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The Killer / quad / UK

02.08.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer
AKA
Dip huet seung hung (Hong Kong - original title) | Bloodshed of Two Heroes (International - literal title) | Blast Killer (West Germany)
Year of Film
1989
Director
John Woo
Starring
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce UK quad for the release of legendary Hong Kong director John Woo‘s landmark action-fest The Killer, which was the film that launched both him and lead actor Chow Yun-Fat onto the international stage. Although Woo had garnered acclaim for A Better Tomorrow (1986) and its sequel, both featuring Yun-Fat, it was The Killer’s perfect blend of hyper-kinetic violence, well-written characters and action spectacle that set it apart from Woo’s earlier films. The film would be followed by the spectacular Hard Boiled (1992), after which Woo’s career in Hollywood was launched, to somewhat mixed success. The Killer’s impact on other Western filmmakers cannot be denied, with the likes of Luc Besson clearly borrowing plot points and action beats for both Nikita and Léon: The Professional (1994), whilst both Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado) and Quentin Tarantino were clearly huge fans.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as a hired assassin who accidentally blinds a nightclub singer called Jennie (Sally Yeh) during the course of a hit, and after the pair strike up a relationship he decides to take one last job to pay for an operation to restore her sight. After being double-crossed by his Triad clients Ah Jong manages to escape from a group of hired guns, but not before coming to the attention of police detective Li Ying (Danny Lee). At first the hot-shot cop aims to take Ah Jong into custody but when he realises that he’s no ordinary hitman and sees the predicament he’s in, Detective Li decides to team up with the killer to take down the mobsters. This was the first film in which Woo used his trademark white doves taking flight in the middle of action scenes.

This quad features the same image of Yun-Fat holding the Dragunov sniper-rifle as seen on the American one sheet (although that image is illustrated) and this page on the Internet Firearms Database features gives a lengthy run-down of all the guns featured in the film (hint: a lot). The quote from the Time Out reviewer deserves special mention as you have to applaud anyone who uses the phrase ‘dementedly elegiac thriller’ and gets away with it.

The Killer / Thailand

21.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer
AKA
Dip huet seung hung (Hong Kong - original title) | Bloodshed of Two Heroes (International - literal title) | Blast Killer (West Germany)
Year of Film
1989
Director
John Woo
Starring
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of legendary Hong Kong director John Woo‘s landmark action-fest The Killer, which was the film that launched both him and lead actor Chow Yun-Fat onto the international stage. Although Woo had garnered acclaim for A Better Tomorrow (1986) and its sequel, both featuring Yun-Fat, it was The Killer’s perfect blend of hyper-kinetic violence, well-written characters and action spectacle that set it apart from Woo’s earlier films. The film would be followed by the spectacular Hard Boiled (1992), after which Woo’s career in Hollywood was launched, to somewhat mixed success. The Killer’s impact on other Western filmmakers cannot be denied, with the likes of Luc Besson clearly borrowing plot points and action beats for both Nikita and Léon: The Professional (1994), whilst both Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado) and Quentin Tarantino were clearly huge fans.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as a hired assassin who accidentally blinds a nightclub singer called Jennie (Sally Yeh) during the course of a hit, and after the pair strike up a relationship he decides to take one last job to pay for an operation to restore her sight. After being double-crossed by his Triad clients Ah Jong manages to escape from a group of hired guns, but not before coming to the attention of police detective Li Ying (Danny Lee). At first the hot-shot cop aims to take Ah Jong into custody but when he realises that he’s no ordinary hitman and sees the predicament he’s in, Detective Li decides to team up with the killer to take down the mobsters. This was the first film in which Woo used his trademark white doves taking flight in the middle of action scenes.

This Thai poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) whowas an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The artwork for this Thai poster was actually re-used (and slightly cropped) for the US one sheet when the film was released there. The sniper rifle-toting gunman also features on the UK quad.

The Killer / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer
AKA
Dip huet seung hung (Hong Kong - original title) | Bloodshed of Two Heroes (International - literal title) | Blast Killer (West Germany)
Year of Film
1989
Director
John Woo
Starring
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Trainspotting / quad / teaser / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Trainspotting
AKA
La vida en el abismo [Life in the abyss] (Mexico)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Danny Boyle
Starring
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Stylorouge
Artist
Photgraphy by Lorenzo Agius
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Here’s a great retrospective article on the creation of the Trainspotting campaign on the Creative Review site.

Trainspotting / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Trainspotting
AKA
La vida en el abismo [Life in the abyss] (Mexico)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Danny Boyle
Starring
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Empire Design
Artist
Photgraphy by Lorenzo Agius
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Trainspotting / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Trainspotting
AKA
La vida en el abismo [Life in the abyss] (Mexico)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Danny Boyle
Starring
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Tarhan Creative
Artist
Photgraphy by Lorenzo Agius
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Trainspotting / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Trainspotting
AKA
La vida en el abismo [Life in the abyss] (Mexico)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Danny Boyle
Starring
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Irvine Welsh,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Photgraphy by Lorenzo Agius
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--