Evel Knievel / B2 / Japan

28.01.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Evel Knievel
AKA
--
Year of Film
1971
Director
Marvin J. Chomsky
Starring
George Hamilton, Sue Lyon, Bert Freed, Rod Cameron, Dub Taylor, Ron Masak, Hal Baylor, Judith Baldwin, Kathrine Baumann
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Biography | Drama
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 for the release of the 1971 biography of the legendary stuntman Evel Knievel that was made whilst he was only 32 years old and still at the height of his fame. It was also before his infamous attempted jumping of Snake River Canyon in 1974 that ended in a near fatal crash. The film was shot in Evel’s home town of Butte, Montana and starred the prolific actor George Hamilton as the man himself.

The film is told in a series of flashbacks with Evel narrating various incidents that happen throughout the film, including events regarding his relationship with his wife. It features actual footage of Knievel on his bike and completing various stunts, including one on the Ontario Motor Speedway. The film ends with Evel at the edge of the Grand Canyon because the real stuntman was planning a jump of the famous landmark that never came to pass.

The film is now out of copyright and is in the public domain, freely available to watch online should you wish to do so.

 

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf / 30×40 / USA

26.01.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Nathan Juran
Starring
Kerwin Mathews, Elaine Devry, Scott Sealey, Robert J. Wilke, Susan Foster, Jack Lucas, Bob Homel, George Gaynes
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/229
Tagline
Possible in this day and age? Those who didn't believe... are dead!

A little-seen horror from 1973, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf was the last film that director Nathan H. Juran (Attack of the 50 Foot WomanThe 7th Voyage of Sinbad) worked on and it paired him for the final time with leading actor Kerwin Mathews who was a regular collaborator (he played Sinbad, for example). The plot sees Mathews play Robert, a divorced father who takes his estranged son Richie (Scott Sealey) to the family’s holiday mountain cabin for a short break. Whilst walking in the woods at night the pair are attacked by a werewolf and during the struggle Rob is bitten before the beast falls down a ravine and is impaled on a fence.

When they discover the body it has changed back to a man whom the local police don’t recognise. Richie’s insistence that it was a werewolf is laughed off by his father and the police and later his mother speaks to a psychologist who suggests the boy is struggling to accept that he witnessed his father killing someone and is making up a fantastic story to cope with the situation. The psychologist then recommends Robert and Richie return to the cabin to help with the healing process, but they happen to visit during the next full-moon cycle and that bite comes back to haunt Robert and Richie. Will anyone believe the boy before it’s too late?

It seems like the film was given a limited release and this is the 30×40 poster which will have been used for the film’s showing in venues like drive-ins and larger cinemas. It was also given a UK release as a double-bill with the creature feature ‘Sssss‘, that was out the same year. The film has never been officially released on DVD and is hard to track down, should you wish to watch it.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

 

 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit / one sheet / Kilian mylar / style D / USA

23.01.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Robert Zemeckis, Richard Williams
Starring
Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer, Stubby Kaye, Alan Tilvern, Richard LeParmentier, Lou Hirsch, Betsy Brantley, Joel Silver, Paul Springer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Fantasy | Crime
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Kilian - style D
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Dayna Stedry
Artist
2263 Graphics
Size (inches)
27" x 40 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
It's the story of a man, a woman, and a rabbit in a triangle of trouble. | Time to Toon in again!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the memorable mix of live-action and animation, is a true 80s classic and a milestone film in several ways. Although not the first time that the two mediums had been mixed, no film had attempted it on this scale before and it was the first time that iconic Warner Bros and Disney characters (Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse etc) had featured in the same film together. Based on Gary K. Wolf‘s 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, the rights were bought by the then president of the Walt Disney Company but it would be almost 7 years before filming began, during which time the project went through several creative teams. Eventually Amblin Entertainment were approached to be involved and this meant the project had the creative clout of Steven Spielberg behind it, and his presence was instrumental in getting several studios to agree to have their characters appear.

The story is set in a version of 1940s Hollywood in which human and cartoon actors exist together in the same reality, with the ‘toons’ mostly living in a section known as Toontown. The late Bob Hoskins appears as the washed-up private detective Eddie Valiant who has worked in Hollywood for years and, for reasons revealed during the film, has a loathing for toons. One day he is approached by the chaotic, slapstick-loving Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer) and asked to help prove his innocence after Marvin Acme, the owner of Acme Corporation and Toontown, is murdered and all fingers point to Roger. Rumours that Roger’s wife, the voluptuous Jessica Rabbit (an uncredited performance from Kathleen Turner), had been playing ‘pattycake’ with Acme don’t help and Eddie sets out to prove Roger’s innocence before the psychotic Judge Doom (a memorable performance from Christopher Lloyd) catches him and executes him via deadly ‘dip’.

This one sheet was created by a company called Kilian (owned by Jeff Kilian) and printed around the time of the film’s release for sale to collectors and fans of the film. The company was mostly active during the 1980s and early 90s and worked with film studios and production companies to produce officially licensed alternative posters and limited-edition prints (LAMP features more information about them). They produced several for Roger Rabbit, including two printed on gold mylar (glossy plastic), of which this is the style D version. The other styles can be seen in emovieposter.com’s auction history.

Emovieposter also note that this particular print of style D was actually done in error and there are two versions of it out there:

Also note that this is the ultra-rare “red dress” variant of the Style D poster! These posters were sent as a sample to Disney (who insisted that the dress be changed to pink) and less than 100 were printed!

 

The Killer / Thailand

21.01.15

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Killer
AKA
Dip huet seung hung (Hong Kong - original title) | Bloodshed of Two Heroes (International - literal title) | Blast Killer (West Germany)
Year of Film
1989
Director
John Woo
Starring
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Crime | Thriller
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of legendary Hong Kong director John Woo‘s landmark action-fest The Killer, which was the film that launched both him and lead actor Chow Yun-Fat onto the international stage. Although Woo had garnered acclaim for A Better Tomorrow (1986) and its sequel, both featuring Yun-Fat, it was The Killer’s perfect blend of hyper-kinetic violence, well-written characters and action spectacle that set it apart from Woo’s earlier films. The film would be followed by the spectacular Hard Boiled (1992), after which Woo’s career in Hollywood was launched, to somewhat mixed success. The Killer’s impact on other Western filmmakers cannot be denied, with the likes of Luc Besson clearly borrowing plot points and action beats for both Nikita and Léon: The Professional (1994), whilst both Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado) and Quentin Tarantino were clearly huge fans.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as a hired assassin who accidentally blinds a nightclub singer called Jennie (Sally Yeh) during the course of a hit, and after the pair strike up a relationship he decides to take one last job to pay for an operation to restore her sight. After being double-crossed by his Triad clients Ah Jong manages to escape from a group of hired guns, but not before coming to the attention of police detective Li Ying (Danny Lee). At first the hot-shot cop aims to take Ah Jong into custody but when he realises that he’s no ordinary hitman and sees the predicament he’s in, Detective Li decides to team up with the killer to take down the mobsters. This was the first film in which Woo used his trademark white doves taking flight in the middle of action scenes.

This Thai poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) whowas an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The artwork for this Thai poster was actually re-used (and slightly cropped) for the US one sheet when the film was released there. The sniper rifle-toting gunman also features on the UK quad.

Virgin Witch / quad / UK

19.01.15

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Virgin Witch
AKA
--
Year of Film
1972
Director
Ray Austin
Starring
Ann Michelle, Vicki Michelle, Keith Buckley, Patricia Haines, James Chase, Paula Wright, Christopher Strain, Esme Smythe, Garth Watkins, Neil Hallett
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Fred Atkins
Artist
Arnaldo Putzu
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Her lust was innocence - her desires... evil.

A classic case of the poster being better than the film it’s advertising, this is the UK quad for the 1972 British sexploitation horror Virgin Witch, which was produced and released by Tigon, primarily known for their horror output. Directed by Ray Austin who spent most of his career directing TV shows, the film stars Ann Michelle and her sister Vicki (later to gain fame as Yvette Carte-Blanche in the TV series Allo ‘Allo!) as Betty and Christine, a pair of wannabe models.

Answering an advert in a shop window, the more confident Betty meets Sybil Waite, a lecherous modelling scout played by the late Patricia Haines (the first wife of Michael Caine), who invites her to a country manor on the pretense of being photographed for an advertising campaign. Sybil encourages Betty to invite Christine along and after arriving there the sisters soon discover that all is not as it seems on the outside. Before long, Betty is being inducted to a witches coven in a laughable sequence in which the coven’s leader Gerald (Neil Hallett) gets to have his way with her.

Later it appears that Christine is to be sacrificed in another ceremony but the script is so weak that it’s not clear why and the attempt at a shock ending falls totally flat. The story comes a distant second to the almost constant female nudity, clearly a requisite from producers keen to sell the film to as many international buyers looking to satisfy the punters of ‘adult’ cinemas. Virgin Witch is totally devoid of anything in the way of supernatural scares, or indeed horror of any kind, and any attempt is fumbled badly. Both leading ladies have apparently disowned the film since it was made and it’s not hard to see why!

This poster is the result of a collaboration between two key figures in the history of British poster design: Fred Atkins and Arnaldo Putzu. Atkins was born in Kent in 1928 and attended art school before joining an agency on Sloane Street in London as a junior. He moved around a few agencies before joining Pulford Publicity in 1951 where he designed multiple quad posters, staying with Eric Pulford through several mergers and acquisitions, eventually leaving what became Downtons in 1968 to help set up the FEREF agency (he’s one of the Fs in the name) from where he would eventually retire. Virgin Witch is one of the posters he designed whilst at FEREF.

Arnaldo Putzu was born in Rome in 1927 and began painting from a very early age and in 1948 he got involved with the world of film publicity under the guidance of the famous artist Enrico De Seta. Eventually Putzu would gain enough confidence in his abilities to set up his own agency and it was this move that saw him getting involved in work for the British studio Rank. Eric Pulford was so impressed with his work that he brought him over to London to work at Downtons in 1967.

The artist worked on many quads whilst over here and also gained notoriety for lending his talents to the popular children’s magazine Look-in, for which he painted almost every cover during its publication lifetime. His best-known quad is undoubtedly the one he painted for the Michael Caine gangster classic Get Carter in 1971. My friend, and author of the must-own British Film Posters, Sim Branaghan met Putzu during the making of his book and describes it as a very memorable experience in the interview I published in 2012. Putzu sadly passed away the same year, aged 85, and Sim wrote an excellent obituary for The Guardian newspaper, which can be read here.

Return of the Jedi / B1 / Rebels style / Poland

16.01.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Return of the Jedi
AKA
Revenge of the Jedi (pre-release title) | Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi | Adventure
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Rebels
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Witold Dybowski
Artist
Witold Dybowski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 38 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two posters printed for the original Polish release of Return of the Jedi in 1984. Although ROTJ, the third in the original trilogy of Star Wars films, was often maligned by fans who complained it was a weak end to the series and derided for featuring the child-friendly Ewoks, all was forgiven with the release of the 1999’s The Phantom Menace and its ‘galactic trade disputes’ and the risible Jar-Jar Binks. Now, although certainly not as highly acclaimed as the original 1977 film or the classic The Empire Strikes Back, ROTJ is still beloved by fans of the series. In 2015, director JJ Abrams will release Episode VII into cinemas, mooted as a direct sequel to this film and much anticipated by fans worldwide. JJ is seen as a much safer pair of hands than George Lucas after his shepherding of a well-received reboot of the Star Trek franchise.

Even if the Ewoks are loved and hated in equal measure, ROTJ still features many memorable, fan favourite characters, locations and scenes, including the attempted rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hut’s palace leading to a memorable showdown above a Sarlacc pit monster (which features the ignominious exit of fan favourite Boba Fett). Later the film sees the passing of Yoda along with more revelations about the Skywalker family, and an excellent scene that sees Luke Skywalker confront the evil Emperor Palpatine with Vader standing by. Meanwhile, the Ewoks (essentially child-sized teddy bears) join forces to defeat the ground forces of the Empire on the surface of the planet Endor.

This poster, depicting four members of the rebel alliance, including Luke Skywalker (centre top) and friendly robot C-3PO, and was designed and illustrated by Witold Dybowski who, according to the short biography on his official website, was born in Sopot, Poland and went on to study at the College of Design in Gdansk. After graduating he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, art director and creative director in Poland, Germany and Austria. During the 1980s he worked on a number of Polish film posters advertising both native and Hollywood productions, which include this and one other poster for Return of the Jedi (to be added to Film on Paper later this year), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the ‘bubbles’ style poster for Aliens. Since 2010 he has been working as a freelance photographer and his official site features galleries of his work.

I also have the Darth Vader style Polish B1 designed by Dybowski.