Something Wicked This Way Comes / quad / UK

01.02.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Something Wicked This Way Comes
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Jack Clayton
Starring
Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, Royal Dano, Vidal Peterson, Shawn Carson, Mary Grace Canfield, Richard Davalos, Jake Dengel, Jack Dodson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Fantasy | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
David Grove
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Don't whisper your dreams, someone may be listening.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1983 live-action Disney film that’s based on the Ray Bradbury horror novel of the same name. It was helmed by the late British director Jack Clayton (best known for the 1961 horror The Innocents) The film is notorious for its production woes and extensive reshoots that were done without the input of Clayton or Bradbury, who also wrote the screenplay. After production had wrapped, Disney were concerned about its length and commercial appeal and spent a year (and millions of dollars) replacing entire scenes and extensive special effects sequences with material shot by another director. The film’s Wikipedia page details the problems and also notes that the film was a commercial flop.

The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

In a small anywhere town in any state in America, two young boys- quiet Will Halloway and somewhat rebellious Jim Nightshade-enjoy the ever-shortening days of autumn. When the boys hear about a strange traveling carnival from a lightning rod salesman, they decide to see what it is all about-but Will is fearful, as most carnivals end their tours after Labor Day. When the ominous Mr. Dark, the Illustrated Man, rides into town on a dark midnight, setting up his massive carnival in a matter of seconds, the boys are both thrilled and terrified. It seems to be just another carnival at first, but it is not before long that the forces of darkness themselves are manifesting from the haunting melodies of the carousel-which can change your age depending on which way you ride it-and the glaring Mirror Maze. With his collection of freaks and oddities, such as the Fat Man, Mr. Electro, and the blind Dust Witch, Dark intends to take control of the town and seize more innocent souls to damn.

The artwork on this quad, which also featured on the American and French posters, is by the American illustrator David Grove who worked on several film posters, including the brilliant international one sheet for Pale Rider and the striking poster for Steven Seagal’s Nico. Grove had an incredible skill at using gouache and acrylic paints to create striking, stylised images of his subjects, which are full of energy and feature brilliant use of colour washes, shading and clever brush strokes.

Grove sadly passed away in October 2012 and the website of Artist Partners London (where he apparently worked for a while in the 1960s) features a gallery and information on him, including an obituary that was originally printed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Greg Newbold’s Life Needs Art blog features a great piece on Grove, which includes several images of his other film posters.

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