American Psycho / one sheet / USA

02.03.15

PosterPosterPoster
Title
American Psycho
AKA
--
Year of Film
2000
Director
Mary Harron
Starring
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Chloë Sevigny, Jared Leto, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Cara Seymour, Samantha Mathis
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Indika Entertainment Advertising
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Killer looks.

An iconic image of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman features on this US one sheet for the release of the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis‘s novel American Psycho. Although Bale had been appearing in films since the 1980s, with his lead role as the young boy in Spielberg’s 1987 film Empire of the Sun a notable highlight, it was American Psycho that was a real breakout role and ultimately led to his casting as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (and subsequent global megastar status).

The story focuses on Bateman, a wealthy young banking executive who works at his father’s financial firm on Wall Street and spends his time materially competing with co-workers and dining at expensive restaurants in order to keep up appearances with friends and his fiancee Evelyn. Bateman is also a psychopath who spends his evenings indulging in acts of violence and ill-advised liaisons with prostitutes. A series of events see him murdering a colleague and entering into a series of violent encounters that nearly lead to his apprehension, but is all as it seems?

Bale is notorious for his use of method acting and the portrayal of Bateman was given his full attention. According to this article ‘spent months tanning himself and working out in order to achieve the look of Bateman’s perfectly sculpted body’. The actor recalls: “I started going swimming on Sundays, and here was me, with this white English body, emerging with a stripy arse; not such a good look.”

This one sheet was created by the American design agency Indika Entertainment Advertising, which was founded in 1994 by James Verdesoto and Vivek Mathur and is based in New York City. They work on print and web campaigns for films, TV shows and home entertainment and have won multiple awards for their work over the years. One of their most iconic posters is the teaser one sheet for Pulp Fiction. They also designed the teaser one sheet for American Psycho.

Exit Through the Gift Shop / quad / unused style / UK

27.02.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Exit Through the Gift Shop
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Banksy
Starring
Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Thierry Guetta, Rhys Ifans, Space Invader
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Documentary
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Unused - shopping cart
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2010
Designer
Banksy
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

This is a rare, unused British quad poster for the 2010 documentary (or possibly mockumentary) Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by the famous street artist Banksy. The film tells the story of Thierry Guetta an eccentric Frenchman living in Los Angeles who obsessively carries a video camera around recording practically his every move. Whilst on holiday he discovers his cousin is street artist Invader and thus begins an obsession that sees him tracking down and interviewing various other artists, including Shepard Fairey.

Eventually Guetta forms an obsession with tracking down and meeting the elusive and mysterious British artist Banksy, which is eventually possible thanks to a situation where Banksy is stuck in LA without his usual guide and Guetta happily steps in. Banksy later invites him back to the UK and allows him to film him in action as he recognises the importance of documenting street art with its short lifespan. A series of events see Banksy eventually taking over the editing of the documentary whilst Guetta devises an alter-ego artist called Mr Brainwash and sets up a near disastrous gallery show that is saved by friends of Banksy before going on to earn Guetta in excess of a million dollars. When asked subsequently if the events of the film are real, Banksy continues to say ‘yes’.

I purchased this quad from a gallery in London called Pictures on Walls that has an affiliation with Banksy and was given a stash of the quads to sell (for £15 each) at the end of 2011. I was told at the time that the artist was unhappy with the design and decided to go with the alternate monkey mask image. A number of this shopping cart style had been printed but were never sent to cinemas, but I’m not sure how many actually exist. The shopping cart appears on the US final one sheet but the actual image is slightly different. The BanksyForum features a picture of the quad in the racks at POW from 2011.

 

Never Say Never Again / A1 / Germany

25.02.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Never Say Never Again
AKA
Sag Niemals Nie (Germany)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey, Alec McCowen, Edward Fox, Pamela Salem, Rowan Atkinson
Origin of Film
UK | USA | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Thriller | James Bond
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Full artwork
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

An excellent portrait of Sean Connery surrounded by an action montage features on this German poster for Never Say Never Again, a non-canon James Bond film. The existence and status of the film is due to a long-running legal issue involving Bond creator Ian Fleming and a film producer called Kevin McClory. The pair had worked together on an abandoned Bond project called Longitude 78 that Fleming later turned into the novel Thunderball without crediting the producer or another writer who worked on the project. The case went to the high court and McClory was then given the right to produce the resultant Thunderball film in 1965 as well as the ability to remake the novel turned film after 10 years had elapsed. It took a bit longer than that but eventually McClory brought the same story to the screen in 1983, which happened to be the year that Octopussy, an official entry into the series starring Roger Moore, was released.

Connery wasn’t always in the frame to return as Bond, but after he developed an initial draft of the script with novelist Len Deighton in the 1970s, his name became attached to the project and he was eventually persuaded to star thanks to a significant fee as well as a share of the profits and the ability to veto script and casting decisions. Irvin Kershner came onboard to direct and the rest of the cast was filled with the likes of Max von Sydow as the arch-villain Blofeld and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximilian Largo (key villain in Thunderball). A young Kim Basinger appears as Domino, the partner of Largo and later a love interest for Bond.

The film’s plot about the hunt for stolen nuclear warheads features a great deal of similarities with Thunderball, given that it is effectively a remake, but there are significant stylistic differences and also several references made to the fact that Connery is playing an older Bond (he was 52 at the time). The ending is hugely different from Thunderball and ditches the now embarrassing sequence on the out-of-control ship and replaces it with a bit of an anticlimactic showdown underwater. The rest of the film is entertaining enough with excellent use of locations and some thrilling action and stunt sequences, although it’s certainly no match for the best of the canonical series. It was favourably received critically at the time of release and supposedly went on to outperform Octopussy at the box office in 1983, which no doubt annoyed the folks at Eon Productions

The poster was designed and painted by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. In it he mentions working on this poster and he showed me the original art for the version of the poster where it’s just Connery alone (the advance poster).

The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Piranha / B2 / style A / Japan

22.02.15

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Piranha
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski, Richard Deacon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bob Larkin
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Director Joe Dante‘s Piranha was one of several killer nature films that followed in the wake of the runaway success of Spielberg’s Jaws. Executive produced by legendary schlockmeister Roger Corman and co-written by John Sayles (his first credit and before he began his directing career) the film was also one of the first jobs for special effects maestros Rob Bottin and Phil Tippett. The film begins as a young couple hiking enter an apparently abandoned military complex and jump into what looks like a swimming pool, but something deadly lurks below the water and the pair soon disappear screaming under the surface. Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies), an insurance investigator, is dispatched to try and track down the teenagers and hires local drunkard Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) to help her.

The pair stumble across the complex and end up draining the pool to see if there’s anything at the bottom. When they do a bedraggled man appears from somewhere in the complex and attacks them to try and stop the pool being emptied. Grogan subdues him and the man proceeds to tell them that the water contained genetically-modified oversized killer piranha fish that were intended to be used against the enemy in the Vietnam war. The drainage pipe leads to a river and Lost River Lake, which is home to a children’s summer camp and a holiday resort. The trio set off to try and warn the camp and resort inhabitants but the fish have already made good progress and evidence of their deadly nature is discovered on the journey to Lost River Lake.

Produced on a reported budget of $600k, the film is certainly no classic but is entertaining enough, featured plenty of shocks to keep audiences happy and rake in a significant profit for Corman’s New World Pictures. Universal Studios, the Jaws production company, were all set to sue New World until Spielberg saw the film and gave it his blessing.

This Japanese B2 features artwork by the American artist Bob Larkin (born 1949) who is primarily known for his work on Marvel comics covers, including Savage Sword of Conan and Planet of the Apes. He also worked on covers for other comics distributors, magazines and packaging for toys. Larkin painted a handful of other film posters, including Monster (AKA Humanoids from the Deep) and Piranha II: The Spawning. The Bob Larkin: Illustrated Man site features a load of examples of his work, including many original paintings.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest / one sheet / USA

20.02.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
AKA
Gökboet (Sweden)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Miloš Forman
Starring
Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Scatman Crothers, Christopher Lloyd
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/280
Tagline
--

Arguably Jack Nicholson‘s finest performance (not an easy choice when there are films like Chinatown), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of only three films that have won all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay), with the others being It Happened One Night (1934) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, the film focuses on goings on inside Oregon State Mental Hospital, which is where the book is set and, fortuitously, production was able to take place.

Nicholson plays Randall McMurphy a lifelong petty criminal who is sent to the mental hospital for evaluation after he fakes insanity in order to try and avoid a prison sentence in a traditional jail. After adjusting to life among genuinely disturbed characters including Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif) and Martini (Danny DeVito) and Taber (Christopher Lloyd) he starts to lead a small rebellion agains the authorities in the hospital and gains a cult status amongst the patients. But McMurphy hasn’t reckoned on the determination of the cruel Nurse Ratched (an unforgettable Louise Fletcher) who realises how much of a threat he is to life at the hospital and the tension between them escalates until a shocking ending that hasn’t lost it’s power 40 years on.

The film was a huge box-office and critical success with the Academy Awards being only some of the many accolades the film would garner. The film has been oft parodied in the years since with several elements of the story entering the cultural lexicon, such as uncompromising authoritarian figures often being referred to as being Ratched-like.

I’m unsure who’s responsible for the design of this poster so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Day of the Dead / Thailand

18.02.15

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Day Of The Dead
AKA
Zombie 2 - Das letzte Kapitel (West Germany) | Il giorno degli zombi (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
George A. Romero
Starring
Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr., Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jinda
Size (inches)
21 4/16" x 30 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is Thai poster for the release of the third film in George A. Romero‘s ‘Dead’ series, Day of the Dead. In a similar situation to Dawn of the Dead (released 7 years earlier) this film had no returning characters from the previous entry due to rights issues, so it’s set in the same universe after the zombie outbreak but shares no continuity with the earlier films. Romero’s original vision for the ‘Day…’ was scaled back to due to budget constraints, but the director has since said he’s very happy with the final product. It’s a notably darker, bleaker effort than the fan favourite ‘Dawn’ but features a unique setting, memorable characters and some of the best special effects of the entire series, courtesy of the legendary Tom Savini.

The story follows a group of survivors who have holed-up in a military bunker in Florida and make regular trips around the area looking for survivors. Underground a small group of scientists and technical specialists, including Dr Sarah Bowman (Lori Cardille) and Dr Logan (Richard Liberty), known as ‘Frankenstein’, are working to discover the cause of the outbreak and discover if anything can be done to make the zombies more docile. An uneasy truce is maintained by the scientists and other specialists like helicopter pilot John (Terry Alexander), with a group of soldiers ostensibly there to protect them and deliver them test subjects from a fenced off area of the base. The soldiers are led by the psychotic Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) who discovers that Dr Frankenstein has been secretly carrying out experiments using dead soldiers, including training a zombie known as Bub (Sherman Howard) to follow commands. At this point the truce is shattered and a series of events see the base overrun with the undead, forcing Sarah and the others to try to escape the carnage before its too late.

This Thai poster features a montage of images from the film, including the infamous dream sequence where zombie hands burst through the wall trying to grab Dr Bowman. The artist responsible is known as Jinda and, other than some other Thai film posters he’s painted, I could find little information about him. If anyone knows more biographical details about Jinda, please get in touch.