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Inferno / B2 / Japan


Poster Poster

A unique montage on this Japanese poster for the second in Italian horror maestro Dario Argento’s ‘Three Mothers’ trilogy of films. The series began in 1977 with the brilliant Suspiria and would end 27 years after this film with the disappointing Mother of Tears. Set in New York and Rome, Inferno focuses on a brother and sister and their investigation into a mysterious coven of witches, with predictably deadly consequences.

Like many of Argento’s films the plot is often secondary to the incredible visuals and inventive death scenes, but it’s definitely up there as one of his best and now has a well-deserved cult following. The film was partly financed by 20th Century Fox, following the success they had distributing Suspiria, however they declined to give it as wide a release as the previous film and Inferno suffered as a result. I’ve been unable to find out much about the UK cinema release, although this is what the poster for it looked like.

I’m a fan of the original Italian poster, which can be seen here.

British distributor Arrow Films released a lavish 30th anniversary edition blu-ray here in the UK (in 2010) and the US home video label Blue Underground also released the film last year.

The spectacularly nuts original US trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Suspiria / B2 / Japan


Poster Poster

Considered by many to be Italian horror maestro Dario Argento‘s best, Suspiria is an absolutely stunning supernatural horror film and has influenced countless imitations ever since its release in 1977. The visual style is superb and the film features an incredible colour palette throughout; something that would become an Argento trademark. The memorable soundtrack is by the Italian rock band Goblin who are frequent collaborators with the director.

The film sees American student Suzy Banyon (Jessica Harper) travel to the German city of Freiburg to attend a prestigious dance academy there. After a student is brutally murdered, Suzy begins to suspect all is not as it seems at the school and it’s not long before she’s forced to confront the sinister forces responsible.

The film is the first in Argento’s ‘Three Mothers’ trilogy of films. It would be followed by 1980’s Inferno and end 27 years later with the disappointing Mother of Tears.

This Japanese poster features Stefania Casini, who plays Sara, bathed in green light during one of the more terrifying sequences in the film. Jessica Harper can be seen at the bottom of the poster. The bloody ballet figure features on the superior Italian poster (image taken from

The bonkers US trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

The House of Exorcism / quad / UK


Poster Poster
The House of Exorcism
Lisa and the Devil (original cut)
Year of Film
Mario Bava (as Mickey Lion)
Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Robert Alda, Sylva Koscina, Eduardo Fajardo, Alessio Orano, Alida Valli, Gabriele Tinti
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Robert Alda, Sylva Koscina, Eduardo Fajardo, Alessio Orano, Alida Valli, Gabriele Tinti,
Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Mike Vaughan (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
A terrifying journey into the SUPERNATURAL

Over the years a number of films have been subjected to various cuts and re-edits that alter the filmmakers’ original vision for both good and bad. This has included Apocalypse Now with its ‘Redux‘ cut in 2001, the multiple versions of Blade Runner that culminated with 2003’s ‘Final Cut’ and the strange case of Superman II. None of these revisions were quite as ill-judged as the fate that befell Italian director Mario Bava‘s 1974 horror Lisa and the Devil when it flopped at the European box-office.

An entertaining if somewhat bizarre horror set in Spain, the original film focused on Lisa (Elke Sommer) a tourist in Toledo who becomes separated from her group and winds up at a crumbling old mansion on the edge of town. There she meets the eccentric inhabitants and becomes embroiled in a series of strange and often murderous situations involving the family and the house’s mysterious butler (Telly Savalas in one of his more quirky roles).

When the film failed to perform in Italy and the few other European countries in which it was released, the producer Alfredo Leone convinced Bava to retool the film as an Exorcist clone to capitalise on the success of the then recently released American classic. New scenes were shot featuring a demonically possessed Elke Sommer and a priest played by Robert Alda, and the original film was heavily edited so these new flashback scenes could be incorporated.

Leone and Bava clashed heavily over the style of the new scenes and the latter eventually walked away from the project (the director was credited as the fictional Mickey Lion, the surname being English for Leone), which was released in the UK and US as The House of Exorcism to instant critical derision (many reviewers calling it an Exorcist rip-off) and poor commercial performance. All in all the project was a total waste of time for all concerned. Recently the UK video label released Lisa and the Devil on blu-ray in its original version and included the House of Exorcism on the same disc.

Although not confirmed for definite, the artwork on this quad is likely to be by the British designer and artist Mike Vaughan. As detailed in Sim Branaghan’s must-own British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Vaughan was born in 1940 and joined a London advertising agency aged 16, having skipped art school but learning on the job as he rose through the ranks from tea boy to working on accounts for the likes of British Airways and American Express. He started working on film posters at the end of the 1960s and his most famous are the ones he painted for Hammer, which included The Vampire Lovers and Lust For a Vampire.

Sim believes one of Vaughan’s last posters was for the clunker Arabian Adventures in 1979. The artist stopped commercial work altogether at the end of the 1980s and started producing fine artworks, focused on racing yachts and sporting events, that were sold through several prestigious London galleries. Sadly the artist passed away suddenly in July 2003 from a blood clot on the brain. The Hammer Horror Posters website features several of his pieces in a large gallery.