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Critters / B1 / Poland

03.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Critters
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stephen Herek
Starring
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Mieczysław Wasilewski
Artist
Mieczysław Wasilewski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 37 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design for this Polish B1 poster for the release of the cult sci-fi horror Critters (1986) in which a sleepy farming town is attacked by a group of small, furry aliens with oversized teeth. Often thought to have been made as a response to the runaway success of Joe Dante’s Gremlins, the director Stephen Herek has since argued that the script for Critters existed before Dante’s film was released and that effort was made to differentiate Critters’ script as much as possible. The film begins on a prison located on an asteroid from which the malevolent ‘Krites’ manage to escape by killing some guards and commandeering a space craft.

Two shape-shifting bounty hunters are sent after the ship which ends up crash-landing near the farm of the Brown family in rural Kansas. As the Krites begin to attack livestock and then people, the son of the family Brad (Scott Grimes) sets out to try and stop them with the help of the town drunk Charlie (Don Keith Opper) and the two bounty hunters. The film is never less than entertaining and was enough of a hit to see the release of three sequels of decreasing quality.

The person responsible for the design of this poster is Mieczysław Wasilewski who was born in 1942 in Warsaw and went on to study at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts from 1960 to 1966. Whilst working on book covers and film posters he would also take a up a position at the Academy in 1971, eventually being appointed as a professor in 1990. Wasilewski worked on posters for both Polish and international productions, including Back to the Future, Big Trouble in Little China and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Three pages of his posters can be seen on Polishposter.com. The short entry about the artist on Wikipedia notes that he has won four awards for poster design at different stages in his career. More of his posters can be viewed on Poster.pl.

The Hills Have Eyes / quad / UK

03.10.14

Poster Poster

Striking artwork on this UK quad for the release of The Hills Have Eyes, which was director Wes Craven‘s third film, following his notorious breakout horror The Last House on the Left (1972) and the little seen adult drama The Fireworks Woman (1975). Written by Craven himself, the film is an exploitation horror that follows events when a family heading to California with a caravan crash in a remote part of the Nevada desert. Unluckily for them, the area used to be a nuclear testing site and there are a pack of feral, deformed cannibal freaks living in the nearby hills who subject the Carter family to a sustained series of brutal attacks.

The film was reasonably well received at the time of original release but went on to gain a cult following and is today regarded as one of the director’s best films. I watched it again recently and it retains its power to shock, with some of the attacks being particularly brutal. A remake was released in 2006 which was at least stylistically interesting, if nothing else.

This UK quad is unusual in that it has no credits block or distributor information and features only the signature of the artist, Tom Chantrell. The only other British poster for the film that I’ve seen is a double-bill quad and I don’t think this one could be considered a teaser or advance (despite featuring little detail).

Tom Chantrell’s dynamic and colourful work featured on hundreds of posters over a forty year period. His official website features a great biography written by Sim Branaghan, author of the must-own British Film Posters. Chantrell illustrated many classic poster designs, including several Hammer posters such as the brilliant quad for ‘One Million Years B.C.’, and was also responsible for the iconic Star Wars quad, the artwork of which ended up being used around the globe. I have a handful of other designs by him on this site.

The Hills Have Eyes / B2 / black style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Hills Have Eyes / B2 / pink style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Frighteners / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Frighteners
AKA
--
Year of Film
1996
Director
Peter Jackson
Starring
Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, John Astin, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace-Stone, Jake Busey, Chi McBride
Origin of Film
New Zealand | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, John Astin, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace-Stone, Jake Busey, Chi McBride,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Dead yet?

The Howling / one sheet / USA

27.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Howling
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Slim Pickens, Elisabeth Brooks, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Slim Pickens, Elisabeth Brooks, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810045
Tagline
Imagine your worst fear a reality.

One of two werewolf themed horrors to be released in 1981, Joe Dante‘s The Howling beat John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London to cinemas by a few months, but both would go on to be cult classics of the genre, even if the latter film won more critical plaudits at the time of its release. Despite hugely different storylines each film features a memorable werewolf transformation scene and The Howling’s one was created by noted practical effects specialist Rob Bottin (The Thing, Robocop), which was his first solo effort away from his mentor Rick Baker. Although he had initially started work on The Howling, Baker had decided to leave the production to work on Landis’ film and handed the reigns over to Bottin. The results are definitely impressive and were certainly groundbreaking for the time, however Baker’s handiwork on AWIL is unforgettable and impressed the judges of the Academy Awards so much that he won the Outstanding Achievement in Makeup in its inaugural year.

Very loosely based on the novel of the same name by Gary Brandner, The Howling’s script was worked on by two screenwriters before Dante brought in John Sayles, with whom he collaborated on 1978’s Piranha to write a third draft. The film begins as the investigative TV report Karen White (Dee Wallace) is on her way to meet the serial murderer Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo) at a sleazy LA porn store as part of a police sting operation. After entering a booth, Karen is surprised by Eddie who is standing behind her and forces her to watch a porno of a young woman being attacked. Karen turns to look at Eddie and her screams attract nearby police officers who shoot and apparently kill him. Severely traumatised by the event and suffering from hallucinatory flashbacks, Karen’s therapist Dr Waggner (Patrick Macnee) refers her to a secluded retreat on the Californian coast called The Colony.

Karen travels there with her boyfriend Bill played by the late Christopher Stone, who was Dee Wallace’s boyfriend at the time and later married her (Stone sadly passed away from a heart attack in 1995), and the pair are welcomed by the residents of the camp, which is made up of several log cabins in a forest near the coast. One night Bill is out for a walk and is attacked and bitten by a werewolf, which is actually Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks) a sultry nymphomaniac who has been at the Colony for months. Later she accosts Bill and the pair make love in the forest as they transform into werewolves together. Karen suspects all is not right and invites her friend Teri (Belinda Balaski), another reporter who is looking into Eddie Quist and has discovered that his body is missing from the morgue, out to visit her. Soon after arriving Teri is attacked and killed by Eddie whom she watches transform into a wolf (with Rob Bottin’s help) and before long Karen discovers the true secret of the Colony. Teri’s partner Chris (Dennis Dugan) comes to Karen’s rescue clutching a rifle loaded with silver bullets.

The film was made on a low budget (circa $1m) and was a commercial success around the globe, making tens of millions of dollars. It inevitably spawned a number of significantly less interesting sequels, starting with 1985’s ‘Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf’. Joe Dante believes that Steven Spielberg saw the film at the cinema and subsequently offered him the directorial job on the cult classic Gremlins (1984).

Despite The Howling’s relatively high profile I’ve been unable to identify the artist responsible for the artwork on this US one sheet, which was also used as the marketing art in several other countries. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch. Note that this particular poster is discoloured somewhat as it is meant to be more orange/yellow in tone, and I believe it’s the result of an error during printing. It’s not the first one sheet for the Howling that I’ve seen with this discolouration and at least three can be seen in emovieposter’s past sales history of the poster. I suspect that a batch of the posters fell victim to an issue with blue/green inks at the time of printing.

Critters / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Critters
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stephen Herek
Starring
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Critters / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Critters
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stephen Herek
Starring
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
They travelled millions of light years for a snack. Guess what's on the menu? YOU ARE.

Critters / one sheet / style A / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Critters
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stephen Herek
Starring
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ken Barr
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
When you've got critters... you need all the help you can get. | They bite!

Critters / one sheet / style C / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Critters
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stephen Herek
Starring
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Soyka
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--