The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue / one sheet / USA

25.08.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Gerard Damiano
Starring
Lysa Thatcher, Robert Kerman, Herschel Savage, Sharon Mitchell, Jody Maxwell, Annie Sprinkle, Hillary Summers, Tiffany Clark, George Payne
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Adult | Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue is a sci-fi themed adult film that was directed by the late Gerard Damiano, one of the key figures in the so-called Golden Age of Porn. The name was given retrospectively to a fifteen year period between 1969 and 1984 in which adult films were given positive attention by the general public, mainstream cinemas and film critics. Damiano wrote and directed the legendary adult film Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones, which was one of the top-grossing films of 1973 (in all categories, not just adult films).

This film stars two male actors who were also key figures in the industry; Robert Kerman (AKA R Bolla) and Herschel Savage. Kerman introduced Savage to the industry in 1976 and he would go on to star in over 160 adult titles, including the 1978 classic Debbie Does Dallas. Lysa Thatcher, another prominent character during the golden period also appears.

The plot is described thusly on Wikipedia:

In a futuristic society called ‘Alpha Blue’, sexual needs are fulfilled by a computer. Griffin (Savage) is happy with this state of affairs and spends his time with prostitutes, but Algon (Robert Kerman) longs for the good old days of love and romance. He falls in love with Satisfier 805, Diana (Thatcher).

The artwork on this one sheet is fairly innocent, particularly in comparison to some of the posters for other adult films of the period. I’ve been unable to discover the identity of the artist so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Mean Streets / quad / 1993 re-release / UK

22.08.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Mean Streets
AKA
Mean Streets - Domenica in chiesa, lunedì all'inferno [Sunday in church, Monday in hell] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, Cesare Danova, Victor Argo, George Memmoli, Lenny Scaletta, Jeannie Bell, Murray Moston, David Carradine, Robert Carradine
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Drama | Romance | Thriller
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
"You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it on the streets..."

This is a British quad poster for a 1993 re-release of Martin Scorsese‘s 1973 film Mean Streets. Whilst not the director’s earliest full-length feature, it’s certainly the one that put him firmly on the map ahead of 1976’s global hit Taxi Driver. Co-written by Scorsese, Mean Streets is also a film that is very personal to the director because the film is set in and around the Manhattan neighbourhood he grew up in. The story was shaped by his experience of living in Little Italy and the encounters he had with the various types of characters that live there, including members of the New York Mafia, with whom his father had dealings.

Scorsese also peppered the film with the kind of music he’d been listening to as a youth, which included the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Ronettes. It’s reckoned that half of the film’s budget was spent on clearing these songs for use in the soundtrack, but their inclusion makes for some memorable moments. One such example is the entrance of Joey (Robert De Niro) into the club soundtracked to the Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.

Harvey Keitel plays Charlie, a small-time member of the mafia who spends his days collecting protection money on behalf of his uncle, the local boss Giovanni (Cesare Danova). He’s also torn between his feelings of Catholic responsibility, and devotion to the church, with his desire to move up the chain in the outfit. Charlie is also hampered by his friendship with the unhinged Johnny Boy (De Niro), an inveterate gambler who owes money to various unsavoury loan sharks around the neighbourhood. Johnny’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and threatens Charlie’s position as a wiseguy and his secret relationship with Johnny’s cousin Teresa (Amy Robinson). As tension rises, the group try to escape to Brooklyn but the neighbourhood has other plans for them.

I’m not totally sure why this film was given a 1993 re-release but it could have had something to do with the success of his 1990 gangster film Goodfellas. It’s also possible that the distributor (Electric Pictures) decided to show the film as part of a particular season of films. Note that all the films mentioned along the bottom of the poster are all based in London so it’s possible it wasn’t a nationwide re-release. The film’s original quad, for the film’s release in the 1970s, is hugely uninspiring (see here) and nothing beats the classic artwork created for the US campaign (see here).

Inside Llewyn Davis / screen print / Telegramme / UK

19.08.16

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Inside Llewyn Davis
AKA
--
Year of Film
2013
Director
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring
Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett, Max Casella, Jerry Grayson, Jeanine Serralles, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund
Origin of Film
USA | UK | France
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Music
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Telegramme
Artist
Telegramme
Size (inches)
25" x 36.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is a screen print for the 2013 Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis that was created for an art exhibition held in early 2014, around the release of the film in the UK. Written, directed, produced and edited by the celebrated filmmakers, the film is a black comedy-drama based around the New York folk music revival scene of the early 1960s. Although largely fictional, the eponymous singer-songwriter is based on Dave Van Ronk, a now deceased folk singer who was an important character at the time and had the nickname ‘The Mayor of MacDougal Street’. The Coens found inspiration in his autobiography and certain elements of the film are based on it.

Oscar Isaac plays Davis and the film takes place over a week in February 1961. We follow the singer as he struggles to make a name for himself in the music scene and travels around with his guitar in tow. Due to a lack of money, Davis is forced to sleep on friends’ couches, including that of his long term friends the Gorfeins. In an early scene in the film, Davis accidentally allows their cat Ulysees to be locked out from their flat. He grabs the animal and heads to the house of  Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan) Berkey, a couple who are also singers, asking if he can stay the night. During the stay, Jean tells Davis that she’s pregnant and believes the child to be his, asking him to pay for the abortion. The rest of the film see Davis trying to track down the funds to pay to Jean, wrangle with the constantly escaping cat, and try to kick start his struggling career.

The UK-based magazine Little White Lies created an event to celebrate the film’s release which saw it commission seven artists to create fake gig posters for seven different Coen brothers films, including The Big Lebowski and O’ Brother Where Art Thou? The event was called ‘One Night Only: A Coen Brothers Gig Poster Extravaganza’ and all of the other posters can be seen on the website of the UK Poster Association, who was responsible for the actual screen printing, here. Each poster was printed in a limited run of 50.

This poster for Inside Llewyn Davis, featuring Ulysees the cat, was designed and illustrated by a studio called Telegramme, which is run by Bobby and Kate and is based in Margate on the south coast. Their official website is here and features lots of items for sale. The about page details their work for other companies. They also have a page on Cargo Collective which can be viewed here and includes other examples of their work. Telegramme’s Instagram page is here.

Roller Boogie / B2 / style A / Japan

16.08.16

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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 A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Yasuo Nemoto
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the style A Japanese B2 poster for the release of the 1979 musical oddity Roller Boogie, featuring artwork by Yasuo Nemoto. 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.

The artwork is credited to someone called Yasuo Nemoto but I’ve been unable to find out anything about them online. If anyone has any further details about Nemoto please get in touch. I also have the style B Japanese B2 in the collection and it can be viewed here.

A Field in England / screen print / teaser / UK

10.08.16

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Title
A Field in England
Year of Film
2013
Director
Ben Wheatley
Starring
Julian Barratt, Peter Ferdinando,Richard Glover, Ryan Pope, Reece Shearsmith, Michael Smiley, Sara Dee
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | History | Horror | Mystery
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Twins of Evil (AKA Kenn Goodall & Luke Insect)
Artist
Twins of Evil (AKA Kenn Goodall & Luke Insect)
Size (inches)
16 13/16" x 23 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Several months before the release of director Ben Wheatley‘s fourth film, A Field in England, a limited edition screen print was commissioned by the production company Rook Films and released in a small run of 75. The film is set during the mid-17th Century English Civil War and was apparently in development for several years after the director became interested in the historical period whilst filming a documentary about the Sealed Knot, an English society that carries out historical reenactments. Amy Jump, Wheatley’s regular collaborator (and wife), wrote the screenplay with filming taking place over twelve days in September 2012.

The film has a small cast of British actors, several of which are known for their comedy backgrounds, including Julian BarrattReece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley. Filmed in black and white, the story is set, as the title suggests, in fields near to the edge of a battleground. It follows an alchemist’s assistant named Whitehead (Shearsmith) who has fled away from his strict commander and encounters a group of men who have deserted the battle and are in search of an alehouse. Soon they are intercepted by an Irishman called O’Neil (Smiley, as depicted on this poster) who is another alchemist in search of a treasure he believes to be buried nearby. 

Whitehead’s master had tasked him with apprehending the Irishman, who was also in the master alchemist’s employ but stole his work and materials. Armed with a pistol, the malevolent O’Neil takes control of the group and tasks Whitehead with finding the ‘treasure’. Using hallucinogenic substances (magic mushrooms and other powders that were commonly used during the period) O’Neil keeps the men in check but things don’t exactly go to plan. The film features several psychedelic sequences and cleverly uses split-screen imagery and sound design to great effect.

Rather unusually the film was simultaneously released in cinemas, on DVD and blu-ray, on Video on Demand (VOD) and also shown on the Film 4 channel. This report from the BFI (PDF), published several months after release, goes into interesting detail about how it was received. It’s fair to say that, although the critical reception was largely positive (87% on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences reactions were massively polarised. You only have to look at the reviews section on the IMDb’s page for the film to see the 1 and 2 star ratings right next to those calling the film a masterpiece and awarding it the full ten stars.

The film is undoubtedly less commercial and ‘mainstream’ than the director’s previous films, including Kill List and the brilliant comedy Sightseers, so it will have confounded fans of those films expecting something more straightforward. Those that did like A Field in England praise the strange and brooding atmosphere, the aforementioned sound design, and the clever cinematography and use of editing to enhance the sense of menace.

The poster

Rook Films commissioned the designer/artists Kenn Goodall and Luke Insect, who work together under the moniker of Twins of Evil, to work on this teaser poster before filming had even taken place. The pair had worked on the soundtrack release for Sightseers for Rook in the past and Wheatley’s producing partner Andy Starke had purchased one of the pair’s screen prints for Witchfinder General.

A Field in England has an excellent website subtitled ‘A Film 4 Digital Masterclass’ that goes into great detail about all aspects of the making of the film. This poster has it’s own section titled ‘The evolution of the poster’ in which Goodall and Insect discuss its creation and showcase several images created during its inception, which is well worth a look. This lone figure and aesthetic was later used to create the British quad poster, with the line-up of characters expanding to five. The artwork on this teaser later became the cover for the blu-ray release of the film. Note that although some images of this print depict green grass around the figure’s feet, the final poster, screen printed by The Private Press, didn’t feature this colour. Also note that it’s signed (initialled really) by Wheatley as well as the two artists.

This page features other art created for the film, including a great soundtrack poster also by the Twins of Evil. You can check out Luke Insect’s solo website here and Kenn Goodall’s site is here.

Shamus / one sheet / USA

08.08.16

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Title
Shamus
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Buzz Kulik
Starring
Burt Reynolds, Dyan Cannon, John P. Ryan, Joe Santos, Giorgio Tozzi, Ron Weyand, Larry Block, Beeson Carroll, Kevin Conway
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/378
Tagline
Shamus is a pro! He never misses!

An unusual illustration with a stylised half-finished look features on this US one sheet for the release of the 1973 film Shamus. It was directed by the late Buzz Kulik who spent the majority of his career directing TV shows and TV movies, including several episodes of The Twilight Zone. The film stars Burt Reynolds who had entered a golden period following his breakout performance in the 1972 film Deliverance. For the rest of the 1970s he would star in two or three films a year, cementing his reputation as a rugged action star and cheeky good ol’ boy, with films like Smokey and the Bandit, as well as an off-screen sex symbol (thanks to things like the infamous magazine centrefold image of him lying on a rug).

Set in New York, Reynolds stars as the titular Shamus McCoy, a hard-living private detective who enjoys drinking, gambling and womanising, but is in need of a new case to top up his bank account. One day he’s approached by an eccentric diamond dealer who’s had a stash of diamonds stolen and Shamus is offered $10k to track them down. What seems like a straightforward case turns out to be nothing of the sort and the PI is thwarted at every opportunity, with a beating by a gang of thugs making him realise he’s onto something big. Shamus teams up with his friend Springy as well as Alexis Montaigne (Dyan Cannon), the sister of a nightclub owner who’s involved in the plot. The gang uncover illegal arms dealing activities and are soon confronted by the deadly intentions of the improbably named, corrupt army Colonel Hardcore (John P. Ryan).

I’ve struggled to identify who is responsible for the artwork so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch. Unusually it features both a smaller illustration and a retouched photographic image. Typically posters from around this period might feature a main photographic image with supporting illustrations (see the Cleopatra Jones poster for example).