15 Cool Obscure Movie T-Shirts

In A Paddy

The Film: Shane Meadows' social-realist take on the slasher flick, Dead Man's Shoes (2004)

The Reference: A striking silhouette of Paddy Considine's Richard, the ex-army vet who exacts brutal revenge on the Midlands gang who terrorised his mentally challenged brother.

Why It's Cool: An iconic image that chills and thrills in equal measure, it's a reminder that homegrown cinema can still compete with Hollywood.

Where? Plastic Revolution

Civic Duty

The Film: David Cronenberg's hallucinatory horror about the ultimate video nasty, Videodrome (1983)

The Reference: Civic TV is the name of the cable channel run by James Woods which, as he puts it, dispenses "everything from softcore sex to hardcore violence."

Why It's Cool: Cronenberg's a master of icy irony, and there's a delicious contrast between the banal name and the actual content behind it. Wear this, and those in the know will realise it's really a case of "long live the new flesh."

Where? Last Exit To Nowhere

Prepare To Die

The Film: Rob Reiner's witty post-modern pastiche of ye olde swashbucklers, The Princess Bride (1987)

The Reference: The film's most oft-quoted line (delivered by Mandy Patinkin's vengeful swordsman), albeit here in a more everyday context.

Why It's Cool: The playful dig at rubbish office-drone meet 'n' greets only reinforces Montoya's swaggering panache and romanticism. That said, if somebody actually tried this at a corporate away-day you'd beg them as a David Brent-esque dickhead straight away.

Where? Think Geek

Royale With Bleed

The Film: Japanese schoolkid slaughter fest Battle Royale (2000)

The Reference: One of the film's many, many bloodily balletic kill scenes.

Why It's Cool: It shouldn't be cool at all, but graphic design whizzes Airside have turned clinical violence into a boldly beautiful statement for exploitation freaks everywhere.

Better still, Airside is an equal opportunities killer: there's another design of a male classmate getting KO'd, too.

Where? Usually, www.airsideshop.com but it's currently being renovated so you might need to shop around.


The Film: Ron Underwood's rip-roaring B-movie spoof about killer worms, Tremors (1990)

The Reference: It's the name of the shop in the besieged town of Perfection, Nevada where Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward et al hole up.

Why It's Cool: Usually, the trend towards putting in-film logos onto a tee doesn't extend past the obvious classics.

Tremors , however, is the right side of obscure; it's familiar enough to wow retro-heads, but offbeat enough to score serious nerd brownie points.

Where? Wake Up Time To Die

Vertical Frogger

The Film: Paul Thomas Anderson's epic urban singalong, Magnolia (1999)

The Reference: The film's leftfield ending, as a Biblical plague of frogs descends to put an unlikely stop to the characters' stories.

Why It's Cool: The evocative design from Weadmire is an attention-grabbing mix of nature and technology which remains as esoteric, eccentric and engaging as the film did when we first saw it.

Where? Weadmire.net


The Film: David Fincher's playfully paranoid thriller, The Game (1997)

The Reference: Consumer Recreation Services is the company Sean Penn hires to give brother Michael Douglas a birthday he won't forget.

Why It's Cool: Trying to out-geek your mates by smuggling the most unlikely and unusual movie ref onto your torso is something of a game in itself. So this one's like well meta or something.

Where? The appropriately named Arcane Projects

Under Your Wing

The Film: The Paul Rudd / Seann William Scott comedy about men behaving badly, Role Models (2008)

The Reference: Sturdy Wings is the mentoring programme Rudd and Scott are assigned to as community service.

Why It's Cool: It looks safe, comforting, a bit religious. To the outsider, it might look like you're a member of a cult.

Really, though, it's a secret handshake that you're prone to bad behaviour.

Where? 8 Ball

Worth A Million Bucks

The Film: Walter Hill's askew take on whether greed really is good, Brewster's Millions (1985)

The Reference: It's the baseball team that Richard Pryor's Brewster pitches for when he's told he'll inherit a fortune if he can deliberately lose $30 million in a month.

Why It's Cool: Wearing a sporting team's colours is a badge of tribal loyalty.

Here, it has a double meaning: a show of faith in 80s comedy, and a reminder that money isn't everything.

Where? Last Exit To Nowhere

Going Rogue

The Film: Walter Hill again, amazingly; this time his gangland chase movie The Warriors (1979).

The Reference: The Rogues are the ultimate bad-asses in the film's convention of bad-assery.

Why It's Cool: A typically stylish take on a much-loved cult classic from Dark Bunny Tees, this frames the Rogues' distinctive skeletal logo as a brand.

If this beer actually existed, we'd drink it.

Where? Dark Bunny Tees