Forbidden Planet Movie Poster

Twisted Sci-Fi Movie Posters of the 1950s

The only thing more enjoyable than watching classic, over-the-top sci-fi flicks? Gazing at their posters.

Few movie-poster genres feel both as visually thrilling and as logically preposterous as those created for mid-20th-century sci-fi flicks. Here is a small selection of the most beautiful of the bunch — including more than a few undisputed classics.

FLIGHT TO MARS (1951) Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images FLIGHT TO MARS (1951) Human astronauts fly to Mars and discover an underground, human-like civilization. The inhabitants of the Red Planet seem nice at first, but the astronauts wind up in an underground, human-like prison. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) In one of the most influential of all the sci-fi movies ever made, aliens visit earth to inform us that if we don't live in peace, they'll put our planet down. It seems our primitive, global aggression is a danger to other planets. NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957) Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957) An alien invader lands in Southern California in search of blood for his dying race on a distant planet in this Roger Corman marvel. DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS (1954) Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS (1954) Martian women in suspiciously tight-fitting body suits are harvesting human males for breeding stock. INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) Found Image Holdings Inc/Corbis via Getty Images INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) Aliens land in the woods, and two teenage lovers hit one with their car. Chaos ensues. THIS ISLAND, EARTH (1955) Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images THIS ISLAND, EARTH (1955) Originally released on a double bill with "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy," the film follows the efforts of human scientists recruited by aliens to help save their dying planet, Metaluna. FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) swim ink 2 llc/Corbis via Getty Images FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) In this classic featuring a young Leslie Nielsen, a starship crew travels to a distant planet on a mission to find out what happened to an earlier mission 20 years prior. The first crew never returned to Earth, and the new crew find out why. FIRST MAN INTO SPACE (1959) Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images FIRST MAN INTO SPACE (1959) An astronaut rockets into the stratospher, and is seen crashing back to earth. Shortly afterward, a wheezing creature with a taste for blood begins to wreak havoc on humans and cows of New Mexico. LOST PLANET AIRMEN (1951) Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images LOST PLANET AIRMEN (1951) A scientist with a jet-powered rocket backpack (mounted on a leather jacket, of course) goes after Dr. Vulcan, a shadowy figure determined to destroy New York City with a laser that causes earthquakes. Pretty standard stuff, really. THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957) Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957) A meteorite lands in a desert town, and it's up to a young couple to evacuate the town from the danger of ... thirsty giant crystals. PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959) Bernard Gotfryd/Getty Images PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959) Aliens resurrect the dead to kill the living. Genius human upcycling, courtesy of the daft visionary, Ed Wood. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951) Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951) A scientists discovers a new planet, which happens to be on track to collide straight into Earth in a matter of months. Survivalists work on a rocket to find a new home. QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (1958) Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (1958) American astronauts are drawn to the planet Venus, where they find a tyrannical queen who has banished all men from her world. A beautiful courtier (Zsa Zsa Gabor) assists the astronauts in taking down the queen, and (spoiler alert) the women of the kingdom are finally able to enjoy men.