There are themes which run hot and cold during certain parts of the year. In October of each year, the theme of Halloween brings more than trick-or-treat. Horror movies and scary movies tend to dominate the movie theme in cinemas and in-home television viewing for cable and streaming. This horror them poses a significant opportunity to view some of the top movie memorabilia dedicated to the horror genre and related genres.
Collectors Dashboard evaluates high-end collectibles as an alternative asset class. With some of the top horror movie posters and props commanding six-figure sales it goes without saying that these were major investments. These are some of the top horror movie collectibles for Halloween 2021.
Dracula and Frankenstein have commanded top dollars for posters. And while other posters and movie memorabilia may have sold for far less, the raw dollars spent to own these pieces of cinematic history should raise some attention about how popular this genre is to its fans. And think about the crossover genres – monsters in space, sharks that hunt humans, and even traveling to hell or other dimensions.
For October of 2021, Tis the season for Horror Movies and Horror Collectibles. Collectors Dashboard reviewed some well known films to find value and where high prices came into play. Films like Halloween, Jaws, Night of the Living Dead, Hellraiser, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien. Some of these are in that crossover genre, but when the films like Alien and Jaws came out they were terrifying to crowds with sequences that just had not been made available yet.
Here are some sales and insight from these iconic horror films.
When it comes to movie posters, the Bela Lugosi original Dracula posters from the 1930s easily win the prizes here for top-dollar. A 1931 Dracula movie poster sold for $525,800.00 by Heritage Auctions on November 18, 2017 after 17 bids. This is considered the holy grail of movie poster collecting and many lower-priced posters are still six-figure and five-figure sales. (Image by Heritage Auctions)
Night of the Living Dead (Continental, 1968) Very Fine on Linen sold for $1,560.00 on November 21, 2020 after 9 bids. Here’s a description of the poster:
George A. Romero and his Image Ten partners set out to make a cheap, marketable horror film and gain entry into the feature film production business. Along the way, they revitalized and reinvented the zombie film genre and crafted a classic tale of minimalist horror that is perhaps one of the most influential films of the era. This iconic one sheet has multiple memorable images from the picture rendered in stark, unforgettable graphics. There has been touchup to the folds, pinholes, misfolds, a minute paper lift, and a minor chip at the top. There are some tears at the edges of the background. The top border has been airbrushed.
Another rolled poster for Night of the Living Dead, listed as Very Fine with British Quad sold on March 27, 2021 for $4,801.20 after 13 bids.
An original 1975 JAWS Movie Poster 41″ by 27″ (Spielberg One Sheet Universal Studio) sold by eBay for $819.89 after 29 bids on August 11, 2021. While we’re on the subject of that big fish from 1975 the Robert Shaw “Quint” Hero Machete from Jaws is currently up for bid at Heritage Auctions with an opening bid of $12,000.00. And a Jaws 3-d poster McFarlane Toys Pop Culture described as new in box, sold for $249.99 by eBay for $252.00 on September 17, 2021 after 7 bids.
Daniel Radcliffe “Harry Potter” First Signature Wand from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sold for $87,500.00 by Heritage Auctions on July 16, 2021 after 10 bids. Is Harry Potter horror or a crossover genre? Parts are, even if we would all admit that “mostly not” should be the case. It is when you consider how many kids and parents still LARP-up for Halloween night in those Wizardry costumes.
This is a movie prop that you know of. Jack Nicholson “Jack Torrance” prop ax from The Shining sold for $56,250.00 by Heritage Auctions on September 25, 2019. Redrum!
Lord of the Rings is a crossover genre, although the price may be more enticing here than how dedicated the horror aspect of the film is. A Sala Baker “Sauron” helmet from The Lord of the Rings sold for $48,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on December 17, 2019.
How about some good old possession movies for you? The Exorcist movie poster (1973), rolled and listed as fine/very fine sold for $4,440.00 by Heritage Auctions on July 25, 2020 after 9 bids. A 1974 The Exorcist movie poster, folded and very fine+, sold for $600.00 by Heritage Auctions on July 26, 2020 after 13 bids.
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street movie poster, flat folded, very fine+ sold for $1,020.00 by Heritage Auctions on Jan 13, 2019 after 13 bids. Then again, a “Freddy Krueger” screen-used mask (from the terrifying “Alley Sequence”) in the 1984 A Nightmare of Elm Street is currently in a Heritage Auction with an opening bid of $6,000.00.
1978 Halloween movie poster, folded, very fine/near mint sold for $900.00 by Heritage Auctions on January 3, 2021 after 13 bids. The real scary sale from the Halloween movie came in the form of original artwork. The original Halloween acrylic painting by Robert Gleason used for the poster sold for $83,650.00 after 21 bids via Heritage on March 26, 2016. (Image provided by Heritage Auctions)
Here are some other key sales that have been seen:
- 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas, very fine sold for $900.00 by Heritage Auctions on March 21, 2020 after 4 bids.
- 1979 Alien, very fine sold for $1,620.00 by Heritage Auctions on March 23, 2019 after 9 bids.
What should be noticed by the collector are the early monster movie posters of the 1930s and 1940s. Posters that sell for similar realized prices as the holy grail 1931 Dracula poster are the sequels to big name horror films. Here are sales from Heritage Auctions of those more obscure movie posters:
- 1927 London After Midnight movie poster sold for $478,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on November 22, 2014 after 16 bids.
- 1933 King Kong very fine+ on linen movie poster sold for $336,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on November 21, 2020 after 9 bids.
- 1938 Dracula very fine on linen movie poster sold for $312,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on November 21, 2020 after 6 bids.
- 1933 The Invisible Man fine/very fine on Linen sold for $228,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on July 25, 2020 after 7 bids.
- 1931 Dracula very fine+ jumbo lobby card sold for $192,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on November 23, 2019 after 13 bids.
- 1939 Son of Frankenstein fine+ on paper movie poster sold for $180,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on November 21, 2020 after 12 bids.
- 1958 Horror of Dracula fine+ on linen movie poster sold for $66,000.00 by Heritage Auctions on March 21, 2020 after 9 bids.
- 1935 The Bride of Frankenstein title lobby card sold for $51,385.00 by Heritage Auctions on March 25, 2017 after 14 bids.
Preparing for the holiday season horror movie films are highly collectible. The movie posters can vary between affordable and quite pricey alternative assets. Perhaps the collector will take notice of obscure horror film posters, Just don’t take Harry Potter’s film-used wand trick or treating.
Are these just collectibles or are they investments? Some look like a little of each.