Amityville 3-D / one sheet / USA

05.12.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Amityville 3-D
AKA
Amityville: The Demon
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, John Beal, Leora Dana, John Harkins, Lori Loughlin, Meg Ryan, Neill Barry
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 4/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830163
Tagline
WARNING: in this movie you are the victim.

This is the one sheet for the release of the third film in the Amityville series of horror films, known as Amityville 3-D (or Amityville: The Demon). In an unusual step, the producers of the film were forced to add a line of text to the bottom of the poster asserting that it’s not a sequel to the Amityville and Amityville II. This was because legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was in the middle of a lawsuit with the Lutz family that were part of the original hauntings that inspired the first films. In the film the original story is referenced, as is the murdered family at the centre of the story, the DeFeos.

Amityville 3-D was one of three big horror releases of 1983 that were presented in 3D (the others being Jaws 3 and Friday the 13th part 3). It’s fair to say that the results were hardly spectacular and audiences and critics alike complained about the blurriness of the 3D content, particularly in this film. Notably, this is the only film released by the now defunct Orion Pictures to be given the 3D treatment.

The plot focuses on the journalist John Baxter (Tony Roberts) who, along with his partner Melanie (Candy Clark), has recently exposed a pair of conmen that were living in the infamous house on 112 Ocean Avenue. He is persuaded to buy the house by a local estate agent and after he agrees to do so a series of events occur that all point to a supernatural presence in the home. John is unconvinced and ignores the pleas of Melanie who is convinced that something lurks inside the house. After his daughter Susan (Lori Loughlin) dies in the lake near the house he is finally convinced to allow his friend, the paranormal investigator Doctor Elliot West (Robert Joy) to check out the house. 

This one sheet features artwork of a demonic claw bursting out of the famous house, presumably giving potential ticket buyers an idea of what they’d be in for with the 3D. I’m unsure who designed or painted it (I believe the hand to be an illustration but may be wrong) so if anyone has an idea, please get in touch.

Bergman Festival / 2008 / Czechoslovakia

02.12.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Bergman Festival
AKA
--
Year of Film
Various
Director
Ingmar Bergman
Starring
--
Origin of Film
Various
Genre(s) of Film
Various
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Vladimir 518
Artist
Vladimir 518
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is a poster for a Czechoslovakian film festival focused on 43 films by the legendary Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman. The festival took place in 2008, one year after Bergman’s death, and the films were shown in three Czech cities, including Prague. The colourful poster was created by the designer known as Vladimir 518. According to a translation of this Wikipedia article, he’s also a famous Czech rapper and he was born in 1978. The article mentions that he also creates illustrations and designs for comics, books and a music label, BiggBoss. His Instagram feed is here.

The Stone Killer / quad / UK

29.11.16

PosterPosterPoster
Title
The Stone Killer
AKA
Le cercle noir [The black circle] (France) | América violenta [Violent America] (Spain)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Crime | Drama
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
This cop plays dirty! | Take away his badge and he'd top the Ten Most Wanted list!

This is the British quad poster for the release of the 1973 crime drama The Stone Killer. The film was one of a number that starred action legend Charles Bronson and was directed by Michael Winner. Their most successful collaboration (in box-office terms), Death Wish, was released a year later. The film features a cop who bends the rules to crack a case and was made in the wake of the hugely successful Clint Eastwood film, Dirty Harry (1971). That film also focused on a detective willing to play dirty, as this poster’s tagline shouts.

Bronson plays detective Lou Torrey who has recently been transferred to a Los Angeles beat. After the murder of a former hitman, he uncovers a plot involving the local mafia. The don, Al Vescari (Martin Balsam) has instigated a number of murders in revenge for killings that took place in 1931. This spree saw Sicilian capos executed across the US (a real-life crime dubbed the Night of the Sicilian Vespers). Vescari has decided to use Vietnam vets to carry out the killings and Torrey must race against time to stop the hitmen before the revenge plot is complete.

The stark imagery on this quad also featured on the US one sheet (see here) and the title block and main tagline have also been recycled by the British designer.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 / B2 / style A / Japan

23.11.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley, Bill Johnson, Ken Evert, Harlan Jordan, Kirk Sisco
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Horror
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster (style A) for the release of Tobe Hooper’s sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Set and released 13 years after the groundbreaking original film, the story was written by Hooper and the film was this time produced by the notorious schlock-peddlers Cannon Films. The film is set in another part of Texas and sees a radio disc-jockey, Vanita ‘Stretch’ Brock (Caroline Williams), become the target of the psychotic ‘family’ seen in the first film. At the start of the film a pair of jocks are killed by Leatherface (Bill Johnson) after they play chicken with the car that he and Chop-Top (Bill Moseley) are in.

By coincidence, the pair were on a call to Stretch’s radio station and the attack is recorded by her. After she replays the tape live on air the patriarch of the family, The Cook (Jim Siedow), hears it and sends Leatherface and Chop-Top after her. When Leatherface decides to spare Stretch, she follows the pair back to their hideout in an old amusement park and soon ends up in their clutches again. Luckily, a former Texas Ranger called Lieutentant ‘Lefty’ Enright (Dennis Hopper in a role he later said was his worst) has been on the trail of the murderous family and sets out to rescue Stretch and put an end to their reign of terror.

The film was a success at the US box-office and an even bigger hit on home video. It was never actually released at the cinema in the UK as the BBFC demanded cuts totalling over 20 minutes, so Cannon decided not to bother with a release. The film is apparently still banned in Germany and Singapore and heavily edited in other countries. It’s fairly different in tone than the original film and falls short of the raw, brutal quality of the original. Hooper decided to inject more black humour into the script and it’s fair to say that, although not short on gore, the film strikes something of a lighter tone than the original.

This Japanese B2 features bold, striking text and Leatherface surrounded by scenes from the film. It’s montage style that is seen on several Japanese posters from the 1980s.

Runaway Train / video / UK

21.11.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Runaway Train
AKA
A 30 secondi dalla fine [30 seconds from the end] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Andrei Konchalovsky
Starring
Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan, T. K. Carter, Kenneth McMillan, Stacey Pickren, Walter Wyatt, Edward Bunker
Origin of Film
USA | Israel
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Thriller
Type of Poster
Video
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 13/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the UK video poster for the release of the excellent 1985 action-drama Runaway Train. The film was produced by the notorious schlock-peddlers Cannon Films, which at the time was run by two Israeli cousins, the director Menahem Golan and producer Yoram Globus. It’s often cited as one of the best films that Cannon Films ever produced, which makes sense when you look at their filmography (Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo anyone?).

Rather improbably, the first version of the script was written by celebrated Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and he was planning to direct it himself. When the financial backing fell through the script was shelved. It was later picked up and underwent re-writes to prepare it for the Russian director Andrey Konchalovskiy who was a contemporary of Andrei Tarkovsky (and co-wrote Andrei Rublev with him). Konchalovskiy later went on to helm films such as Tango & Cash for US producers.

The film is set in remote Alaska and begins in a high-security prison. Oscar ‘Manny’ Manheim (a memorable turn from Jon Voight) is a notorious bank robber who hatches an escape plan that involves the help of the skittish Buck McGeehy (Eric Roberts). After smuggling Manny into the laundry room, the pair escape through the sewers and eventually find their way to a railroad. There they jump onboard a slowly moving locomotive and hide in one of the cars. Unbeknownst to them, the train driver suffers a heart attack whilst trying to stop the train and falls off it. The automatic train stop is not engaged and the runaway train begins its journey down the tracks. Also onboard is another railway worker called Sara (Rebecca De Mornay) who realises quickly that they’re in a bad predicament. The rest of the film sees the trio attempting to bring the speeding train to a stop whilst being pursued by the sadistic prison warden Ranken (John P. Ryan) and his men.

Runaway Train was a critical and commercial success in the US and abroad. It was also nominated for several awards – an unusual occurrence for a Cannon film (Jon Voight would win a Golden Globe for Best Actor). This video poster was for the 1986 release on MGM home video in the UK and features a unique design that is, I believe, exclusive to the poster. It’s a mixture of artwork and photograph. The trees, train and elements of the background are painted and Jon Voight’s image has also had some painting applied to it as well, strangely.

Thor / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

16.11.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Thor
AKA
--
Year of Film
N/A
Director
Kenneth Branagh
Starring
Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Colm Feore, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Jaimie Alexander
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This screen print depicting the Marvel character Thor, as played by Chris Hemsworth, was created by the talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin. It was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo as part of a series of prints that were released in preparation for the highly anticipated Marvel superhero team-up, The Avengers (2012). A print was released for each of the seven main heroes featured in the first film. This included one for Captain America by the design outfit Phantom City Creative and one for The Hulk by Ken Taylor. This page on Collider.com shows five of the posters and the other two can be seen here. To finish of the series Mondo asked Tyler Stout to design a poster for the actual Avengers film itself. See here for my interview with Tyler about his work on the print.

Not all of the characters that made the line-up for the first film were given a solo outing before The Avengers was released. The first Iron Man film that was released in 2008 set the template that others followed and made a tidy profit at the box office in doing so. A sequel followed two years later and then Thor’s solo outing was released in 2011 along with the first Captain America film. This then completed what is called Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase Two began with Iron Man 3 in 2013.

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 one. This Thor poster was printed in a regular and variant version with the variant having a grey/silver colourway and glow-in-the-dark inks.

The other posters I’ve collected by Ansin can be seen here. His official website is well worth a browse.