sold to the audience as the film having been “censored until now!”


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

A towel-clad Brigitte Bardot stuns in this incredible 1961 Pop Art poster.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

A giant poster advertising a 1966 Hammer double-feature where theatregoers would get their own Rasputin beard!


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

After stabbing her mother’s boyfriend, a teenager escapes from reform school amid a barrage of attempted rape and lesbianism.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/Thomas Negovan

A psychedelic graphic for a 1971 camp film marketed as druggy horror to capitalize on the Charles Manson trials.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/Thomas Negovan

This 1963 poster lured theater goers over to listen to the whispering of a rocky-skinned slime monster.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/Thomas Negovan

Vincent Price narrates this “travel documentary” exploring bizarre cultural practices.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/Thomas Negovan

Hammer horror classic with the busty Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla, the original prototype of the lesbian vampire.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/Thomas Negovan

An Italian dramatic film released in the United States with a decidedly sexy marketing campaign.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

Mario Bava directed this 1964 film that created the template for the “body count” slasher films of the 1980s.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/Thomas Negovan

In 1967, the first Argentinian vampire film offers viewers a unique experience called “Erotomania!”


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

The dismembered hand of an astronaut possessed by an evil alien intelligence goes on a killing spree.  Luckily a hungry cat saves everyone at the end.  Burt Reynolds screen tested twice for this film and was turned down both times.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

Deranged: The confessions of a Necrophile is loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein and features a man using corpses for various aspects of home décor.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

H.P. Lovecraft presented with the patina of 1960s cinema.


Copyright 2015 Century Guild/ Thomas Negovan

A hallucinogen-paranoid tale of espionage and psychedelic “acting.”

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali


Superman vs. Muhammad Ali is an oversize comic book published by DC Comics in 1978. The 72-page book features Superman teaming up with the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali to defeat an alien invasion of Earth. It was based on an original story by Dennis O’Neil which was adapted by Neal Adams, with pencils by Adams, and figure inks by Dick Giordano with background inks by Terry Austin.




Superman vs. Muhammad Ali was part of DC’s oversized series All-New Collectors’ Edition, officially numbered #C-56.

By the late 1970s, Superman had already been paired in the comics pages with real-life American icons like John F. Kennedy, Steve Allen, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Allen Funt, Don Rickles, and Pat Boone. He had even previously gone up against a real-life athlete, professional wrestler Antonino Rocca.

The book suffered numerous delays, going from an original publication date of fall 1977 to spring 1978. By the time the book was published, Ali was no longer World Heavyweight Champion, having been dethroned by Leon Spinks in February 1978. (Ali won back the title later that year in September.)




Plot summary

Rat’Lar, the maniacal leader of a species of aliens called the Scrubb, demands that Earth’s greatest champion fight the greatest Scrubb fighter. If Earth refuses, the Scrubb and their huge armada of spaceships will destroy it. Superman and Muhammad Ali each come forward to volunteer. However, Ali argues that Superman is not really of Earth, and has an unfair advantage in his many superpowers. In typical Ali-style verbiage, he puts himself forward as the obvious choice.

Intrigued, Rat’Lar decides that Superman and Ali should fight one another to see who really is Earth’s champion. To make the fight fair, he decrees that the match should take place on his home planet, Bodace, which orbits a red star (which temporarily robs Superman of his powers). The winner would simply be the best boxer. The two would-be champions decide that Ali will train Superman in the finer points of boxing. They journey to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude to have his powers temporarily deactivated.

The Superman vs. Muhammad Ali match is broadcast on intergalactic television to thousands of other worlds (with Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen acting as broadcaster). With the match underway, it soon becomes apparent that in battling with more or less equal strength, Ali is the superior fighter. Superman takes a serious pummeling, but somehow refuses to fall down; he stays on his feet all through the beating. Finally, Ali stops the fight, urging the referee to call for a technical knockout. Superman then falls face-first on the canvas (making the knockout more than technical).

Now crowned Earth’s champion, Ali is set to face the Scrubb’s champion, the behemoth Hun’Ya. The alien leader then asks Ali to predict at what round the fight will end. (Ali was known for predicting the round in which he would knock out his opponent.) After some chiding, Ali predicts that he will knock the alien out in the fourth round (“He’ll hit the floor in four!”). Once the match begins, however, Ali quickly starts to suffer from fighting the super-powered Hun’Ya.

Meanwhile, Superman’s great recuperative powers have enabled him to make a speedy recovery. Disguising himself as Ali cornerman Bundini Brown, he steals into the Scrubb command ship and sabotages their space armada. In his showdown with the armada, however, Superman is again badly hurt, and is left drifting in space.

Miraculously, Ali gets a second wind. In the predicted fourth round, he not only knocks the alien champion out, but out of the ring as well. Yet after witnessing Superman’s decimation of his forces, the Scrubb leader cries foul and decides to invade the now helpless Earth anyway. Just as Rat’Lar is about to give the go-ahead to his backup forces, his own champion Hun’Ya becomes enraged at Rat’Lar’s dishonorable tactics and deposes him. There will be no invasion. Earth is saved.

Superman is rescued and once again revived. Hun-ya, the new Scrubb leader, makes peace with Ali, Superman, and all of Earth. The very end of the book shows Ali and Superman in a private moment. Ali reveals that he figured out Superman’s secret identity as Clark Kent, but implicitly vows to keep it secret. The book ends with the two champions embracing and Ali proclaiming, “Superman, WE are the greatest!”




World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, right, is shown at a press conference in New York, January 31, 1978, with promoter Don King, left, and Herbert Muhammad, center, to plug a comic book in which he beats Superman.  Ali holds a copy of the comic book.  (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, right, is shown at a press conference in New York, January 31, 1978, with promoter Don King, left, and Herbert Muhammad, center, to plug a comic book in which he beats Superman. Ali holds a copy of the comic book. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)


Superman vs. Muhammad Ali’s wraparound cover shows a host of late 1970s celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Tony Orlando, Johnny Carson, the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, and The Jackson 5; sharing close-up seating with Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, and other DC superheroes; as well as Warner and DC employees.

Joe Kubert was originally asked to draw the cover, and his version (a black-and-white sketch of which still survives) did not feature any celebrities, but just a “normal” raucous crowd of boxing fans. DC did not approve of Kubert’s likeness of Ali, however, nor the overall grim feeling of the piece, and asked Adams to draw the book instead. Adams’ original cover illustration (modeled very closely on Kubert’s layout), included Mick Jagger in the front cover’s lower left corner; he was replaced in the final version by fight promoter Don King.

In 2000, Adams did a riff on this cover — featuring Ali fighting basketball star Michael Jordan — for a special issue of ESPN The Magazine.

On July 16, 2016, NECA announced the release of a 2-pack set of 7-inch action figures based on Muhammad Ali and Superman as they appeared in the comic. NECA also noted that Superman would include removable boxing gloves and another set of interchangeable hands.




People in the crowd (selected)
“Show-biz personalities”
Political figures
  • President Gerald Ford
  • President Jimmy Carter
  • Betty Ford
  • Rosalynn Carter
Sports figures
  • Don King
  • Joe Namath
Literature and the arts
Kurt Vonnegut




Those so very wacky 1970’s!