80s nostalgia-fest Stranger Things is the TV show of the moment – sorry, Robot Wars reboot – and we love this poster that Netflix commissioned British artist Kyle Lambert to paint for it almost as much as we love the show. Like Stranger Things itself, this poster is a perfect homage to the cult films of 1980s – hand-painted using line-and-brushwork and a composition that’s instantly familiar to those of us who grew up during that decade.
Here we look at the creation of the poster – along with a series of other paintings based on the show – plus we’ve pulled out a few classic 80s movie posters that the Stranger Things poster draws on.
Most of the major movies of my childhood had posters that were photorealistic paintings collaging main actors in costumes that established their characters with iconic moments of action, danger or wonder.
In a pre-Internet era when you only saw trailers at the cinema, very occasionally on TV and perhaps at the beginning of rental VHS tapes – movie posters for films often had to serve in their stead, giving you all of the information about the film you needed to sell you on seeing it. And if it didn't have a big star to hang the film around, then stuffing the poster full of characters you might identify with (or be attracted to) and the promise of excitement was the way to go.