You Searched For: Canada

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Frodo / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Drive / special print / Canada

18.01.12

Poster Poster

Nicolas Winding Refn’s superb neo-noir Drive ended up at the top of many ‘best of 2011’ lists, including my own, and there were few films released last year that matched it for sheer cinematic cool. The nameless protagonist was played by Ryan Gosling who suddenly found himself rocketing to the top of the Hollywood hot list, helped in no small part to the silk ‘Scorpion’ jacket and toothpick his near-silent character sports throughout the film.

At the time I, along with many others, felt that the official US one sheet failed to capture the spirit and feel of this supremely stylish film and its release felt like something of a missed opportunity. Thank goodness, then, that the talented graphic designer and illustrator James White (AKA Signalnoise) also felt this way and took it upon himself to design a fitting poster for the film. The results speak for themselves and James’ use of a single image from the opening sequence of ‘cat and mouse’ (as seen in this clip) combined with the striking neon colours is the perfect distillation of the film into one frame.

The poster was designed as a personal project and something of a tribute to the film but, thanks to the effort of James’ agent, Ollie Judge, James was able to gain permission from the film’s rights owners and print the poster as official merchandise to sell on his website.

I was lucky enough to be sent this first edition late last year that was printed as a limited, not-for-sale run before the rights had been secured. You’ll notice the text at the bottom of the poster that confirms this.

See this blog post on my site for and interview with James and details on the making of this awesome poster.

The official poster will be available to purchase online on Thursday, January 19 at 1pm EST. The poster will be activated in the Signalnoise Store at that time. I will have 300 copies of the 22″ x 28″ poster for $50 along with a super limited 30 copies of the 24″ x 36″ poster for $90.

The trailer for Drive can be watched on YouTube.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring / one sheet / cast montage style / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Aragorn / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Gollum / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Gandalf / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Arwen / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Changeling / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Changeling
AKA
L'enfant du diable [The child of the devil] (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Peter Medak
Starring
George C. Scott, Trish VanDevere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Madeleine Sherwood
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
George C. Scott, Trish VanDevere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Madeleine Sherwood,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800028
Tagline
"How did you die, Joseph...? Did you die in this house...? Why do you remain...?"

The Changeling / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Changeling
AKA
L'enfant du diable [The child of the devil] (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Peter Medak
Starring
George C. Scott, Trish VanDevere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Madeleine Sherwood
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
George C. Scott, Trish VanDevere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Madeleine Sherwood,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

An eerily effective Canadian horror directed by Peter Medak, The Changeling features the brilliant George C. Scott (Dr Strangelove, Patton) in a memorable turn as John Russell, a composer and widower struggling to cope with the death of his wife and child. Russell moves into an old mansion in an attempt to piece his life back together and concentrate on writing his next composition, but before long it’s clear that he’s not the only occupant of the house. Mysterious happenings and apparitions of a ghostly child prompt Russell to investigate the history of the previous occupants, and together with realtor Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere – Scott’s wife) he uncovers the truth behind the haunting.

The story is based on the real-life experiences of the film’s screenwriter Russell Hunter who moved into a large house in Denver, Colorado in 1968 and suffered a series of strange happenings. After holding a seance Hunter discovered that the spirit of a child haunted the house and was unable to rest after being wronged by his family. This ‘Denver Haunts’ website features an article (scroll down to ‘The Henry Treat Rogers Mansion’) that was printed in the newspaper Rocky Mountain News in 1986 and further details Hunter’s experiences.

Medak fled Hungary in 1956 to escape the Hungarian Revolution and settled in England where he started his career in the film business. His directorial debut came in 1968 with Negatives, a drama about a couple whose bizarre romantic relationship is interrupted by the arrival of a photographer who has taken an interest in the couple’s actions. He then went on to direct episodes of several TV series, including Space: 1999Hart to Hart and The Twilight Zone whilst continuing to work on many films throughout the 1970s and 80s. His last feature film was the much maligned Species II (1998) but he has since returned to working as a TV director on shows such as Homicide: Life on the StreetThe Wire and Breaking Bad.

The original trailer for the film is on YouTube.

Heavy Metal / quad / UK

14.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
Heavy Metal
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Gerald Potterton
Starring
Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Chris Achilleos
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Step Beyond Science Fiction

A great piece of artwork by Chris Achilleos on this UK quad for the release of Heavy Metal, an animated film based on stories from the magazine of the same name, which was known for its blend of science fiction, fantasy and erotica. Developed over a period of three years, the film is an anthology of tales connected by a framing story, with each one being based on a segment from the magazine or created specifically for the film. Like its source material it contains plenty of graphic violence and sexual imagery, although the film is somewhat softer in comparison to the tales seen in print. Several different animation houses worked on the segments, which is how it was able to be completed in a relatively short period of time. The voice cast included John CandyEugene Levy and Harold Ramis.

Chris Achilleos is one of the foremost British sci-fi and fantasy artists and has been working for over 40 years, creating some of the most celebrated artwork in the genre. Born in Cyprus, Achilleos and his family emigrated to London in 1959 and he went on to study illustration at Hornsey Art College where he learned the skills of technical illustration and became proficient with the airbrush in his final year. The artist would go on to create illustrations and painted work for album covers, book covers, magazines and would publish a series of books showcasing his skills. In addition, Achilleos also worked on concept designs for films including Willow (1988), King Arthur (2004) and the Last Legion (2007). This portrait of the heroine Taarna and her faithful steed was influential on the creation of the segment in the film, although the level of detail in the animation doesn’t quite match up to his skills!

Sim Branaghan, author of the brilliant British Film Posters, interviewed the artist for his book and notes that Achilleos’ film work often ended in frustration and disappointment. His first contact with the film industry came with a call from Julian Senior, a marketing executive at Warners at the time, who invited Achilleos to produce some concepts for Greystoke (1984). These were swept aside for an urgent job to produce three big illustrations for posters for Supergirl (1984) that ended up being scrapped when the distribution of the film changed and the work went to the FEREF agency.

Achilleos was also asked to work on posters for Blade Runner that ended up being rejected by the clients who decided to go with the photo montage of the UK quad. There were other frustrating no-gos with designs for Clash of the Titans, Twilight Zone (1983) and an illustration for Batman (1989) that was caught up in a knotty legal wrangle. Some posters designs did make it through, including Riding High (1979), this artwork for Heavy Metal that was used on the UK quad as well as the US one sheet and Japanese B2, plus a quad for Jackie Chan vehicle The Protector (1986).

Def-Con 4 / one sheet / USA

30.06.12

Poster Poster
Title
Def-Con 4
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Paul Donovan
Starring
Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch, Kevin King, John Walsch, Tim Choate, Jeff Pustil, Donna King, Alan MacGillivray, Florence Paterson, Karen Kennedy, Ken Ryan
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch, Kevin King, John Walsch, Tim Choate, Jeff Pustil, Donna King, Alan MacGillivray, Florence Paterson, Karen Kennedy, Ken Ryan,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Rudy Obrero
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The last defense. The last hope. The battle for the future of the world has begun.

A Canadian post-apocalyptic sci-fi, Def-Con 4 tells the story of a crew of three astronauts on an orbiting space station loaded with nuclear warheads who witness the outbreak of World War 3 on earth and are unable to prevent the destruction below. Several months later a signal forces the space station to crash-land back on earth (on a Canadian beach) and the crew must adapt to survive the hostile environment, which includes the diseased survivors of the war who are known as Terminals, and a band of militants intent on harnessing the power of the downed station.

The artwork on this poster was done by freelance illustrator and designer Rudy Obrero who is based in Los Angeles and has worked for a huge variety of commercial clients throughout his career, including Disney, Warner Bros and Universal Studios. As well as film posters his work includes design style guides for many entertainment properties, including E.T., Curious George and Universal Monsters. He’s also worked on the packaging artwork for toys and this picture shows Rudy with a box featuring an illustration he painted for the He-Man range by Mattel (a close up detail can be seen here).

One of his best film poster illustrations, in my opinion,  is the one painted for the international one sheet of Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior), which can be viewed here. He’s also responsible for the American one sheet artwork for Never Say Never Again.

The trailer for the film is on YouTube.

Wonderland / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Wonderland / one sheet / artwork style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Naked Lunch / quad / UK

22.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Exterminate all rational thought

Naked Lunch is cult Canadian director David Cronenberg‘s semi-adaptation of the celebrated American writer William S. Burroughsnovel of the same name. The book, which is a collection of vignettes with little in the way of connecting narrative, was written in 1959 and several attempts had been made over the years to try and adapt it for the screen. The structure of the book meant crafting a coherent plot was a tall order for any screenwriter, so Cronenberg decided to try a slightly different approach. The resultant film features scenes and characters from the vignettes but blends them with a semi-biographical look at the process Burroughs went through to write the original book, and includes incidents and characters (albeit renamed) from his experiences during the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s.

The resultant film, despite having more of a connecting narrative, is no less batshit crazy for it. Peter Weller plays Burroughs as William Lee (a sometime pen name of the author) who is working as a bug exterminator and whose wife Joan Lee (Judy Davis) has become addicted to the powder he uses to kill the critters. He is also a heroin addict and is arrested by the police for possession. Whilst in custody he begins to hallucinate and sees a giant bug who tells him he is being recruited as a secret agent and that his mission is to kill Joan who may or not be a shape-shifting agent working for a shady organisation. Disbelieving, he smashes the bug and escapes from custody, returning home to find Joan having sex with one of his friends. Soon afterwards he accidentally kills Joan by shooting her in the head after attempting to shoot a glass off her head, William Tell-style (this mirrors a real incident in which Burroughs killed his then partner Joan Vollmer in Mexico).

On the run from the police, he’s introduced to a bipedal alien called a Mugwump in a bar who gives him a travel ticket to get to Interzone (an area of a North African country) where he can lie low and carry out missions for his ‘handlers’. There he meets a whole host of odd characters, including Tom Frost (Ian Holm) and his wife Joan who bears a striking relation to his deceased wife. He continues to write reports for his imaginary handlers, with his typewriter soon morphing into another talking bug. Things continue to get progressively weirder as he is told to search out the mysterious Dr Benway, the source of a drug that is swamping the Interzone.

The above description makes the film sound vaguely conventional when it is anything but and there’s no doubt that it’s a marmite film for many who watch it. The film had a botched release in North America which saw it only recouping a small percentage of its original budget due to a limited number of screenings. Nevertheless it was largely lauded by critics and has since garnered something of a cult following.

This British quad features a unique design that includes a close-up photograph of Weller’s William Lee above a centipede. The film had a range of poster designs across the globe, with little repetition in the designs. The US one sheet is memorable but by far my favourite is the incredible Japanese ‘bug’-style poster that features a freaky illustration by H Sorayama.

Welcome to Blood City / one sheet / UK

12.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Welcome to Blood City
AKA
Blood City (US)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Peter Sasdy
Starring
Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, Hollis McLaren, Chris Wiggins, Henry Ramer, Allan Royal, John Evans
Origin of Film
UK | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, Hollis McLaren, Chris Wiggins, Henry Ramer, Allan Royal, John Evans,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Vaughan (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this scarce UK one sheet for the release of the 1977 sci-fi-western, Welcome to Blood City. A British-Canadian co-production, there’s no doubt it was created in the wake of the very successful Westworld that was released a few years earlier. With that said, this film uses the different construct of events taking place in virtual reality, with scientists working for an unnamed organisation watching the events unfold on screens. The film was directed by Peter Sasdy, a Hungarian director who is best known for helming a number of British films during the 1970s, including a few Hammer horrors. It has a few notable stars in the cast, including the late Jack PalanceKeir Dullea (of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame) and Samantha Eggar (Cronenberg’s The Brood).

The film begins during some kind of worldwide event (exactly what isn’t made clear) during which Dullea’s character is seemingly abducted by soldiers at gunpoint. He then awakes in a strange wilderness with no memory of what happened to him, along with a group of others all wearing overalls. As they begin to walk into a forest they are accosted by two strangers with shotguns. Whilst they are attacked, a mysterious man (Palance) wearing an outfit that resembles a sheriff’s uniform watches the situation, apparently unmoved. Eventually he greets them and leads them to the titular settlement. Once there they have the rules of the town explained to them. I’ve got to admit, the plot isn’t the easiest to follow – a situation not helped by the only available copy of the film being a terrible VHS-level pan and scan one, which also appears to be zoomed to cap it off. The sound is equally as bad.

Eventually we learn that in order to survive and escape being slaves, the captives must kill others in the town and once they reach twenty kills they are considered ‘immortal’. The purpose for the scientists watching is to seemingly satisfy their military benefactors who want to find out which of the people (in the real world, not Blood City) will make the best soldiers that can be sent off to some unexplained conflict. Samantha Eggar plays one of the two scientists tasked with following events in the simulation. She becomes infatuated with Dullea’s character and begins inserting herself into the simulation and manipulating events so that he will survive. The film is little-seen and the quality of the only copy available probably points to both a lack of demand but also potential rights-issues (it was apparently made as some kind of tax-shelter deal).

The artwork on this UK one sheet, which features different art to the UK quad, is, I believe, by the British artist Mike Vaughan. He also worked on a handful of posters for Hammer horrors, as well as posters like this one for Raid on Entebbe. If anyone knows for sure who painted this art please get in touch.

Losin’ It / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Losin' It
AKA
Un week-end da leoni (Italy)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Curtis Hanson
Starring
Tom Cruise, Jackie Earle Haley, John Stockwell, John P. Navin Jr., Shelley Long, Henry Darrow
Origin of Film
Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Cruise, Jackie Earle Haley, John Stockwell, John P. Navin Jr., Shelley Long, Henry Darrow,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
Ss
NSS #
--
Tagline
The last word about the first time.

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.

The Uncanny / one sheet / UK

22.06.15

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1977 British-Canadian horror anthology The Uncanny, which is based around the unlikely theme of malevolent cats. The film is often mistakenly credited as being an Amicus Productions anthology (like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror) but it was in fact a Rank release with the involvement of Milton Subotsky, one half of the Amicus team, which had disbanded in 1975.

The film features three stories told as part of an overarching framing tale that sees Peter Cushing as a British author visiting his agent in Montreal to present the idea for his next book, which is that all cats are inherently evil, supernatural creatures. To illustrate his reasoning he tells three separate tales, each from different eras and locations. The first is set in London and sees Miss Malkin (Joan Greenwood) a sick, wealthy widower leave her fortune to her houseful of cats, which angers her only nephew. He enlists the help of the housemaid Janet (Susan Penhaligon) who attempts to steal the copies of the will but disturbs the elderly woman as she’s doing so and kills her in the struggle that follows. Much to Janet’s surprise, the moggies then take their revenge on her and the nephew.

The second story is based in Quebec and sees Lucy (Katrina Holden Bronson) an orphaned girl, going to live with her Aunt and bringing her beloved cat Wellington with her. After being mistreated by the family who decide to try and dispose of Wellington, Lucy seeks help from her collection of witchcraft books and takes out her anger on her malicious cousin Angela. The final story is set in Hollywood during the 1930s and features Donald Pleasence giving it his all as an actor who rigs an onset accident that kills his wife so he can shack up with his mistress, a younger actress. Unfortunately, his wife’s cat is none too pleased with its owner being offed and sets out to get its revenge, which it does in a ridiculous finale.

The film features very little in the way of horror, with only some very fake looking blood in a few scenes and absolutely nothing in the way of suspense. The special effects are mostly awful and in the scenes where cats are supposedly attacking people you can practically see the hands of the animal handlers who’ve just thrown them at the victim. The middle story set in Canada is particularly poor, thanks to a woeful performance by the actress playing Lucy. The simple fact is that cats are not particularly scary and anyone who owns a cat knows that the worst that might happen is a bit of scratched skin. Apparently the film flopped at the box office and was never even given a release in American cinemas.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who is one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He is responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed Vic for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here.

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

The Models / one sheet / USA

15.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Models
AKA
In Love with Sex (international title) | Donnez-nous notre amour quotidien [Give us our daily love] (French - original title)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Claude Pierson
Starring
Paola Senatore, Lucretia Love, Mauro Parenti, Jacques Buron, Yves Arcanel, Alice Arno, Jean-Michel Dhermay
Origin of Film
France | Canada | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Paola Senatore, Lucretia Love, Mauro Parenti, Jacques Buron, Yves Arcanel, Alice Arno, Jean-Michel Dhermay,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert McGinnis
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
What really goes on behind all the glitter and glamour | Banned in 36 countries. You can see it now without a single cut! | You'll never see this movie on TV!

The Models (AKA by the racier title ‘In Love with Sex’) was a French-Canadian-Italian co-production and a sexploitation drama directed by the Parisian Claude Pierson who seems to have made a living from helming these kind of films. I can find little information about the film itself but the various tag lines on this poster give you an idea of what you’re in for. The only synopsis I could find was on the BFI’s page for the film and simply says ‘About the problems of frigidity encountered by a young married woman and how they are overcome with help of her husband.’ The artwork on this poster is by the legendary artist Robert McGinnis and it’s a wonder that the production company were able to secure his talents (his services can’t have been cheap at this point in his career).

Robert McGinnis was responsible for some of the most iconic James Bond posters, including Thunderball,  The Man With the Golden Gun and Diamonds are Forever as well as multiple other classic posters from the 60s, 70s and 80s. He was born in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1926 and was given an apprenticeship at Walt Disney studios before studying fine art at Ohio State University. After serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II, he started work in the advertising industry and later moved into painting book jackets for several notable authors, as well as editorial artwork for the likes of Good Housekeeping, TIME and The Saturday Evening Post. McGinnis’ first film poster was the now iconic one sheet for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, painted in 1962, and he went on to paint over 40 others during his career, including one for The Incredibles in 2004.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were painted by McGinnis click here.

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.

 

Hobo With A Shotgun / one sheet / USA

08.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Hobo With a Shotgun
AKA
--
Year of Film
2011
Director
Jason Eisener
Starring
Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, Drew O'Hara, Molly Dunsworth, Jeremy Akerman
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, Drew O'Hara, Molly Dunsworth, Jeremy Akerman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Tom Hodge AKA The Dude Designs
Artist
Tom Hodge AKA The Dude Designs
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Delivering justice one shell at a time

Hobo With a Shotgun is a Canadian exploitation action film which started out as a fake trailer that was the winning entry in a competition held as part of the promotion of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse. Prior to the 2007 South By Southwest festival (held annually in Austin, Texas) Rodriguez challenged budding filmmakers to create a trailer that celebrated exploitation and horror films, which would then be shown as part of a panel on Grindhouse cinema.

This CinemaBlend article describes the event and confirms that the trailer by Nova Scotians Jason Eisener, John Davies, and Rob Cotterill was the winner. When Grindhouse was shown in cinemas in the US there were several fake trailers shown around the two main features, shot by the likes of Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie, and the Hobo With a Shotgun was shown alongside them in several Canadian cinemas. In 2010 Rodriguez turned his fake Grindhouse trailer for a film called Machete, starring long-time collaborator Danny Trejo, into a feature-length release and Jason Eisener then followed suit with a full-length version of Hobo in 2011.

The film stars Rutger Hauer as the titular homeless man who arrives in the fictional Hope Town only to discover it is now known as Scum Town and is ruled over by crime boss Drake and his psychotic sons Ivan and Slick. The family have a stranglehold over the town and the hobo witnesses robberies, brutal violence and prostitution as he wanders the streets. Although he initially dreams of buying a lawnmower from a pawnshop to earn money through landscaping, an encounter with Slick and Ivan steels his resolve to do something about the injustice he’s seen. The same pawnshop has shotguns for sale and so the hobo sets out to clean up the streets, delivering justice one shell at a time!

The film absolutely nails the grindhouse aesthetic and has clearly been made by someone with genuine reverence for the films that defined the genre. The production design is top notch throughout with Dartmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia turned convincingly into the crime-ridden Scum Town. It’s also filled with excellent performances from actors who are clearly enjoying delivering the outlandish lines that John Davies’ script contains, but Hauer steals the show with his enjoyment of playing the vengeful hobo clear to see. The soundtrack is also notably excellent and perfectly suits the action on screen.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Tom Hodge AKA The Dude Designs, a Brit who has worked for over 12 years creating advertising materials for films and games, and is a big proponent of continuing the use of painted artwork over computer-generated montages. The about page on his official site details several of the companies he’s provided illustrations for, which includes Mondo, Arrow Video and Death Waltz Records (he created their logo, amongst other projects). The site also includes galleries of his work, which includes this great cover for the Shout Factory release of John Carpenter’s They Live. It’s my belief that this poster for Hobo was the first one of his to be printed and used around the world to advertise the film.

My Bloody Valentine / B2 / Japan

19.12.14

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B2 for the release of the Canadian film My Bloody Valentine, which was one of several slasher films released in the wake of the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). The film is set in the fictional mining town of Valentine Bluffs that is preparing to hold its first Valentine’s Day town dance in 20 years. It’s revealed that two decades earlier there was an accident down the mine that saw four miners die from gas poisoning and a fifth, named Harry Warden, survive by resorting to cannibalism until he was rescued. Two supervisors were blamed for what happened to the men as they deserted their posts to attend the town dance and a year later Harry returned to take his revenge, murdering the pair and cutting out their hearts, before warning that the town should never hold another dance.

Since Harry was eventually caught and locked up in an insane asylum the warning had become a distant memory and the people of the town decide to hold a new dance, which excites the younger generation of inhabitants. Shortly before the day of the dance the mayor of the town and the chief of police receive an anonymous gift in the form of a box of chocolates. When they open it they discover a bloody human heart. Soon after, a woman called Mabel is brutally murdered by a man dressed in mining gear and the town decides they have no choice but to cancel the dance. The frustrated younger townspeople decide to hold their own party at the mines the next night but they’re not prepared for the wrath of the mysterious killer and one by one they fall victim to his sharpened pickaxe.

Whilst far from the best in the slasher genre the film is certainly entertaining and features some pretty memorable kills. Notoriously the MPAA (the American ratings board) forced the filmmakers to make 9 minutes of cuts to remove most of the gory sequences. The cuts are now thought to have been a reaction by Paramount to the backlash they suffered over the gore in Friday the 13th (1980) and the director George Mihalka also suggests that horror films released in the wake of John Lennon’s murder suffered similar fates. The film was released with much of the footage reinstated in a 2009 DVD release.

Dead Ringers / one sheet / USA

15.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Dead Ringers
AKA
Inseparables (Spain)
Year of Film
1988
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack, Damir Andrei, Miriam Newhouse
Origin of Film
Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack, Damir Andrei, Miriam Newhouse,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880119
Tagline
From the director of "The Fly" comes a new kind of thriller. | Two bodies. Two minds. One soul.

Upon its release in 1988, Dead Ringers was arguably Canadian director David Cronenberg‘s most mainstream release to date (as close as he’d come at least) and it was his first psychological thriller following a slew of horrors, including Scanners (1981) and The Fly (1986). Based on the novel ‘Twins’ by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland, the film was also influenced by the real life case of Stewart and Cyril Marcus and focuses on twin gynaecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle (both played by Jeremy Irons) who practice in a Toronto clinic dealing with fertility problems. For years they have operated a system where the more confident Elliot seduces women who visit the clinic and then passes them onto the shy Beverly when he’s bored of them, with the women usually not noticing the deception.

One day troubled actress Claire Niveau (Geneviève Bujold) visits the clinic and Elliot does his usual seduction trick. Beverly then becomes infatuated with her, leading to a destabilising of the relationship between the brothers and, after Beverly begins taking the prescription drugs that Claire is addicted to, things take a turn for the worse. Soon paranoid delusions of ‘mutant women’ lead Beverly to purchasing a series of bizarre tools from a metallurgical artist. When he later attacks a patient at the clinic the twins are suspended from practice and set in motion a chain of events with a deadly conclusion.

Although more drama focused, the film still gave Cronenberg plenty of scope for his usual body horror tricks and although it’s not as bloody as previous efforts the film is no less disturbing. Irons impresses with his performance and the actor would win a few awards during the year of release.

I’m unsure who designed this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Blazing Magnum / B2 / Japan

13.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Blazing Magnum
AKA
Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta [A Special Magnum for Tony Saitta] (Italy - original title) | Shadows in an Empty Room (USA) | Big Magnum 77 (Japan - English title)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Alberto De Martino
Starring
Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow, Carole Laure, Jean LeClerc, Gayle Hunnicutt
Origin of Film
Italy | Canada | Panama
Genre(s) of Film
Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow, Carole Laure, Jean LeClerc, Gayle Hunnicutt,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Filmed in Canada by an Italian director (Alberto De Martino under the pseudonym Martin Herbert), Blazing Magnum has multiple alternative titles, including Shadows in an Empty Room, and is an entry into the poliziottesco genre of cinema. The story sees tough Ottawan police captain Tony Saitta (Stuart Whitman) travel to Montreal to investigate the untimely death of his sister at a party. Before long more bodies start to appear, the list of suspects grows and Saitta teams up with Sergeant Ned Matthews (genre stalwart John Saxon) to crack the case.

The film is perhaps best known for it’s insane, nine minute car chase around the streets of Montreal, which was filmed without permits and staged by legendary stunt performer Rémy Julienne, whose work includes six James Bond films and the original Italian Job. The chase can be watched in all its glory on YouTube – it definitely rivals other legendary cinematic car pursuits! It also features a giallo-esque scene in which a murder is committed in the same room as a blind girl, Saitta fighting a bunch of drag queens and a dwarf gangster.

Check out this Motion Picture Purgatory entry on DreadCentral.com.

The artwork on this Japanese poster is by one of my favourite artists, the mysterious Seito. It appears on the Italian poster (image taken from emovieposter.com), as well as others, so it’s likely that Seito may have adapted another illustrator’s work for this B2, unless the other countries used his illustration? The American one sheet is markedly different and plays up the murder mystery side of the plot.

The trailer can be viewed on YouTube.