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Poster Lab: Spring Breakers

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Poster Lab: <em>Spring Breakers</em>

The marketing behind Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, a trip that’s destined to become the sinful party/crime flick of the year, cheekily promises just what the gonzo film delivers: a neon rollercoaster of constant juxtaposition, where sugar and spice share space with drugs and bullets. Widely known as the movie to dash the goody-ness of tween faves like Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Benson, Spring Breakers is like Rainbow Brite by way Scarface, and you might gather as much from the film’s best poster, a careful assortment of travel items that range from the sweet to the deadly.

Begging you to lean in and look closer, the image, which is right in line with Korine’s strictly-adhered-to color scheme, boasts all the items its quartet of coeds (which also includes Korine’s wife, Rachel) will need for their balls-to-the-wall holiday. Lollipop? Check. Lip gloss? Check. Pink Chucks? Check. Brass kuckles, cocaine vial, condoms, and glocks? All present and accounted for. This is a truly ace one-sheet, fetching from a distance and intricate up close, while also proving evocative and the furthest thing from false advertising.

Of course, the image also offers tantalyzing plot clues. For instance, what’s with the alien sticker slapped on that brick of pot? Who might be the owner of that Cash-Money-Millionaires gold chain? And what about the unicorn embroidered on that crazy pink ski mask? The latter accessory may well turn out to be this movie’s signature item, perhaps inciting many a Halloween costume amid the cult set. Donned by its not-that-innocent gals, who, in committing all types of trangressions in little more than bikinis, are like the Sisterhood of Traveling with No Pants, the Pepto-hued headgear is as eerie as it is amusing. An earlier poster, which looks like a postcard you’d never want to receive (“Wish you were here,” reads the tagline atop one barley-legal gun toter), brings to mind a certain spine-tingling Munich Olympics photo, which, whether incidentally evoked or not, only aids the dark commentary simmering beneath so much tongue-in-cheek.

Despite one more one-sheet that’s bland and banal, showing off its comely cast and slapping their names in the corner, the film’s campaign doesn’t flaunt much of James Franco, who throws another career curveball as a Florida emcee-cum-drug-dealer, with cornrows, tattoos, a shiny grill, and an pseudo-Eminem accent. The novelty of Franco’s turn may be Spring Breakers’s secret weapon, but his sparing pre-release presence is perfectly apt. This movie is all about its leading ladies, and however suspect scanitly-clad young girls with guns may seem, it actually aims to empower them. Without spilling much more, let’s just say the characters played by these Disney-ditching starlets, who all deliver in ways that will raise eyebrows and applause, are very rarely not in control. And as this paraphernalia poster ably proves, their show-running tools are prepped and ready.