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Highlander / B2 / style B / Japan

18.09.14

Poster Poster

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of the cult fantasy Highlander. The film started life as a story by Gregory Widen which he penned whilst studying screenwriting at UCLA and it was sold to the film’s producers for $200k before undergoing several re-writes. Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy, who had made a name with a series of music videos, the film is set in two time periods and tells the story of a Connor Macleod (a career-making turn from Christopher Lambert) who is born in Scotland in 1518 and discovers he is immortal when he is seemingly killed in a battle with a rival clan, later waking with no injuries. Believing him to be cursed, he is banished by his fellow clans people and is forced to live in a remote castle.

Eventually, after marrying a woman called Heather (Beatie Edney), he is visited by another immortal called Ramirez (Sean Connery) who teaches him how to sword fight and explains that the only way to kill another immortal is to remove his head. Ramirez also urges Connor to leave Heather, explaining that immortals are sterile and always end up causing hurt to any mortals that they fall in love with. In present day, Connor is shown to be living and working as an antique dealer in New York City and dealing with attacks from other immortals who are taking part in ‘The Gathering’ in which the remaining immortals from around the world fight to be the last one alive (“There can be only one!”). The psychotic Kurgan (Clancy Brown in a memorable turn), who first met Connor on the battlefield in Scotland, is determined to win the prize and will stop at nothing to do so.

Mulcahy injects great energy into the film, clearly using many of the tricks he learned making music videos and the performances of the three main actors all help to elevate the film beyond what could have been a very schlocky fantasy. Some of the scenes involving Connor and Heather are genuinely touching and force the viewer to imagine the downsides of living as an immortal. Michael Kamen’s orchestral score is excellent and is embellished by several memorable songs by the British band Queen, including ‘A Kind of Magic‘. Although not initially a box-office success in the US, the film was an international hit and would gain a cult following, which later saw the release a series of iffy film sequels and a popular TV series that lasted for six seasons. The franchise also includes comic books, novels and animated shows.

This is the style B Japanese B2 but I also have the style C one too. The British quad, painted by Brian Bysouth is by far the best of the international Highlander posters.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Highlander / B2 / style C / Japan

18.09.14

Poster Poster

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of the cult fantasy Highlander. The film started life as a story by Gregory Widen which he penned whilst studying screenwriting at UCLA and it was sold to the film’s producers for $200k before undergoing several re-writes. Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy, who had made a name with a series of music videos, the film is set in two time periods and tells the story of a Connor Macleod (a career-making turn from Christopher Lambert) who is born in Scotland in 1518 and discovers he is immortal when he is seemingly killed in a battle with a rival clan, later waking with no injuries. Believing him to be cursed, he is banished by his fellow clans people and is forced to live in a remote castle.

Eventually, after marrying a woman called Heather (Beatie Edney), he is visited by another immortal called Ramirez (Sean Connery) who teaches him how to sword fight and explains that the only way to kill another immortal is to remove his head. Ramirez also urges Connor to leave Heather, explaining that immortals are sterile and always end up causing hurt to any mortals that they fall in love with. In present day, Connor is shown to be living and working as an antique dealer in New York City and dealing with attacks from other immortals who are taking part in ‘The Gathering’ in which the remaining immortals from around the world fight to be the last one alive (“There can be only one!”). The psychotic Kurgan (Clancy Brown in a memorable turn), who first met Connor on the battlefield in Scotland, is determined to win the prize and will stop at nothing to do so.

Mulcahy injects great energy into the film, clearly using many of the tricks he learned making music videos and the performances of the three main actors all help to elevate the film beyond what could have been a very schlocky fantasy. Some of the scenes involving Connor and Heather are genuinely touching and force the viewer to imagine the downsides of living as an immortal. Michael Kamen’s orchestral score is excellent and is embellished by several memorable songs by the British band Queen, including ‘A Kind of Magic‘. Although not initially a box-office success in the US, the film was an international hit and would gain a cult following, which later saw the release a series of iffy film sequels and a popular TV series that lasted for six seasons. The franchise also includes comic books, novels and animated shows.

This is the style C Japanese B2 but I also have the style B one too. The British quad, painted by Brian Bysouth is by far the best of the international Highlander posters.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Subway / B2 / Japan

30.01.17

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of Luc Besson‘s 1985 comedy drama Subway. It followed on from the director’s first film, The Last Battle, which was released two years earlier. Subway reunited him with several of the actors and crew from that film, including Jean Reno, who who would go on to feature in many of Besson’s directorial efforts. French-American actor Christopher Lambert appears in the lead role of Fred, a grifter who steals documents from a rich businessman and escapes into the Paris Metro.

Lambert stars alongside Isabelle Adjani who appears as Héléna, the frustrated wife of the businessman from whom Fred has stolen the documents. The film is set largely on location in the Metro and makes great use of the halls, concourses and even the areas usually off-limits to the public. After being locked in overnight, Fred begins to explore and eventually meets Le Roller (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a petty thief who has made a home in an abandoned storage room. Le Roller introduces Fred to the other characters who called the underground their home, including the musclebound Big Bill (Christian Gomba) and The Florist (Richard Bohringer). 

The admittedly slight plot sees Fred continue to evade a bunch of hired goons sent by the businessman, as well as the subway police. The commissioner (a great performance by Michel Galabru) gets increasingly frustrated as his men, including one he’s nicknamed Batman (Jean-Pierre Bacri) fail to catch Le Roller time and time again. Héléna becomes increasingly infatuated with Fred, eventually realising his carefree attitude is the perfect antidote the marriage she feels trapped in. The film features a typically great score by regular Besson collaborator Éric Serra who also appears in the film as a member of a band that Fred brings together. The film was a success with critics as well as the French box-office. A year later Lambert would star in Highlander, a film that shot him to international stardom and lead to him winning multiple Hollywood roles.

This Japanese poster features the same artwork that was used on the French poster. It appears that the Japanese designer simply took a copy of a French poster, including all the flaws which that particular copy had. If you look closely at some of the images you can see hairs, scratches and other blemishes that must have been present on the poster. The artwork is credited to an artist called Bernard Bernhardt about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. Some of his other film posters can be seen on Cinematerial. According to this translated interview he was born in Paris in 1950 and worked on posters for several famous directors, including Roman Polanski and Michael Mann, over a thirty year period.

Highlander / quad / UK

07.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Highlander
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
From another time comes a man of great power. A man of incredible strength. An immortal about to face his greatest challenge... | There can be only one

British artist Brian Bysouth is responsible for this great design for the classic fantasy film Highlander that spawned several sequels and TV series. It’s significantly more interesting than the dull US poster. This Bysouth design can also be found in a one sheet format.

During my interview with Brian this poster was discussed:

I like it because of the amount of detail you can see, much like your painting for Highlander.
Thank you, I was pleased with that one. It was an enjoyable job and, fortunately, when asked to do a design for that type of film I was usually quick to identify what the key image should be. Phil Howard-Jones, the advertising director at EMI, who I did the work for, liked it very much and eventually he kindly returned it to me.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Subway / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Subway / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Highlander 2: The Quickening / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Highlander 2: The Quickening
AKA
Highlander II (USA)
Year of Film
1991
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Virginia Madsen, Michael Ironside
Origin of Film
France | UK | Argentina
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Virginia Madsen, Michael Ironside,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Rudy Obrero
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--