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Weird Science / one sheet / USA

09.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
Weird Science
AKA
La chica explosiva (Argentina)
Year of Film
1985
Director
John Hughes
Starring
Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Vernon Wells, Britt Leach, Barbara Lang, Michael Berryman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Vernon Wells, Britt Leach, Barbara Lang, Michael Berryman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Duane Meltzer
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850065
Tagline
It's all in the name of science. Weird Science.

This is the American one sheet for Weird Science, the bonkers 1980s comedy from the late, great director John Hughes. Producer Joel Silver bought the rights to a 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name and Hughes wrote the screenplay himself. Anthony Michael Hall, a regular colaborator with the director (he appeared in Breakfast Club the same year as Weird Science) stars alongside Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Gary and Wyatt, a pair of high-school nerds who are struggling to be accepted by their peers.

One evening the pair decide to try and create their perfect woman, inspired by a viewing of the classic Frankenstein film and using their computer coding skills. Following a series of improbable incidents, including a lightning strike and the pair’s successful hacking into a government mainframe computer (classic 80s nonsense), the gorgeous Lisa (an unforgettable appearance by Kelly LeBrock) steps out of their bathroom and asks “So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?” The rest of the film sees Lisa using various supernatural skills, including memory manipulation and reality warping to help the boys lose their inhibitions and gain the friendship of their school peers. The film features several madcap sequences, including the moment a bunch of psychotic bikers led by Vernon Wells (of Mad Max 2 fame) crash a house party, and Bill Paxton appears in a memorable turn as Wyatt’s brother Chet.

This one sheet was art directed by the American designer and artist Tom Jung who is perhaps most famous for his work on the posters for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back but has been working on film advertising for over 50 years, as well as storyboarding for a number of films. The artwork (Lisa’s body appears to have been painted, and the title too) was apparently done by an artist and designer called Duane Meltzer who worked at Universal Studios at the time of the film’s release. According to the about page on his official website he also worked as a creative at Twentieth Century Fox studios before forming POV Entertainment Design in 1988. He has continued to work on key art for films, as well as home entertainment packaging and more since then.

Silent Night, Deadly Night / one sheet / USA

16.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
Silent Night, Deadly Night
AKA
Slayride (production title)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Charles E. Sellier Jr.
Starring
Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter, Randy Stumpf
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter, Randy Stumpf,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840133
Tagline
You've made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas | He knows when you've been naughty

This infamous holiday-themed slasher film caused major controversy upon its US release in 1984 and was withdrawn from cinemas a short time after. Because of the film’s subject matter (a degenerate spree-killer dressed as Santa Claus) and the fact that it was released at Christmas, there was condemnation from a number of different sources, including the American Parent Teacher Association who lobbied to have it removed from cinemas.

The film critics Siskel and Ebert infamously blasted the film and read out the names of the people and studios involved in its making followed by saying ‘shame on you’. Apparently there were also protests at cinemas around the US. Eventually the distributor of the film relented and started by pulling all print ads for the film, before withdrawing the film entirely.

Two years later it was re-released by a small distributor called Aquarius Films. The poster for that release was poor in comparison to this original design.

Here in the UK the film was never submitted to the BBFC and so wasn’t released at the cinema back in the 1980s. Independent distributors Arrow Films released it uncut on DVD in 2009.

This original release US poster surely ranks up there with one of the best slasher posters of all time. The tagline is something of a classic and neatly references the earlier holiday-themed slasher Halloween.

Here’s the superb original trailer on YouTube.