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Demons / one sheet / USA

25.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
Demons
AKA
Dèmoni (Italy - original title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Lamberto Bava
Starring
Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Paola Cozzo, Karl Zinny, Geretta-Geretta, Fiore Argento, Bobby Rhodes, Nicoletta Elmi
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Paola Cozzo, Karl Zinny, Geretta-Geretta, Fiore Argento, Bobby Rhodes, Nicoletta Elmi,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Enzo Sciotti
Size (inches)
28" x 40 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They will make cemeteries their cathedrals and the cities will be your tombs.

Directed by Lamberto Bava (son of legendary Italian director Mario) and produced by horror maestro Dario Argento, Demons is much loved by horror fans for its high quality gore, stylish look and great Claudio Simonetti score. It’s definitely up with the best of Italian horror films (some other examples here). The plot is kept simple; the film focuses on a group of people trapped in an old Berlin cinema as a horde of ugly demons begin attacking and a fight for survival ensues.

The artwork on this poster is by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti who is responsible for some of the best Italian cult film posters of the past 25 years.

Here’s the original trailer on YouTube.

City of the Living Dead / version A / Thailand

02.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
City of the Living Dead
AKA
Paura nella città dei morti viventi [Fear in the city of the living dead] (Italy - original title) | Gates of Hell (US - alternative title) | Twilight of the Living Dead
Year of Film
1980
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
Version A
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noppadol | Enzo Sciotti (original heads rising from the grave imagery)
Size (inches)
21 6/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director Lucio Fulci is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and City of the Living Dead is one of what I consider to be the ‘big four’ Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

City of the Living Dead is the first film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films and was followed by The Beyond in 1981. It stars British actress Catriona MacColl (credited on the poster as Katherine MacColl) who then collaborated with Fulci on the next two entries. The plot sees Father Thomas, a priest in the small New England town of Dunwich, hang himself in a misty cemetery. For reasons that aren’t made clear, this causes the gates of hell to open and the dead to return from the grave. Meanwhile in New York City, Mary Woodhouse (MacColl) is taking part in a séance where she sees the priest’s actions and apparently dies from fright.

A reporter named Peter Bell (Christopher George) hears about the situation and tries to gain entry to the building before being turned away. He later visits Mary’s grave, discovers she has been buried alive and frees her with a pick-axe. The pair then decide to travel to Dunwich where they meet up with a local psychiatrist called Gerry (Carlo De Mejo) and attempt to locate the tomb of Father Thomas to try and close the gates of hell. However, the evil is spreading through the town and ghouls have begun to rise from the ground.

As was typical with all of Fulci’s output during this period, the film features several scenes of brutal, graphic gore and the Thai artist has decided to go for broke, depicting the more memorable moments on this poster. There’s one death scene in particular, featuring a giant drill, that would fall foul of the BBFC, the folks responsible for passing the film for release in the UK. Upon its original cinema release the drill scene was cut from the film, as was the case with the initial VHS release. The film was then caught up in the infamous Video Nasties situation in the early 1980s and, although not on the infamous list (unlike The House by the Cemetery), the VHS had to be resubmitted and had almost two and a half minutes excised from it. An uncut version finally saw UK release in 2001.

This Thai poster features artwork that is largely unique to it which was painted by the Thai artist known as Noppadol, about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. The montage does feature a reproduction of the artwork found on the Italian locandina poster that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti. It’s worth noting that there is an alternative Thai poster (version B) with the US release title of Gates of Hell (see here) that features some elements of this poster and which was also painted by Noppadol.

Although folded and not in great condition this is a scarce poster and one that’s getting increasingly hard to find. I’ll continue to try and locate one without the fold lines but suspect it won’t be easy.

Codename Wildgeese / quad / UK

05.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Codename Wildgeese
AKA
Geheimcode: Wildgänse (Germany - original title) | Arcobaleno selvaggio [Wild Rainbow] (Italy) | Code name: Wild Geese (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Antonio Margheriti
Starring
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer
Origin of Film
Italy | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Enzo Sciotti (original artwork) | Tom Chantrell (quad adaptations)
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Codename Wildgeese is a 1984 entry in the ‘Macaroni Combat‘ genre of Italian-made action/war films that was helmed by the prolific director Antonio Margheriti (most often credited as Anthony M. Dawson) and is usually associated with the 1978 British film The Wild Geese. Both films are ensemble-cast action films in which Western mercenaries are sent into ‘wild’, lawless, dictator-ruled countries to carry out a mission and escape alive. Both films feature aging cast members who probably should have known better and I don’t doubt that Margheriti and his enterprising distributors chose the Wildgeese element of the title to capitalise on the success of the earlier film.

The late Lewis Collins, known for his leading man roles in action-fare such as TVs The Profressionals and the 1982 British action film Who Dares Wins, appears as the leader of a mercenary group which is employed covertly by the DEA (in the shape of Ernest Borgnine) and sent into the opium-producing area in Asia known as the Golden Triangle to attempt to stem the supply of illegal opium to the west. His team, which includes pilot China (Lee Van Cleef), make their way into the Triangle and engage an enemy base in a quarry before pushing onto the factories and a fiery showdown.

The film is largely a damp squib with very little in the way of memorable action sequences or an engaging script. The effects and gunplay are largely poor and the editing and soundtrack are notably bad. It’s certainly not a patch on The Wild Geese, which in itself was no masterpiece.

A reader of the site, Andrew Lamb, got in touch to confirm that the quad is an adaptation of artwork that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti and originally intended for, I believe, the German poster. Andrew commented the following (the original can be seen at the bottom of the page):

It was later adapted for the UK quad using a photo duplicate of the original artwork, with paint applied around the edges to fill the quad size, then new titles applied over the top. This was done by Tom Chantrell. My guess is that he was commissioned to paint the artwork and liked Sciotti’s art so much that it was suggested by him and agreed upon to be used instead. I’m not 100% certain of this, however I own the original artwork layout for the UK quad and it came from a lot of Tom Chantrell’s work. So that’s my hunch.

The House by the Cemetery / quad / UK

01.11.12

Poster Poster

Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director Lucio Fulci is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and The House by the Cemetery is one of what I consider to be the big four Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and City of the Living Dead), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

The House by the Cemetery is the third film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films that began with 1980s City of the Living Dead and was followed by The Beyond. It stars British actress Catriona MacColl (credited on the poster as Katherine MacColl) who had collaborated with Fulci on the previous two entries. The story sees Dr Norman Boyle (Paolo Malco), a professor at a New York University, being sent on research trip to New Whitby, Boston, taking his wife (MacColl) and young son with him. Their base is a big old house situated, as the title suggests, in the grounds of an old graveyard. After moving in and meeting a few of the locals, it soon becomes clear to the family that they aren’t the only ones living in the house and slowly but surely the dark secret of the previous occupant is revealed.

As was typical with all of Fulci’s output during this period, the film features several scenes of brutal, graphic gore and there’s one death scene in particular that would fall foul of the BBFC, the folks responsible for passing the film for release in the UK. This page on IMDB details the various cuts the UK release of the film was given over the years; in 1984 the film was caught up in the infamous Video Nasties situation and the VHS was banned outright. When it was re-released on tape in 1988 there were almost five minutes cut from its running time and it wasn’t until 2009 that a fully uncut version was available.

This is the UK quad poster for the first release of the film in British cinemas in 1982. It features artwork that is based on the Italian poster that was painted by the great artist Enzo Sciotti who has painted countless fantastic horror, sci-fi and exploitation posters over the years. As anyone who has seen the film will know, the knife-wielding character that dominates the poster doesn’t actually feature in the film itself. It’s said that the decision was taken to depict a psychotic killer that resembled Jack Nicholson’s character in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining after that film had proven such an international success only a year previously.

It is my belief that this artwork has been adapted from Sciotti’s original by a British artist, quite possibly Ted Baldwin who is thought to be responsible for the art on the quad for Zombie Creeping Flesh. Note the clear differences between the Italian poster and the details seen on this quad, particularly the evil character, the orientation and size of the house, and the layout of the graveyard. Obviously the original poster is in a portrait format so the decision may well have been taken to redraw it to better fit the landscape format of the quad.

Enzo Sciotti‘s official site has galleries of his work, some of which is for sale. Wrong Side of the Art has a selection of some of his work, and Eatbrie.com also features several of his designs. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

The Blood Of Heroes / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Blood Of Heroes
AKA
The Salute Of The Jugger (UK / Japan - English title / Australia)
Year of Film
1989
Director
David Webb Peoples
Starring
Rutger Hauer, Joan Chen, Delroy Lindo, Anna Katarina, Vincent D'Onofrio, Gandhi MacIntyre, Justin Monjo, Aaron Martin
Origin of Film
Australia | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Rutger Hauer, Joan Chen, Delroy Lindo, Anna Katarina, Vincent D'Onofrio, Gandhi MacIntyre, Justin Monjo, Aaron Martin,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Enzo Sciotti
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The time will come when winning is everything

Paganini Horror / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Paganini Horror
AKA
The Killing Violin (Europe - informal title)
Year of Film
1989
Director
Luigi Cozzi
Starring
Daria Nicolodi, Jasmine Maimone, Pascal Persiano, Maria Cristina Mastrangeli, Michel Klippstein, Pietro Genuardi, Luana Ravegnini
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daria Nicolodi, Jasmine Maimone, Pascal Persiano, Maria Cristina Mastrangeli, Michel Klippstein, Pietro Genuardi, Luana Ravegnini,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Enzo Sciotti
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--