Outland / one sheet / UK

27.06.14

Poster Poster Poster
Title
Outland
AKA
Atmosfera zero (Italy) | Outland - Comando Titânio (Brazil) | Rumstation Jupiter (Denmark) | Operation Outland (Sweden)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Peter Hyams
Starring
Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Kika Markham, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi | Action | Crime
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
On Jupiter's moon, something deadly is happening

One of my favourite non-James Bond roles for Sean Connery, the 1981 sci-fi thriller Outland still stands up 30 years after its release. It’s essentially a wild-west story set in space with Connery playing a space marshal based onboard a remote mining colony orbiting Jupiter’s moon Io. When he uncovers a smuggling operation of a dangerous drug on the station, he attempts to uncover who is responsible, only to find that the conspiracy reaches to the top of the mining operation. He soon finds his life under threat from a group of assassins called to the station and must use his ingenuity and knowledge of the station to stay alive.

The film was an acknowledged influence on Duncan Jones‘ superb 2009 film Moon, which I can heartily recommend. It also has one of the best posters of the past few years. I was lucky enough to see a double-bill of the two films together presented by Jones (at the Prince Charles Cinema in London) where he talked about his love for Outland and the influence it had on his directorial debut. Without spoiling things, the design of a particular space craft in Moon is a great homage to one in Outland.

This one sheet differs greatly from the UK quad but retains the tagline. It also features the same font used on the Mad Max UK one sheet.

Here’s the trailer for the film.

C.H.U.D. / quad / UK

25.06.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
C.H.U.D.
AKA
C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic. Humanoid. Underground. Dwellers.) - full title
Year of Film
1984
Director
Douglas Cheek
Starring
John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Kim Greist, Laure Mattos, Brenda Currin, Justin Hall, Michael O'Hare, Cordis Heard, Vic Polizos, Eddie Jones, Sam McMurray, John Goodman, Jay Thomas, Hallie Foot, Jon Polito
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Horror | Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They said there were underground colonies living under the streets of New York... THEY WERE RIGHT! They said they were human... THEY WERE WRONG! C.H.U.D. is under the city AND THEY'RE NOT STAYING DOWN THERE ANY MORE...!

A true cult horror – you only have to look at the list of references in pop culture on its Wikipedia page to get an idea of how much impact the film has had – this UK quad poster for C.H.U.D. features a memorable, lengthy tagline and a teaser of the creatures of the title. The story is nicely schlocky; toxic mutants living in the sewers of New York City are attacking its inhabitants and it’s up to ragtag group of people (cop, fashion reporter, soup-kitchen owner!) to save the day, but the film works with its low budget to create some memorable gore-filled scenes and features fun acting from the likes of John Heard and Daniel Stern. It also has an excellent none-more-80s synth soundtrack.

Chud has since been appropriated to describe ugly, stupid people thanks mainly to its use in Kevin Smith’s Clerks II. It’s also used as the domain name of an excellent cult film website (Cinematic Happenings Under Development).

This UK quad is very similar to the US one sheet but features a different tagline and more muted colours around the creature (his eyes glow more on the one sheet, for example). Here’s the original trailer.

Conan the Barbarian / A1 / teaser / Germany

23.06.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Conan The Barbarian
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Milius
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Fantasy | Adventure
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the teaser style German A1 poster for the release of John Milius‘ swords and sorcery classic Conan the Barbarian. It was an important film in the career of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger since it effectively launched his Hollywood career. The producers had seen Arnie in his documentary Pumping Iron and both felt he had the right quality for the role of the eponymous warrior. Based on the pulp novels of the 1930s by Robert E. Howard, the film sees the young barbarian Conan seek revenge for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the leader of a snake cult. 

This film was also an important assignment for the Italian artist Renato Casaro who painted the artwork that was used around the world, including on the US one sheet and also adapted that artwork for this German poster at the request of a local distributor. The pose of Arnie on this poster has more in common with the US teaser poster that was painted by Frank Frazetta, although the face of the barbarian on the latter is definitely more like the original artwork for the covers of the various novels. I interviewed the artist in 2013 and the poster was mentioned several times during our meeting:

—————-

One of your big breaks was working for the Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis?
Yes, that was with a poster I did for the film he was producing called The Bible (1966). He liked what I did for him and that was the start of a good working relationship, and friendship, with him. I remember that The Bible artwork was also used in America for a huge billboard that was displayed on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles for several months. After that I worked on many films with De Laurentiis, including Waterloo, Flash Gordon, Dune and Conan the Barbarian, which was possibly the most important for me in many ways as it was used across the world and really helped to get my name out there as an artist.

You visited many different countries at this time?
Yes, one week I might be in the UK, the next in France or Germany or Spain, and then I might be over to the States for one week before returning home. I would visit the set of the film or perhaps the production office to meet the various people involved with it.

One of the most memorable trips I had was over here to Almeria, Spain to visit the set of Conan the Barbarian, which was a Dino De Laurentiis production. I remember the set was stupendous. It was like a piece of old America had been reconstructed in Spain. The village set was here and it was brilliantly done with lots of detail. I recall that the light and ambience over here really fascinated me and I promised myself then that I would return. Years later, I hadn’t forgotten about it and decided that it was time to return here and that’s when I built this house and decided to live most of the year in Spain.

——————

Did you meet Arnold Schwarzenegger when you worked on posters for his films?
Ah, yes, sure. We first met on the set of Conan in Almeria and it was strange because back then no one on the set knew who he was, just that he had this powerful body and a handsome face. Nobody working on the film had any idea how famous he would eventually become! He was a nice guy and I enjoyed working on the poster for the film. I took lots of photographs on the set whilst they were filming and John Milius, the director, was very helpful. I spent some time with him to understand the vision of the film.

——————

Is there one poster that you’re most proud of?
Not really, I’m pleased with how different many of my posters are, both in terms of the style with which I painted them and for the layouts and concepts I used. There are posters like the one I did for Conan that really bring back good memories when I look at them or that were a really important milestone in my career, but there are many other posters I’m also proud to have worked on.

——————

Also worth reading is the brief interview with Renato on the Conan Completist website, which specifically mentions the German poster:

——————

Usually, when a film goes to other countries, the poster changes. Were you involved too in some of the foreign posters?
Yes. The German version, for example, was specifically done on request of the German distributor as to produce a huge display to be put in the cinema entrances. The painting, therefore, was done by me. Sometimes other elements were added into the key art, like in the Thai version, but I’m not concerned with that.

—————–

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Renato click here.

Planet Of The Apes / screen print / Martin Ansin / regular / AP / USA

20.06.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Planet Of The Apes
AKA
Apornas planet (Sweden)
Year of Film
1968
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi | Adventure
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular - Artists Proof
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Another superb design by Martin Ansin on this screen print for the original 1968 sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, which was released in January 2012 as part of a series of Apes inspired prints by Mondo, the celebrated Austin-based limited-edition art boutique. A true cult classic, the first Planet of the Apes was adapted from the book La Planète des singes by the French author Pierre Boulle and went through several iterations at the scripting stage, with the first draft handled by American TV legend Rod Serling, plus a few potential directors before Franklin J. Schaffner was handed the job and production began. The film was shot mostly on location and used some stunning locales, including Lake Powell in Utah/Arizona and along the Colorado river.

Charlton Heston stars as George Taylor, one of a group of astronauts who awake from deep space hibernation to discover that their craft has crash landed on an alien planet 2000 years into the future. The group set-off across the barren landscape in search of life. Eventually they come to an area with lush vegetation and fresh-water lake, which they dive into with relief. Soon afterwards they come across a group of primitive, mute humans but suddenly the whole group is attacked and rounded up by talking, armed, unif0rm-wearing gorillas. One of the astronauts is killed by gunfire, Taylor is shot in the throat and he and his friend are captured and taken back to Ape City. There he meets chimpanzee archaeologist Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and his fiancee, animal psychologist Zira (Kim Hunter), who soon discover Taylor is not like the other primitives. Eventually he regains his ability to talk and must answer to the President of the apes Assembly Dr. Zaius (James Whitmore) who is determined to discover Taylor’s origins at any cost.

Fearing his life is in danger, Cornelius and Zira help Taylor escape the city and lead him to a cave by the sea in which the history of the planet’s inhabitants is shown to be at odds with the Assembly’s teachings. After an ambush by the Dr Zaius and his gorilla troops, Taylor is eventually allowed to leave and before long he has made a horrifying discovery about the planet, in what is arguably the most famous twist ending in the history of cinema. The film was a success worldwide and spawned a number of sequels of varying quality, plus a short-lived TV series, and a whole raft of merchandising, including what is often cited as the first action-figures tied to a film property, certainly pre-dating the phenomenally successful Star Wars figures.

One of my favourite artists working today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

The Evil That Men Do / 30×40 / USA

18.06.14

Poster Poster Poster
Title
The Evil That Men Do
AKA
Liquidator (West Germany) | L'enfer de la violence [The Hell of violence] (France)
Year of Film
1984
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher, José Ferrer, René Enríquez, John Glover, Raymond St. Jacques, Antoinette Bower, Enrique Lucero
Origin of Film
Mexico | USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Drama | Thriller
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840072
Tagline
Most criminals answer to the law. The world's most savage executioner must answer to Bronson.

An excellent portrait of action legend Charles Bronson features on this 30×40 poster for the 1984 thriller The Evil That Men Do. One of several collaborations between the star and director J. Lee Thompson, the film sees Bronson star as a retired hitman known as Holland who is living a relaxed life on a West Indies Island when he is approached by former associates who persuade him to take on one last job. The target is the sadistic torturer, Dr. Clement Molloch, a Welshman who is often hired by political regimes to help them keep dissidents in check and has consequently left a trail of enemies in his wake.

Holland discovers that Molloch has killed his old friend Jorge Hidalgo at the behest of the Surinamese regime and he agrees to set off to Guatemala, the last known location of his target, with Hidalgo’s wife and daughter agreeing to pose as his family to protect his cover. Holland uses his old skills to take out various criminal associates as he works his way up the chain to exact revenge against Molloch. The film was released to weak reviews and it’s definitely not Bronson’s finest hour, or the best collaboration with J Lee Thompson.

Frustratingly I’ve been unable to find out who was responsible for the artwork on this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch. The same art also featured on the Japanese B2 poster which can be seen here.

The film’s trailer can be viewed here.

The Man With The Golden Gun / B2 / Japan

16.06.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
The Man With The Golden Gun
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Guy Hamilton
Starring
Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Hervé Villechaize, Clifton James, Richard Loo, Soon-Tek Oh, Marc Lawrence, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Marne Maitland, Desmond Llewelyn
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Crime | Thriller | James Bond
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert McGinnis
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of The Man With the Golden Gun, the ninth James Bond film and the second to star Roger Moore as the legendary secret agent. It’s definitely one of the weaker films in the long-running series and certainly not Moore’s finest hour, but it has several elements that make it worth watching, including a host of interesting far-eastern locales, strong production design and a very memorable bad guy in the shape of Christopher Lee‘s Scaramanga. Guy Hamilton returned as director for the fourth and last time in the series and the script, written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz, takes place amidst the climate of energy worries that followed the 1973 oil crisis. It also reflected the then craze for martial arts movies that followed the release of films like Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon with several kung-fu sequences and exotic locations.

The story starts as MI6 receive a golden bullet with 007 etched into it, leading them to believe that Bond’s life is at threat from the notorious international assassin Scaramanga so they decide to remove him from active duty. The agent was on the trail of a scientist who it is thought could help with the energy crisis and he is frustrated to have been stopped in his pursuit so he sets off to find Scaramanga without official approval. Bond follows a trail of assassinations which lead him from Macau to Bangkok and eventually to Scaramanga’s private island hideout where he discovers that the master assassin has an interest in solar power. Soon Bond is challenged to a duel to the death and he must use his wits to survive the traps set around Scaramanga’s hideout. Dwarf actor Hervé Villechaize has a memorable role as the assassin’s servant Nick Nack, and Clifton James returns as the (perhaps ill-advised) comic relief figure of Sheriff J.W. Pepper, as featured in Live and Let Die.

The artwork on this poster also features on the US one sheet and was painted by Robert McGinnis who is responsible for some of the best James Bond posters, including Thunderball, Live and Let Die and Diamonds are Forever as well as multiple other classic posters from the 60s, 70s and 80s. He was born in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1926 and was given an apprenticeship at Walt Disney studios before studying fine art at Ohio State University. After serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II, he started work in the advertising industry and later moved into painting book jackets for several notable authors, as well as editorial artwork for the likes of Good Housekeeping, TIME and The Saturday Evening Post. McGinnis’ first film poster was the now iconic one sheet for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, painted in 1962, and he went on to paint over 40 others during his career, including one for The Incredibles in 2004.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were painted by McGinnis click here and to see the other James Bond posters in the Film on Paper collection click here.