You searched for: George

Fright / 30×40 / USA

03.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Fright
AKA
L'allucinante notte di una baby sitter [The terrifying night of a baby sitter] (Italy) | I'm Alone and I'm Scared (USA - reissue title)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Peter Collinson
Starring
Honor Blackman, Susan George, Ian Bannen, John Gregson, George Cole, Dennis Waterman, Tara Collinson, Maurice Kaufmann, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Michael Brennan
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Honor Blackman, Susan George, Ian Bannen, John Gregson, George Cole, Dennis Waterman, Tara Collinson, Maurice Kaufmann, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Michael Brennan,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/157
Tagline
Now the screen has a new definition of TERROR!

A strong contender for one of the earliest entries into the ‘slasher’ sub-genre of horror, Fright was filmed in the UK by Peter Collinson, perhaps best known as the director of the original The Italian Job. The film focuses on the plight of a babysitter, played by Susan George, who suffers a series of frightening occurrences after the parents (Honor Blackman and George Cole) leave for the evening, but before long the real terror arrives in the shape of the child’s biological father (Ian Bannen), a recent escapee from a mental asylum.

Fright is notorious for its brutal scenes of violence and is one of several films that raised the bar in terms of the depiction of on-screen horror following the relaxation of censorship rules at the start of the 1970s. This was the second film released in 1971 to feature Susan George being subjected to domestic terror, the other being Sam Peckinpah’s brilliant Straw Dogs.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid / B2 / Japan

23.03.12

Poster Poster

A unique design on this Japanese B2 for the 1969 take on the true story of the infamous Wild West outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, here played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford in arguably their greatest screen roles. George Roy Hill would later go on to direct the pair again in the equally brilliant con men caper The Sting (1973).

The film follows the pair as they rob from money trains with varying success (a botched effort can be seen on the poster) and are forced to flee America after a posse of bounty hunters are unleashed to track them down. Arriving in Bolivia with the Sundance Kid’s lover, Etta Place (played by the gorgeous Katharine Ross), the duo try to make an honest living working as security guards. It’s not long before a violent incident sends them back to their old ways and on a collision course with destiny. The film features arguably the most famous freeze-frame ending in cinematic history.

A number of excellent posters for the film can be viewed here. The original trailer is on YouTube.

 

Life of Brian / quad / 1988 re-release / UK

11.04.14

Poster Poster

Probably my favourite of the five cinematic outings by the Monty Python crew, Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made and the brilliant satirical humour hasn’t diminished at all in the thirty plus years since its release. Infamously causing an uproar with various religious groups, it also saw EMI, the original financial backers, pulling out during production claiming the script was blasphemous. Luckily, George Harrison stepped in with the finance, apparently after realising it may have been the last chance to see another Python film in cinemas. His company HandMade Films was formed as a result of this deal.

The film’s religion-baiting story sees a man called Brian (Graham Chapman) born at the same time as Jesus Christ and initially mistaken for the Messiah, who ends up living an unremarkable life under the Roman occupation of Judea. Things take a fateful turn when his infatuation with a young rebel called Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) leads him to join the People’s Front of Judea, a bickering group who have decided to take a stand against the emperor.

The film raised the ire of several religious groups who were outraged at the concept, despite most of them having never even seen the film, and it was only given a general release once several cuts had been made. Despite the edits, several local UK councils banned the film from being shown at cinemas within their boroughs. Apparently some of these bans lasted until very recently, with the Welsh town of Aberystwyth finally lifting its one in 2009, which then saw a screening of the film attended by Jones, Michael Palin and Sue Jones-Davies, who was the then mayor of the town.

One of the more infamous bans was carried out by the Norwegians who refused to allow the film to be screened at all, which lead some of the international marketing material for the film to be emblazoned with the proclamation ‘So funny it was banned in Norway!’

This is a scarce, alternate style UK quad which differs from the other somewhat confusing design, which is simply the logo doubled up. A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that this quad was designed in house at HandMade films. To quote their informative email:

HandMade and the Pythons decided to re-submit the film to Irish Film Board to have the original ban overturned. The submission was successful and with the censor certification under our belt plans to release the film moved ahead and the Life of Brian was finally released in Ireland  I recall in the summer of 1988 as I recall eight years after original release. One of the unsung heroes of HandMade was freelance artist/designer George Rowbottom.

George was closely involved in many HMF posters over the years along with Ray Cooper and it was George who re-worked Life of Brian poster and came up with the “tablet” design for the quad used for the Irish release and also the superior amended 1-sheet. In both cases these were printed by National Screen who printed all our posters for domestic and international.

The original American trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Barbarosa / one sheet / USA

13.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
Barbarosa
AKA
La Vengeance mexicaine (France)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Fred Schepisi
Starring
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martinez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martinez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
George Tsui
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820030
Tagline
The Outlaw... The Outcast... And the Legend that was bigger than both of them.

Great artwork features on this US one sheet for the little-seen 1982 western Barbarosa. The film was the first American film to be directed the Australian producer/director Fred Schepisi who would go on to international success with films such as Roxanne and Six Degrees of Separation. It stars the legendary country musician Willie Nelson who forged a career in acting towards the end of the 1970s and this was one of his first feature films. He appears alongside Gary Busey who plays a young farm boy who joins up with Nelson’s titular outlaw. The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

Karl Westover (Busey), an inexperienced farm boy, runs away after unintentionally killing a neighbor, whose family pursues him for vengeance. He meets Barbarosa, a gunman of near-mythical proportions, who is himself in danger from his father-in-law Don Braulio, a wealthy Mexican rancher. Don Braulio wants Barbarosa dead for marrying his daughter against the father’s will. Barbarosa reluctantly takes the clumsy Karl on as a partner, as both of them look to survive the forces lining up against them.

The film appears to have only been released in a few countries, including the US and Australia but was well received by critics at the time. The artwork on this one sheet appears to have been used to promote the film in most of the markets in which it was released. It features the signature (see picture 9) beloning to an artist called George Tsui. A reader of the site commented and helped me identify him after I’d struggled to read the signature originally. I’ve struggled to find out much in the way of biographical details about him other than that he was born in Hong Kong and moved to New York in the late 60s. He first studied at the School of Visual Arts and later majored in oil painting at the Art Students League.

According to this site Tsui worked for NBC for a number of years and won the 1997 Emmy Award for Best Individual Art and Craft. That site also features other pictures of his work. Apparently he worked on other film posters (the titles of which I’m struggling with) and a series of posters for the 1984 Winter Olympics. If anyone has any more information about the artist and his work on film posters please get in touch.

Mr Ricco / 30×40 / USA

03.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Mr Ricco
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bogart
Starring
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/27
Tagline
The one thing people hate more than a cop killer... is the lawyer who gets him off!

Mr Ricco, a little-seen 1970s crime thriller, marked the last starring role in film for ‘The King of Cool’ Dean Martin (unless you count his cameos in the two Cannonball Run films). The Italian-American entertainer, who had seen great success in several of his earlier roles including Rio Bravo and Ocean’s Eleven (with his fellow Rat Pack members), would continue to make popular TV appearances and music recordings but never headline a film again. After reading the reviews on IMDb it appears he was probably getting too old to convincingly pull-off the action scenes that roles like this one required.

Martin appears in the title role as Joe Ricco, a San Francisco lawyer who successfully defends Frankie Steele (Thalmus Rasulala) a member of a black militant group charged with murdering a woman. Shortly afterwards two cops are gunned down and Steele is implicated in the crime after witnesses describe seeing him fleeing the scene. The detective in charge of the case, George Cronyn (Eugene Roche), is angered that Steele appears to have got away with it again and decides to kill one of the members of the Black Serpents (Steele’s group) and implicate another in the cops’ murder. Ricco agrees to defend the wrongly-accused man but soon after is targeted by a lone sniper who almost kills him. Once again, Steele is implicated in the attempted murder so Ricco sets out to discover why his former client is trying to kill him.

This US 30×40 features artwork by an American artist called Larry Salk about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. A now defunct gallery site described him as a freelance illustrator who worked on around 165 film posters, as well as painting for advertisements, video game covers, record sleeves and more. IMPAwards features a few of his posters (I have his one sheet for the 3D re-release of House of Wax and the advance for Superman III) and he was the artist who painted the famous portrait of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. He apparently passed away in 2004.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
George Miller, George Ogilvie
Starring
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Angry Anderson, Robert Grubb, George Spartels, Edwin Hodgeman
Origin of Film
Australia | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto, Paul Larsson, Angry Anderson, Robert Grubb, George Spartels, Edwin Hodgeman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Amsel
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A lone warrior searching for his destiny...a tribe of lost children waiting for a hero...in a world battling to survive, they face a woman determined to rule. Hold out for Mad Max this is his greatest adventure.

My Bloody Valentine / B2 / Japan

19.12.14

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B2 for the release of the Canadian film My Bloody Valentine, which was one of several slasher films released in the wake of the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). The film is set in the fictional mining town of Valentine Bluffs that is preparing to hold its first Valentine’s Day town dance in 20 years. It’s revealed that two decades earlier there was an accident down the mine that saw four miners die from gas poisoning and a fifth, named Harry Warden, survive by resorting to cannibalism until he was rescued. Two supervisors were blamed for what happened to the men as they deserted their posts to attend the town dance and a year later Harry returned to take his revenge, murdering the pair and cutting out their hearts, before warning that the town should never hold another dance.

Since Harry was eventually caught and locked up in an insane asylum the warning had become a distant memory and the people of the town decide to hold a new dance, which excites the younger generation of inhabitants. Shortly before the day of the dance the mayor of the town and the chief of police receive an anonymous gift in the form of a box of chocolates. When they open it they discover a bloody human heart. Soon after, a woman called Mabel is brutally murdered by a man dressed in mining gear and the town decides they have no choice but to cancel the dance. The frustrated younger townspeople decide to hold their own party at the mines the next night but they’re not prepared for the wrath of the mysterious killer and one by one they fall victim to his sharpened pickaxe.

Whilst far from the best in the slasher genre the film is certainly entertaining and features some pretty memorable kills. Notoriously the MPAA (the American ratings board) forced the filmmakers to make 9 minutes of cuts to remove most of the gory sequences. The cuts are now thought to have been a reaction by Paramount to the backlash they suffered over the gore in Friday the 13th (1980) and the director George Mihalka also suggests that horror films released in the wake of John Lennon’s murder suffered similar fates. The film was released with much of the footage reinstated in a 2009 DVD release.

Silver Streak / one sheet / style A / USA

31.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
Silver Streak
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Arthur Hiller
Starring
Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Ray Walston, Stefan Gierasch, Len Birman, Valerie Curtin, Lucille Benson, Scatman Crothers, Richard Kiel, Fred Willard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Ray Walston, Stefan Gierasch, Len Birman, Valerie Curtin, Lucille Benson, Scatman Crothers, Richard Kiel, Fred Willard,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
George Gross
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/200
Tagline
By plane, by train, by the edge of your seat, it's the most hilarious suspense ride of your life!

Silver Streak, a 1976 comedy thriller, marked the first time that the celebrated comic actors Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor would appear together in a film and there would be a further three pairings following this one. Directed by Arthur Hiller, who would helm See No Evil, Hear No Evil starring Wilder and Pryor 13 years later, the film is mostly set onboard the eponymous long distance train. Wilder plays George Caldwell a book editor who is traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago for his sister’s wedding. Whilst onboard he meets Hilly (Jill Clayburgh) and the pair strike up a romance, but soon George is battling to stay alive after he witnesses the murder of an art historian and attracts the attention of the killers.

The gang plan to impersonate the dead historian in order to pass of a pair of forged Rembrandt paintings as original. George is forcefully removed from the train several times and it’s during one of these escapades that he meets the criminal Grover T. Muldoon (Pryor) who he enlists in helping him reach the train to climb back onboard and bring the conspiracy to light. As this poster artwork suggests, the film ends in a spectacular train crash.

The artwork is by George Gross, an American who is best known as an artist of pulp book covers but, as this short biography details, he also worked on magazine illustrations and covers for popular novels. The artist was born in 1909 in Brooklyn and he followed his father into the area of commercial illustration, with both of his siblings eventually making it a proper family affair. This site has a gallery of his pulp covers. I’ve been unable to determine if he painted any other film posters so please get in touch if you know of any others.

It’s worth noting that the central figures have been rather crudely cut out and placed over the background scenes, which have also been cut up in places (see if you can spot the replicated policeman).

Knightriders / one sheet / advance / USA

16.06.11

Poster Poster
Title
Knightriders
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
George A. Romero
Starring
Ed Harris, Gary Lahti, Tom Savini, Amy Ingersoll, Patricia Tallman, Christine Forrest, Warner Shook, Brother Blue, Cynthia Adler, John Amplas
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ed Harris, Gary Lahti, Tom Savini, Amy Ingersoll, Patricia Tallman, Christine Forrest, Warner Shook, Brother Blue, Cynthia Adler, John Amplas,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Boris Vallejo
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Games...The Romance...The Spirit...Camelot is a state of mind.

One of George A. Romero‘s lesser known titles, mainly because it’s quite unlike any of his other output, this tale of a traveling troupe of motorcycle-riding jousters is often cited as one of his best by those that have seen it. This advance one sheet features superb artwork by the great Boris Vallejo. You’ll notice that the bike (a Honda CBX1000 apparently) has been rendered with careful detail and I’m a big fan of the tagline too. You might also spot that the title has been trademarked.

You can watch the trailer with or without a commentary from Mick Garris on the superb Trailers From Hell site.

The Exterminator / one sheet / USA

16.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Exterminator
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
James Glickenhaus
Starring
Christopher George, Samantha Eggar, Robert Ginty, Steve James, Tony DiBenedetto, Dick Boccelli, Patrick Farrelly, Michele Harrell
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher George, Samantha Eggar, Robert Ginty, Steve James, Tony DiBenedetto, Dick Boccelli, Patrick Farrelly, Michele Harrell,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800142
Tagline
In war, you have to kill to stay alive... on the streets of New York, it's often the same. | ...the man they pushed too far.

The Exterminator is a 1980 vigilante b-movie that was written and directed by James Glickenhaus and set in New York. Opening with a commendably over-the-top sequence in war-torn Vietnam, we’re introduced to John Eastland (Robert Ginty) and his friend Michael Jefferson (Steve James) who are captured by the Vietcong and forced to watch as a fellow soldier is beheaded (achieved courtesy of Stan Winston special effects). After being rescued the pair return to their lives in New York but when Michael is attacked and paralysed by street thugs, John sets out for revenge with an army machine gun and images of the atrocities he saw in Vietnam playing over in his head. Before long, he’s attacking and killing various underworld characters who he sees as a blight on society. It’s not long before he comes to the attention of a police detective (Christopher George) and shady elements within the CIA.

The film has a gritty atmosphere, helped no end by the fact that several scenes were set (and filmed) around New York’s 42nd street (Times Square) back when it wasn’t the family-friendly tourist trap it is today. Although Glickenhaus wanted John to be a normal, non-macho kind of guy, Robert Ginty takes it a little too far and at times is barely audible as he mumbles along with dead-eyed stare – he’s very hard to root for during each of the violent encounters. Despite a critical drubbing the film was a box-office success in the States, quickly expanding to more cinemas in the weeks following its opening. A sequel would be made a few years later without Glickenhaus’ involvement.

In an interview on the blu-ray release of the film from Arrow Video, the director talks briefly about the promotion of the film, mentioning the poster:

‘Avco Embassy came up with that idea and asked me and I thought it would be an interesting thing. I think they made it a little bit mysterious with the motorcycle helmet and what-not but it did become an iconic image and was copied more than a few times, including for a porno film called The Penetrator. They had a naked guy with a flame-thrower standing there, which is what it is. But it [the Exterminator poster] got people to the box-office so it worked.’

The Company Of Wolves / one sheet / UK

16.09.13

Poster Poster

A joint collaboration between two British production companies, Palace Pictures and Lew Grade’s ITC Entertainment, The Company of Wolves was helmed by the Irish director Neil Jordan and based on a short story by the late English author Angela Carter, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jordan. The film begins in the modern day with the  lead character Rosaleen (played by first-time actress Sarah Patterson) having moved with her parents to a large house in a forest. At night Rosaleen falls asleep and has a vivid dream in which she is a medieval peasant girl who lives with her grandma (played by Murder, She Wrote’s Angela Lansbury) in a woodland village. Sitting by the fire one evening her grandma begins to tell her a story and what follows is a series of surreal, fantasy tales, with multiple narratives and narrators, most of which feature wolves or werewolves, and all of which are ripe with hidden meanings and deeper significances (check out this page on IMDb to give you an idea).

Featuring elements of the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairytale (and indeed the film features a blood red shawl worn by a young girl) the film is a parable of the loss of innocence and the beginning of adolescence and sexual awakening – as the Grandma says at one point ‘Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle.’ Overcoming a slight budget The Company of Wolves has a dream-like, eerie atmosphere helped in no-small part by excellent production and costume design. There is also a werewolf transformation scene that challenges the famous one seen in American Werewolf in London. Palace Pictures would re-team several more times with Neil Jordan, including for Mona Lisa (1986) and Oscar-winning The Crying Game (1992)

This one sheet was printed for use in the UK alongside the quad, which is markedly different in its design and can be viewed here. The artwork was painted by the celebrated British artist George Underwood, who is perhaps best known for his work on album covers for the likes of David Bowie (Hunky Dory, Space Oddity and more), T.Rex and The Fixx. Born in Bromley, Kent in 1947, Underwood went on to study at the nearby Beckenham Art School and then afterwards at Ravensbourne College of Art. After a brief flirtation with the music industry (Bowie being a lifelong friend of his), he decided to concentrate on his design and illustration, beginning his career by working on LP covers and book covers.

Later on, Underwood would start work as a freelance illustrator, which is when he would have painted this poster for Palace Pictures. In the 1970s he began painting in oils, creating wonderful surrealist portraits and his official website features galleries of these and his other work, including album covers. I’m unsure whether he worked on any other film posters but I intend to contact the artist to find out.

Patton / B2 / Japan

20.02.17

Poster Poster
Title
Patton
AKA
Patton - Rebell in Uniform (West Germany)
Year of Film
1970
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring
George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong, Carey Loftin, Albert Dumortier, Frank Latimore, Morgan Paull, Karl Michael Vogler
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong, Carey Loftin, Albert Dumortier, Frank Latimore, Morgan Paull, Karl Michael Vogler,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1970
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Japanese poster for the award-winning biography of General George S. Patton, the celebrated US Army officer who led successful campaigns during World War II. The film, simply titled Patton, was in development for several years and was something of a passion project for producer Frank McCarthy who had worked at the United States Department of War during WWII. The film was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (arguably best known for Planet of the Apes, 1968) and starred the late actor George C. Scott in one of his most celebrated roles as the eponymous general. Karl Malden also appears as fellow senior officer, General Omar N. Bradley. The screenplay was written by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, with the pair (who never worked together in person) basing their screenplay on two biographies of Patton. 

The film opens with a famous monologue where Patton addresses unseen troops in front of a giant American flag. The rest of the film, which clocks in at over three hours and features an intermission, deals with incidents from Patton’s career during World War II, including his successful campaigns in North Africa and Sicily. This includes controversial incidents that had a severe effect on his standing with the military top brass, including Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower (later US President). One involved him berating and slapping a shell-shocked soldier, which saw him reprimanded and forced to apologise to the entire division. Patton is depicted as something of a glory chaser, wanting to be at the front of any campaign and pushing the soldiers under him to their limits, with punishing schedules and lack of rest and relaxation. The final third of the film depicts his legendary sweep through Europe and into Germany before the eventual surrender of the German forces.

The film’s production design is incredible and, although largely filmed in Spain, the locations feel very authentic and the numerous battle scenes are suitably epic with plenty of actual military hardware in use (as opposed to the CGI that would be employed today). The film would justly win the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. It was also the Best Picture and Best Director winner at the 1971 ceremony, winning seven awards in total. Infamously, Scott won for Best Actor but declined the award, saying the politics around the ceremony was “demeaning” and that the show amounted to nothing more than “a two-hour meat parade”. The film remains one of the best War films made to this day. Note the Dimension 150 logo on this Japanese B2 poster which refers to an ultra-widescreen format, similar to Cinerama, that was only employed by two productions (The Bible being the other).

Day of the Dead / Thailand

18.02.15

Poster Poster
Title
Day Of The Dead
AKA
Zombie 2 - Das letzte Kapitel (West Germany) | Il giorno degli zombi (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
George A. Romero
Starring
Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr., Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr., Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jinda
Size (inches)
21 4/16" x 30 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is Thai poster for the release of the third film in George A. Romero‘s ‘Dead’ series, Day of the Dead. In a similar situation to Dawn of the Dead (released 7 years earlier) this film had no returning characters from the previous entry due to rights issues, so it’s set in the same universe after the zombie outbreak but shares no continuity with the earlier films. Romero’s original vision for the ‘Day…’ was scaled back to due to budget constraints, but the director has since said he’s very happy with the final product. It’s a notably darker, bleaker effort than the fan favourite ‘Dawn’ but features a unique setting, memorable characters and some of the best special effects of the entire series, courtesy of the legendary Tom Savini.

The story follows a group of survivors who have holed-up in a military bunker in Florida and make regular trips around the area looking for survivors. Underground a small group of scientists and technical specialists, including Dr Sarah Bowman (Lori Cardille) and Dr Logan (Richard Liberty), known as ‘Frankenstein’, are working to discover the cause of the outbreak and discover if anything can be done to make the zombies more docile. An uneasy truce is maintained by the scientists and other specialists like helicopter pilot John (Terry Alexander), with a group of soldiers ostensibly there to protect them and deliver them test subjects from a fenced off area of the base. The soldiers are led by the psychotic Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) who discovers that Dr Frankenstein has been secretly carrying out experiments using dead soldiers, including training a zombie known as Bub (Sherman Howard) to follow commands. At this point the truce is shattered and a series of events see the base overrun with the undead, forcing Sarah and the others to try to escape the carnage before its too late.

This Thai poster features a montage of images from the film, including the infamous dream sequence where zombie hands burst through the wall trying to grab Dr Bowman. The artist responsible is known as Jinda and, other than some other Thai film posters he’s painted, I could find little information about him. If anyone knows more biographical details about Jinda, please get in touch.

The Terminal Man / B2 / Japan

04.02.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Terminal Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of The Terminal Man, a 1972 sci-fi film from Mike Hodges, the director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon, and based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name. George Segal stars as a computer scientist who, after suffering a series of seizures and violent episodes, agrees to have a microcomputer inserted into his brain. Unfortunately the operation has some unwanted side effects and triggers his brain into craving more violent stimuli, sending him over the edge.

The film wasn’t particularly well received at the box office and was never given a UK cinema release. It was only released on DVD in 2009 as a part of the on demand Warner Archive program.

There’s a strange bit of trivia on the Wikipedia page for the film:  Terrence Malick, the director of Badlands, reportedly has written to Hodges expressing how much he loved watching The Terminal Man.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Slap Shot / B2 / Japan

20.06.11

Poster Poster

George Roy Hill‘s ice hockey comedy was critically panned on release but quickly grew into a cult classic and is considered by many to be the best sports/comedy movie ever made.

This Japanese poster is actually a combination of two of the American one sheets and a promotional still from the film. The artwork by Craig Nelson on the Style A one sheet is combined with the sketch-style artwork (credited to ‘R.G.’) on Style B. The photo of Paul Newman appears to have been taken from this still and his lower half has been illustrated to extend it downwards.

You can watch the original trailer here.

The Black Bird / one sheet / USA

11.07.17

Poster Poster
Title
The Black Bird
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
David Giler
Starring
George Segal, Stéphane Audran, Lionel Stander, Lee Patrick, Elisha Cook Jr., Felix Silla, Signe Hasso, John Abbott, Connie Kreski, Titus Napoleon, Harry Kenoi, Howard Jeffrey, Ken Swofford
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Segal, Stéphane Audran, Lionel Stander, Lee Patrick, Elisha Cook Jr., Felix Silla, Signe Hasso, John Abbott, Connie Kreski, Titus Napoleon, Harry Kenoi, Howard Jeffrey, Ken Swofford,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/159
Tagline
Why is everyone after George Segal's bird? Because he's Sam Spade Jr... and his falcons worth a fortune.

This one sheet for the largely forgotten (and ill-advised) quasi-sequel to the classic 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, The Black Bird, features one of the earliest film poster illustrations by the legendary artist Drew Struzan. The film is the sole directorial effort from David Giler, who is now best known as a producer on pretty much every Alien film in the franchise, up to and including Alien Covenant (2017). George Segal stars as the son of detective Sam Spade, who was played by Humphrey Bogart in the first film. The plot is described on IMDb:

The son of famous detective Sam Spade carries on the family tradition of getting involved with the Maltese Falcon – and with the people who will stop at nothing, including murder, to get it.

The Black Bird was trashed by critics at the time of release and audiences stayed away too. Unless I’m mistaken, the film has never been released digitally and is only available if you still have a VHS player.

Drew Struzan is an artist who barely needs an introduction given that he painted many of the most iconic film posters of all time, including several for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and a slew of other beloved classics like The Thing and The Goonies. The artist’s own site features 4 pages of his work for films and Drew also worked in other areas, including product marketing, book and magazine covers, editorial and multiple paintings as a fine artist. Drew declared that he’d retired in 2008 but has worked on a handful of special paintings since then, including one to announce the most recent Star Wars film in 2015.

To see a gallery of the other posters by Drew that I’ve collected click here.

 

City of the Living Dead / version A / Thailand

02.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
City of the Living Dead
AKA
Paura nella città dei morti viventi [Fear in the city of the living dead] (Italy - original title) | Gates of Hell (US - alternative title) | Twilight of the Living Dead
Year of Film
1980
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
Version A
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noppadol | Enzo Sciotti (original heads rising from the grave imagery)
Size (inches)
21 6/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director Lucio Fulci is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and City of the Living Dead is one of what I consider to be the ‘big four’ Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

City of the Living Dead is the first film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films and was followed by The Beyond in 1981. It stars British actress Catriona MacColl (credited on the poster as Katherine MacColl) who then collaborated with Fulci on the next two entries. The plot sees Father Thomas, a priest in the small New England town of Dunwich, hang himself in a misty cemetery. For reasons that aren’t made clear, this causes the gates of hell to open and the dead to return from the grave. Meanwhile in New York City, Mary Woodhouse (MacColl) is taking part in a séance where she sees the priest’s actions and apparently dies from fright.

A reporter named Peter Bell (Christopher George) hears about the situation and tries to gain entry to the building before being turned away. He later visits Mary’s grave, discovers she has been buried alive and frees her with a pick-axe. The pair then decide to travel to Dunwich where they meet up with a local psychiatrist called Gerry (Carlo De Mejo) and attempt to locate the tomb of Father Thomas to try and close the gates of hell. However, the evil is spreading through the town and ghouls have begun to rise from the ground.

As was typical with all of Fulci’s output during this period, the film features several scenes of brutal, graphic gore and the Thai artist has decided to go for broke, depicting the more memorable moments on this poster. There’s one death scene in particular, featuring a giant drill, that would fall foul of the BBFC, the folks responsible for passing the film for release in the UK. Upon its original cinema release the drill scene was cut from the film, as was the case with the initial VHS release. The film was then caught up in the infamous Video Nasties situation in the early 1980s and, although not on the infamous list (unlike The House by the Cemetery), the VHS had to be resubmitted and had almost two and a half minutes excised from it. An uncut version finally saw UK release in 2001.

This Thai poster features artwork that is largely unique to it which was painted by the Thai artist known as Noppadol, about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. The montage does feature a reproduction of the artwork found on the Italian locandina poster that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti. It’s worth noting that there is an alternative Thai poster (version B) with the US release title of Gates of Hell (see here) that features some elements of this poster and which was also painted by Noppadol.

Although folded and not in great condition this is a scarce poster and one that’s getting increasingly hard to find. I’ll continue to try and locate one without the fold lines but suspect it won’t be easy.

Rambo: First Blood Part II / Thailand

05.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Rambo: First Blood Part II
AKA
Rambo II: la vendetta [the revenge] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
George P. Cosmatos
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Julian Turner
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Julian Turner,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
24 1/16" x 34 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
No man, no law, no war can stop him.

This is the Thai poster for the release of the follow up to the action classic First Blood (1982). Coming three years after the original, Rambo: First Blood Part II – note the addition of the character’s surname to the title – had a script that was co-written by James Cameron and Sylvester Stallone. George P. Cosmatos was chosen to direct the film and the legendary partnership of Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna, who were behind many of the best action films of the 1980s and 90s, were executive producers. 

The film picks up where the original left off, with ex-commando John Rambo (Stallone) serving time in prison for the events of the first film. His former commander Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) visits him whilst he’s cracking rocks in a quarry with other prisoners and asks him if he’d help with a mission to locate MIA / Prisoners of War (POWs) in Vietnam. The public believe there are still American soldiers out there in the country, despite denials by the US and Vietnamese government. This was a very topical issue in the early 1980s and First Blood Part II was one of the first films to tackle the issue directly. Promised a pardon for his previous actions, Rambo accepts and travels to Thailand from where we he will be covertly dropped into Vietnam. He’s given orders that it’s just a reconnaissance mission – photographs can be shot but nothing else.

During the parachute drop things go awry when his parachute is caught in the door of the plane and he’s forced to cut away his bag of equipment before managing to untangle himself. Landing with only a large knife and a fold-out bow, Rambo manages to meet up with his contact Co-Bao (the stunning Julia Nickson) who helps him locate the camp in which it’s believed the prisoners may be held. Sneaking in during the night, he locates the American prisoners and breaks one out of the camp, intending to rescue the others with more support. The trio head to the pre-arranged rendezvous point with the Vietnamese guards in hot pursuit. Desperately trying to climb onto the rescue helicopter, they discover that the government agent overseeing the mission, Marshall Murdock (Charles Napier), orders his men not to pick them up. The whole thing was intended as a kind of PR mission to appease the American public angry about the POW situation. Murdock incorrectly believed that no prisoners would be located.

Rambo and the prisoner are captured by the Vietnamese and returned to the camp whilst Co-Bao manages to escape. They soon discover that the Soviets are arming and training the local soldiers. They meet the local commander, Lt. Col. Podovsky (Steven Berkoff) and his henchman Sergeant Yushin who torture Rambo and force him to disavow the POWs over the radio. When they threaten the life of a prisoner and Co-Bao attacks the hut in which they’re in, Rambo seizes his chance, rampaging out of the camp with Co-Bao following. The Russian and Vietnamese soldiers soon realise they messed with the wrong man as he proceeds to kill them one by one in a famous sequence during which the body count rises into the 70s.

The film was critically mauled on release but was a huge box-office hit, being the first film released in America to open on over 2000 screens. It accrued several times its original budget with a worldwide take of north of $300m. First Blood Part II is one of the defining action films of the 1980s and has been much imitated and parodied (particularly by Charlie Sheen in Hot Shots! Part Deux) since. A far less successful sequel would follow three years later before the series took a long hiatus prior to being resurrected in 2008 with Rambo.

The artwork on this poster is by Tongdee Panumas who was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch. The central image of Stallone holding a bazooka was redrawn from the photograph used for the American one sheet, which can be seen here.

Note that the dark line seen across the centre of the poster is actually where two painted canvases have been joined together by the artist – the art was then copied and the text and other details overlaid.

Straw Dogs / B2 / Japan

13.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Straw Dogs
AKA
--
Year of Film
1971
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Donald Webster, Ken Hutchison
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Donald Webster, Ken Hutchison,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Legendary American director Sam Peckinpah‘s contract with Warner Bros had come to an acrimonious end after the The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) ended up $3 million over budget and 19 days late. The notoriously prickly director found further opportunities very limited in Hollywood and decided to travel to England to film Straw Dogs, a thriller based on the novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm by Scottish author Gordon Williams.

Starring Dustin Hoffman in arguably one of his greatest screen roles, the film sees timid mathematician David Sumner (Hoffman) leaving America to live with his English wife Amy (Susan George), in a fictional Cornish village. Before long David’s patience and resolve is tested by a gang of local men who harass the couple and, in a particularly controversial sequence, two of the men take it in turns to rape Amy. As the title of the source novel suggests, the film ends with a violent confrontation, which sees David pushed beyond the limits. Like many of Peckinpah’s films, Straw Dogs was heavily criticised for its violence, although the director defended the film as an exploration of the subject and claimed Hoffman’s character showed his true side during the climax.

This Japanese poster chose to focus on Hoffman as the film’s main draw, likely due to the successes of The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy in Japan at the end of the 1960s. The film seems to have been given unique advertising campaigns in most of the countries it was released in and there were a few US one sheets, including this classic image of Hoffman and a rather strange alternative style featuring a literal straw dog!

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Spaceballs / B1 / Poland

08.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
Spaceballs
AKA
La folle histoire de l'espace [The crazy history of space] (France)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Mel Brooks
Starring
Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers, Lorene Yarnell Jansson, John Hurt
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers, Lorene Yarnell Jansson, John Hurt,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Maciej Buszewicz
Artist
Maciej Buszewicz
Size (inches)
26 7/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wild artwork by Maciej Buszewicz features on this Polish B1 poster for one of the all-time great parody films, 1987’s Spaceballs. Helmed by the legendary comedian, actor, director and screenwriter Mel Brooks, who was responsible for several other entries in the genre, including Blazing Saddles (Westerns) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Spaceballs set out to send-up the sci-fi genre and did so with great success. Star Wars is the main film in the firing line, but the Star Trek series, Planet of the Apes and even Alien all receive their share of the lampooning. Brooks struck a deal with George Lucas to be able to spoof the original trilogy and even employed his Industrial Light and Magic to handle the alien creature design, as well as asking other companies owned by him to work on post-production of the film.

The story begins on the titular planet Spaceball which is rapidly running out of breathable air. The incompetent President Skroob (Brooks himself) hatches a plan to steal the air from neighbouring planet Druidia by kidnapping the daughter of its King Roland, Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga), who is set to marry the narcoleptic Prince Valium (Jim J. Bullock). He dispatches Dark Helmet (a memorable performance by Rick Moranis) on the giant ship Spaceball One to carry out the mission. What they weren’t anticipating is that Vespa has decided to do a runner before the wedding takes place and has disappeared with her droid of honour Dot Matrix (think a female C3PO). King Roland tasks the mercenary Lone Starr (Bill Pullman, essaying a mix between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo) and his sidekick Barf (the late John Candy, as seen on this poster) with tracking Vespa down. With the help of wise and powerful Yoghurt (also Brooks), who is in command of The Schwartz, the gang must deal with Dark Helmet and put a stop to Skroob’s nefarious plans.

Some of the more memorable scenes include the Lone Starr’s interactions with the gangster Pizza the Hut, voiced by long-time Brooks collaborator Dom DeLuise, as well as a scene at an intergalactic diner which features John Hurt playing himself and suffering the same chest-bursting fate he did in Alien. The film wasn’t met with a great reception on its initial release but would subsequently gain a huge cult following, helped no end by the home video explosion at the end of the 1980s. It’s now regarded as one of Brooks’ best films and rumours of a long-mooted sequel were resurrected following the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the end of 2015.

Maciej Buszewicz is a highly influential Polish designer who is perhaps best known for his book cover designs and is the founder of the celebrated Busciewicz Book Design Studio based in the University of Warsaw. Born in 1952, Busciewicz graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and began a career in graphic design. He became an Art Director at the ISKRY Publishing House in 1980 and at the Poljazz Record Company. Four years later he began teaching typography at the Academy and this led to teaching assignments all over the world. As well as books and record covers, the artist has worked on graphic identities, stamp designs and posters. I couldn’t find many other film posters that he worked on, aside from the poster for the Russian drama Commissar, but doubtless there are others. According to this profile on the Ideas on Design site he has won the award for Most Beautiful Book of the Year in Poland no less than 23 times!

 

 

Night of the Living Dead / quad / 1981 re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Night Of The Living Dead
AKA
--
Year of Film
1968
Director
George A. Romero
Starring
Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon, Russell Streiner, S. William Hinzman, George Kosana
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon, Russell Streiner, S. William Hinzman, George Kosana,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
George A. Romero's Horror Masterpiece

Exorcist III / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Exorcist III
AKA
The Exorcist III: Legion (USA - trailer title)
Year of Film
1990
Director
William Peter Blatty
Starring
George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, George DiCenzo, Don Gordon, Lee Richardson, Grand L. Bush
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, George DiCenzo, Don Gordon, Lee Richardson, Grand L. Bush,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Do you dare walk these steps again?

Day of the Dead / quad / UK

12.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
Day Of The Dead
AKA
Zombie 2 - Das letzte Kapitel (West Germany) | Il giorno degli zombi (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
George A. Romero
Starring
Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr., Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr., Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
First there was "Night of the Living Dead" then "Zombies - Dawn of the Dead" and now the darkest day of horror the world has ever known

This is the British quad for the original release of the third film in George A. Romero‘s ‘Dead’ series, Day of the Dead. In a similar situation to Dawn of the Dead (released 7 years earlier) this film had no returning characters from the previous entry due to rights issues, so it’s set in the same universe after the zombie outbreak but shares no continuity with the earlier films. Romero’s original vision for the ‘Day…’ was scaled back to due to budget constraints, but the director has since said he’s very happy with the final product. It’s a notably darker, bleaker effort than the fan favourite ‘Dawn’ but features a unique setting, memorable characters and some of the best special effects of the entire series, courtesy of the legendary Tom Savini.

The story follows a group of survivors who have holed-up in a military bunker in Florida and make regular trips around the area looking for survivors. Underground a small group of scientists and technical specialists, including Dr Sarah Bowman (Lori Cardille) and Dr Logan (Richard Liberty), known as ‘Frankenstein’, are working to discover the cause of the outbreak and discover if anything can be done to make the zombies more docile. An uneasy truce is maintained by the scientists and other specialists like helicopter pilot John (Terry Alexander), with a group of soldiers ostensibly there to protect them and deliver them test subjects from a fenced off area of the base. The soldiers are led by the psychotic Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) who discovers that Dr Frankenstein has been secretly carrying out experiments using dead soldiers, including training a zombie known as Bub (Sherman Howard) to follow commands. At this point the truce is shattered and a series of events see the base overrun with the undead, forcing Sarah and the others to try to escape the carnage before its too late.

This image of a wall of zombie faces is (with thanks to a site reader) actually a photograph of the back wall of the film’s production makeup room. It features a close up of some of the 100+ zombie masks that were created for the film during a break in filming (when they were waiting to be applied to the extras playing the zombies). This explains why the faces are distorted and without eyes. The same imagery also featured on one of four Japanese B2s. The US one sheet is markedly different and an iconic horror film poster in its own right.  Note that the tagline references the alternate international title for Dawn of the Dead, ‘Zombies’.

Mad Max 2 / program / Japan

20.11.17

Poster Poster
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
Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, Emil Minty,
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 House Where Evil Dwells / one sheet / USA

24.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
The House Where Evil Dwells
AKA
Ghost in Kyoto (Japan)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Kevin Connor
Starring
Edward Albert, Susan George, Doug McClure, Amy Barrett, Mako Hattori, Tsuiyuki Sasaki, Toshiya Maruyama, Tsuyako Okajima, Henry Mitowa, Mayumi Umeda
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Edward Albert, Susan George, Doug McClure, Amy Barrett, Mako Hattori, Tsuiyuki Sasaki, Toshiya Maruyama, Tsuyako Okajima, Henry Mitowa, Mayumi Umeda,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820070
Tagline
An ancient curse has turned their lives into a nightmare of lust and revenge.

Artwork by the American artist John Solie features on this one sheet for the release of the 1982 USA/Japan co-production, The House Where Evil Dwells. Set and shot in Japan, the film is a horror based on a novel by James Hardiman and is effectively a haunted house tale. It opens in the city of Kyoto in 1840 and sees a samurai warrior return home to discover his wife being unfaithful with another man. In an utterly graceless, slow-motion sequence we watch as he butchers the pair before committing seppuku (ritual suicide). As the house is ravaged by a storm, a miniature figurine depicting a pair of lovers (one a devil like creature) is swept into the foundations, presumably cursing the place.

140 years later, the film picks up as US diplomat Alex Curtis (Doug McClure) meets an old friend, Ted Fletcher (Edward Albert) and his wife Laura (Susan George) and daughter at the airport. The family have traveled there to live for a few months for reasons that aren’t exactly made clear (something to do with his career?) and Alex has found them the perfect house to stay in. Of course it’s the same one depicted earlier and it’s now reported to be haunted. The couple soon begin to experience strange occurrences, with the audience first seeing the ghosts of the butchered lovers and angry samurai moving around the family before things take a dark turn as they begin to possess each one in turn. It soon becomes clear that the ghosts intend to free themselves from purgatory by causing Ted, Laura and Alex to commit a similar sort of murder-suicide. A Zen monk living nearby tries to warn the family and stop the ghosts before it’s too late.

It’s fair to say that The House Where Evil Dwells is no masterpiece and in fact is one of the clunkiest horror films I’ve ever watched. Director Kevin Connor, who is best known for the series of sci-fi fantasies he directed for Amicus productions (e.g. The Land That Time Forgot), has since said that his submitted version was heavily cut by producers, removing many scenes of character development. There’s no doubt this would have helped a bit, but it’s the acting from the likes of McClure and Ted Fletcher that really sinks the film. McClure is famous as an inspiration for the character of Troy McClure on The Simpsons, a Hollywood has-been reduced to appearing in shady infomercials and other such work. The actor himself never really found fame in Hollywood, despite appearances in over 500 films and TV shows. On the evidence of his performance here, it’s not hard to see why. Fletcher is perhaps even worse and Susan George, although great in Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, practically phones it in here. The lowlights of the film are undoubtedly the sex scenes between Laura and Ted and later Laura and Alex. Cringeworthy doesn’t quite cover it!

John Solie has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.