You Searched For: Action

Action Jackson / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Action Jackson
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Craig R. Baxley
Starring
Carl Weathers, Vanity, Craig T. Nelson, Sharon Stone
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Carl Weathers, Vanity, Craig T. Nelson, Sharon Stone,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880001
Tagline
It's time for "Action" / NAME: Jericho Jackson NICKNAME: "Action" HOME: Detroit PROFESSION: Cop EDUCATION: Harvard Law HOBBY: Fighting Crime WEAPON: You're looking at 'em

Missing in Action / one sheet / teaser / USA

01.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Missing in Action
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Joseph Zito
Starring
Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress, Lenore Kasdorf, James Hong, Ernie Ortega, Pierrino Mascarino, Erich Anderson, Joseph Carberry
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress, Lenore Kasdorf, James Hong, Ernie Ortega, Pierrino Mascarino, Erich Anderson, Joseph Carberry,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Stan Watts
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The war's not over until the last man comes home.

Action legend Chuck Norris stars in this Vietnam Prisoner of War (POW) film that shamelessly ripped off borrowed many elements from a script for Rambo: First Blood Part II, which had been written by James Cameron and had been doing the rounds in Hollywood for several months. Apparently folks at the Cannon Group had seen the script and quickly put the first two Missing in Action films into production; part 2, which is actually a prequel, was filmed at the same time as this film.

The story sees Colonel James Braddock escaping from a POW camp after seven years of captivity and then returning to Vietnam on a covert mission to rescue the men he had to leave behind. The film was absolutely savaged by critics on its release, with Derek Adams of Time Out saying that the film is “so bad that it defies belief. It’s xenophobic, amateurish and extraordinarily dull”. The biggest problem with the film is that it feels like a handful of set pieces with a lot of padding to fill in the rest of the running time, making it a frustratingly boring experience.

For all of its faults, it does feature this utterly brilliant minute of action, which has to be seen to be believed.

The poster artwork is by Stan Watts, who painted the posters for Invasion USA and The Delta Force, also starring Norris.

The trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Executive Action / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Executive Action
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
David Miller
Starring
Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Will Geer, Gilbert Green, John Anderson, Paul Carr, Colby Chester, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Will Geer, Gilbert Green, John Anderson, Paul Carr, Colby Chester, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

29.04.13

Poster Poster

The Wrath of Khan was the follow up to 1979s Star Trek – The Motion Picture, which was the first feature film to hit cinemas following the ending of the original series 10 years previously. Even though the show was cancelled by the network (NBC) after only three seasons, it had garnered a significant cult following and had made a major impact on popular culture, helped greatly by broadcast syndication on channels across the US during the 1970s. Despite earning significant box-office takings, many critics and fans of the original series were disappointed with the first feature film and reviews tended to criticise it as overlong, bereft of any significant action and, worst of all, boring.

A sequel was inevitable, but Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the original series and executive producer of the first film, was removed from its production by Paramount after they claimed that Roddenberry had forced the first film over budget and had muddled the script with too many re-writes. His replacement was Harve Bennett, with Roddenberry given an ‘executive consultant’ role. Bennett studied the original series for inspiration having decided that the film should be more action-packed and regain some of the swashbuckling feel that had been lost in the first film. Deciding that the sequel needed a decent bad guy, Bennett settled on the character of Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered super solider, who had featured in the first series episode Space Seed, which had long been a fan favourite. At the end of that episode Khan and some of his comrades had been banished to the inhospitable planet of Ceti Alpha V so his return in the film would not be against the series’ canon.

Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban agreed to reprise his role as Khan and the story sees him escaping exile and seeking revenge against Captain Kirk, whom he blames for the death of his wife. After commandeering the USS Reliant, Khan learns of the Genesis Device, a torpedo which is intended to reorganise matter to create a hospitable world but can also destroy planets if used in the wrong way. The crew of the Starship Enterprise sets out to stop Khan but their intervention will not be without sacrifice and the ending of the film sees Leonard Nimoy’s Spock seemingly dead after sacrificing himself to save his comrades. This story arc would continue for two more films, concluding with The Voyage Home in 1986. Among several memorable scenes is the moment when Khan taunts Kirk with a threat against his wife, leading to this infamous outburst. KHAAAAAAAAAN!

When Mondo, the incomparable limited-edition screen print outfit, announced they were opening a gallery in their hometown of Austin, anticipation quickly reached fever pitch, with fans desperate to see what artwork would be on the walls when the doors opened for the first time. The answer was kept secret until the evening of March the 10th, 2012 when the opening night was held and the theme of their first show was revealed to be that of classic sci-fi. Most of Mondo’s premier artists turned in some incredible pieces for the show, as can be seen on this recap blog post on their website and on this SlashFilm post.

One of the highlights of the show was fan-favourite artist Tyler Stout’s print for The Wrath of Khan. A brilliantly composed image featuring Ricardo Montalban‘s unforgettable, titular bad guy, the poster was printed in two flavours; a red and gold regular and a silver and gold variant. Whilst adding the regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the poster and that article can be read here.

The Silent Flute / B2 / Japan

06.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Silent Flute
AKA
Circle of Iron (US/UK)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Richard Moore
Starring
David Carradine, Jeff Cooper, Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Eli Wallach, Anthony De Longis, Earl Maynard, Erica Creer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Carradine, Jeff Cooper, Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Eli Wallach, Anthony De Longis, Earl Maynard, Erica Creer,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful illustration by the artist known as Seito on this Japanese poster for the release of The Silent Flute (released in many countries as Cross of Iron), a strange cult oddity from the end of the 1970s. Originally conceived by Bruce LeeJames Coburn, and Stirling Silliphant at the end of the 1960s, the film was intended to be an introduction to Eastern philosophy and martial arts, but the project floundered following Lee’s untimely death. Silliphant and screenwriter Stanley Mann completed the screenplay in the mid-1970s and the rights were acquired by legendary actor David Carradine, at that time famous as the star of the TV series Kung Fu.

Carradine appears in the film in four roles that were originally intended for Bruce Lee but the lead character of Cord, a poodle-haired warrior, was played by the Canadian ‘actor’ Jeff Cooper, who somehow manages to get upstaged by his own abdominal muscles. To say he’s the weak link in the film would be an understatement and it’s literally impossible to take him seriously as the supposedly determined and proud hero who sets out on quest to find a wizard called Thetan and discover what is so important about the mysterious book he is said to protect. Almost all of Cord’s lines are uttered with a shit-eating grin and he has one of the most unintentionally hilarious laughs I’ve ever heard.

It doesn’t help that the script is at times impenetrable cod-philosophical twaddle, which was clearly meant to be profound but must have left most audiences expecting some martial arts action scratching their heads in confusion. One can only speculate that some of the ‘teachings’ were hangovers from the original script versions overseen by Bruce Lee, and you can’t help but wonder if he’d been partaking in a little bit too much Mary Jane at the time. Carradine is at least entertaining enough in his various roles, although he sports some questionable attire, terrible monkey make-up and a spectacularly bad moustache. Not even the appearance of Christopher Lee as Thetan can save the film since he seems to be wearing a costume better suited for a character from the Moomins. He he was clearly in it for the bottom line.

Whilst the film isn’t much cop, this Japanese poster is rather excellent and the artwork is unique to the Japanese campaign. Seito is one of my favourite Japanese artists who was responsible for several fantastic illustrated posters during the 1970s and 1980s. Little is known about the man himself, even in his native country. 

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

Certain Fury / quad / UK

27.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Certain Fury
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Stephen Gyllenhaal
Starring
Tatum O'Neal, Irene Cara, Nicholas Campbell, George Murdock, Moses Gunn, Peter Fonda, Rodney Gage, Jonathon Pallone, David Longworth
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tatum O'Neal, Irene Cara, Nicholas Campbell, George Murdock, Moses Gunn, Peter Fonda, Rodney Gage, Jonathon Pallone, David Longworth,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Two Academy Award winning stars... in the one motion picture that hurtles them from innocence - to fear - to rage!

Great artwork by Renato Casaro features on this UK quad for the release of the largely forgotten 1985 b-movie Certain Fury. As this poster is keen to point out, the film stars two young award-winning actresses, Tatum O’Neal (daughter of Ryan) and Irene Cara, a singer-songwriter who had won awards for her work on Fame and Flashdance. Tatum plays Scarlet, a tough, young delinquent who supports herself with prostitution and drug-dealing and Irene is Tracy, the daughter of a doctor, who has been arrested for drug possession and resisting arrest. The pair first meet in a courtroom and are waiting to be seen by the judge when other defendants begin attacking the court staff and police, leading to a deadly shootout. Scarlet and Tracy manage to escape the carnage and enter into the city’s sewers whilst being pursued by the police who believe they were part of the shootout. Soon the accidental death of a policeman is blamed on their actions and they have most of the force after them as well as various criminals who Scarlet asks for help before they turn on her and Tracy.

The film was poorly reviewed at the time and hardly set the box-office on fire. It’s never been released on home video since the days of VHS and, if the IMDb reviews are anything to go by, there’s probably a good reason. It sounds like a film that’s not even ‘so bad it’s good’ and this seems like one of those cases where the poster art is the best thing about the film!

One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro is an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Meteor / B2 / Japan

01.06.15

Poster Poster

Arriving at the tail-end of the 1970s, a decade that saw the release of a number of successful disaster movies like The Towering Inferno and Earthquake, Meteor ended up as an all-star clunker and is easily one of the worst entries in the genre. Helmed by the British filmmaker Ronald Neame, who had seen success with 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, the film focuses on the outcome of the eponymous lump of rock barrelling towards earth after being knocked off course by a comet. Sean Connery plays Paul Bradley, a scientist who masterminded the creation of a space-based weapon named Hercules that was originally intended to protect earth from such a threat, but was instead taken over by the military and aimed at the Soviet Union due to escalating Cold War tensions.

The plot sees the US and Russia agreeing to work together after much (dull) handwringing and Paul Bradley works with his opposite number from the CCCP Alexei Dubov (Brian Keith) to ensure the Russian’s own weapons platform can combine forces with Hercules and fire both payloads at the rock. Meanwhile, fragments of the asteroid begin hitting earth in some unconvincing sequences featuring uniformly awful special effects. Eventually, and improbably, a large chunk hits Manhattan, which just happens to be where Paul Bradley and most of the other characters are located, leading to some sequences of mild peril that end up with Connery covered in mud and a few dead background characters. The special effects are truly, inexcusably awful and I can’t think of one well-executed sequence. The rock hitting New York is mostly done with what is clearly red-tinted stock footage of buildings being knocked down by controlled demolition.

The biggest problem with the film is that most of the actors look bored and, with the exception of a crazy-eyed Martin Landau, like they’d rather be somewhere else. It doesn’t help that the Cold War machinations, whilst maybe more relevant in 1979, are totally boring today and way too much of the film is spent focused on discussions to try and resolve differences between the two nations. Sadly, Meteor is one to be avoided and check out this article on Cinetropolis for further proof.

Whilst the film is a stinker, the same can’t be said for this moody artwork showing an obliterated Manhattan that was illustrated by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

Sword of the Valiant / quad / UK

19.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Sword of the Valiant
AKA
Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (full title - USA)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Stephen Weeks
Starring
Miles O'Keeffe, Cyrielle Clair, Leigh Lawson, Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Peter Cushing, Ronald Lacey, Lila Kedrova, John Rhys-Davies
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Miles O'Keeffe, Cyrielle Clair, Leigh Lawson, Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Peter Cushing, Ronald Lacey, Lila Kedrova, John Rhys-Davies,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Men of Iron... Blades of Steel

British director Stephen Weeks had already made a film loosely based on the Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight that was released in 1973 as Gawain and the Green Knight and starred the singer Murray Head as Gawain. Unfortunately, a falling out between producer and studio meant that the film was not properly distributed and pretty much disappeared without trace. 10 years later the notorious producers in charge of Cannon Films, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, were casting around for a new project and Weeks managed to persuade them to remake his original story with just a handful of tweaks. Quite frankly, everyone involved should have stayed away as the result is a risible mess.

Practically the only thing of note are the actors that the producers managed to persuade to join the cast, which includes the late Peter Cushing (in one of his final appearances) and Trevor Howard, as well as star of the Indiana Jones series John Rhys-Davies. Unquestionably their biggest coup was securing Sean Connery to play the Green Knight, a performance he managed to squeeze around his role in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, a task made easy by the fact that he only appears in a few scenes. But what an appearance! If you thought his costume in Zardoz was bizarre, just wait until you see him covered in bright green armour, glitter, bare-chested, covered in fake tan and wearing small antlers on his head! He certainly gives it some gusto and seems to enjoy prancing around the sets swinging his giant axe.

The story begins inside a great banqueting hall with an unhappy king (Howard) stopping a planned feast because he’s fed up with the nobles who he feels don’t have much worth. He challenges them all to prove that they’re worthy of eating from his table. Just at that moment Connery’s Green Knight bursts through the door on horseback and proceeds to taunt the people in the hall with a challenge to cut off his head in order to prove their courage. At first no one accepts, but then a plucky young squire called Gawain (a Barbie-haired Miles O’Keeffe) who was delivering the king’s new suit of armour decides to take up the challenge. Gawain swings the axe and the Green Knight’s head is removed but the whole thing is a strange ruse and only a minute later the Knight is whole again and turning the axe on Gawain.

Just before delivering the final blow he decides to spare the squire and offers him a year to solve an odd rhyming riddle. When the Green Knight has gone, the king is thrilled with Gawain’s bravery and immediately knights him and sends him off on a quest to solve the riddle. The rest of the film moves from scene to scene without much urgency and features some dreadful battle scenes and sword-fighting that make it look like an amateur production. The script is truly terrible and it’s clear that whole scenes were truncated heavily as half of it doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps worst of all is the abysmal synthesiser score that warbles in the background of every scene.

In the end, this film would also fall foul of producer and distributor problems and wasn’t given a proper release and poor reviews didn’t help much at all. Weeks would never direct again. This poster features artwork that I believe to be unique to the British quad and I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the ridiculous trailer on YouTube.

King Kong Lives / B0 / Japan

26.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong 2
AKA
King Kong Lives (USA / UK)
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden,
Type of Poster
B0
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
39 6/16" x 55 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong Lives is the critically-mauled and commercially disastrous sequel to the ill-advised 1976 remake of the classic big ape monster movie, which was shepherded into life by the legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. I’m not entirely sure why a decade passed before this sequel was put into production, but both De Laurentiis (or at least his company DEG) and director John Guillermin returned and definitely shouldn’t have bothered. The gap is explained in the film by having Kong in a 10 year coma following his fall from the World Trade Center at the end of the previous film.

Linda Hamilton (who should have known better) stars as Dr. Amy Franklin who is attempting to perform a heart transplant with an electronic replacement but Kong has lost too much blood for the operation to proceed. Luckily the adventurer Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin) finds and captures another giant ape in the jungles of Borneo and brings it to the US so that the operation can go ahead. It turns out that the new ape is a female and once Kong’s heart is replaced it’s not long before he escapes with ‘Lady Kong’ and chaos ensues. Unfortunately, despite the premise, the entire cast looks as if they’d rather be somewhere else and the shoddy effects can’t paper over the cracks.

This artwork appears on the Japanese B1 and B0 posters. The B0 size of poster is typically used in larger cinemas and in advertising spots in the Tokyo metro. I’ve struggled to find out who the artist is for this poster so please get in touch if you have an idea. There are also two B2 posters for the film (style A and style B).

Man of Steel / screen print / Martin Ansin / USA

03.07.15

Poster Poster

It’s fair to say that Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel divided both critics and audiences upon its release in 2013. Following Bryan Singer’s failed attempt to rekindle the franchise with the disappointment that was 2006’s Superman Returns, expectations were high for this film, coming as it did with production backing from Christopher Nolan who’d struck gold with his Batman trilogy. British actor Henry Cavill stepped into the role of Clark Kent / Kal-El and was joined by a number of notable actors, including Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, his adoptive father, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. The film is effectively an origin story and opens with the destruction of Superman’s home planet of Krypton, resulting in the death of his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and mother Faora-Ul (Antje Traue). The rest of the film deals with his arrival on earth and adoption by the Kent family, whose attempts to conceal their adopted son’s identity are threatened by the arrival of the evil Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his gang of miscreants.

The film is undoubtedly visually stunning with state of the art special effects but is lacking something in the storytelling department, certainly not helped by a fairly clunky script. A lot of the criticism about the film was levelled at the final quarter of the film that sees Superman face off against Zod in the middle of a Metropolis that is smashed to pieces by the two Kryptonians with seemingly no thought for the potential loss of life in the city. Additionally, the climactic scene is often cited as being very un-Superman. It also served as a prelude to 2016’s Batman vs Superman and the much anticipated Justice League film due the year after.

This screen print by the Uruguayan artist Martin Ansin was released by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. There is a variant that was printed onto a sheet of steel and only 130 of those were released. The regular edition was a timed-release and was available to purchase over a period of three days (standard Mondo releases are done at a random time on a first-come, first-served basis). This meant that the edition of the regular print ended up being 5585.

The pose of Superman was apparently inspired by a painting by the celebrated artist Alex Ross, which is itself a homage to the first issue of the Superman comic that was printed in 1939.

One of my favourite artists active today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion / B1 / Japan

06.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion
AKA
Gamera 2: Region shurai (Japan - original English title)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Shûsuke Kaneko
Starring
Toshiyuki Nagashima, Miki Mizuno, Tamotsu Ishibashi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Ayako Fujitani, Hiroyuki Okita, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yukijirô Hotaru, Hatsunori Hasegawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Toshiyuki Nagashima, Miki Mizuno, Tamotsu Ishibashi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Ayako Fujitani, Hiroyuki Okita, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yukijirô Hotaru, Hatsunori Hasegawa,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion is actually the 10th film to star the turtle-esque daikaiju (giant monster). The first film in the Showa period, entitled simply Gamera, was filmed in black and white in 1965 and released a year later in the US as ‘Gammera the Invincible’. Subsequent films during the Showa period were all ‘Gamera vs…’ a different kaiju and ended with Gamera: Super Monster. Fifteen years later the series was rebooted during the current Heisei period with Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.  Attack of the Legion is set a year after the events of the last film and begins with a meteor crashing into a mountainside that is carrying swarms of an insect-like extraterrestrial.

Soon after the city of Sapporo is covered with strange plants and it becomes clear that the creatures are nesting underneath the city and encouraging them to grow into a giant flower in order to form a kind of launchpad for another meteor-like spore to be blasted into space so they can colonise another world. Just before the creatures are able to trigger a launch explosion that would flatten the city, Gamera flies in and tears the flower out by its roots. Soon he is battling the smaller creatures, which a soldier nicknames Legion (after the Biblical demon army), as well as a gigantic queen which bursts out of the ground and flies off to try and create a nest in another city. Before long Tokyo is being threatened by the creatures and Gamera is all that stands in the way.

The film was a critical success in Japan and was followed in 1999 by a sequel called Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys.

I’m unsure who is responsible for this artwork but I’m confident that it’s not Noriyoshi Ohrai, who painted several fantastic Godzilla posters. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

 

Cannonball / B2 / Japan

13.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Cannonball
AKA
Carquake (UK) | Cannonball! (alt. title)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Paul Bartel
Starring
David Carradine, Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, Gerrit Graham, Robert Carradine, Belinda Balaski, Judy Canova, Archie Hahn, Carl Gottlieb, Dick Miller
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
David Carradine, Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, Gerrit Graham, Robert Carradine, Belinda Balaski, Judy Canova, Archie Hahn, Carl Gottlieb, Dick Miller,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Paul Bartel, the late actor/director who was at the helm of the cult b-movie Death Race 2000 (released a year earlier), stuck with the cross-country car chase theme with this 1976 flick Cannonball, though he removed most of the gore that gave the former film its notoriety. The film and title are based on the exploits of Erwin G. “Cannon Ball” Baker, a legendary bike and car racer who made over 140 cross-country speed runs during his career and put his name to the Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an illegal cross-country race that was run five times during the 1970s. This was the first in a series of films that was based on the idea of illegal long-distance races, with The Gumball Rally seeing release the same year, and the more successful Cannonball Run and its sequel being released at the start of the 1980s.

Whilst perhaps not as star-studded as the later films, Cannonball still has a large ensemble cast with several cameos that are both credited and un-credited, including Martin Scorsese, Sylvester Stallone, Don Simpson and Roger Corman. David Carradine appears as Coy ‘Cannonball’ Buckman, a race driver who has recently been released from jail where he was sent for killing someone whilst driving drunk. He decides to enter the Trans-America Grand Prix, an illegal road race that travels between Los Angeles and New York City. The racing team Modern Motors has promised a contract to either Coy or his arch-rival Cade Redman (Bill McKinney) so he is determined to win.

Because the race crosses state lines Coy will be in violation of his parole conditions, his parole officer (Veronica Hamel) attempts to stop him and ends up being forced to come along for the ride. Two people who have offered to pay his race expenses are also passengers in his Dodge Charger and there are several other racers in the competition, including a surfer dude played by David’s brother Robert and his girlfriend (played by Belinda Balaski). The race soon descends into a violent destruction derby with many of the competitors meeting grizzly ends. Coy will be challenged in more ways than one and the first to cross the finish line isn’t who you might think. Later films in the genre would tone down the violence and deaths considerably.

This Japanese B2 poster features a unique montage design and was printed for the film’s first release in the country in 1977. Note the miss-spelling of the title as ‘Canonnball’.

 

Red Scorpion / one sheet / USA

15.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Red Scorpion
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Joseph Zito
Starring
Dolph Lundgren, M. Emmet Walsh, Al White, T.P. McKenna, Carmen Argenziano, Alex Colon, Brion James, Ruben Nthodi
Origin of Film
South Africa | USA | Namibia
Genre(s) of Film
Dolph Lundgren, M. Emmet Walsh, Al White, T.P. McKenna, Carmen Argenziano, Alex Colon, Brion James, Ruben Nthodi,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Kaiser Creative
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They think they control him. Think again.

Directed by Joseph Zito, a man with only 9 films under his belt, including a couple of Chuck Norris titles and the notorious slasher The Prowler, Red Scorpion was the second film to be headlined by the Swedish action star Dolph Lundgren. After earning degrees in chemical engineering, Lundgren won a couple of European championships in the martial art of Karate and eventually landed a job as a bodyguard for the singer and actress Grace Jones. The pair soon began a relationship and when he accompanied Jones during the filming of A View to a Kill she suggested he try out for a minor role in the film. This appearance helped him land the memorable role of the Russian boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and then in 1987 he played He-Man in the ill-advised live-action film Masters of the Universe. Since then he has featured in over 60 films, mostly in the action genre.

Red Scorpion was produced by the disgraced former American lobbyist Jack Abramoff who was sentenced to jail in 2006 for mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and tax evasion, all related to his involvement in lobbying for American Indian tribes and casinos. Before his career as a lobbyist, Abramoff spent 10 years in Hollywood as a producer and developed the screenplay for Red Scorpion along with his brother Robert, a more prolific producer who is still working in the industry today. Red Scorpion was filmed in Swaziland and the production became embroiled in the South African apartheid situation at the time, allegedly receiving some funding from the government as part of efforts to undermine the movement. The film suffered multiple delays and ultimately ended up about 8 million dollars over budget.

Dolph appears as Nikolai Petrovitch Radchenko, a Soviet Spetsnaz agent who is sent to a fictional African country to assassinate the leader of a large anti-communist rebel group. In order to get near to his target he gets involved in a bar brawl and is arrested and placed in a cell with a rebel commander. After gaining the man’s trust, the pair escape and end up at the rebel’s main hideout. He is met with distrust by most of the group and his attempt to assassinate the leader during the night results in his capture. After he ends up back in Soviet hands he is tortured and disgraced by his commanders, but manages to escape from an interrogation chamber and ends up in the desert where he is rescued by native bushmen. He learns about their customs and way of life, discovering that the peaceful tribe continues to be attacked by the Soviet forces. Radchenko is later given a ceremonial brand in the shape of a scorpion. Eventually he joins the rebel forces for an attack on the base where the corrupt Soviet commanders are based.

This poster was designed by the Los Angeles-based Kaiser Creative who have worked on a number of film posters over the years. IMPAwards has a gallery of many of their posters. I’ve been unable to determine who is responsible for the artwork so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World / screen print / Kevin Tong / USA

11.05.15

Poster Poster

Ace director Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim vs The World was my favourite film of 2010 and is one of the most carefully crafted, brilliantly realised and wonderfully energetic films ever released. Based on a series of graphic stories created by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley, the film tells the story of the eponymous character, played in the film by Michael Cera, who falls for the alluring Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and must then battle her seven evil exes in order to win her heart. The actors playing the exes are perfectly cast and include Brandon RouthChris Evans and Jason Schwartzman.

The film is a visual treat and rewards multiple viewings thanks to the brilliant script, kinetic editing and careful inclusion of hidden elements (look out for the many ‘X’s secreted throughout the film, for example). Some of the effects have to be seen to be believed, including an amazing battle of the bands sequence featuring two building-sized dragons and one angry gorilla beast. Much was made of the fact that the film was a critical success but was unable to make much of a box-office impact on release, but there’s no question that the film has found, and will continue to find, an appreciative audience on home video.

The official film posters for the film were slightly disappointing considering the level of craft put into the film itself and I felt at the time that, despite an interesting advance poster, so much more could have been done.

This screen print was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo for a joint show with fellow artist Martin Ansin held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Other films covered included Robocop, Flash Gordon and Alien. Badass Digest went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show.

Tong, who lives and works in Austin has collaborated with Mondo for a number of years, producing some fantastic pieces for a whole variety of films, including Bride of Frankenstein and Gravity. As well as film illustration he’s also worked on band posters and his official site has galleries of his work. EvilTender has an excellent interview with Tong that’s well worth a read.

 

The Terminator / B1 / Poland

03.08.15

Poster Poster

James Cameron’s seminal sci-fi classic The Terminator celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it cannot be overstated how much of an impact the film has had on cinema and culture in general. The careers of Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger were given stratospheric boosts (not so much poor Michael Biehn) and the concepts of time-travel, and killer cyborgs will forever be tied to what would go on to become the Terminator franchise. The film is also arguably the original 80s action blockbuster and would be followed by a slew of increasingly more muscular, explosive flicks starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Wills and, of course, Arnie.

The US poster features an iconic photograph of Arnie alongside a lengthy tagline, whilst the UK quad went for an illustration depicting a battle-damaged Terminator showing the endoskeleton underneath. This poster for the Polish release of the film features a stylised silhouette of Arnie as the Terminator with coloured circles, some of which represent the red eyes of the Endoskeleton underneath.

The poster was designed by the celebrated Polish artist Jakub Erol who was born in Zamość in 1941 and graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1968. He worked as a prolific poster artist for over 25 years and designed several iconic images for both Polish and American films. Some of his other poster highlights include the bizarre image he conjured up for Ridley Scott’s Alien and the Polish poster for Robocop. One of his best, in my opinion, is the skull-style poster he created for the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Polishposter.com website features many of his designs, several which are for sale, and the Polish cinemaposter.com website also features three pages of his work. This list of his designs on the same website gives you an idea of how prolific an artist he was.

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.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / B1 / explosion style / Poland

14.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Explosion style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Grzegorz Marszalek
Artist
Grzegorz Marszalek
Size (inches)
25 15/16" x 38 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the explosion-style B1 poster for the Polish release (in 1983) of the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Written by George Lucas, who was in the middle of producing and releasing the original Star Wars trilogy, the story harks back to the adventure film serials of the 1930s and 40s. Set in 1936, Harrison Ford (also fresh from the set of The Empire Strikes Back) plays the titular archaeologist adventurer who is hired by the US government to track down the legendary Ark of the Covenant before an occult section of the Nazi party with nefarious intentions do so.

The film is full of memorable characters, thrilling set-pieces and Ford treads a perfect, often comedic, line between surly reluctance and dashing heroism. The film would spawn two sequels over the next 8 years, with Spielberg and Ford returning for both, followed by a somewhat disappointing entry in 2008.

This poster was created by the designer and artist Grzegorz Marszatek who was born in Swinna in 1949 and later studied at the College of Fine Arts in Poznań where he obtained an honours degree under noted professors (and artists in their own right) Lucjan Mianowski and Waldemar Świerzy. Since 1971 he has been a teacher himself at the same college, which is now a university, and in 1994 he was awarded the degree of Professor of Fine Arts. He was the director of the Visual Communication department at Poznań university until 2010 and he’s also been involved at the Szczecin Academy of Fine Arts. As well as teaching Marszatek has worked as an illustrator for film and theatre posters, magazine covers and editorials, and book covers. 

Marszatek’s official site can be viewed here and features galleries of his work, including his posters. Polishposter.com features a gallery of many of his film posters.

There were three Polish posters created for the 1983 first release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, including this one and Jakub Erol’s fantastic skull-style poster.

The Sea Wolves / B2 / Japan

17.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Sea Wolves
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Andrew V. McLaglen
Starring
Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Barbara Kellerman, Patrick Macnee, Kenneth Griffith, Patrick Allen
Origin of Film
Switzerland | UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Barbara Kellerman, Patrick Macnee, Kenneth Griffith, Patrick Allen,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the art-style Japanese B2 for the 1980 action film The Sea Wolves, which is based on real events that occurred during the Second World War. The story is based on the exploits of ex-members of the Calcutta Light Horse, a cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army that was formed in 1872 and was disbanded a couple of years after the end of WWII. The plot sees British intelligence discovering that a Nazi radio ship is broadcasting the coordinates of allied ships from a harbour in Portuguese Goa, which was neutral during the war, so an all out assault cannot be launched by the Navy because of this.

British Intelligence officers Col. Lewis Pugh (Gregory Peck) and Capt. Gavin Stewart (Roger Moore) lead the operation and covertly enlist retired officer Col. Bill Grice (David Niven) of the Calcutta Light Horse & some of his former soldiers. The gang sneak into Goa and arrange a diversion on the evening of a planned raid, before making their way to the radio ship carrying enough explosives to sink it and put a stop any more transmissions. The film reunited much of the creative team behind an earlier OAPs on a mission film, 1978’s The Wild Geese, including director Andrew V. McLaglen, screenwriter Reginald Rose, producer Euan Lloyd and several of the stars.

This Japanese poster features artwork painted by Seito that is unique to the Japanese campaign. Seito is one of my favourite Japanese artists who was responsible for several fantastic illustrated posters during the 1970s and 1980s. Little is known about the man himself, even in his native country.

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

Lethal Pursuit / one sheet / USA

19.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Lethal Pursuit
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Don Jones
Starring
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bill Garland
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Some live for the hunt... Others for the kill.

Definitely one of those cases where the poster is the best thing about the film, Lethal Pursuit is a forgotten action b-movie from 1988. It appears to have only had a cinema release in a handful of countries and was straight to video in others. It hasn’t been given a DVD release anywhere in the world as far as I can tell. The IMDb plot description says:

A rock star babe and her hunky honey find themselves targeted by her psychotic ex, whose insane jealousy sparks a deadly game of desert cat-and-mouse.

There’s a single review on the film’s IMDb page and it’s rather damning. Here’s some excerpts:

There is not much to say except simply, do not watch this film. In fact, if you are reading this I must ask why you even looked this movie up? If you are here because you saw this in the 99 cent VHS bin at the Good Will, where it probably can be found, and want to know weather to buy it. PASS! You will want your dollar back.

Best way to sum it up. Think of every little detail that makes a film a film. Then take this sentence “The ____ of/in this film is awful in every way.” and insert every one of those details. And you have a summary.

There’s an illustrated review of the film on the Betamax Rundown site.

I’ve discovered that this illustration can be credited to the American artist Bill Garland who is probably best known for the brilliant original Mad Max one sheet, but has worked on several other film posters. The artist has a page on Phosphor Art featuring a short biography as well as a selection of his art. It details that Garland has been working for over 30 years and started his career as a Ford Motor company scholar and used these core technical skills to ‘enhance his command of a wide range of artistic styles’. In addition to working with Hollywood studios, Garland also carried out work for commercial clients like Coca Cola and the NFL. I can’t find an official site for the artist so if anyone knows any more details about him please get in touch.

Aliens / B1 / creature style / Poland

14.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
Aliens
AKA
Aliens - Scontro finale [Final encounter] (Italy), Aliens - Le retour [The return] (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
James Cameron
Starring
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Creature
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Andrzej Pagowski
Artist
Andrzej Pagowski
Size (inches)
26 9/16" x 37"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Very wild artwork features on this Polish poster for the release (in 1987) of James Cameron‘s sci-fi masterpiece Aliens. I find it hard to choose between this and Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979) that saw a small crew on the salvage ship Nostromo get hunted down by a single Xenomorph, which burst from the chest of one of their colleagues following a planetary expedition. The original film is much more of a claustrophobic horror whereas Cameron decided to up the ante and make the sequel an action-packed thrill-ride. Sigourney Weaver reprised her role as Ripley, the only surviving crew member from the Nostromo and the film opens with her escape pod being discovered after 57 years floating through space. After waking her from cryo-sleep, a representative from Weyland Yutani (the company she was working for her) brief her that the planet on which her crew encountered the alien eggs is being terraformed and contact has been lost from the outpost there. After much cajoling they manage to persuade her to return to the planet with a bunch of hardened marines, but she agrees to go only if the purpose of the trip is “Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.” Unfortunately for Ripley and the Marines, Weyland Yutani has nefarious plans for the aliens and things soon go awry, but the company didn’t count on Ripley’s tenacity and will to survive.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screen writer. Undoubtedly a man of many talents! His official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

There is another poster for the Polish release of the film, which I have nicknamed the ‘bubbles’ style and this will be added to the site at a later date.

Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess / B1 / Japan

28.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess
AKA
Kakushi toride no san akunin (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Shinji Higuchi
Starring
Jun Matsumoto, Daisuke Miyagawa, Kippei Shîna, Masami Nagasawa, Hiroshi Abe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Jun Matsumoto, Daisuke Miyagawa, Kippei Shîna, Masami Nagasawa, Hiroshi Abe,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Takehiko Inoue
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 9/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess is director Shinji Higuchi‘s take on Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 original classic The Hidden Fortress. By all accounts Higuchi ups the pace and gore levels significantly. The plot is described thusly:

Makabe Rokurota (Hiroshi Abe), the loyal retainer of Princess Yuki-hime of Akizuki (Masami Nagasawa), is moving the Princess and the prefecture’s ample treasury of gold bars safely to the politically stable Hayakawa area. They disguise themselves as humble firewood peddlers, hiding the gold bars inside the logs they are carrying, so as to pass safely through roadblocks, which are under the control of the local warlord. Along the way, Rokurota comes across Takezo (Jun Matsumoto) and Shimpachi (Daisuke Miyagawa), who have escaped from forced labour in a gold mine. They eventually agree to help out on this foolhardy mission in the hope of escaping Yamana’s oppression and cashing in on the gold reward Rokurota offers them.

The Takezo and Shimpachi characters (called Tahei and Matashichi in the original) were famously to serve as inspiration for George Lucas when he created Star Wars’ R2D2 and C3P0. The three reviews for this film that are on IMDb don’t exactly paint the film in a great light:

‘The two peasants are given more screen time and fleshed out more, but not to any productive effect. In the original they were the model for R2D2 and C3PO. In the updated version, they become Jar Jar Binks with sappy emotions.’

This poster has artwork that is credited to Takehiko Inoue who is a Japanese artist that was born in 1967 in Okuchi, Kagoshima and is best known for his work on manga, with two titles in particular, Slam Dunk and samurai tale Vagabond, that are popular across the globe. His Wikipedia page details a history of his work and also notes that he’s a huge fan of basketball and is a published sports writer. Inoue has also done design work for video games, including Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360. I can’t find any record of any other film poster work but I can only assume he has done some.

The Terminator / Thailand

05.10.15

Poster Poster

James Cameron’s seminal sci-fi classic The Terminator celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it cannot be overstated how much of an impact the film has had on cinema and culture in general. The careers of Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger were given stratospheric boosts (not so much poor Michael Biehn) and the concepts of time-travel, and killer cyborgs will forever be tied to what would go on to become the Terminator franchise. The film is also arguably the original 80s action blockbuster and would be followed by a slew of increasingly more muscular, explosive flicks starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Wills and, of course, Arnie.

The US poster features an iconic photograph of Arnie alongside a lengthy tagline, whilst the UK quad went for an illustration depicting a battle-damaged Terminator showing the endoskeleton underneath. This poster for the Polish release of the film features a stylised silhouette of Arnie as the Terminator with coloured circles, some of which represent the red eyes of the Endoskeleton underneath.

This Thai poster displays unique, detailed artwork that was painted by 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. 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.

Note that this poster is slightly larger than the standard Thai poster size (of about 21″ x 31″) and also note that this poster has sustained water damage to the bottom right side and has lost part of the artwork as a result. A few copies of this poster have surfaced in this condition and it’s believed that they were found in a stack in a warehouse that had sustained flood damage (very common in Thailand, sadly) and were damaged when they were later pulled apart. As a result the level of damage varies in some of the posters. You can see what’s missing on this image of the poster from an old emovieposter auction.

To see the other Thai posters in the Film on Paper collection click here.

The Emerald Forest / Thailand

20.10.15

Poster Poster

A detailed painting on this Thai poster for the release of John Boorman‘s adventure film The Emerald Forest. Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) is an engineer working on the construction of a dam in the jungles of Brazil who has brought his wife and young children with him to live there. One day his son Tommy disappears and the family discover that he has been kidnapped by an indigenous tribe called the Invisible People. Markham spends years searching for his son and it’s not until a decade later that he finally locates him, only to discover that he’s now fully assimilated into the tribe. The dam is nearing completion and Markham decides to help his son’s adopted tribe before their way of life is totally destroyed. Tommy/Tomme is played by Charley Boorman, the director’s own son.

The painting was done by the Thai artist Tongdee Panumas and elements of it were based on the design and illustration that was done for the British poster by Vic Fair and Brian Bysouth (notably the faces at the top and the figures running away in the bottom left). The art was one of several collaborations between the two immensely talented British designer-illustrators Like the withdrawn A View to a Kill UK one sheet, Vic was on design duties and is responsible for this brilliantly clever composition that juxtaposes the face of Powers Boothe with that of a tribesman, using the device of the multi-stranded leaf. Brian executed the final illustration in his typically detailed style with the use of careful brush strokes and airbrush techniques to give the whole thing a nice texture.

Vic and Brian were unquestionably two of the greatest talents ever to work on British film posters, which make collaborations like this even more special. For more information on the pair I highly recommend picking up a copy of ‘British Film Posters‘ as it features sections on both men. Here are the posters I’ve collected so far by Brian Bysouth and those by Vic Fair (with more to add over the coming months). In December 2012 I met and interviewed Brian Bysouth and this poster was discussed.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) 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.

Flash Gordon / landscape / Thailand

13.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
Landscape
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 6/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

There are few films quite like Flash Gordon and having re-watched it on blu-ray recently I was reminded how much of an impression it had on me when I first saw it as a child. I also listened to the excellent audio commentary with director Mike Hodges, who admits to being an unlikely choice to direct and confirms in no uncertain terms that they were making things up as they went along. It sounds like a typically chaotic Dino De Laurentiis production with scenes being written the night before filming and huge amounts of the budget going on the costume and set designs (though these are very impressive, even today).

There are several reasons the film remains one of my favourites of the 1980s:

Acting
Topol is insanely over the top as Dr Hans Zarkov with an accent that changes from scene to scene. It’s not hard to see why Sam J. Jones never hit the big time, although you can’t say he doesn’t give the role his all. Max Von Sydow is clearly having fun playing Ming and Brian Blessed is spectacular as Vultan the Hawksman; no one else could deliver the simple line ‘pass me the remote control’ with such unbridled gusto. A pre-Bond Timothy Dalton is also rather memorable, sporting a spectacular moustache.

The woodbeast
This infamous scene (featuring Peter Duncan) terrified me as a child, and not just ‘wow, that’s a bit weird’, I’m talking more like ‘I’m never going near a tree stump ever again’. Scarred. For. Life. There’s also an odd ‘black whoopee-cushion with tendrils’ creature that attacks Flash and is seared into my memory, even if it looks like a painted balloon when you watch it again today.

The costumes and set designs
As mentioned, a serious amount of budget was spent on costumes and sets by Danilo Donati and it shows. You only have to watch this brief clip to get an idea of the amount of work that went into them – very impressive stuff.

Ornella Muti
Just like Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die, Ornella (playingPrincess Aura) was responsible for putting more than a few hairs on my chest. Her costumes are the very definition of figure-hugging. The infamous interrogation scene has to be seen to be believed.

The music
An awesome soundtrack by Brit rockers Queen that still sounds superb today. I almost tried to persuade my wife to walk down the aisle to the sound of Ming’s wedding march; it’s that good. The 2011 remaster is available on Spotify.

This landscape Thai 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. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

I believe elements of this poster were copied from the same stills that were used to make some of the other worldwide posters for Flash Gordon, so it’s likely that the film was actually released some time after 1980. If anyone knows the date please get in touch. I also have a portrait version of the poster in the collection.