You Searched For: Donald Pleasence

The Uncanny / one sheet / UK

22.06.15

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1977 British-Canadian horror anthology The Uncanny, which is based around the unlikely theme of malevolent cats. The film is often mistakenly credited as being an Amicus Productions anthology (like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror) but it was in fact a Rank release with the involvement of Milton Subotsky, one half of the Amicus team, which had disbanded in 1975.

The film features three stories told as part of an overarching framing tale that sees Peter Cushing as a British author visiting his agent in Montreal to present the idea for his next book, which is that all cats are inherently evil, supernatural creatures. To illustrate his reasoning he tells three separate tales, each from different eras and locations. The first is set in London and sees Miss Malkin (Joan Greenwood) a sick, wealthy widower leave her fortune to her houseful of cats, which angers her only nephew. He enlists the help of the housemaid Janet (Susan Penhaligon) who attempts to steal the copies of the will but disturbs the elderly woman as she’s doing so and kills her in the struggle that follows. Much to Janet’s surprise, the moggies then take their revenge on her and the nephew.

The second story is based in Quebec and sees Lucy (Katrina Holden Bronson) an orphaned girl, going to live with her Aunt and bringing her beloved cat Wellington with her. After being mistreated by the family who decide to try and dispose of Wellington, Lucy seeks help from her collection of witchcraft books and takes out her anger on her malicious cousin Angela. The final story is set in Hollywood during the 1930s and features Donald Pleasence giving it his all as an actor who rigs an onset accident that kills his wife so he can shack up with his mistress, a younger actress. Unfortunately, his wife’s cat is none too pleased with its owner being offed and sets out to get its revenge, which it does in a ridiculous finale.

The film features very little in the way of horror, with only some very fake looking blood in a few scenes and absolutely nothing in the way of suspense. The special effects are mostly awful and in the scenes where cats are supposedly attacking people you can practically see the hands of the animal handlers who’ve just thrown them at the victim. The middle story set in Canada is particularly poor, thanks to a woeful performance by the actress playing Lucy. The simple fact is that cats are not particularly scary and anyone who owns a cat knows that the worst that might happen is a bit of scratched skin. Apparently the film flopped at the box office and was never even given a release in American cinemas.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who is one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He is 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.

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

The Great Escape / A1 / 1975 re-release / Germany

30.11.15

Poster Poster

A striking design features on this German poster for the 1975 re-release of one of the greatest war films ever released, 1963’s The Great Escape. Director John Sturges (Magnificent Seven) helmed the film and it’s based on the 1950 non-fiction book of the same name, written by Paul Brickhill, which tells the story of a mass escape by allied prisoners from the high-security Stalag Luft III prison in Nazi Germany. Although partly fictionalised, many of the events depicted in the film did occur and the filmmakers only changed certain events and characters to add to the film’s commercial appeal.

An absolutely star-studded affair, the film features many of the finest male actors of the day, including Steve McQueenJames GarnerRichard Attenborough and Donald Pleasence. American actor Charles Bronson also appears as one of the prisoners and his popularity in Europe at the time of this 1975 re-release explains why he’s given equal billing on the poster alongside McQueen. Despite the roster of big names it will undoubtedly always be known as McQueen’s film since his turn as Virgil ‘The Cooler King’ Hilts, the cocky, determined Air Force captain, is really the centre of the film. It was McQueen’s image that was used to promote the film on various posters around the world. 

I’m unsure why the film was re-released in the then West Germany in 1975 and am also unsure who was responsible for the design and art on this A1 poster. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

The Great Escape / B1 / 2004 re-release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Tales That Witness The Madness / one sheet / black and white style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tales That Witness The Madness
AKA
Delirious (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Freddie Francis
Starring
Kim Novak, Georgia Brown, Joan Collins, Jack Hawkins, Donald Houston, Michael Jayston, Suzy Kendall, Peter McEnery, Michael Petrovitch, Donald Pleasence, Russell Lewis
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kim Novak, Georgia Brown, Joan Collins, Jack Hawkins, Donald Houston, Michael Jayston, Suzy Kendall, Peter McEnery, Michael Petrovitch, Donald Pleasence, Russell Lewis,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Black and white style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
An orgy of the damned! It happens beyond madness... where your mind won't believe what your eyes see.

Outback / one sheet / USA

03.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Outback
AKA
Wake in Fright
Year of Film
1971
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Meillon, John Armstrong
Origin of Film
Australia | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Meillon, John Armstrong,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/278
Tagline
Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have some dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here.

Outback (AKA Wake in Fright) was originally released in 1971 to a strong critical reception and decent box-office figures in countries like the UK, but it was almost a lost film by turn of the century. Only released in a few markets during the early 1970s, the film was seemingly forgotten about by the end of the decade and when Anthony Buckley, the editor of the film began looking for the original materials in 1996 it would be six years before he finally tracked them down to a warehouse in Pittsburgh. He was just in time since they were due to be destroyed only a week later. A full restoration was instigated and the results were screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival to great acclaim. The film was given a worldwide release shortly after and was put out on the blu-ray format at the same time.

An Australian-American co-production, the film was based on Australian author Kenneth Cook‘s 1961 novel Wake in Fright, which was the title it would be released with in Australia (and re-christened for its recent release everywhere). The film’s rights were acquired soon after the book was released but it would be several years before producers from NLT and Group W got involved and invited the Canadian director Ted Kotcheff (First Blood) to helm the adaptation. Kotcheff had never been to Australia before then and now admits to having known little about the outback and the situations he would go on to portray, but he immersed himself in the culture whilst filming on location and the results are clear to see on screen.

The late British actor Gary Bond plays John Grant, a teacher from Sydney who has agreed to the terms of a financial bond with the Australian government that guarantees him a tertiary eduction but means he has to take a teaching job in a remote outback township called Tiboonda. At the start of the Christmas holidays he sets off on a journey back to Sydney to see his girlfriend, which takes him via the mining town of Bundanyabba, known as The Yabba. He visits a bar where he meets a friendly but eccentric policeman (played by Chips Rafferty in his final role) who introduces him to the local gambling obsession of two-up. After winning a few rounds John gets carried away and decides to bet all his winnings to try and escape from the government bond. Unfortunately, luck is not on his side and he’s soon stuck in The Yabba, relying on the kindness of strangers to keep him afloat.

At another bar he meets a local called Tim Hynes (Al Thomas) who invites John back to his home. There he meets Tim’s daughter Jeanette and a bunch of his friends. Things take a dark turn from there as John is drawn into sordid events and descends into a drunken stupor with the aid of the gang of local men, led by alcoholic doctor Doc Tydon (played by a memorably wild-eyed Donald Pleasence). John eventually takes part in a horrific night-time kangaroo hunt that sees the men drunkenly shooting at the poor beasts before John is forced to stab an injured young kangaroo to death. Despite attempting to escape The Yabba via hitch-hiking, he soon finds himself back in the town carrying only a loaded rifle.

The film has a distinctly menacing atmosphere and you can’t help but put yourself in the shoes of John Grant, a man out of place, trapped in an oppressively hot and sticky environment. At some points you can practically taste the dust and sweat. The film attracted controversy for the kangaroo hunting scene, which featured graphic footage shot by Kotcheff and a camera crew after they’d joined a real kangaroo hunt during which the men with the rifles got progressively drunker whilst the night wore on. It’s still deeply unsettling to watch to this day, much like similar footage of animal cruelty in films like Cannibal Holocaust.

This artwork was used for the American marketing campaign and I think it was an adaptation of the Australian art (the two are very similar but there are a few notable differences). I’ve been unable to determine the name of the artist so if anyone has an idea please get in touch.

Escape From New York / press kit / UK

27.03.17

Poster Poster
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
Press kit
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
8" x 11"
SS or DS
--
Tagline
--

This is the original UK press kit for the 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.

As the name suggests, a press kit was supplied by the film’s distributors to members of the press for the purpose of promoting the release. It offers an outline of the story along with details of the cast and filmmakers involved. This kit also included four 8×10″ stills from the film, with each one having a short cast list and synopsis taped to the back. Some press kits are significantly larger and more detailed than this one so I suspect there may have been other parts to it, but I’m not certain.

 

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

Halloween / Thailand

03.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown (central image based on Bob Gleason art from US one sheet)
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Thai poster for the release of John Carpenter‘s seminal horror film Halloween. An independent release, financed by one man (Moustapha Akkad), the film was produced on a low budget of $300k and would go on to gross over $70m worldwide. Halloween kickstarted a franchise that would run for seven sequels (and a recent remake) and the masked character of Michael Myers would enter the horror pantheon as one of its most memorable monsters.

Carpenter wrote the screenplay with his then girlfriend, producer Debra Hill and is often credited as being the the first in a long line of slasher films, although films like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho were obvious inspirations. The film has little in the way of gore or violence and instead uses clever camera work and sound design to brilliant effect, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. There have been countless imitations over the years but few that match up to the taught, perfectly-paced original Halloween.

This Thai poster features the classic illustration of a knife blade morphing into a carved pumpkin that was created by the American artist Bob Gleason and used on the US one sheet and several other posters around the globe. The lurid montage at the bottom of the poster was created by a local Thai artist whose signature I’ve been unable to identify. If anyone has any ideas who was responsible, please get in touch.

In March 2016 Gleason’s original artwork was put up for auction (selling for just under $84k) and was accompanied by a letter from the artist talking about its creation, which is well worth a read.

Prince Of Darkness / Thailand

15.02.16

Poster Poster

This is the original Thai poster for the release of John Carpenter’s 1987 horror Prince of Darkness. As well as being in the director’s chair, Carpenter wrote the soundtrack and also the screenplay under the pseudonym Martin Quatermass, which is a direct homage to Bernard Quatermass, the lead character in Hammer’s film and TV series that started with The Quatermass Experiment and that features several elements in common with Carpenter’s story. The film is the second in what the director calls his ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’ that started with The Thing (1982) and ended with In the Mouth of Madness (1994) and is the result of Carpenter’s interest in theoretical physics and atomic theory as well as the idea of an ultimate evil or ‘anti-god’ combined with the physics-based concept of matter and anti-matter.

The plot sees Los Angeles priest Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence, his character name directly referencing Halloween) invite Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong, returning from Big Trouble in Little China) and a group of his students from a local university to help him investigate a mysterious, liquid-filled canister in the basement of an abandoned church that was being guarded by an elderly priest who passed away leaving a diary and a key to the basement. Amongst the group  is Brian Marsh (Jameson Parker) a theoretical physics student and a sceptical science student called Walter (Dennis Dun, also from Big Trouble in Little China), plus several other scientist types – one of the film’s weak spots is that it fails to give any explanation or back story to characters we’re supposed to care about/have some interest in.

Something in the canister is stirring and is causing strange events such as insects swarming the church and the local homeless population, which includes rocker Alice Cooper as ‘street schizo’, behaving as a zombie-like group. One of the students, Susan (Anne Marie Howard) is possessed by a burst of liquid from the canister and begins to kill and spread the possession to other members of the group, which has clear echoes of the way The Thing moves through the Antarctic camp. Meanwhile, the rest of the group have been experiencing the same ‘tachyon transmission’ purportedly from the future and warning them of the danger they face. They soon come to realise that the container actually holds the son of an even greater evil and one that is determined to escape from the realm of anti-matter and into our world. Brian and the handful of non-possessed team members must battle to stop the anti-god from fulfilling its plans before it is too late.

The film features a creepy atmosphere helped no-end by Carpenter’s superb score – one of his very best in my opinion. Despite the aforementioned underdeveloped characters there are still several decent performances, including that of the ever-reliable Pleasence and Lisa Blount, one of the students who is instrumental in stopping the anti-god at the end of the film. The make-up and special effects still stand up well and the set and production design are also worth a mention. It might not be up there with Halloween or The Thing, but it’s still one of Carpenter’s better films and one that definitely deserves its cult reputation.

This Thai poster features a montage of unique artwork painted by the Thai artist who signs his work ‘Jinda’. I’ve struggled to find out much about him so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch. The artist has painted some of the more memorable gore sequences from the film, although the main image of the woman crashing through the broken mirror isn’t exactly accurate, as anyone who’s seen the film can attest.

The section featuring the church and the oozing green liquid featured on several international posters, including the US one sheet and (partially) on the Japanese B2.

Prince Of Darkness / quad / UK

06.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Prince of Darkness
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, Anne Marie Howard, Ann Yen, Ken Wright, Dirk Blocker, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Peter Jason
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, Anne Marie Howard, Ann Yen, Ken Wright, Dirk Blocker, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Peter Jason,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A new film from John Carpenter, master of terror and suspense. | Before man walked the earth...it slept for centuries. It is evil. It is real. It is awakening.

This is the British quad for the release of John Carpenter’s 1987 horror Prince of Darkness. As well as being in the director’s chair, Carpenter wrote the soundtrack and also the screenplay under the pseudonym Martin Quatermass, which is a direct homage to Bernard Quatermass, the lead character in Hammer’s film and TV series that started with The Quatermass Experiment and that features several elements in common with Carpenter’s story. The film is the second in what the director calls his ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’ that started with The Thing (1982) and ended with In the Mouth of Madness (1994) and is the result of Carpenter’s interest in theoretical physics and atomic theory as well as the idea of an ultimate evil or ‘anti-god’ combined with the physics-based concept of matter and anti-matter.

The plot sees Los Angeles priest Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence, his character name directly referencing Halloween) invite Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong, returning from Big Trouble in Little China) and a group of his students from a local university to help him investigate a mysterious, liquid-filled canister in the basement of an abandoned church that was being guarded by an elderly priest who passed away leaving a diary and a key to the basement. Amongst the group  is Brian Marsh (Jameson Parker) a theoretical physics student and a sceptical science student called Walter (Dennis Dun, also from Big Trouble in Little China), plus several other scientist types – one of the film’s weak spots is that it fails to give any explanation or back story to characters we’re supposed to care about/have some interest in.

Something in the canister is stirring and is causing strange events such as insects swarming the church and the local homeless population, which includes rocker Alice Cooper as ‘street schizo’, behaving as a zombie-like group. One of the students, Susan (Anne Marie Howard) is possessed by a burst of liquid from the canister and begins to kill and spread the possession to other members of the group, which has clear echoes of the way The Thing moves through the Antarctic camp. Meanwhile, the rest of the group have been experiencing the same ‘tachyon transmission’ purportedly from the future and warning them of the danger they face. They soon come to realise that the container actually holds the son of an even greater evil and one that is determined to escape from the realm of anti-matter and into our world. Brian and the handful of non-possessed team members must battle to stop the anti-god from fulfilling its plans before it is too late.

The film features a creepy atmosphere helped no-end by Carpenter’s superb score – one of his very best in my opinion. Despite the aforementioned underdeveloped characters there are still several decent performances, including that of the ever-reliable Pleasence and Lisa Blount, one of the students who is instrumental in stopping the anti-god at the end of the film. The make-up and special effects still stand up well and the set and production design are also worth a mention. It might not be up there with Halloween or The Thing, but it’s still one of Carpenter’s better films and one that definitely deserves its cult reputation.

This image of the screaming, disfigured face with the bug in its mouth, as well as the church and the oozing green liquid was used around the world, including the US one sheet and (partially) on the Japanese B2.

Halloween / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 1/8" x 39 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The trick was to stay alive.

Escape From New York / B1 / Poland

16.11.15

Poster Poster
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 10/16" x 38 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original poster for the Polish release (in 1983) 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.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

 

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

Escape From New York / Thailand

12.08.15

Poster Poster
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
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 Barry E Jackson. The set of portraits in boxes are taken from the US advance poster that was painted by Stan Watts.

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

Creepers / video / UK

02.04.15

Poster Poster

This is the UK video poster for the release of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento‘s Creepers, which was a heavily cut version (over 30 minutes missing!) of his 1985 film that was released as Phenomena in Italy and elsewhere. The film stars a young Jennifer Connelly as Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of a famous actor, who is sent to study at a Swiss boarding school in an area where a series of grizzly murders have taken place. Jennifer suffers from sleepwalking and also discovers she has the ability to telepathically communicate with insects. Eventually she puts this skill to use for an investigation into the murders, aided by local forensic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasence). The film also stars Argento’s long-time partner Daria Nicolodi as Jennifer’s chaperone Frau Brückner and mother of a boy who has connections to the spate of deaths.

This poster was painted by the renowned British artist Graham Humphreys and we discussed the poster when I interviewed him about his career in 2011. The excerpt is below:

—————

You ended up doing a lot of work for Palace, obviously they were Palace Video at the time and they had a huge catalogue that they were distributing. There’s a great bit of artwork you did for Dario Argento’s Creepers – the psychotic chimp.
Yep, the cheeky chimp. They told me that they had this Dario Argento film and at that time I was quite naive and didn’t know who Argento was, having not seen Suspiria or any of those great films. I had the full uncut VHS copy of Creepers, or Phenomena, and it just blew me away. I thought it was fantastic and thoroughly distasteful, plus Donald Pleasance’s awful accent made it quite funny as well. They said ‘do something, whatever you want’ and I showed them the sketch – I had one idea – and they said ‘yep, this is it. Go for it.’

The blade-wielding chimp was an image that had stuck in your mind from the film?
Yes. They used it for a poster as well, for a limited cinema release of the film. If you were releasing a film on VHS you’d give it more kudos if you could say that it had been released theatrically. It would be a big selling point on the sales sheet if it said ‘released in cinemas’ and all you had to do was show it one screen for a couple of days and that was enough.

Ah, so it might have been that this was actually the first release of Creepers in the UK, direct onto VHS with a quick cinema release?
The VHS was released and for one week only it appeared in one or two cinemas, only in London. Actually, it might have just been the Prince Charles Cinema. The chimp design would have been fly-posted as well.

—————-

Check out the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and illustrated by Graham by clicking here. You can read the Film on Paper exclusive interview with Graham by clicking here.

Graham’s official website can be seen here.

Escape From New York / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title)
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Seiniger Advertising
Artist
Stan Watts
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810086
Tagline
1997. New York City is a walled maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.

Escape From New York / one sheet / studio / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title)
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Studio
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Seiniger Advertising
Artist
Barry E. Jackson
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
1997. New York City is a walled maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.

Escape From New York / B2 / Plissken style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title)
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Plissken style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Escape From New York / B2 / Statue of Liberty style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title)
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Statue of Liberty
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Halloween / one sheet / USA

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
Bob Gleason
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Night He Came Home!

Halloween / cinema advertising guide / UK

03.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Cinema advertising guide
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
9" x 11" + A4
SS or DS
--
Tagline
--

This is a rare cinema advertising guide for the original UK release of John Carpenter‘s seminal horror film Halloween. This guide was, as the name suggests, intended to be sent to managers of the Odeon cinema chain around the UK. It contains multiple pages of suggestions for how to market the film to local audiences and includes competition examples that could have been sent to local newspapers for publication. The guide consists of one outer cover that features unique artwork of the knife-wielding killer (a crude depiction of Michael Myers), as well as printed bloody fingerprints on the back. Inside there’s a stapled together guide which is printed on A4 paper in two colours. The other two items are competition examples, ready for newspapers to print.

The guide was put together, I believe, by the distributor (Miracle films) in conjunction with a company called Marler Haley. They were known for their work with the Odeon chain of cinemas during the 1970s and early 1980s and would create printed items for the promotion of films, which included a quad (30″ x 40″) and typically a set of four double-crown (20″ x 30″) posters, as well as larger exhibition stands and other items. A number of films were promoted this way, including Disney releases such as Tron, the first Star Wars film, and some James Bond outings.

Note the last few pages which detail the kinds of items the cinema managers could order to promote the film, including a ‘roof rack’ display to sit atop a car, trailers, posters and radio ads. The guide features a similar colour scheme and some of the imagery that can be found on the Marler Haley quad, which I have here, and the accompanying double-crown set (which I don’t yet own). Also note there’s an image of the ultra-scarce (but rather boring) Halloween teaser quad, which is text-only and had a panel for cinema staff to manually update the time left until the film arrived. It also features an image of a display stand that has the Marler Haley set along with the final release, full-colour quad that I have in the collection here.

If anyone knows anything more about how and where these guides were put together, please get in touch.

An independent release, financed by one man (Moustapha Akkad), the film was produced on a low budget of $300k and would go on to gross over $70m worldwide. Halloween kickstarted a franchise that would run for seven sequels (and a recent remake) and the masked character of Michael Myers would enter the horror pantheon as one of its most memorable monsters.

Carpenter wrote the screenplay with his then girlfriend, producer Debra Hill and is often credited as being the the first in a long line of slasher films, although films like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho were obvious inspirations. The film has little in the way of gore or violence and instead uses clever camera work and sound design to brilliant effect, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. There have been countless imitations over the years but few that match up to the taught, perfectly-paced original Halloween.

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

 

Halloween / quad / Marler Haley / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Marler Haley
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The trick was to stay alive.

THX 1138: Director’s Cut / one sheet / 2004 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
THX 1138
AKA
L'uomo che fuggì dal futuro [The man who's escaping from the future] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2004
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Halloween II / one sheet / USA

01.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween II
AKA
Boogey Man (Japan) | Il signore della morte [The lord of death] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Rick Rosenthal
Starring
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter von Leer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter von Leer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810159
Tagline
From The People Who Brought You "Halloween"... More of the Night He Came Home

After John Carpenter’s original horror classic Halloween made over $70 million at the global box-office on a budget of $325k – earnings equivalent to $250 million adjusted for ticket price inflation – it was only a matter of time before a sequel was put into production. Carpenter passed on the chance to direct Halloween II, but offered to both produce and write the screenplay (and apparently even direct a few scenes) and the film was put into production with a significantly increased budget of $2.5 million. A relatively unknown director called Rick Rosenthal was offered the job and filming got underway with a targeted release date of Halloween 1981.

This is one of those sequels that picks up immediately after the events at the end of the previous film and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is being loaded into an ambulance having survived the attack by Michael Myers who was shot by Dr Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) before escaping into the night. We follow Myers as he stalks the neighbourhood, murdering an unlucky teenager as he searches for the whereabouts of Laurie. Dr Loomis and the Haddonfield police desperately hunt the killer as the true extent of his actions in the previous film come to light. Meanwhile, Laurie arrives at the town’s hospital and soon falls into a catatonic state thanks to the shock of her ordeal. When Michael learns of her whereabouts after overhearing a news broadcast he heads towards the hospital and the carnage begins again.

Rosenthal is definitely no Carpenter but it’s still a strong horror film, which has several creepy moments despite upping the body count and leaning towards quick, gross-out murders rather than tense, drawn-out pursuit sequences. It’s interesting to see the aftermath of the events in the first film and the hospital makes for an excellent location for Myers to stalk his prey. At the time, the explosive ending seemed to draw a line under the story of Michael Myers and, infamously, Halloween III made no mention of him, but when that film was something of a box-office flop the producers of the next sequel brought the man in the mask back from the dead.

Halloween / screen print / Methane Studios / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2009
Designer
Methane Studios
Artist
Methane Studios
Size (inches)
19 1/16" x 27"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Escape From New York / A1 / final / Germany

05.09.13

Poster Poster
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
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 32 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the final poster for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). 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.

The artwork featured is unique to this poster and I’m unsure who is responsible for it, but I’m assuming it was painted by a German artist. If anyone has any clues please get in touch.

I also have the German teaser poster in the collection and that can be viewed here.

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