Roller Boogie / B2 / style B / Japan

09.05.16

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Roller Boogie
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Mark L. Lester
Starring
Linda Blair, Jim Bray, Beverly Garland, Roger Perry, James Van Patten, Kimberly Beck, Sean McClory, Mark Goddard, Albert Insinnia, Stoney Jackson, M.G. Kelly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Music | Romance
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kazuo Yuasa
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the style B Japanese B2 poster for the release of the 1979 musical oddity Roller Boogie, with a unique, and rather wild, montage that was designed by Kazuo Yuasa. One of those films that’s something of a time capsule, the film was put into production by Irwin Yablans the independent producer who had struck gold a year earlier with John Carpenter’s Halloween. Yablans is credited with the film’s story and the intention was to capitalise on the then craze for rollerskating that was sweeping the States.

 Mark L. Lester (known for Commando and Class of 1984) was hired to direct and Linda Blair (The Exorcist) was given the starring role opposite an award-winning amateur skating champion called Jim Bray who was originally attached as a stuntman but was later given acting lessons when the production struggled to find a leading actor.

Blair plays Terry Barkley a Beverly Hills rich girl who is largely ignored by her parents who are determined to see her attend a prestigious school in New York and carry on as a flautist. One day whilst visiting Venice Beach she meets a hotshot skater named Bobby James (Bray) who dreams of making it to the Olympics. The pair strike up a friendship and eventually Terry asks Bobby if she can teach him how to skate and create a routine for them both so they can compete in a Roller Boogie contest at a skating rink called Jammer’s. Unfortunately a nefarious property developer plans to buy Jammer’s and raze it to the ground, so the pair team up with other skaters to put a stop to the plans whilst practicing their routines ready for the big night.

The film was largely panned on its release but found success with teen audiences and has since gone on to have something of a cult following. Plans for a mooted sequel were scrapped when disco music and roller skating lost their popularity.

I’ve struggled to find out anything about Kazuo Yuasa and this is the only other Japanese poster that I can find credited to him. If anyone has any more information about him please get in touch.

I, the Jury / one sheet / USA

05.05.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
I, the Jury
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
Richard T. Heffron
Starring
Armand Assante, Barbara Carrera, Laurene Landon, Alan King, Geoffrey Lewis, Paul Sorvino, Judson Scott, Barry Snider
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He's charming, he's sexy, he's tough, and he's too hot to cool down. He's "The Hammer."

Artwork by the great Drew Struzan features on this one sheet for the release of the 1982 crime drama I, the Jury. Based on a novel of the same name by the late American author Mickey Spillane the story was previously brought to the screen in 1953 (and in 3D to boot). This version features several story elements that aren’t in the original novel.

The screenplay was written by B-movie legend Larry Cohen who was original set to direct but left the production after one week of filming when it became clear that the budget was already out of control. Cohen is the writer and director of films like Q: The Winged Serpent and The Stuff but has concentrated on screenwriting during the 1980s and 2000s. Cohen was replaced by Richard T. Heffron, perhaps best known for helming Futureworld, the sequel to Westworld.

Armand Assante plays detective Mike Hammer who discovers an old detective buddy of his, Jack Williams, has been shot and killed and he sets out to catch who was responsible. The trail leads him to a secretive sex therapy clinic that’s headed up by Dr Bennett (Barbara Carrera). Hammer discovers that Jack was on an undercover mission in the clinic and that’s what cost him his life. Before long the detective realises that he’s uncovered a conspiracy involving a rogue element of the CIA and the New York mafia who will both stop at nothing to keep their secret under wraps. 

Drew Struzan is an artist who barely needs an introduction given that he painted many of the most iconic film posters of all time, including several for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and a slew of other beloved classics like The Thing and The Goonies. The artist’s own site features 4 pages of his work for films and Drew also worked in other areas, including product marketing, book and magazine covers, editorial and multiple paintings as a fine artist. Drew declared that he’d retired in 2008 but has worked on a handful of special paintings since then, including one to announce the most recent Star Wars film in 2015.

To see a gallery of the other posters by Drew that I’ve collected click here.

Halloween / Thailand

03.05.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown (central image based on Bob Gleason art from US one sheet)
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Thai poster for the release of John Carpenter‘s seminal horror film Halloween. An independent release, financed by one man (Moustapha Akkad), the film was produced on a low budget of $300k and would go on to gross over $70m worldwide. Halloween kickstarted a franchise that would run for seven sequels (and a recent remake) and the masked character of Michael Myers would enter the horror pantheon as one of its most memorable monsters.

Carpenter wrote the screenplay with his then girlfriend, producer Debra Hill and is often credited as being the the first in a long line of slasher films, although films like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho were obvious inspirations. The film has little in the way of gore or violence and instead uses clever camera work and sound design to brilliant effect, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. There have been countless imitations over the years but few that match up to the taught, perfectly-paced original Halloween.

This Thai poster features the classic illustration of a knife blade morphing into a carved pumpkin that was created by the American artist Bob Gleason and used on the US one sheet and several other posters around the globe. The lurid montage at the bottom of the poster was created by a local Thai artist whose signature I’ve been unable to identify. If anyone has any ideas who was responsible, please get in touch.

In March 2016 Gleason’s original artwork was put up for auction (selling for just under $84k) and was accompanied by a letter from the artist talking about its creation, which is well worth a read.

Black Joy / quad / UK

28.04.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Black Joy
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Anthony Simmons
Starring
Norman Beaton, Trevor Thomas, Floella Benjamin, Dawn Hope, Oscar James, Paul J. Medford, Shango Baku
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Arnaldo Putzu
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Life is for living...

Excellent artwork by the Italian artist Arnaldo Putzu features on this quad poster for the release of the 1977 British film Black Joy. Based on a stage play called ‘Dark Days and Light Nights’ by Jamal Ali (who also wrote the screenplay) it was directed by the late Anthony Simmons. The film, something of a time capsule of a period in London’s history, is a culture-clash comedy about a Guyanese country boy called Ben Jones (Trevor Thomaswho arrives in the borough of Brixton. Ben had assumed life will be easier in the UK but after meeting several streetwise characters, including a wannabe hustler called Dave King (Norman Beaton), he soon learns that not everyone is out for his best interests.

The film notably stars Floella Benjamin a Trinidadian actress who is famous for her work as a presenter on children’s TV programmes in the 1970s and 80s, including Play School, and more recently for her extensive charity work and as the chancellor of the University of Exeter. In 2010 she was made a Baroness as a Liberal Democrat Life Peer and is a member of the House of Lords.

 

Arnaldo Putzu was born in Rome in 1927 and began painting from a very early age. In 1948 he began his relationship 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.

Weekend / one sheet / 2011 / USA

26.04.16

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Weekend
AKA
--
Year of Film
2011
Director
Andrew Haigh
Starring
Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race, Laura Freeman, Loreto Murray, Jonathan Wright, Sarah Churm, Vauxhall Jermaine, Joe Doherty, Kieran Hardcastle
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Romance
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Sam Ashby
Artist
Photography by Quinnford and Scout
Size (inches)
27" x 39.5"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is the US one sheet for the release of the 2011 British drama Weekend, written and directed by Andrew Haigh. The film was shot on location in and around Nottingham on a micro budget. It follows gay man Russell (Tom Cullen) who goes to a house party with his straight friends and then onto a gay club alone afterwards looking for a hookup. There he meets Glen (Chris New), an art gallery employee and aspiring artist, and the pair head back to Russell’s flat for what they both assume will just be a one night stand.

Things don’t work out that way and the pair spend the next 48 hours (the titular period) getting to know each other in bars, clubs and bedrooms. Glen eventually reveals he’s hours away from moving to America to attend a two year art course and by the end of the weekend the pair have affected each other more than they could possibly have imagined. The film is a memorable and sensitive depiction of a budding relationship and the performances are wonderfully natural throughout. Haigh’s script is heartfelt but unsentimental and has a genuine emotional truth about it. In my opinion it’s one of the best romantic dramas of the past few decades.

This one sheet was created by Sam Ashby, a London-based graphic designer who has worked on a number of film posters that can be seen on his studio website, including quads for films like Beauty. Several of the posters shown in his portfolio were concepts that weren’t chosen by the production, which is a shame as they’re almost always better than the quad that was chosen. According to this interview Sam used to work at the poster design firm AllCity as Head of Design before leaving to set up his own studio in 2010. His website hasn’t been updated in a number of months so I’m not sure if he’s still active as a film poster designer.

In addition to this one sheet, Ashby designed several other posters for the film, including the UK quad.

From the Life of the Marionettes / B1 / Poland

20.04.16

PosterPosterPoster
Title
From the Life of the Marionettes
AKA
Aus dem Leben der Marionetten (West Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Ingmar Bergman
Starring
Robert Atzorn, Christine Buchegger, Martin Benrath, Rita Russek, Lola Müthel, Walter Schmidinger, Heinz Bennent, Ruth Olafs, Karl-Heinz Pelser, Gaby Dohm
Origin of Film
West Germany | Sweden
Genre(s) of Film
Drama
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 37 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wieslaw Walkuski artwork features on this Polish poster for the release (in 1983) of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman‘s From the Life of the Marionettes. The film was developed and shot by Bergman whilst he was living as a tax exile in West Germany and had a screenplay and soundtrack in German. It was originally developed as a TV movie and was shown on a German public-service channel in November 1980, but was later released at several film festivals and granted wider cinema releases in the following years.

The film depicts the degeneration of the relationship between the arguing couple seen briefly in Bergman’s earlier film, Scenes From a Marriage, Katarina and Peter Egermann (played by Christine Buchegger and Robert Atzorn). The Wikipedia plot description makes it sound like a pretty grim watch:

‘As Katarina seeks other lovers, the emotionally repressed and despondent Peter descends into neuroses, eventually leading him to tearfully murder a prostitute (played by Rita Russek), with the same name as his wife, at a Munich peep show before sodomising her dead body. In the closing sequence he is incarcerated in a mental asylum’

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.