Vozvrashchenie s orbity / A1 / Czechoslovakia

11.03.15

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Vozvrashchenie s orbity
AKA
Return from Orbit (English title) | Návrat Z Kosmu (Czechslovakia) | Rückkehr aus dem Orbit (East Germany)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Aleksandr Surin
Starring
Juozas Budraitis, Vitali Solomin, Aleksandr Porokhovshchikov, Tamara Akulova Igor Vasilev Igor Vasilev Valeri Yurchenko Valeri Yurchenko Mikhail Chigaryov Mikhail Chigaryov Lyubov Sokolova Lyubov Sokolova
Origin of Film
Soviet Union
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Zdeněk Vlach
Artist
Zdeněk Vlach
Size (inches)
22 10/16" x 32 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Czechoslovakian poster for the release of the obscure Soviet Union sci-fi film Vozvrashchenie s orbity. There’s barely any information about the film online other than this single review on the film’s IMDb page:

“Well,this film looks more like very deep and dramatic space drama. As soon as two friends-cosmonauts came back from space, a lot of things changed on the Earth. The wife of one of them died. And Kuznetsov can not go on flying to space. So he returns to navy aviation. Very soon a serious trouble happens to spacecraft and Kuznetsov flies to space to help his best friend, who was trapped in the closed sector of the craft. As soon as he managed to do that- new troubles start -the meteorite wind hits the craft and they have no ability to go back. They have only 12 hours. Then their teacher decides to help his students and saves their lives in space. Very serious and unusual look at the space explorations and true to life situations, not that sci fi. Far more like space necro realism. The score by master of Russian electronic music Edward Artemeyev is perfect, especially in the end of the film it becomes really symphonic dark space ambient. Very rare to find exclusive flick.”

The artwork on this Czech poster is by the late designer Zdeněk Vlach who was born in 1942 in Prague and studied at the School of Art there before working on film posters, commercial art and illustration. He won two awards for his film posters. According to this excellent article on ‘Poster Art and the Movies’ the artist worked on over 200 posters from 1970 to 1989, which included designs for the likes of Excalibur (1984), Mona Lisa (1988) and Blue Velvet (1986). The website Terry Posters features an extensive gallery of his work. The artist sadly passed away in 1999 at the age of 58.

Evil Dead / Thailand

09.03.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Evil Dead
AKA
La casa [The house] (Italy) | Into the Woods (USA working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noppadon
Size (inches)
21 1/16" x 29 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Thai poster for the release of Sam Raimi’s brilliant low-budget horror The Evil Dead, which made an instant cult icon of lead actor (and friend of Raimi) Bruce Campbell who plays Ash, one of five friends who travel to a small cabin in the woods on vacation. The group discover a gnarled old book in the basement that turns out to be a Sumerian version of the Book of the Dead. Along with it are tapes containing translation of the text and when these are played demons are summoned in the woods. The house is subjected to a sustained attack and one by one the friends are possessed, turning into ‘deadites’ and leaving just Ash to survive the night and the forces of the evil dead.

Both this film and its 1987 sequel were big hits in the UK after the first was bought at the Cannes Film Festival by the legendary British distribution (and later production) company Palace Pictures. Released in cinemas and on VHS almost simultaneously the modest outlay for the rights to distribute the film proved to be an excellent deal as it went on to see great box-office takings and thousands of tapes sold. The Evil Dead was eventually caught up in the infamous video nasties debacle of the 1980s and was banned for a number of years under the Video Recordings Act.

The sequel, made six years later and technically a retcon sequel, was allotted a significantly larger budget than the first and is more of a black comedy than the original. Ash is put through a continually escalating series of horrific encounters that allow him to show the full extent of his talent for slapstick comedy.

This Thai poster featuring a montage of scenes from the film was painted by a Thai artist called Noppadon about whom I’ve been unable to discover very little, other than a few of the other film poster titles he worked on (including Saturn 3 and The Beyond). If anyone knows any more details please get in touch.

Short Eyes / one sheet / USA

06.03.15

PosterPoster
Title
Short Eyes
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Robert M. Young
Starring
Bruce Davison, José Pérez, Nathan George, Don Blakely, Tony DiBenedetto, Shawn Elliott, Tito Goya, Joseph Carberry, Bob Maroff, Keith Davis, Luis Guzmán
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
LSC&P Design Group Inc
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28" x 42"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"Jesus help me, cause man won't."

A striking design features on this US one sheet for the little-seen 1977 film Short Eyes, which is based on the Miguel Piñero play of the same name and was directed by Robert M. Young. The lead is played by Bruce Davison, one of the all-time classic ‘that guy’ character actors. The film sounds like a pretty tough watch if its Wikipedia description is anything to go by:

‘Short Eyes is set in an unnamed House of Detention in New York City, the prisoners of which are predominantly black or Puerto Rican. One day, a new prisoner is brought in: Clark Davis, a young, middle-class white man accused of raping a young girl. His fellow prisoners immediately turn on him —pedophiles are considered the lowest form of prison life — except for Juan, one of the institution’s older prisoners, who treats him with dignity. While Davis insists he doesn’t remember raping the girl, he admits that he has molested several other children.’

Despite the subject matter it was reviewed well on release and was praised for its realistic depiction of prison life. The film was recently released on blu-ray should you wish to check it out.

The poster design is credited to LSC&P Design Group Inc about whom I’ve been unable to discover much. There’s this page of some of their work on the AIGA website. It also appears to have been a company that was originally founded by the famous designer Herb Lubalin.

Two Minute Warning / B2 / Japan

04.03.15

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Two Minute Warning
AKA
Panico nello stadio [Panic in the stadium] (Italy)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Larry Peerce
Starring
Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Marilyn Hassett, David Janssen, Jack Klugman, Gena Rowlands, Walter Pidgeon, Brock Peters
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Thriller
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of Two Minute Warning, a 1976 thriller set during an American Football championship match in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Featuring an all-star cast, the film sees a psychotic sniper take position inside the stadium with plans to take random shots into the crowd as part of a diversionary tactic for a gang of thieves at a nearby museum. Charlton Heston plays a police sergeant who must work with a SWAT captain played by John Cassavetes to find and apprehend the sniper. The story also focuses on people in the crowd, which includes an argumentative couple played by David Janssen and Gena Rowlands and an elderly pickpocket played by Walter Pidgeon. After several failed attempts to capture the sniper, all hell breaks loose in the stadium and disaster beckons unless he can be stopped.

This Japanese poster features a montage of images from the film above an illustration of the stadium and a stylised film title inside it. I’m unsure who’s responsible for the artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

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.