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Creepers / video / UK

02.04.15

Poster Poster

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graham’s official website can be seen here.