Graham Humphreys, one of the UK’s leading horror film poster illustrators, talks to Spooky Isles about his career and some of the stories behind his famous works
If you’re a fan of horror cinema, you’ve likely come across the iconic work of Graham Humphreys, even if you didn’t know the name behind the art. Known for his vivid and often visceral illustrations, Humphreys has been a cornerstone in the world of horror film posters for decades.
Graham Humphreys is a British illustrator and designer who has carved out a niche for himself in the horror genre. His work graces the covers of horror films, record albums, and even books. He’s the go-to person for anything related to horror, be it slashers, supernatural thrillers or classic monster movies.
Humphreys started his freelance career in the early 1980s, a time he describes as “change was in the air”. Initially aiming to work in the film and music industries, he found his calling with independent film distribution companies like Palace Pictures. His first significant project was the UK poster for The Evil Dead, a film that has since become a cult classic.
Humphreys cites a range of influences, from classic film posters of the ’60s and ’70s to artists like Drew Struzan and Tom Chantrell. He also mentions the impact of punk rock culture and the burgeoning gothic scene of the ’80s on his work.
Humphreys discusses the challenges of creating art that resonates with audiences, especially when dealing with classics. He mentions that while it’s hard to pick favourites among his works, he particularly enjoys private commissions that allow him to bring his own interpretation to a film.
Beyond film posters, Humphreys has also been involved in various projects celebrating classic horror. He talks about “Hammer at the Vault”, an event celebrating Hammer films, where he created promotional material. The event was held in the vaults underneath Waterloo Station, adding an extra layer of spookiness to the proceedings.
Humphreys’ work has not only stood the test of time but has also influenced a new generation of artists. His art is a celebration of the horror genre, capturing its essence in a way that few can.
Graham Humphreys is more than just an illustrator; he’s a storyteller, capturing the essence of horror and suspense in each stroke of his brush. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to his work, the interview provides a fascinating look into the mind of a man who has made an indelible mark on the world of horror.
So, before you dive into the video, remember: the next time you see a horror film poster that stops you in your tracks, there’s a good chance Graham Humphreys might be the man behind it.
You can watch the full interview below!