Lethal Pursuit / one sheet / USA

19.08.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Lethal Pursuit
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Don Jones
Starring
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bill Garland
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Some live for the hunt... Others for the kill.

Definitely one of those cases where the poster is the best thing about the film, Lethal Pursuit is a forgotten action b-movie from 1988. It appears to have only had a cinema release in a handful of countries and was straight to video in others. It hasn’t been given a DVD release anywhere in the world as far as I can tell. The IMDb plot description says:

A rock star babe and her hunky honey find themselves targeted by her psychotic ex, whose insane jealousy sparks a deadly game of desert cat-and-mouse.

There’s a single review on the film’s IMDb page and it’s rather damning. Here’s some excerpts:

There is not much to say except simply, do not watch this film. In fact, if you are reading this I must ask why you even looked this movie up? If you are here because you saw this in the 99 cent VHS bin at the Good Will, where it probably can be found, and want to know weather to buy it. PASS! You will want your dollar back.

Best way to sum it up. Think of every little detail that makes a film a film. Then take this sentence “The ____ of/in this film is awful in every way.” and insert every one of those details. And you have a summary.

There’s an illustrated review of the film on the Betamax Rundown site.

I’ve discovered that this illustration can be credited to the American artist Bill Garland who is probably best known for the brilliant original Mad Max one sheet, but has worked on several other film posters. The artist has a page on Phosphor Art featuring a short biography as well as a selection of his art. It details that Garland has been working for over 30 years and started his career as a Ford Motor company scholar and used these core technical skills to ‘enhance his command of a wide range of artistic styles’. In addition to working with Hollywood studios, Garland also carried out work for commercial clients like Coca Cola and the NFL. I can’t find an official site for the artist so if anyone knows any more details about him please get in touch.

The Sea Wolves / B2 / Japan

17.08.15

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Sea Wolves
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Andrew V. McLaglen
Starring
Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Barbara Kellerman, Patrick Macnee, Kenneth Griffith, Patrick Allen
Origin of Film
Switzerland | UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | History | War
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the art-style Japanese B2 for the 1980 action film The Sea Wolves, which is based on real events that occurred during the Second World War. The story is based on the exploits of ex-members of the Calcutta Light Horse, a cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army that was formed in 1872 and was disbanded a couple of years after the end of WWII. The plot sees British intelligence discovering that a Nazi radio ship is broadcasting the coordinates of allied ships from a harbour in Portuguese Goa, which was neutral during the war, so an all out assault cannot be launched by the Navy because of this.

British Intelligence officers Col. Lewis Pugh (Gregory Peck) and Capt. Gavin Stewart (Roger Moore) lead the operation and covertly enlist retired officer Col. Bill Grice (David Niven) of the Calcutta Light Horse & some of his former soldiers. The gang sneak into Goa and arrange a diversion on the evening of a planned raid, before making their way to the radio ship carrying enough explosives to sink it and put a stop any more transmissions. The film reunited much of the creative team behind an earlier OAPs on a mission film, 1978’s The Wild Geese, including director Andrew V. McLaglen, screenwriter Reginald Rose, producer Euan Lloyd and several of the stars.

This Japanese poster features artwork painted by Seito that is unique to the Japanese campaign. Seito is one of my favourite Japanese artists who was responsible for several fantastic illustrated posters during the 1970s and 1980s. Little is known about the man himself, even in his native country.

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

Raiders of the Lost Ark / B1 / explosion style / Poland

14.08.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Explosion style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Grzegorz Marszalek
Artist
Grzegorz Marszalek
Size (inches)
25 15/16" x 38 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the explosion-style B1 poster for the Polish release (in 1983) of the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Written by George Lucas, who was in the middle of producing and releasing the original Star Wars trilogy, the story harks back to the adventure film serials of the 1930s and 40s. Set in 1936, Harrison Ford (also fresh from the set of The Empire Strikes Back) plays the titular archaeologist adventurer who is hired by the US government to track down the legendary Ark of the Covenant before an occult section of the Nazi party with nefarious intentions do so.

The film is full of memorable characters, thrilling set-pieces and Ford treads a perfect, often comedic, line between surly reluctance and dashing heroism. The film would spawn two sequels over the next 8 years, with Spielberg and Ford returning for both, followed by a somewhat disappointing entry in 2008.

This poster was created by the designer and artist Grzegorz Marszatek who was born in Swinna in 1949 and later studied at the College of Fine Arts in Poznań where he obtained an honours degree under noted professors (and artists in their own right) Lucjan Mianowski and Waldemar Świerzy. Since 1971 he has been a teacher himself at the same college, which is now a university, and in 1994 he was awarded the degree of Professor of Fine Arts. He was the director of the Visual Communication department at Poznań university until 2010 and he’s also been involved at the Szczecin Academy of Fine Arts. As well as teaching Marszatek has worked as an illustrator for film and theatre posters, magazine covers and editorials, and book covers. 

Marszatek’s official site can be viewed here and features galleries of his work, including his posters. Polishposter.com features a gallery of many of his film posters.

There were three Polish posters created for the 1983 first release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, including this one and Jakub Erol’s fantastic skull-style poster.

Escape From New York / Thailand

12.08.15

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
25 9/16" x 37.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original poster for the Thai release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York. I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

This poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was 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.

The main illustration of Snake Plissken is unique to this poster but some of the other elements, especially the montage to the left, are based on the final US one sheet for the film that was painted by Stan Watts. The set of portraits in boxes are taken from the US advance poster, also painted by Watts.

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

Swiss Family Robinson / quad / 1976 re-release / UK

10.08.15

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Swiss Family Robinson
AKA
--
Year of Film
1960
Director
Ken Annakin
Starring
John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Sessue Hayakawa, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, Cecil Parker, Andy Ho, Milton Reid, Larry Taylor
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Adventure | Family
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A typically detailed and action-packed illustration by Brian Byouth on this 1976 re-release poster for the 1960 Disney adaptation of the 1812 novel The Swiss Robinson by Johann David Wyss. The story had already been filmed once by RKO pictures in 1940 and was a commercial success so another adaptation was considered a sure bet. Filmed on location in Tobago as well as at Pinewood studios in the UK, the film was directed by the late British director Ken Annakin who worked with Disney on a number of pictures. Legendary Brit actor John Mills plays the father of a family that is shipwrecked on a remote tropical island whilst en-route to New Guinea and the film deals with their adventures as they make a new home and try to cope with marauding pirates who are roaming the waters around the island and are causing havoc for ships that enter its waters.

The film differs significantly from the novel and the changes are detailed on the Wikiepdia page for the film. Happily for all involved it was well received by critics and audiences and went on to be the highest earning film of 1960 (beating Hitchcock’s Psycho and Kubrick’s Spartacus). Adjusted for inflation the film made over $427 million which makes it one of the biggest hits of all time. 

British artist Brian Bysouth worked on many Disney posters during the 1970s and early 1980s, including several for re-releases of earlier films from the 1950s and 60s like this one. Brian is one of my favourite artists and worked on many classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. In 2012 I was fortunate to meet and interview Brian for this site and the article can be read here. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Tabloid / one sheet / USA

07.08.15

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Tabloid
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Errol Morris
Starring
Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw, Kent Gavin
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Documentary
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
An Errol Morris love story

Tabloid is a 2010 documentary by celebrated filmmaker Errol Morris, who’s probably best known for 1988’s The Thin Blue Line, a documentary about a murder case with a wrongful conviction that is widely accepted to have been instrumental in the innocent person being freed about a year after the film’s release. Tabloid looks at the strange case of the one-time American beauty queen Joyce McKinney who traveled to the UK in the 1970s and kidnapped a Mormon missionary whom she had met and fallen and love with back in the US. Joyce was arrested by UK police and tried in court whilst the case became known as the ‘Mormon sex in chains case‘, after the missionary claimed he had been shackled and raped by Joyce who eventually fled the UK in disguise.

The film’s title references the fact that the case became a cause célèbre amongst the UK tabloid newspapers, with the Daily Express and Daily Mirror both vying for readers and battling for exclusives, especially once sordid details about Joyce’s previous life as a nude model and prostitute were revealed. The film is a fascinating watch but it doesn’t paint a flattering portrait of Joyce who is interviewed throughout, and she comes across as a delusional exhibitionist who is clearly trying to distance herself from her early life. Although initially happy to be associated with the film, and traveling around to various festivals with Morris, Joyce decided to sue the film’s makers in 2011 because she felt it portrayed her as “crazy, a sex offender, an S&M prostitute, and/or a rapist”. The case was thrown out by a judge in 2013 and there’s some mention of her taking it to another court in this article, though it’s unclear whether McKinney continues to pursue it to this day.

I’ve been unable to find out who designed this one sheet so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.