Deadly Prey

The history of Ghana movie posters is a fascinating one. These wonderfully bizarre posters had their roots in the industry known as the 'Ghanaian Mobile Cinema', beginning in the late 1980s when artistic and feverishly busy groups of people formed video clubs. Armed with a TV and video player, VHS tapes, and a mobile generator they’d travel around Ghana erecting makeshift screening areas in villages without electricity. An eclectic selection of movies became popular because of this phenomenon and included Hollywood action and horror, low budget American schlock, Bollywood extravaganzas, Hong Kong martial arts movies, and native Ghanaian and Nigerian movies.

As this trend gained momentum in the rising industry, competition increased. To set their screenings apart to the crowd advertising motifs flourished. Lack of inexpensive printing meant hand painted movie posters were the most viable method of advertising. Gifted local artists became part of this burgeoning entertainment industry and they brought their own unique touch and flourish to illustrate the films they were promoting. Starting with sewn together flour sacks, an ideal sized canvas for a movie poster graphic was born - they were usually large measuring often around 100 x 150 cm.

Today access to printing is cheaper and easier and movies have become more accessible to the general public in Ghana. The phenomenon of the mobile cinema has disappeared with the winds of time but these hand-painted movie posters remain a fascinating and tangible product of the time. A roster of the many of the same artists from Ghana's former mobile cinema continue to paint movie posters for Deadly Prey Gallery based in the USA to a growing Western audience today.