Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen for The Last Stand heralds not only more onscreen Arnie action but also more Arnie posters, with promo designers preparing even bigger guns for The Governator to hold as Breacher, The Tomb and others come out. To give these ad artistes an overview of his previous billboard-emblazoning efforts, here are all of his earlier bus-stop heartstoppers, conveniently split into different categories.
The Last Stand (2013)
Note the size of his revolver – approximately the length of your forearm – the blood on his right leg and the distressed look around the top corners. Also, his seriously swish car – not bad for a small town sheriff.
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Another worthy addition to Arnie's ever-growing arsenal, the AA-12 automatic shotgun he's blasting in this Expendables 2 character poster appears to fire orange sparks here, but in the film it most definitely doesn't. Think dead-before-they-hit-the-ground goons arcing through the air and into a Smart car and you're just about there. - - - - - -
Batman And Robin (1997)
In this special villains-only Batman And Robin one-sheet, Arnie's Mr. Freeze takes centre stage, flanked Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy and the late Robert "Jeep" Swenson's Bane as he unloads his freeze rifles at no-one in particular. Note Arnold's seriously miffed face – no doubt the result of all those hours in the make-up chair.
The movie no British marketing executive ever considered renaming 'Rubber', Eraser is perhaps best known for its wall-bypassing EM-1 Railgun, displayed to great effect by Arnie here. Note the similarity to the Predator poster, with the blocky, Doom-esque aesthetic and prominent crosshair. - - - - - -
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
As well as borrowing that particular biker's clothes, boots and motorcycle, the T-800 also lifts the barman's Winchester 1887 sawed-off shotgun. Don't forget the Stallone interpretation of this poster in The Last Action Hero – and how it doesn't just say "Stallone", it says "Sylvester Stallone". Perhaps not as well known as Arnie, eh Sly?
Red Heat (1988)
A rare example of Arnie sharing the limelight with another actor, Mr. S does the back-to-back rom-com poster pose with James Belushi, a man he'd reunite with on the set of Jingle All The Way. Despite sharing the billboard with his co-star, Arnold still successfully emasculates him – Arnie with gun and military uniform, Jim with drooping ciggie, coffee cup and receding hairline. - - - - - -
Predating – ahem – the aforementioned Eraser by a good nine years, this pixelated poster manages to mention the word "hunt" three times in perhaps the clunkiest way possible: "It came for the thrill of the hunt / It picked the wrong man to hunt / Soon the hunt will begin." We guess there's a hunt involved, then.
Raw Deal (1986)
As you've no doubt noticed, there was an unwritten rule among Arnie poster designers that if The Austrian Oak was in the movie, the word SCHWARZENEGGER must be at the top in the biggest font possible. Raw Deal's poster designer takes this idea to its inevitable conclusion conclusion conclusion conclusion. - - - - - -
The Terminator (1984)
Those lasers, those pecs, those shades… even that haircut – this is the poster that that defined all other Arnie posters after it. Fewer fingerless leather gloves in the future, mind…
Coquettishly drawing your eye towards his grenades and knife, this one shows off flirty Arnie. Forgoing the traditional gun/bigger gun/sword-wielding option, he lets his well-stocked vest and ever better-stocked biceps do the talking.
Collateral Damage (2002)
Taking a page out of Bruce Willis’ staring-away-from-the-camera poster posing handbook, this particular one-sheet for Collateral Damage employs a newspaper overlay to merely suggest what happens in the film. The final, better-known official poster takes a different tack, slapping on a huge explosion and a couple of stray helicopters for no apparent reason. What’s more, Arnie’s eyes are suspiciously blue in this – in True Lies they’re far greener.
The 6th Day (2000)
Echoing the nose bug and Rekall scenes from Total Recall, the poster for The 6th Day seeks to entice its audience though the power of Arnie getting an ocular exam (of a sort). Unfortunately, it didn’t work. The sci-fi lumbered in behind How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Rugrats In Paris and Charlie’s Angels on its opening weekend. - - - - - -
True Lies (1993)
In the mind-bending taglines hall of fame, there’s Monty Python And The Holy Grail’s “And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is”, Fast Times At Ridgemont High’s “Fast Cars, Fast Girls, Fast Carrots... Fast Carrots?” and this, True Lies’ “When he said I do, he never said what he did.” Well, exactly.
Total Recall (1990)
In space, no-one can hear you scream. Not even if you’re Arnie’s massive, blue, incredibly angry head. Sorry about that, Arnie. - - - - - -
The Running Man (1987)
This poster is notable for a couple of reasons. For one, it features in the biggest floating Arnie head in the whole of Arnie’s floating head poster back catalogue, and for two, the tagline writer seems to have forgotten that Schwarzenegger is the actor’s name, not the character’s (that’s Ben Richards, by the way).
Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)
Like Red Heat, this is another rare Arnie poster that sees the big man sharing the attention with another. Fortunately, his head is made substantially bigger than Kristanna Loken’s, and her name isn’t even mentioned.
Conan The Barbarian (1982)
Holding his impossibly large Atlantean Sword aloft, glimmering in the light of an equally massive fire, Arnold’s first starring role also gave him his very first proper poster – and even inspired He-Man in the process.
Conan The Destroyer (1984)
One of the original teaser posters for Conan The Barbarian didn’t even boast Arnold’s likeness – as if to make up for it, the one-sheet for its more kiddy-friendly sequel boasts a tagline that’d choke a dozen camels, as well as a magical floating hand. - - - - - -
Last Action Hero (1993)
Though 1993’s best action-satire-parody-comedy-fantasy film didn’t perform that well in the box office, it wasn’t because of its bombastically brilliant poster. Axes, monster trucks, guns, popcorn, helicopters, dinosaurs, a golden ticket… truly, this is the Arnie poster that’s got the lot.
Red Sonja (1985)
Despite being the title character, Brigitte Nielsen’s Red Sonja obeys the ultimate rule of Arnie posters: Arnie must be bigger. So big, in fact, that he appears out of a glowing mountain to loom epically over her with a sword that stretches most of the width of the whole one-sheet. AND his name comes first. - - - - - -
The Terminator (1984)
This rare Spanish-language Terminator poster isn’t what most people think of when James Cameron’s killer cyborg epic comes to mind, but it’s notable if only for the half-metal/half-skin face effect that would reappear prominently for T3’s marketing 19 years later.
Hercules In New York (1970)
Originally credited as ‘Arnold Strong’ to play off the name of his co-star ‘Arnold Stang’, this re-release masterpiece (of a sort) was designed to cash in on Arnie’s popularity post-Conan. It managed to get two key points across (ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER is playing HERCULES) without actually getting his face right. - - - - - -
Raw Deal (1986)
Presumably thinking Arnie with a gun accompanied by an infinite number of red SCHWARZENEGGERs might not be enough, an illustrated version was made, adding an incongruous fire and Arnie in a suit – but removing their legs. A Raw Deal, indeed...
Running Man (1987)
Squarely in the middle of the ‘Massive Face’ and ‘Illustrated’ Venn diagram of Arnie movie posters, Running Man’s penciled version is sweatier and spikier than most of his others, and the only one to boast a chainsaw – and that’s a fact.
Jingle All The Way (1996)
As a movie (and a poster producer), Jingle All The Way isn’t Arnie’s finest work – but it did bring about Swede Mason’s immortal 'Jungle All The Way' remix, and for that at least, we must be grateful. Here Arnold pulls perhaps his best comedy poster face, communicating his overriding emotion – "GAAAAAAAH!" – with just his eyes, eyebrows, mouth and hands.
Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Never has a poster-topping SCHWARZENEGGER looked less manly; never has poster Arnold looked more scared. This, ladies and gentlemen, was the movie that kicked off the Arnie ‘90s comedy phase, hoovering up over $200m at the box office – just over double Predator’s haul in 1987.
A rare one, this – not only is there a pregnant man here, but also three equally credited stars, including Danny DeVitro DeVito, with Arnie only taking precedence in the order and in the sheer vastness of his surname. Also, as far as Arnie taglines go... this ain’t too bad. - - - - - -
With Danny DeVito obeying the 'Arnie must be bigger' poster rule with consummate ease, the poster for Twins is a lot like Arnold’s character in the film: quiet, sweet and surprisingly clever. Bizarrely, the names of DeVito and Schwarzenegger’s characters, Julius and Vincent, were reused in – you guessed it – Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Just imagine Arnold bellowing: “Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more goddamn time!” Go on, imagine it. We dare you. Double dare you, in fact.
End Of Days (1999)
As Arnie’s only out-and-out horror movie, End Of Days holds a unique place in Schwarzenegger’s back catalogue, and its poster follows suit. No big weapon, no massive face, no cartoonish fun, just a devilish mix of red-tinged things and a sombre Arnie staring at the floor.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Even in an ensemble film where he’s one of three villains, Arnie takes pride of place, his name and blue face higher and more central than even the hero of the piece. Then again, with a $25m salary, you’ve probably got a decent agent to work this sort of thing out... - - - - - -
The Villain (1979)
Also known as Cactus Jack, this early ensemble piece sees the young Arnold play a character called Handsome Stranger, successfully looking very buff (and vain) in a poorly done up light blue shirt. Excluded from the illustration section for being a) an ensemble piece and b) flipping’ weird.
Pumping Iron (1977)
This critically-acclaimed docudrama now serves both as a compelling document of Arnold’s days before superstardom as well as the cutthroat world of bodybuilding, clocking in as the second highest rated Arnie film on Rotten Tomatoes, with a freshness rating of 96%, just two percentage points behind T2. Empire's Arnold Scwarzenegger Issue
Our James went to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger and grilled the former Governor on Terminator, Predator, Commando and the rest of his extraordinary career - from his earliest days as a muscle builder to his upcoming return to the screen. To read our exclusive interview pick up a copy of the latest issue now. Or, to make sure you get your copy every month why don't you subscribe to Empire magazine today.