Movie Poster Cliches - Headless Woman

Movie Poster Cliches – Headless Woman

by | Aug 23, 2016

Posters are supposed to catch our eyes, and more commonly than not, film companies rely on sex appeal to attract audiences. What we are looking at today is a disturbing design trend that many posters share: the women in them are all headless or faceless.
For some reason, Hollywood has decided that women are more appealing when we can’t see their faces. It’s the sexist detail that you’ve never noticed before, but once you’ve spotted it, you’ll never miss it again. Cropping out women’s faces completely in favour of bums, breast and legs is not limited to any one genre either, this practice is rampant in the film industry, using women’s bodies objectively to sell their movies.
Removing the face, eyes or entire head, turns a person into a body, and that makes it easier to appeal to one’s sexual or masochist desires. Is it not easier to look at a pair of breast without eyes judging you, or to witness someone getting mutilated without a pained face staring at you, pleading for help? The entire process of removing features distances you emotionally from the subject and allows you to enjoy it without guilt.
We look at the horror posters that all share a common trend, one which transcends genre and era, it’s the Headless Women Posters!




A clear view of a woman’s back, highlighting that she is topless, which in turn means boobs… Huzzar!!!!  Added points for signs of torture and mutilation. Sadley missing from the posters are the ladies faces. Boy your classy hollywood!


Facing Camera

Facing Front

So here have three different posters of woman facing the camera. Thier entire body is in shot, but their faces are all masked in shadow. Now, either they are all uglier than a pigs backside, or the film companies think it makes the woman more mysterious. Either way, the designer has purposely obscured the faces from the posters. Why not go the whole hog and put paper bags over their heads?


Facing Away From Camera


If they are not facing the camera they are facing away, with a slightest hint of a face, just to remind everyone that there is a person their. Wow thanks for that… I almost forgot!


Obscured Body

Obscured Body

Squeezing woman into fetal like position and obscuring their bodies is a growing theme which we see more often. Hinting at something more sinister or innocent depending on the subject. What is missing is the faces, usually hidden behind their legs or completely obscured in darkness or fog.


Legs from Behind

Legs from Behind

This is a popular one in teen comedies, phantom floating legs with a full shot of a bum. The woman are nearly always wearing thongs or small bikinis to show of the curves of their backsides, their legs spread apart suggestively. With no heads to go with the bodies, the posters openly encourage your to ogle the woman as much as you want.


Legs from the Front


Another classic is to show the legs from the front. This is usually a more classy pose (and I use this word in the most lose of terms), with woman clothed in a skirt showing off her legs, but without revealing her underwear. Just enough sex appeal to catch your attention, but with enough emphasis on something else, such as the Knife, Munchie or Stake, to make it seem purposeful.



Legs Lying Down

Another leg based posed in posters, is to emphasises the headless woman’s knees. A slight bend of the knee, wearing a short skirt or nightie, is just enough to show the curves of the inner calf and thigh. Added Bonus for tights or shots of the leading mans head clearly in shot!


Body but No Head

Body but no head

A classic dick move is to show off the woman’s body, but to complete cut of the head, usually just at the neck. Bonus points for bare breast of underwear!


Chest but no Head

Breast but no head

Now we starting revealing more heads, but still with the main focal point being on the body. Here, it’s mostly on the breasts. Whether they are covered up or on full view, the ladies in question seem to have lost their eyes. Bonus points on gore, as if that’s going to draw attention away from the real purpose of these posters.


No Mouths

No Mouths

Now we get to the good stuff. You see, even when they do show us heads, it’s almost impossible for filmmakers to SHOW us their entire faces. Even if they are the leading lady of the film. The male counter parts will get a clean, full head, bill of health; but the ladies will sadly we maimed or obscured. Here we see a classic covering of the woman’s mouths. No screams’s a waste of suffering!


No Eyes

No Eyes

Yep, no eyes. The women’s faces are front and center, but their eyes are obscured! No wonder they are all screaming!


Half Head

Half Head

Whether its the top or bottom half, these woman have found themselves befouled by the half head syndrome. Losing the eyes or mouths distances you from the character. Seeing a face is full is just way too much to ask.




OMG… for the love of all things holy. Please…just show us their faces. Three leading ladies… each one with something splashed across their faces. At most you can see part of one eyes, but that is as good as it gets. This is by far as low as you can get. it’s like falling at the last hurdle. You final get the “ok” to put your actress front and center, and it comes off the press looking like this!


Feeling frustrated by our list? want to vent some anger? Leave us a message in box at the bottom of the page, and join in on the discussion. Does this blatent use of sexim get under your collar, or do you think it’s all in the name of art?

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