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The Terminal Man / 30×40 / USA

21.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Terminal Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ken Barr
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/2
Tagline
Harry Benson is a brilliant computer scientist. For three minutes a day, he is violently homicidal.

Great artwork by Ken Barr for this 1972 sci-fi film from Mike Hodges, the director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon, based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name. The Terminal Man wasn’t particularly well received and was never given a UK cinema release. It was only released on DVD in 2009 as a part of the on demand Warner Archive program.

There’s a strange bit of trivia on the Wikipedia page for the film: 

Terrence Malick, the director of Badlands, reportedly has written to Hodges expressing how much he loved watching The Terminal Man.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Escape From New York / quad / UK

07.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
René Ferracci
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
1997. New York City is a walled maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.

It took me many years to track down a rolled copy of this poster but I finally managed to locate one and I’m very happy to be able to add it to my John Carpenter collection. It’s hugely different from the US one sheets (advance and final) but it does feature the same great tagline.

The artwork is by the French illustrator René Ferracci who is responsible for the French poster, though I’m not sure if any adaptation was required to fit it to the quad format. It may be that a British artist had to make some adjustments.

It’s one of the few posters for the film not to feature the destroyed Statue of Liberty in some form.

Here’s the original trailer.

The Thing / program and ticket / Japan

09.01.12

Poster Poster

As well as the film posters I also have a handful of other film-related, paper-based memorabilia that I’ve picked up over the years. I thought I may as well share some of this material in the same way that I’ve been sharing the posters. Some of these items can be scanned rather than photographed.

First up is this original program and cinema ticket for one of my favourite films, John Carpenter’s The Thing. The program would have been available in the cinemas whilst the film was showing. I scanned each page separately and then used Photoshop to recombine the pages since most of them worked as double spreads.

My belief is that the stub is a standard cinema ticket, not a special printing for the premiere. I’ve included a scan of the back where you’ll notice an ink stamp that would have covered the removed portion too.

A Japanese friend translated the text below the title for me and it says:

Directed by John Carpenter/ Starring Kurt Russell
<Colour film>
Universal Pictures / Distributed by CIC ¥1000

The Japanese title is 遊星からの物体X – which translates as ‘X The Thing’.

Note that some of the pages feature strange anomalies due to the dots of the printing being picked up by the scanner. This most obviously shows up as a kind of moire effect on some of the images.

Whilst researching I also found this brilliant cover on the Japanese Laserdisc release of The Thing.

The Japanese B2 poster for The Thing can be seen here.

The Thing / screen print / regular / Drew Struzan / USA

24.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Drew Struzan
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
25 14/16" x 38 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This year the Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas celebrated the 30th anniversary of the summer of 1982, a period they dubbed ‘the greatest summer of movies…ever’. It’s not hard to see why when, in the space of three months, films like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Mad Max 2,  Tron, Poltergeist and John Carpenter’s The Thing were released in cinemas. A series of screenings have taken place over the past few months and for several of these shows a limited edition screen printed poster was created by the folks at Mondo, the celebrated offshoot of  the Drafthouse.

Perhaps the most exciting of these was the one created for my favourite film of all time, John Carpenter’s The Thing. Mondo surpassed everyone’s expectations for the poster by harking back 30 years and working directly with the legendary artist Drew Struzan who was responsible for the fantastic one sheet for the film. Using the original painted artwork, Drew and the Mondo team were able to create a screen print of the classic image; a perfect choice to celebrate the anniversary of the film’s release.

Announcing the poster, Movies.com carried out an exclusive interview with Struzan and it’s an absolute must-read for fans of the artist and his work. One of the most interesting parts of the interview sees Struzan recalling the creation of the original poster:

“I got a phone call, the simplest phone call I ever got, saying, “We have a job, we want to know if you can do it, the catch is we need it by tomorrow.””

After agreeing to the ridiculously tight deadline, Struzan remembers getting to work:

“It was a very odd experience. I got an immediate concept, which is not unusual for me; I usually have something roving around in my mind. I dressed up in a winter snow outfit and my wife took a Polaroid of me. This was 30 years ago, back in the stone age when the only way to communicating a hundred miles away was the telephone or the fax machine. So I did the drawing and I faxed it back to the studio and they said, “Fine. We need it by tomorrow morning.” I went to work.”

And the result is this iconic image that perfectly captures the mood of the film and stands out as one of Struzan’s best poster designs, which is no mean feat when you consider the artist’s incredible output over several decades.

Around the time of the release, the website Machinima released a brilliant three-part documentary called ‘Limited Run: Mondo’s Modern Classic’ that features the process of creating this poster and includes interviews with Struzan and John Carpenter.

Escape From New York / A1 / teaser / Germany

25.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
(see text below)

A simple but effective teaser for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The tagline on this teaser actually spells Plissken as Plessken, which is likely to have been simply an error on the copywriter’s part but may have been intentionally changed (no idea why!). A German friend translated the copy and it reads as follows:

‘Snake Plessken,  the “Rattlesnake”- he has to get in there, where nobody has yet escaped – in a city like a prison – 10 million inhabitants – everyone of them a gangster – New York 1997’

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

The Straight Story / B2 / Japan

26.11.12

Poster Poster

David Lynch‘s brilliant The Straight Story is an uncharacteristically warm and natural film, quite unlike anything else in the director’s filmography, although it still features unmistakably Lynchian touches. The plot is based on the true story of elderly World War II veteran Alvin Straight who, unable to obtain a driver’s licence, travelled over 240 miles on a sit-down lawnmower to visit his brother who had suffered a stroke. Richard Farnsworth, a former stuntman turned character actor, played Alvin in a oscar-nominated performance, and Sissy Spacek featured as his mentally disabled daughter Rose. Legendary actor Harry Dean Stanton appears as Alvin’s brother. Farnsworth was suffering from terminal cancer at the time he made the film and he sadly took his own life only months after filming had wrapped.

This Japanese poster features a unique design with a profile shot of Alvin riding the tractor at night underneath a hand-scrawled title. The film is frustratingly unavailable on blu-ray at the moment but I hold out hope that Disney will see fit to release it sometime soon.

Where Eagles Dare / B2 / Japan

05.06.13

Poster Poster

Great artwork by the Italian/French artist Jean Mascii on this Japanese B2 for the 1968 WWII action-adventure Where Eagles Dare, starring  and . Scottish novelist Alistair MacLean was apparently commissioned by Burton to write a ‘boys-own’ action thriller that the actor could take his son to see. MacLean, who was already responsible for several successful novels-turned-films, including Guns of Navarone and Ice Station Zebra, wrote the book for Where Eagles Dare at the same time as the screenplay. The film would end up differing from the book, with the screenplay featuring significantly more violence – the film is often thought to feature Eastwood’s highest on-screen bodycount.

The story, set in the winter of 1943, sees Burton’s army major tasked with leading a team of commandos on a mission to a castle high in the Bavarian Alps to rescue a captured American General who, unknown to the Nazis, has detailed knowledge of the planned D-Day landings. Joining the team is Lieutenant Schaffer (Eastwood) an American ranger who is puzzled by his inclusion, but as the men scale the mountain to reach the castle and undertake their mission several members of the team reveal their true plans.

Jean Mascii was born in Italy in 1923 and moved with his parents to France in 1932. In 1947 he was given his first job painting cinema billboards and from there he moved onto designing and painting film posters and is thought to have worked on over 2000 of them during his career, including several undisputed classics such as the poster for Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville and George Franju’s Les Yeux Sans Visage. The Cinesud site features a gallery of hundreds of his posters that’s well worth browsing.

I’m not 100% certain that this Japanese version of Where Eagles Dare was painted by Mascii but I’ve seen the painting, which also features on a British quad (with some differences – Burton’s face being one), credited to him several times. There is also an alternative French poster (image taken from eatbrie.com) for the film that is credited to the artist. If anyone know for certain that Mascii can be credited with this painting please get in touch.

Trick Baby / B2 / Japan

10.10.12

Poster Poster
Title
Trick Baby
AKA
--
Year of Film
1972
Director
Larry Yust
Starring
Kiel Martin, Mel Stewart, Dallas Edward Hayes, Beverly Ballard, Vernee Watson-Johnson, Donald Symington, Don Fellows, Thomas Anderson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kiel Martin, Mel Stewart, Dallas Edward Hayes, Beverly Ballard, Vernee Watson-Johnson, Donald Symington, Don Fellows, Thomas Anderson,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A nice photo montage on this poster for the Japanese release of Trick Baby, a 1972 crime caper, often placed in the blaxploitation genre, despite featuring a lot more in the way of plot and character development than many of the films under that banner.  Based on the novel of the same name by the infamous former pimp Iceberg Slim, the film follows two conmen, ‘White Folks’ (Kiel Martin)  and ‘Blue’ Howard (Mel Stewart), as they pull off the biggest score of their lives and inadvertently raise the ire of the local Mafia and a corrupt cop.

The former was given the odd moniker after he was born to mixed-race parents and can pass as a white man, which proves useful for the pair’s criminal antics. The title Trick Baby comes from the other nickname he is given because of his prostitute mother and ‘trick’ father.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Escape From New York / A1 / final / Germany

05.09.13

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 32 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the final poster for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The artwork featured is unique to this poster and I’m unsure who is responsible for it, but I’m assuming it was painted by a German artist. If anyone has any clues please get in touch.

I also have the German teaser poster in the collection and that can be viewed here.

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

Halloween II / one sheet / USA

01.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween II
AKA
Boogey Man (Japan) | Il signore della morte [The lord of death] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Rick Rosenthal
Starring
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter von Leer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter von Leer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810159
Tagline
From The People Who Brought You "Halloween"... More of the Night He Came Home

After John Carpenter’s original horror classic Halloween made over $70 million at the global box-office on a budget of $325k – earnings equivalent to $250 million adjusted for ticket price inflation – it was only a matter of time before a sequel was put into production. Carpenter passed on the chance to direct Halloween II, but offered to both produce and write the screenplay (and apparently even direct a few scenes) and the film was put into production with a significantly increased budget of $2.5 million. A relatively unknown director called Rick Rosenthal was offered the job and filming got underway with a targeted release date of Halloween 1981.

This is one of those sequels that picks up immediately after the events at the end of the previous film and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is being loaded into an ambulance having survived the attack by Michael Myers who was shot by Dr Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) before escaping into the night. We follow Myers as he stalks the neighbourhood, murdering an unlucky teenager as he searches for the whereabouts of Laurie. Dr Loomis and the Haddonfield police desperately hunt the killer as the true extent of his actions in the previous film come to light. Meanwhile, Laurie arrives at the town’s hospital and soon falls into a catatonic state thanks to the shock of her ordeal. When Michael learns of her whereabouts after overhearing a news broadcast he heads towards the hospital and the carnage begins again.

Rosenthal is definitely no Carpenter but it’s still a strong horror film, which has several creepy moments despite upping the body count and leaning towards quick, gross-out murders rather than tense, drawn-out pursuit sequences. It’s interesting to see the aftermath of the events in the first film and the hospital makes for an excellent location for Myers to stalk his prey. At the time, the explosive ending seemed to draw a line under the story of Michael Myers and, infamously, Halloween III made no mention of him, but when that film was something of a box-office flop the producers of the next sequel brought the man in the mask back from the dead.

Prince Of Darkness / quad / UK

06.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Prince of Darkness
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, Anne Marie Howard, Ann Yen, Ken Wright, Dirk Blocker, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Peter Jason
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, Anne Marie Howard, Ann Yen, Ken Wright, Dirk Blocker, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Peter Jason,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A new film from John Carpenter, master of terror and suspense. | Before man walked the earth...it slept for centuries. It is evil. It is real. It is awakening.

This is the British quad for the release of John Carpenter’s 1987 horror Prince of Darkness. As well as being in the director’s chair, Carpenter wrote the soundtrack and also the screenplay under the pseudonym Martin Quatermass, which is a direct homage to Bernard Quatermass, the lead character in Hammer’s film and TV series that started with The Quatermass Experiment and that features several elements in common with Carpenter’s story. The film is the second in what the director calls his ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’ that started with The Thing (1982) and ended with In the Mouth of Madness (1994) and is the result of Carpenter’s interest in theoretical physics and atomic theory as well as the idea of an ultimate evil or ‘anti-god’ combined with the physics-based concept of matter and anti-matter.

The plot sees Los Angeles priest Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence, his character name directly referencing Halloween) invite Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong, returning from Big Trouble in Little China) and a group of his students from a local university to help him investigate a mysterious, liquid-filled canister in the basement of an abandoned church that was being guarded by an elderly priest who passed away leaving a diary and a key to the basement. Amongst the group  is Brian Marsh (Jameson Parker) a theoretical physics student and a sceptical science student called Walter (Dennis Dun, also from Big Trouble in Little China), plus several other scientist types – one of the film’s weak spots is that it fails to give any explanation or back story to characters we’re supposed to care about/have some interest in.

Something in the canister is stirring and is causing strange events such as insects swarming the church and the local homeless population, which includes rocker Alice Cooper as ‘street schizo’, behaving as a zombie-like group. One of the students, Susan (Anne Marie Howard) is possessed by a burst of liquid from the canister and begins to kill and spread the possession to other members of the group, which has clear echoes of the way The Thing moves through the Antarctic camp. Meanwhile, the rest of the group have been experiencing the same ‘tachyon transmission’ purportedly from the future and warning them of the danger they face. They soon come to realise that the container actually holds the son of an even greater evil and one that is determined to escape from the realm of anti-matter and into our world. Brian and the handful of non-possessed team members must battle to stop the anti-god from fulfilling its plans before it is too late.

The film features a creepy atmosphere helped no-end by Carpenter’s superb score – one of his very best in my opinion. Despite the aforementioned underdeveloped characters there are still several decent performances, including that of the ever-reliable Pleasence and Lisa Blount, one of the students who is instrumental in stopping the anti-god at the end of the film. The make-up and special effects still stand up well and the set and production design are also worth a mention. It might not be up there with Halloween or The Thing, but it’s still one of Carpenter’s better films and one that definitely deserves its cult reputation.

This image of the screaming, disfigured face with the bug in its mouth, as well as the church and the oozing green liquid was used around the world, including the US one sheet and (partially) on the Japanese B2.

Warlords of Atlantis / B2 / style B / Japan

10.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Warlords of Atlantis
AKA
7 Cities to Atlantis (Japan - English title) | Warlords of the Deep (USA)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Kevin Connor
Starring
Doug McClure, Peter Gilmore, Shane Rimmer, Lea Brodie, Michael Gothard, Hal Galili, John Ratzenberger, Derry Power, Donald Bisset
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Doug McClure, Peter Gilmore, Shane Rimmer, Lea Brodie, Michael Gothard, Hal Galili, John Ratzenberger, Derry Power, Donald Bisset,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20.5" x 29"
SS or DS
SS

Warlords of Atlantis was the fourth and final entry in a series of British sci-fi/fantasy b-movies that were directed by  and starred the prolific American actor , known for his hammy leading man performances (McClure was one of the inspirations for The Simpsons’ Troy ‘You may remember me from…’ McClure). The series began with The Land That Time Forgot in 1975 and continued with At the Earth’s Core (1976) and The People That Time Forgot (1977). The initial three were shepherded through production by Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky’s Amicus Productions, which was based at Shepperton studios and is perhaps best remembered for its series of portmanteau horror films. By the time Warlords of Atlantis was released the company was almost defunct and so EMI Films stepped in and produced it, utilising many of the same cast and crew as the previous films.

The story is typically ludicrous and the film begins with a red hot meteorite crashing into the earth’s ocean during the title sequence. The film then moves to a large boat floating out at sea at the end of the 19th century with an English archaeologist Professor Aitken () and his son Charles () onboard. The pair have chartered a crew, led by engineer Greg Collinson (McClure), to take them out to a spot in the ocean where they plan to use a diving bell to explore the ocean floor for reasons unclear. When Charles and Greg travel below the surface the craft is attacked by a (very rubbery) prehistoric sea monster, which they manage to fight off before discovering a strange gold statue.

After the statue is sent up to the ship, three of the crew members decide they want to keep it for themselves and set about sabotaging the mission by cutting the line to the diving bell and shooting the professor. Suddenly a giant octopus attacks the ship, grabbing the crew members and dragging them under, before collecting the diving bell and depositing them all in a mysterious undersea chamber. The group are greeted by Atmir ( looking like an electro-band reject) who explains that Atlantis is not a myth and that it is in fact comprised of seven cities, some of which are crumbling ruins thanks to attacks from huge creatures. After leading the group to the fourth city Vaar, most of the crew are thrown in to prisons but Charles is granted an audience with the Atlantean king and queen, which is where their true origins and intentions are revealed.

Whilst everything moves with a decent pace the story is more than a bit garbled and the low-budget is stretched to breaking point in several scenes with some terrible matte paintings illustrating the point. The creature work in particular is mostly of the low-grade variety, although the giant octopus scenes are relatively well done and some elements of the production design are very successful (the diving bell is great, for example). The acting is mostly good, whilst obviously of the b-movie variety, with McClure and Gilmore both being eminently watchable and the score by Michael Vickers deserves special mention. Despite its obvious shortcomings, Warlords of Atlantis is still a very enjoyable film and marked a decent end to the run of films from Connor and McClure.

The artwork on this Japanese B2 is by Seito, one of my favourite Japanese artists who was responsible for several fantastic illustrated posters during the 1970s and 1980s. Little is known about the man himself, even in his native country. To see the other posters I’ve collected by him click here.

Halloween / cinema advertising guide / UK

03.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Cinema advertising guide
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
9" x 11" + A4
SS or DS
--
Tagline
--

This is a rare cinema advertising guide for the original UK release of John Carpenter‘s seminal horror film Halloween. This guide was, as the name suggests, intended to be sent to managers of the Odeon cinema chain around the UK. It contains multiple pages of suggestions for how to market the film to local audiences and includes competition examples that could have been sent to local newspapers for publication. The guide consists of one outer cover that features unique artwork of the knife-wielding killer (a crude depiction of Michael Myers), as well as printed bloody fingerprints on the back. Inside there’s a stapled together guide which is printed on A4 paper in two colours. The other two items are competition examples, ready for newspapers to print.

The guide was put together, I believe, by the distributor (Miracle films) in conjunction with a company called Marler Haley. They were known for their work with the Odeon chain of cinemas during the 1970s and early 1980s and would create printed items for the promotion of films, which included a quad (30″ x 40″) and typically a set of four double-crown (20″ x 30″) posters, as well as larger exhibition stands and other items. A number of films were promoted this way, including Disney releases such as Tron, the first Star Wars film, and some James Bond outings.

Note the last few pages which detail the kinds of items the cinema managers could order to promote the film, including a ‘roof rack’ display to sit atop a car, trailers, posters and radio ads. The guide features a similar colour scheme and some of the imagery that can be found on the Marler Haley quad, which I have here, and the accompanying double-crown set (which I don’t yet own). Also note there’s an image of the ultra-scarce (but rather boring) Halloween teaser quad, which is text-only and had a panel for cinema staff to manually update the time left until the film arrived. It also features an image of a display stand that has the Marler Haley set along with the final release, full-colour quad that I have in the collection here.

If anyone knows anything more about how and where these guides were put together, please get in touch.

An independent release, financed by one man (Moustapha Akkad), the film was produced on a low budget of $300k and would go on to gross over $70m worldwide. Halloween kickstarted a franchise that would run for seven sequels (and a recent remake) and the masked character of Michael Myers would enter the horror pantheon as one of its most memorable monsters.

Carpenter wrote the screenplay with his then girlfriend, producer Debra Hill and is often credited as being the the first in a long line of slasher films, although films like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho were obvious inspirations. The film has little in the way of gore or violence and instead uses clever camera work and sound design to brilliant effect, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. There have been countless imitations over the years but few that match up to the taught, perfectly-paced original Halloween.

The rest of the John Carpenter items I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

 

Brainstorm / quad / UK

22.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Brainstorm
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Douglas Trumbull
Starring
Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson, Jordan Christopher, Donald Hotton, Alan Fudge, Joe Dorsey, Bill Morey, Jason Lively
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson, Jordan Christopher, Donald Hotton, Alan Fudge, Joe Dorsey, Bill Morey, Jason Lively,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Marcus Silversides
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Imagine a machine that records feelings, emotions, even your dreams. And imagine that it can transfer these experiences from one mind to another...

This is the UK quad for the release of the science-fiction film Brainstorm, which was the second and final directorial effort from Douglas Trumbull who is best known for his pioneering work in the field of special effects. Trumbull had worked with Stanley Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey and created the iconic ‘Star Gate’ sequence at the end of the film. He would go on to create special effects sequences for films including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Blade Runner. The first film he directed was the cult classic Silent Running (1974) which was a critical success but a box-office failure and it would be eight years before Trumbull would once again sit in the director’s chair.

The film stars Christopher Walken as Michael Brace, a scientist working as part of a pioneering research team that has discovered a method of recording the sensory and emotional feelings of a person onto tape, allowing them to be viewed by others. His estranged wife Karen (Natalie Wood) also works with him and Michael realises he can use the system to reconcile their feelings for each other and show her his true emotions. Unfortunately not all of the scientists use it for good with one recording a sexual encounter which he then shares with several of his colleagues, leading to his eventual dismissal. 

Lillian Reynolds (Louise Fletcher) one of the lead scientists is fiercely protective of the team’s work and is angry when the company forces the team to involve military advisors in their plans. When she suffers a heart attack in the lab and is unable to call for help, she records the experience of death into the system. The tape is viewed by another scientist and the sensory experience causes him to also have a heart attack so the company locks the tape away. Lillian’s fears about the nefarious plans of the military are borne out when Michael discovers they plan to use the system for torture and brainwashing but his protestations see him get fired from the program. He and Karen decide to shut down the system to prevent it being used for negative means but Michael is also determined to view Lillian’s ‘death’ tape, despite Karen’s protestations.

Trumbull used the production to work on a new effects process which he called Showscan that allowed for 70mm film to be projected at 60fps (standard film is 24fps) and create a hyperreal feeling to the footage. MGM backed out of plans to create prints in the new format but Trumbull did film the virtual reality sequences in the larger Super Panavision 70 format and the ‘normal’ sequences in the conventional 35mm format so that it changes throughout the film whenever the scientists use their machines. The film was shown at special 70mm cinemas during its initial run.

The film’s production was unfortunately overshadowed by the mysterious death of Natalie Wood who drowned whilst on a boat trip with Walken and her husband Robert Wagner. MGM shut down the production and were planning to write it off and claim insurance on the money already spent. Trumbull and others argued with the studio that Wood had already completed most of her key scenes and the insurers realised that the film was salvageable. They agreed to finance the completion of production for a cut of any profits but by then things were getting very acrimonious between the director and MGM.

Trumbull was allowed to finish the film by rewriting several scenes and using a body double for Wood in some scenes but the experience critically damaged his desire to work inside the Hollywood system again. In 1983 he stated, “I have no interest…in doing another Hollywood feature film…Absolutely none. The movie business is so totally screwed-up that I just don’t have the energy to invest three or four years in a feature film. Moviemaking is like waging war. It destroys your personal life, too.” Sadly Brainstorm under-performed in cinemas despite strong critical notices and failed to recoup most of its final budget.

This quad features unique artwork that was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth, based on a design by fellow designer and artist Marcus Silversides. The figure is actually based on Silversides himself whose reference shot was provided to Bysouth as he painted the artwork. You can read my extensive interview with the artist by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen by clicking here.

The Thing / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

THX 1138 / special video poster / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
THX 1138
AKA
L'uomo che fuggì dal futuro [The man who's escaping from the future] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Video
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jeff Wack
Size (inches)
19 14/16" x 29 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Straw Dogs / B2 / Japan

13.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Straw Dogs
AKA
--
Year of Film
1971
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Donald Webster, Ken Hutchison
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Donald Webster, Ken Hutchison,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Legendary American director Sam Peckinpah‘s contract with Warner Bros had come to an acrimonious end after the The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) ended up $3 million over budget and 19 days late. The notoriously prickly director found further opportunities very limited in Hollywood and decided to travel to England to film Straw Dogs, a thriller based on the novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm by Scottish author Gordon Williams.

Starring Dustin Hoffman in arguably one of his greatest screen roles, the film sees timid mathematician David Sumner (Hoffman) leaving America to live with his English wife Amy (Susan George), in a fictional Cornish village. Before long David’s patience and resolve is tested by a gang of local men who harass the couple and, in a particularly controversial sequence, two of the men take it in turns to rape Amy. As the title of the source novel suggests, the film ends with a violent confrontation, which sees David pushed beyond the limits. Like many of Peckinpah’s films, Straw Dogs was heavily criticised for its violence, although the director defended the film as an exploration of the subject and claimed Hoffman’s character showed his true side during the climax.

This Japanese poster chose to focus on Hoffman as the film’s main draw, likely due to the successes of The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy in Japan at the end of the 1960s. The film seems to have been given unique advertising campaigns in most of the countries it was released in and there were a few US one sheets, including this classic image of Hoffman and a rather strange alternative style featuring a literal straw dog!

The original trailer is on YouTube.

The Thing / one sheet / Kurt Russell credit version / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Kurt Russell credit version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820044
Tagline
The ultimate in alien terror

Telefon / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Telefon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Don Siegel
Starring
Charles Bronson, Lee Remick, Donald Pleasence, Tyne Daly, Alan Badel, Patrick Magee, Sheree North, Frank Marth, John Mitchum
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Lee Remick, Donald Pleasence, Tyne Daly, Alan Badel, Patrick Magee, Sheree North, Frank Marth, John Mitchum,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Great Train Robbery / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Great Train Robbery
AKA
The First Great Train Robbery (UK - full title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Michael Crichton
Starring
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Philip Kaufman
Starring
Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
780188
Tagline
From deep space... | The seed is planted...terror grows.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Philip Kaufman
Starring
Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
780188
Tagline
From deep space... | The seed is planted...terror grows.

The Terminal Man / B2 / Japan

04.02.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Terminal Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of The Terminal Man, a 1972 sci-fi film from Mike Hodges, the director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon, and based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name.  stars as a computer scientist who, after suffering a series of seizures and violent episodes, agrees to have a microcomputer inserted into his brain. Unfortunately the operation has some unwanted side effects and triggers his brain into craving more violent stimuli, sending him over the edge.

The film wasn’t particularly well received at the box office and was never given a UK cinema release. It was only released on DVD in 2009 as a part of the on demand Warner Archive program.

There’s a strange bit of trivia on the Wikipedia page for the film:  Terrence Malick, the director of Badlands, reportedly has written to Hodges expressing how much he loved watching The Terminal Man.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

The Thing / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820044
Tagline
The ultimate in alien terror