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50 Most Controversial Movie Posters Of All Time

Ali G Indahouse (2002)

The Poster: Sacha Baron Cohen's Staines-based rapper enjoys the perks of his gangsta lifestyle, including feeling up a lady.

The Controversy: Triple figure complaints were upheld by ASA, who banned the ad, grouchily adding that "only one poster contractor had accepted the poster for display and it did so against advice."

Creep (2004)

The Poster: Christopher Smith's horror about grisly goings-on in the London Underground chose the obvious image: a bloody hand trying to escape a Tube train.

The Controversy: Inevitably, Transport For London didn't want the poster shown on the Underground, despite the fact they'd helped Smith's crew during filming.

The Pope Must Diet (1991)

The Poster: An odd one, this. After a change of title (it was originally The Pope Must Die ) the new image takes out the murderous context by showing angels zapping Robbie Coltrane's Pope with, presumably, anti-obesity lightning.

The Controversy: Basically, Catholics objected to the original title, necessitating a hasty (and nonsensical) rethink.

The Little Mermaid (1989)

The Poster: A standard-issue sweetness & light Disney pose... except doesn't the turret of the palace does suspiciously like a cock?

The Controversy: An urban legend quickly sprung up that the phallic tower was the work of a disgruntled artist. However, research by Snopes suggests it an accident.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The Poster: Alex (Malcolm McDowell) shows his appreciation for the ladies by sharing poster space with a naked Korova Bar statue.

The Controversy: The image was deemed too racy for American audiences, and the statue was given a bra and panties. Later versions of the artwork removed the woman entirely.

Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

The Poster: Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti take their gun war to the streets in a series of posters full of flashing firearms.

The Controversy: The ASA upheld 55 complaints that the posters glamourised gun usage, although they passed one in which Owen merely held a weapon by his side.

The People Vs Larry Flynt (1996)

The Poster: A typical image of porn baron Flynt's (Woody Harrelson) convention-defying lack of restraint: striking a Jesus pose, dressed in a Stars & Stripes nappy, in front of a thong-wearing hardbody.

The Controversy: The MPAA vetoed the ad outright. According to director Milos Forman, he was told that taking a bullet on the poster would allow the MPAA to "protect more important freedoms."

Hostel: Part 2 (2007)

The Poster: The initial teaser shows a close-up of boar's meat, an image chosen by Lionsgate's marketing guru Tim Palen to stand out from other movie posters.

The Controversy: The MPAA only approved the poster when Palen proved the meat wasn't human, which he did by handing over a receipt from a butcher's shop.

Sket (2011)

The Poster: A gang of hooded youths batter David Cameron with bats: "So Mr Cameron, do you still want to hug a hoodie?"

The Controversy: Transport For London banned its use on the Underground for fear of inciting violence, only months after the London riots.

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)

The Poster: A kidnapped victim in a sack is dragged across the desert, one hand trying desperately to grip onto the sand to stop it happening.

The Controversy: The hand. We know this, because when the poster was resubmitted to the MPAA with a reverse angle (now it's feet dangling out of the sack), there wasn't a problem.