Jaws / program / Japan

26.01.18

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Jaws
AKA
Les dents de la mer [The teeth of the sea] (France)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Thriller
Type of Poster
Program
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Roger Kastel (cover)
Size (inches)
8 4/16" x 11 10/16"
SS or DS
--
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is the original cinema program that was sold at Japanese screenings of Steven Spielberg’s classic 1975 horror, Jaws. The instantly recognisable image was painted by the American artist Roger Kastel and was originally commissioned for the paperback cover of Peter Benchley’s novel, but when Universal saw the artwork they bought the rights to use it for the poster and following the worldwide success of the film it would go onto become one of the most imitated and parodied images of all time, as well as a merchandising product in its own right. Kastel also painted the ‘Gone with the Wind’ style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. Check out his official site here.

I also have the original US one sheet which can be seen on my site here.

Note that this program features images of and details about the production, the director and several of the actors. It also includes a hand-written message especially for Japanese ‘movie buffs’.

Blades / one sheet / USA

05.01.18

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Title
Blades
AKA
--
Year of Film
1989
Director
Thomas R. Rondinella
Starring
Robert North, Jeremy Whelan, Victoria Scott, Holly Stevenson, William Towner, Peter Wray, Charlie Quinn, Bruce Katlin, Lee Devin, Bill Kimble, Donald Jackson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Horror
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Golf - A Game of Hooks, Slices and ... Slaughter | Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Putt

The notorious schlockmeisters Troma, headed by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, were behind what must surely be one of the only golfing-related horror films ever made (unless you count the clubs wielded by the killers in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games), 1989’s Blades. The film was directed by Thomas R. Rondinella and is his only cinema-released feature to date and, as is typical with most Troma productions, the cast is mostly made up of jobbing b-movie actors. As the second tagline alludes to, the film is apparently a pastiche of Jaws with the shark replaced with a killer lawnmower wielded by a mysterious killer (and often show from the blades’ point of view).

The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

People are showing up sliced and diced at Tall Grass Country Club. Norman, the owner of the club, wants to avoid undue publicity on the eve of the televised pro-am tournament, and encourages new pro Roy to get to the bottom of the killings quietly. Roy has a history of alcohol problems since he choked while playing a big tournament years before, and Kelly, who feels she should have been hired as the new pro, isn’t making the situation easier for him, insisting they cancel the tournament until the killer can be stopped. After a seedy character named Deke Slater is arrested, the owner relaxes, but Roy and Kelly begin to feel that Deke’s rantings about a runaway lawnmower aren’t so far-fetched after all, and after Deke is released the three of them prepare for a battle to the death out on the uncharted fairways.

The film was apparently only released in a small handful of US cinemas before heading to video and HBO soon afterwards. I may be wrong but I don’t believe it ever saw release over here in the UK.

The Jewel of the Nile / one sheet / USA

11.12.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Jewel of the Nile
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Lewis Teague
Starring
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focás, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Comedy | Romance
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Rodriguez
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They're back again... Romancing a brand new stone.

Colourful artwork, and a nicely stylised logo, feature on this one sheet for the 1985 action-adventure sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. It followed only a year after the original film, Romancing the Stone, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis and had been a worldwide box-office hit, launching the career of star Kathleen Turner and cementing Michael Douglas‘ leading-man credentials. The sequel was apparently rushed into production, with both leads contractually tied to making it, but Zemeckis declined to return to the director’s chair. Douglas and Turner were apparently both unsure about returning, although the former was onboard as producer and the latter threatened to leave the project until Douglas intervened and had the script rewritten to assuage her worries. Danny DeVito also reprises his comedic role from the first film.

Jewel was helmed by Lewis Teague, who is perhaps best known for a pair of animal-themed Stephen King adaptations; Cujo (1983) and Cat’s Eye (also 1985). Reports during filming painted a poor picture of the director who was apparently struggling with the location shooting and action scenes. The plot finds ex-smuggler Jack (Douglas) and novelist Joan (Turner) onboard their yacht, moored off a sleepy town in the South of France. The love affair that started during ‘Romancing…’ is growing stale as Joan finds the easy life too boring. At a book signing event she meets Omar (Spiros Focás), a charming Arab ruler, and is invited to travel with him back to his country to write his biography. Despite Jack’s protestations, she takes up the offer.

Soon after Joan leaves Jack meets up with Ralph (DeVito), the swindler who is still after the titular stone from the first film. He’s then visited by another arab called Tarak (Paul David Magid) who warns Jack that Omar is not the benevolent ruler he claimed to Joan and that she’s in danger. He also informs him that Omar is in possession of “The Jewel of the Nile”. As Tarak finishes his explanation the yacht mysteriously explodes and so Jack and Ralph set off to track down Joan and see if they can’t get their hands on the “Jewel”. Despite less than favourable critical notices, the film was another box-office success, earning even more than the original film.

With thanks to readers of the site, the artist of the poster has been identified as Robert Rodriguez, an American artist not to be confused with the Texas-based film director of the same name. I own at least two other posters that were painted by Rodriguez, the US one sheet for the Jack Nicholson-starring Two Jakes (1990) and the US one sheet for a 1994 re-release of The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

His own website, which can be seen here, features a biography which I’ll reproduce in its entirety in case the site ever disappears:

Chances are you’ve been having breakfast with Robert Rodriguez for years and never knew it….If you’ve ever fixed yourself a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal, his painting of the old Quaker has probably been watching over you as you ate.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), he embarked on a career as an illustrator, picking up awards and medals along the way.  From being a Grammy Award finalist for best album cover art, to gold and silver medals, to receiving a platinum award for his “Cowboys of the Silver Screen” postage stamps this last year.  From doing Broadway theater posters for plays like, “Anything Goes”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Sister Act” and “Lend Me A Tenor”, to a SuperBowl poster, a half dozen Ringling Bros. Circus posters, several movie posters, and creating the poster art over the last four years for the Tales of the Cocktail event held in New Orleans every summer, he is finally finding time to do some gallery work, exploring new directions and larger paintings.

Mad Max 2 / program / Japan

20.11.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Mad Max 2
AKA
The Road Warrior (USA) | Interceptor, il guerriero della strada (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
George Miller
Starring
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Thriller | Sci-Fi
Type of Poster
Program
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
8 4/16" x 11 12/16"
SS or DS
--
Tagline
--

This is the original cinema program that was sold at Japanese screenings of George Miller’s unforgettable Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior). The first film in the post-apocalyptic franchise was released in Australia in 1979 and worldwide the following year, where it went on to gross over $100m. The original budget was around $400k so for decades it held the record for the most profitable film ever made. The US release had been relatively small in terms of the number of cinemas so the decision was taken to rename the sequel as The Road Warrior there. The UK, Japan and other countries received it as Mad Max 2.

The film ups the ante considerably from the first film and sees Max (Mel Gibson) roaming the desert in his black supercharged V8 special, mourning the death of his family and searching for fuel and food. After a chance encounter on the road he ends up at a compound full of fuel which is under siege by a gang of marauders, led by the masked madman Lord Humungus. Eventually Max is tasked with leading the group to safety via an armoured convoy, which includes armoured tankers. The chase is incredibly thrilling and one of the most memorable action sequences ever filmed. The 2015 quasi-sequel Fury Road dials up the action even more and was a welcome return to the world of Mad Max.

Note that this program features details about the production, the director and several of the actors. It also contains a poster with artwork by the late, great Noriyoshi Ohrai (see last picture). This is the only place that the artwork was available – no actual cinema-used poster was printed featuring the art. The regular Japanese B2 poster is a photographic montage, which is near enough the same as this program, that can be seen on this site here.

I visited an exhibition of Ohrai’s work in Japan in 2014 and a report can be seen here. Other posters I have by him can be seen here.

The Thirty-Nine Steps / 1978 / one sheet / UK

03.11.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Thirty-Nine Steps
AKA
The 39 Steps (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Don Sharp
Starring
Robert Powell, David Warner, Eric Porter, Karen Dotrice, John Mills, George Baker, Ronald Pickup, Donald Pickering, Timothy West, Miles Anderson, Andrew Keir, Robert Flemyng
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | History | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
No title logo
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Vic Fair
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is the UK one sheet (sometimes referred to as English one sheet) for the 1978 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, based on the 1915 magazine serial-turned-book of the same name by the Scottish author John Buchan. The story has been turned into a film a number of times, including a 1935 version by Alfred Hitchcock that was later remade in 1959. This version, directed by the late Don Sharp (Psychomania, a couple of Hammer horror films), is considered to be the most faithful to Buchan’s original book. The film is set in the UK in 1914 and focuses on the character of Richard Hannay (whom Buchan would return to for five other novels) who becomes embroiled in a nefarious plot by German sleeper agents to start a war by assassinating a visiting foreign minister. Robert Powell plays Hannay and a host of notable British actors also feature, including John MillsDavid Warner and Eric Porter

The film makes great use of real locations all over the UK, including in Scotland where the bulk of the film takes place. It’s most known for a climactic sequence that occurs on the clock face of London’s Big Ben tower (in reality a large scale model on a set) that aped a sequence from Harold Lloyd’s 1923 film Safety Last. The film was a box-office success and would later spawn a TV series featuring the same character and starring Powell, called simply Hannay.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who was one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He was responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed Vic for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here. He sadly passed away in early 2017 but his great legacy lives on.

It shares some similarities with another poster Fair designed and illustrated for Rank (the production company and distributor), the 1977 horror anthology The Uncanny.

Note also that there’s another version of this one sheet which has a stylised title logo in the space on the right and can be seen here. I’m not sure why some have it and others don’t but I suspect the one without was a printing error, or a first printing.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and/or illustrated by Vic Fair click here.

It / ‘They All Float’ / screen print / regular / Mark Englert / USA

20.10.17

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Title
It - 'They All Float'
AKA
--
Year of Film
1990
Director
Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring
Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O'Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Brandon Crane, Adam Faraizl, Seth Green, Ben Heller, Emily Perkins, Marlon Taylor, Olivia Hussey
Origin of Film
USA | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Mark Englert
Artist
Mark Englert
Size (inches)
12" x 24 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is a screen print by the American artist Mark Englert for the 1990 TV version of Stephen King’s classic novel ‘It’, which was recently remade to great critical acclaim (and box office success). Originally shown as a two-part mini series, then later released on DVD and blu-ray as an edited single movie, the film is set in the fictional Maine town of Derry during two time periods (1960 and 1990). The story focuses on a group of children who are menaced by a shapeshifting creature that preys on their worst fears in order to attack and eat them. The creature appears once every 30 years and over the previous century many of the town’s children have disappeared. The group (nicknamed by themselves as The Losers Club) decide to take on It who most often appears as the malevolent clown Pennywise (Tim Curry). After driving it back underground in 1960, the group make a promise to return and put a stop to It once and for all 30 years later.

Note that this is the regular edition and glows in the dark which reveals hidden details, including Pennywise’s face in a hidden moon, and the spider form of It in the top left corner glows too.

This print was created in 2012. Englert, whose official website is here, first appeared on collectors’ radars with his print for The Thing that was released earlier in 2012. Since then he has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. One of his most popular releases was one for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as this print. Each is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘They All Float’ is part of the famous line spoken by Pennywise.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the 2012 Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.