You Searched For: Drama

Mr Ricco / 30×40 / USA

03.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Mr Ricco
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bogart
Starring
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/27
Tagline
The one thing people hate more than a cop killer... is the lawyer who gets him off!

Mr Ricco, a little-seen 1970s crime thriller, marked the last starring role in film for ‘The King of Cool’ Dean Martin (unless you count his cameos in the two Cannonball Run films). The Italian-American entertainer, who had seen great success in several of his earlier roles including Rio Bravo and Ocean’s Eleven (with his fellow Rat Pack members), would continue to make popular TV appearances and music recordings but never headline a film again. After reading the reviews on IMDb it appears he was probably getting too old to convincingly pull-off the action scenes that roles like this one required.

Martin appears in the title role as Joe Ricco, a San Francisco lawyer who successfully defends Frankie Steele (Thalmus Rasulala) a member of a black militant group charged with murdering a woman. Shortly afterwards two cops are gunned down and Steele is implicated in the crime after witnesses describe seeing him fleeing the scene. The detective in charge of the case, George Cronyn (Eugene Roche), is angered that Steele appears to have got away with it again and decides to kill one of the members of the Black Serpents (Steele’s group) and implicate another in the cops’ murder. Ricco agrees to defend the wrongly-accused man but soon after is targeted by a lone sniper who almost kills him. Once again, Steele is implicated in the attempted murder so Ricco sets out to discover why his former client is trying to kill him.

This US 30×40 features artwork by an American artist called Larry Salk about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. A now defunct gallery site described him as a freelance illustrator who worked on around 165 film posters, as well as painting for advertisements, video game covers, record sleeves and more. IMPAwards features a few of his posters (I have his one sheet for the 3D re-release of House of Wax and the advance for Superman III) and he was the artist who painted the famous portrait of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. He apparently passed away in 2004.

Monsters / one sheet / teaser / USA

12.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Monsters
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Gareth Edwards
Starring
Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2010
Designer
Gravillis Inc.
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
It's our turn to adapt

British director Gareth Edwards‘ excellent Monsters was one of the best films released in 2010 and transcended a micro-budget to become one of the freshest entries in the sci-fi genre for several years. The film is set slightly in the future and several years after a NASA probe crashed back to earth infected with alien life. Half of Mexico had to be quarantined off as the creatures grew and took over the area, and the US military patrols the borders. Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is a US photojournalist who is hired by his boss to escort his daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) from the safe part of Mexico back to the States. The pair are forced to head through the quarantined zone despite the threat of the creatures who are moving across the country on their yearly ‘migration’.

The film was shot entirely on location by a tiny crew, using prosumer cameras and, aside from the two leads, the majority of the characters were played by non-actors. The dialogue was improvised around a loose scene outline and the results were edited whilst the crew was on the road. Gareth Edwards had previously worked as a special effects editor and spent four months designing and creating all of the effects himself, once again using off the shelf equipment and software. It’s a superb achievement and well worth a watch, but don’t go in expecting some kind of fast-paced, gory creature-feature as some cinema-goers were, back in 2010.

This striking US one sheet teaser was designed by Gravillis Inc. and features Whitney Able in a gas mask with a reflection of one of the creatures in the visor. Because the poster is so dark it’s hard to photograph without losing some of the details so check out the original digital file here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! / B2 / Japan

24.02.16

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of the first of two sequels to the 1967 drama In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier as the eponymous police detective. The actor had made history in 1964 by becoming the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actor (for Lilies of the Field), and 1967 saw him star in three hit films that all dealt with the issue of race and race relations. This included Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which tackled the controversial issue of interracial marriage that was still illegal in several states, and To Sir, with Love, a British drama that dealt with racial issues in an inner-city school. It was In the Heat… that was the biggest hit that year and the film would go on to win 5 Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Rod Steiger, who played alongside Poitier.

Three years later, the original film’s producer Walter Mirisch decided there was an opportunity to try and create a franchise around Virgil Tibbs. Without a source novel to base a screenplay on Mirsch hired to two successful screenwriters in Alan Trustman (Bullitt) and James R. Webb (the original 1962 Cape Fear), as well as the prolific director Gordon Douglas (Them!). They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (the capitalisation is intentional and part of the original title) was named after a famous line spoken by Poitier in the first film and saw the detective, now based in San Francisco, investigating the murder of a prostitute. The death has been pinned on Logan Sharpe (Martin Landau), a street preacher with whom we’re told Tibbs has a long-standing friendship. The film follows the detective as he attempts to prove Sharpe’s innocence whilst dealing with domestic family issues and ends on something of a down note, which I won’t spoil. 

The film was criticised for being a very routine police procedural and certainly had none of the cultural urgency that the first film was able to capitalise on. It was something of a damp squib both critically and at the box-office but that didn’t stop Mirisch producing another sequel called The Organization only a year later. Again that film failed to make an impact, even though it was able to capitalise on the then popular blaxploitation subgenre, but by then Poitier had started to field accusations of typecasting. Virgil Tibbs would thus hang up his badge for 17 years until the TV series In The Heat of the Night, based on the original film and novel and starring Howard E. Rollins Jr., which was aired between 1988 and 1992.

Another Earth / one sheet / advance / USA

15.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Another Earth
AKA
--
Year of Film
2011
Director
Mike Cahill
Starring
William Mapother, Brit Marling, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Jordan Baker, Robin Taylor, Rupert Reid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
William Mapother, Brit Marling, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Jordan Baker, Robin Taylor, Rupert Reid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Ignition Print
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Another Earth, an excellent, haunting sci-fi drama released in 2011 marked the feature film debut of director Mike Cahill, who co-wrote and co-produced the film along with Brit Marling, the main actress in the film (and focus of this American one sheet). Marling stars as Rhoda Williams an enthusiastic astronomy student living in West Haven, Connecticut who discovers she’s been accepted to study at MIT and, after celebrating with friends, foolishly decides to drive home drunk. As she listens to a story on the news about a recently discovered Earth-like planet, her attention drifts long enough to cause her to smash into another car, instantly killing a woman and child and putting the driver, John Burroughs (William Mapother) into a coma.

Wracked with guilt, and having served four years in prison, Rhoda hides herself away from contact with much of the outside world and works as a janitor at a local school. She visits William, who has since emerged from his coma and has no knowledge of who killed his wife and child, at his home under the pretence of being a house maid offering her services and the pair spark up a relationship. All the time William is unaware that she was the person responsible for the death of his loved ones, but when the other Earth moves closer to ours Rhoda enters a competition to win a (potentially one-way) ticket to visit the new planet and their relationship is jeopardised, the truth is revealed and William struggles to cope. The film cleverly weaves the intriguing idea of a mirror Earth into a relationship drama, and the subtle ending hints at multiple possibilities for the characters’ journeys beyond the time which the audience shares with them.

This one sheet was designed by the hugely prolific Los Angeles (and London) design studio Ignition Print, who also appear to work on video advertising and film trailers for various big name brands.

Veronika Voss / one sheet / USA

15.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Veronika Voss
AKA
Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss [The Longing of Veronika Voss] (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess, Annemarie Düringer, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Günther Kaufmann
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess, Annemarie Düringer, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Günther Kaufmann,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Vincent Topazio
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking portrait by the artist Vincent Topazio features on this one sheet for the US release of Veronika Voss. The film was the penultimate one by the legendary German director, screenwriter, producer and actor Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It was released the year of his untimely death (he was only 37) and his final film as director, Querelle, was released posthumously the following year.

The film was an entry in what Fassbinder named the BRD Trilogy; three films all focusing on a single female character and set in West Germany following World War II. BRD is an acronym for Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which was the official name of the country during that period. The first of the trilogy, The Marriage of Maria Braun, was released in 1979 and then, rather confusingly, Fassbinder named Lola (1981) as the third film in the trilogy before Veronika Voss was released in 1982. The films have no narrative connection but have thematic consistencies, with all three focusing on a particular woman in a post-war BRD during the ‘economic miracle’. All three of the stories were originated by Fassbinder but the screenplays were written by frequent collaborator Peter Märthesheimer and his then partner Pea Fröhlich.

Veronika Voss is loosely based on the ill-fated life of actress Sybille Schmitz and the titular lead is played by Rosel Zech. Set in Munich in 1955, the film finds Voss struggling to reclaim former glories and unable to win the kinds of roles she played whilst working for the UFA production company during the war. One night she bumps into sports journalist Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) who isn’t aware of her past. The pair strike up a romance, despite Krohn being in a relationship with girlfriend Henriette (Cornelia Froboess). Soon he realises that Voss is addicted to opiates that are being administered by a mysterious neurologist called Dr. Marianne Katz (Annemarie Düringer) who Voss believes is caring for her. When Krohn begins to investigate he realises that Katz is actually bleeding Voss of her finances and is keeping her doped up and under control.

The art on this one sheet is by Vincent Topazio and, although it doesn’t feature his unique signature, he is credited for it on the vinyl release of the film’s soundtrack. Very little is known about the artist and there’s barely any information about him online. He looks to have worked on only a handful of film posters, most of which were for independent/arthouse features. Perhaps his most famous poster is the one he worked on for Paul Verhoeven’s The 4th Man.

Adrian Curry highlighted some of Topazio’s work for his Movie Poster of the Week column on Mubi.com. Other titles include the sequel Zulu Dawn and the 1985 American drama Smooth Talk. Curry notes that he believes Topazio was working from the mid-1970s into the 1980s and also created art for magazine editorials. Emovieposter.com has a number of his posters in their archive. If anyone has any more details about him please get in touch.

Le Cercle Rouge / quad / 2003 re-release / UK

20.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Le Cercle Rouge
AKA
The Red Circle (international English title)
Year of Film
1970
Director
Jean-Pierre Melville
Starring
Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand, Paul Crauchet, Paul Amiot, Pierre Collet, André Ekyan, Jean-Pierre Posier, François Périer
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand, Paul Crauchet, Paul Amiot, Pierre Collet, André Ekyan, Jean-Pierre Posier, François Périer,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
BFI Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2003
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is a British quad poster for a 2003 re-release of the classic French crime-thriller Le Cercle Rouge, which was coordinated by the British Film Institute. The film was the penultimate release from the legendary French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville who was born in 1917 and worked as a fighter in the French resistance during World War II. Melville was infatuated with American cinema and in particular films in the crime and thriller genres. After failing to break into the established French film industry he decided to become an independent, even setting up his own studio in a suburb of Paris. He soon became known for his film noir crime dramas and saw great success with titles such as Bob le Flambeur (1956), Le Doulos (1962) and Le Samouraï (1967). 

Le Cercle Rouge saw Melville reunited with the French superstar actor Alain Delon, who had appeared in Le Samourai, and the cast also included the celebrated Italian-French actor Yves Montand. Other actors in the very male-heavy cast include Bourvil (known by a single moniker), best known for comedy features, and Italian actor Gian Maria Volontè, a collaborator with Sergio Leone during the 1960s. Delon plays Corey, a man with a criminal background who is released from prison, but not before a corrupt guard tells him about an ‘easy’ job that could net him big money. At the same time, the audience also sees a prisoner named Vogel escape from a moving train and evade recapture by Commissaire Mattei (Bourvil).

Eventually the two men are brought together when Vogel happens to climb into the boot of Corey’s car whilst on the run in the French countryside. The two establish a companionship of sorts and Corey details the possible heist. Vogel likes what he hears and suggests a sharpshooter who will be able to help them in the form of Jansen (Montand), a former police officer and noted crackshot. Once plans are in place, the trio pull off the heist in a famous 25 minute sequence in which not a word is spoken by any of the characters. Once the loot is secure the film then follows their attempts to sell it with Commissaire Mattei still in hot pursuit. The film was a critical success despite initially being released in some markets (such as the US) in a truncated version that saw over 40 minutes removed. Today the film is a cult favourite and celebrated as one of Melville’s best films. 

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this quad so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

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.

Alabama / B1 / spider style / Poland

28.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Alabama
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Ryszard Rydzewski
Starring
Maria Probosz, Beata Maj-Dabal, Grzegorz Matysik, Wlodzimierz Adamski, Monika Alwasiak
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Maria Probosz, Beata Maj-Dabal, Grzegorz Matysik, Wlodzimierz Adamski, Monika Alwasiak,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Spider style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26.5" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Striking artwork by Wieslaw Walkuski features on this B1 format poster for the country of origin release of the 1984 drama, Alabama. Directed by Ryszard Rydzewski, the film went seemingly unreleased anywhere outside of Poland and the plot is described thusly on filmweb.pl (translated):

Peter (Grzegorz Matysik) and Bozena (Maria Probosz) study medicine.They love each other and plan a common future. Bozena relationships with family are very bad, they do not maintain contacts. Young remain with the small salary of Peter. With time Bozena convinced that the life of Peter is not easy. They share their differences characters and temperaments. On the downside girl catches Peter’s betrayal. Desperate escapes. In dramatic circumstances, he meets Joe (Włodzimierz Adamski).

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Note that this is one of two Polish posters for Alabama, and the other design can be seen here.

Meek’s Cutoff / one sheet / advance / USA

26.05.17

Poster Poster

This is the advance one sheet for the 2010 western Meek’s Cutoff, directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Michelle WilliamsBruce Greenwood and Paul Dano. The director is best known for her work on indie films and spent some of the early part of her career working behind the scenes for directors including Todd Haynes (she was involved in his first film, Poison) before beginning to direct in 1994. She’s best known for Wendy and Lucy (2006), this film, and 2016’s Certain Women. The film is loosely based on a real incident that happened in 1845 on the Oregon Trail, a famous route for families who were emigrating across the United States to the West coast. The name of the film references an alternative route that was taken by the famous frontiersman Stephen Meek.

The film focuses on three families who have hired Meek (Greenwood) to take them along the trail to Oregon. They place their trust in him when he suggests a shortcut that will shave time off their journey. After some time it becomes clear that Meek has miscalculated and the group struggle to find a source of fresh water, which is much needed in the arid and sunbleached Oregon High Desert. The group realise a Native Indian has been following them at a distance and eventually Meek sets out to capture him. They then have to decide whether to kill him or trust him to lead them to water and eventual safety.

The artwork on this one sheet is by the noted designer and illustrator Marlene McCarty who was apparently specifically requested to work on the poster by Reicardt. McCarty has been active since the 1980s and gained notoriety for her work with the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury during the 80s and 1990s. She’s also known as the co-founder trans-disciplinary design studio Bureau along with Donald Moffett. As Adrian Curry explains in this ‘Movie poster of the week’ article on mubi.com, the artist has also worked on film posters for various indie productions over the years. More recently she’s been producing large scale drawings of people and chimpanzees, drawn using pencil and ballpoint pen. Curry notes that this illustration of Michelle Williams has been drawn in a similar style, albeit with some digital touch-ups during the design process. McCarty also worked on the film’s titles.

Into the Abyss / one sheet / USA

16.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Into the Abyss
AKA
Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life (long title) | Tod in Texas [Dead in Texas] (Germany)
Year of Film
2011
Director
Werner Herzog
Starring
Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall, Lisa Stolter-Balloun, Charles Richardson, Jason Burkett
Origin of Film
USA | UK | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall, Lisa Stolter-Balloun, Charles Richardson, Jason Burkett,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
P+A / Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A tale of death, a tale of life

This is the US one sheet for the release of Werner Herzog‘s 2011 documentary, Into the Abyss. The film is one of the legendary German director’s best films from the past decade and focuses on the situation of a prisoner in a maximum security prison in Texas who is awaiting execution. The subject is one that Herzog had wanted to focus on for a number of years and he had originally intended to look at life inside a maximum security prison in Germany. Originally the director planned to interview a number of death row inmates but ended up focusing on just one, Michael Perry, and looking into the reason for his incarceration and (at that time) imminent execution.

Using the director’s trademark interview style, where he asks questions off-camera typically to a single person, the film looks at the crime that Perry and an accomplice are said to have perpetrated and the effect it has had on the victims’ families. Herzog shies away from trying to decipher whether Perry is guilty or innocent (the man himself claims innocence) of the murder of three people in Conroe, Texas in 2001. The film is gripping throughout and some of the most memorable scenes are when the siblings of the murdered people are interviewed. One person in particular has suffered such imaginable loss it is almost breathtaking.

This poster was designed by P+A (Percival and Associates) an established and prolific design company whose output can be viewed on IMPAwards. Their official website is not currently up and running. Mojo design were also involved but the company now appears to be defunct (Into the Abyss was one of their last posters) – their output can also be viewed on IMPAwards.

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.

The Philadelphia Experiment / quad / UK

08.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Philadelphia Experiment
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Stewart Raffill
Starring
Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holliday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holliday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The terrifying story of an experiment that went wrong. | They opened a whole in time. Now there is no going back.

Unique artwork features on this British quad for the release of the science-fiction film The Philadelphia Experiment. Based on the urban legend of the same name in which the US Navy was said to have temporarily rendered one of its destroyer escorts, the USS Eldridge, invisible (or rather cloaked) to the naked eye in October 1943. The experiment has never been validated, despite investigations (most famously by an astronomer and researcher called Morris Jessup) and several unverified accounts of the events.

The film takes the experiment as the basis for a story in which two sailors aboard the ship, David Herdeg (Michael Paré) and Jim Parker (Bobby Di Cicco), are transported through time during the 1943 experiment and end up in 1984. A scientist called Dr Longstreet (Eric Christmas) tried to use the same experiment in 1984 to protect a town in Nevada from a missile attack. The plan backfired, causing the town to disappear, David and Jim to be sucked through time and a black hole opens up at the site of the town. David agrees to help the scientist close the vortex before it destroys the planet.

This quad was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012. He is one of my favourite artists and worked on multiple classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Heart Condition / Thailand

01.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Heart Condition
AKA
Black Ghost (Spain)
Year of Film
1990
Director
James D. Parriott
Starring
Bob Hoskins, Denzel Washington, Chloe Webb, Roger E. Mosley, Ja'net DuBois, Alan Rachins, Ray Baker, Jeffrey Meek, Eva LaRue
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bob Hoskins, Denzel Washington, Chloe Webb, Roger E. Mosley, Ja'net DuBois, Alan Rachins, Ray Baker, Jeffrey Meek, Eva LaRue,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
24" x 34 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the 1990 fantasy-comedy, Heart Condition, starring the late Bob Hoskins and Denzel Washington. The film was written and directed by James D. Parriott who appears to have spent most of his career working in TV (including shows like Grey’s Anatomy). It was one of only a handful of ‘racial’ comedies that Denzel starred in and he was apparently talked into doing it by his then agent. After the film was critically mauled and sank at the box-office he fired his agent and wasn’t to appear in another comedy film for over two decades.

IMDb describes the plot like this:

Jack Moony (Hoskins), a white cop, has it in for a black lawyer to the drug crowd, Napoleon Stone (Washington). That Stone is now dating his ex-girlfriend doesn’t help matters at all. Stone is shot after Moony suffers a heart attack and wakes to find that he not only has a new heart, but that it is Stone’s and that Stone’s ghost is now his constant companion. Stone is insistent that Moony not only take care of his heart now but that Moony solve his murder.

This Thai poster features a repainted take on the two leads as featured on the US one sheet but adds significantly more colour and a montage of action scenes as was typical of the artist responsible. Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this particular copy of the poster has been hand-signed by Tongdee and I bought it from someone who had visited Thailand, met the artist and had him sign a few posters. I’ve seen photographic evidence that it’s a genuine signature.

Prime Cut / one sheet / style A / USA

27.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Prime Cut
AKA
Carnage (France)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Ritchie
Starring
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Sissy Spacek, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Sissy Spacek, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/57
Tagline
Together They're Murder In...

A painting by the American artist Tom Jung, who is best known for his work on the style A poster for the release of the first Star Wars film, features on this one sheet for the 1972 crime-drama, Prime Cut. The film was directed by the late Michael Ritchie (Fletch, Downhill Racer) and stars two heavyweight actors of the time in Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman. The former had a string of box-office hits playing tough guys in films such as Point Blank and The Dirty Dozen, and the latter had just starred in the unforgettable The French Connection and was to appear in The Poseidon Adventure in the same year as Prime Cut. It also marked the acting debut of Sissy Spacek who would appear in her most famous role four years later in Brian De Palma’s Carrie.

The plot sees Nick Devlin (Marvin), a Chicago mob enforcer, sent with a crew of men to Kansas City to track down Mary Ann (Hackman) and recover a $500,000 debt. Previous men sent by the mob have disappeared and we witness one being ‘processed’ through Mary Ann’s meat factory, ending up as the filling in a string of sausages that are then sent to the mob boss as a taunt. After driving to Kansas, Devlin first attacks Mary Ann’s brother and warns him that the group are there to collect the debt. The following day they find Mary Ann in a barn where he is the ringleader of a white-slave auction in which young girls are being auctioned off to older men. The women are kept naked in pens like livestock and drugged up so they don’t try to escape. Devlin threatens Mary Ann and rescues one of the women called Poppy (Spacek) “on account”. The rest of the film sees him attempting to secure the missing money and avoiding Mary Ann’s gang of denim-wearing, shotgun-toting farm boys.

The film is fairly brisk at just under 90 minutes and both leads are entertaining to watch throughout. Spacek is also excellent as Poppy and it’s not hard to see why her career took off quickly following her appearance in Prime Cut. There are several memorable scenes in the film, including one faintly ridiculous one where Devlin and Poppy are chased through a wheatfield by a combine harvester, which then goes onto chew up an entire car!

As well as the iconic one sheet for Star Wars, Tom Jung is also known for the style B one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. He was a prolific designer and illustrator for film campaigns from the 1950s through to the 1980s. IMPAwards features a gallery of his work and his Wikipedia article has a selected list of the many posters he worked on. Rather unusually, at least in comparison to other film poster artists, Jung was also a designer of his posters as well as the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Note that this is the Style A one sheet and style B is photographic. Rather unusually, the decision was taken to insert ‘A’ in next to the title at the bottom of the poster which makes it look like the title is ‘A Prime Cut’.

V for Vendetta / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
V for Vendetta
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
James McTeigue
Starring
Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves, Roger Allam, Ben Miles, Sinéad Cusack, Delia Surridge, Natasha Wightman
Origin of Film
USA | UK | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves, Roger Allam, Ben Miles, Sinéad Cusack, Delia Surridge, Natasha Wightman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
Concept Arts
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Last Days / one sheet / USA

24.07.17

Poster Poster

A striking photographic image features on this one sheet for the release of Gus Van Sant‘s 2005 drama, Last Days. The film is a fictionalized account of the last few days in the life of a musician who is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. Van Sant had been planning the project for over a decade and at one point had wanted to make a biography of the singer. After befriending Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, the director realised that doing so would cause too much pain for Love and the deceased singer’s family, so he decided to fictionalise the story.

Michael Pitt plays the main character Blake and Van Sant had cast him in the part seven years before filming commenced. The rest of the cast includes Lukas HaasAsia Argento and Nicole Vicius, with notorious director Harmony Korine appearing as a character in one scene set in a nightclub. The plot is thin and Van Sant uses a technique he’s employed in a few of his films where the same scene is shown from different view points but at different times throughout the film, with the audience not given clear indication that this has happened. Most of the scenes follow Blake and take place in and around a large house surrounded by trees. Several interactions between him and his housemates, as well as visitors to the house take place, all leading up to a fatal moment with Blake and a shotgun at the end of the film.

The film received mixed critical notices and failed to make much of a dent at the box-office in the US. It received limited releases in several territories, including the UK.

This American one sheet was designed by Shoolery Design which now appears to be defunct as a company but was responsible for a large number of film posters from the mid-1990s up to 2007. A gallery of these designs can be seen on IMPAwards. The man who started the company, Mark Shoolery, seems to still be active and he has a website on which a lot of his work, including film posters, can be seen. It looks like he continues to work as an independent art director and artist and his Instagram feed features logo design work. According to his resume Shoolery has worked on projects for the film industry, the music industry, packaging for various products including toys, and marketing strategy for several companies. The LinkedIn entry for Shoolery design notes the following:

Conceived, developed and executed creative advertising campaigns for major studios, network and cable television, home entertainment, music and live events. Oversaw all in and out of-home advertising, collateral and promotional materials. Directed staff of 80-90 employees producing high-end advertising campaigns. Consulted with studio marketing executives as well as producers and directors of major motion pictures. Supervised celebrity photo shoots worldwide.

The other posters I have that were created by Shoolery Design can be seen here.

V for Vendetta / one sheet / teaser / wilding – diagonal style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This is one of four great designs that were printed to be used as wildings (posters intended to be used out in the wild – billboard posting etc).

 

V for Vendetta / one sheet / teaser / wilding – orange style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This is one of four great designs that were printed to be used as wildings (posters intended to be used out in the wild – billboard posting etc).

V for Vendetta / one sheet / teaser / wilding – red style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This is one of four great designs that were printed to be used as wildings (posters intended to be used out in the wild – billboard posting etc).

 

Walk The Line / one sheet / teaser / style A / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Walk The Line
AKA
Quando l'amore brucia l'anima [When love burns the soul] (Italy)
Year of Film
2005
Director
James Mangold
Starring
Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Dallas Roberts, Dan John Miller, Larry Bagby, Shelby Lynne
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Dallas Roberts, Dan John Miller, Larry Bagby, Shelby Lynne,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - version A - dark November style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
Studio Number One
Artist
Shepard Fairey
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Wonderland / one sheet / artwork style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Wonderland / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Hanover Street / one sheet / USA

08.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Hanover Street
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Peter Hyams
Starring
Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur, Michael Sacks, Patsy Kensit, Max Wall, Shane Rimmer, Keith Buckley, Sherrie Hewson
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur, Michael Sacks, Patsy Kensit, Max Wall, Shane Rimmer, Keith Buckley, Sherrie Hewson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790064
Tagline
Love hasn't been like this since 1943. | It was a time of courage and honor - of passion and sacrifice. This is the story of two people swept up in that time - who met - and fell in love.

John Alvin artwork features on this American one sheet for the Anglo-American wartime romantic film Hanover Street. The film was directed by Peter Hyams (Outland, Timecop) and was originally intended to star Kris Kristofferson. When the actor pulled out of the project, deciding instead to go on tour with his band, he was replaced by Harrison Ford. Luckily for the production, Ford was already over in Europe as he was shooting Force 10 from Navarone, another World War II-set film. Lesley-Anne Down plays Margaret, a British nurse with whom Ford’s American airman becomes romantically involved. 

The plot is described on IMDb:

During the Second World War, an American Pilot stationed in England meets a young British nurse during an air raid on London. The two instantly fall in love, despite the fact that the young Nurse is already married; a secret she keeps hidden from her American lover. After being shot down behind enemy lines, while being assigned to ferry a British agent into France, the American pilot realizes that his secret agent cargo is in fact his lover’s husband, and that the two must now work together in order to survive.

The film was apparently a reasonable box-office hit, thanks to the draw of Harrison Ford, but was largely critically mauled. It has garnered something of a following in the years since thanks to the well-staged flying sequences that used actual World War II bombers (B-25 Mitchells).

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 6oth birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

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

Reservoir Dogs / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

14.02.17

Poster Poster
Title
Reservoir Dogs
AKA
Le Iene (Italy)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Quentin Tarantino
Starring
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney, Quentin Tarantino
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney, Quentin Tarantino,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Tyler Stout
Artist
Tyler Stout
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

It seems hard to believe but Reservoir Dogs, the debut film by Quentin Tarantino, was released 25 years ago this October. Often cited as one of the greatest independent films ever made, the depiction of the events leading up to, and the aftermath of, a botched diamond heist remains as powerful today as it was a quarter of a century ago.

Famously written whilst Tarantino was working at a video rental shop in Manhattan Beach, California, the script eventually found its way into the hands of the actor Harvey Keitel. He helped the budget grow to $1.5m and the production team got to work gathering the great cast together, including the likes of Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen. Whilst not a financial success in the US, despite strong reviews, the film was accepted more readily in the UK where it earned almost three times the American take at the box-office. When Pulp Fiction was released two years later the film garnered a lot more attention.

Back in 2012, Tarantino celebrated the 20th anniversary of the film by screening a 35mm print of the film at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, which he owns. Held in late October, the screening was apparently attended by a ‘raucous and electrified crowd’. As the credits rolled, folks from the incomparable limited-edition geek culture outfit Mondo were there to unveil a special screen print created especially for the event.

The print was designed and illustrated by Tyler Stout, the celebrated artist who had worked on the Mondo-released print for Tarantino’s event screening of Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (also at the New Beverley). As is typical for Tyler’s work, the print came in both regular and variant versions and when Mondo put the remaining posters onto their online store they both sold out within seconds.

Whilst adding this regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the print as I’ve done previously with his designs for AvengersAkira, Kill Bill and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The interview can be read in full here.