You searched for: FEREF

Predator / quad / UK

15.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Predator
AKA
O Predador (Brazil / Portugal)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Brian Bysouth, Stephen Laws, Frank Hillary (FEREF)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
It hunts for sport. It kills for pleasure. This time it picked the wrong man!

One of the best films of the 1980s and certainly one of the Austrian Oak‘s finest roles, Predator is a film I’ve seen more times than I care to remember. Directed by John McTiernan, who would go on to helm Die Hard the following year (arguably the greatest action movie ever made), the film is an excellent mix of gung-ho action and sci-fi horror with a truly iconic monster that has gone on to appear in several (not so great) sequels and spin-offs.

The story sees Schwarzenegger’s team of single-monikered, rough-neck commandos dropped into a dangerous South-American jungle ostensibly on a rescue mission. When they discover a series of butchered and skinned corpses it soon becomes clear that they’re dealing with more than just a bunch of gun-toting guerrillas and someone, or something, is following them through the jungle. The film features several memorable characters, including Native American Sonny Landham‘s Billy, a man-mountain with much-needed tracking skills and the first one to realise they’re not alone, and Bill Duke‘s Mac who memorably leads the charge with a mini-gun when one of his comrades is killed. Like many of Schwarzenegger’s films, Predator is eminently quotable and features countless memorable lines spoken by several of the characters – ‘If it bleeds, we can kill it!’

This quad was put together by a team at the FEREF design agency, including Stephen Laws, Frank Hillary and artist Brian Bysouth. This was one of the first posters by the artist to have been created with photo composition and not painted, as had been the case with his previous posters. In fact, his iconic painting for The Living Daylights was done the same year as this one. In 2012 I published an interview with Brian and the article can be read in full by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen by clicking here.

The Castle / quad / UK

23.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Castle
AKA
Casa dolce casa [Home Sweet Home] (Italy) | My Home Is My Castle (Germany)
Year of Film
1997
Director
Rob Sitch
Starring
Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, Stephen Curry, Anthony Simcoe, Sophie Lee, Wayne Hope, Tiriel Mora, Eric Bana, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Robyn Nevin, Costas Kilias
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, Stephen Curry, Anthony Simcoe, Sophie Lee, Wayne Hope, Tiriel Mora, Eric Bana, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Robyn Nevin, Costas Kilias,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1998
Designer
Steve Laws - FEREF
Artist
Brian Bysouth - model
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
They want to extend the airport... but the Kerrigans wont belt up!

The Castle is a true cult film and one that many folks outside of Australia will never have even heard of, but those that have seen it are very likely to sing its praises to anyone who’ll listen. For a long time it wasn’t an easy film to catch in the UK, having opened at a handful of cinemas in 1998 and then languishing unreleased on DVD until a month ago (it was released on VHS at a time when that format was being ousted from most shops). I first saw it after borrowing a copy of the Australian DVD from a Kiwi friend who had urged me to watch it on a number of occasions and I’m very glad I did.

It’s a really funny, sweet little film and you can’t help but get caught up in the story of a family trying to save their home from destruction. Some of the Aussie references will be lost on non-natives but there’s plenty to enjoy and I heartily recommend you check it out as soon as possible. The film is endlessly quotable and, from what I understand, it’s a film that Australians really took to heart. I’ve been told that you’d be hard pressed to find any Aussie who can’t recite lines such as “This is going straight to the pool room” or “Tell him he’s dreaming”.

This British poster features a unique design of a ‘pottery relief’ of the Kerrigan family in front of their house with a Jumbo jet flying overhead. This was done by the great British artist Brian Bysouth. The press quote is also rather great and I had someone tell me that this particular poster was withdrawn at some cinemas for the ‘pissing’, though I’m not sure how true this is.

In December 2012 I met and interviewed Brian Bysouth and this poster was discussed:

One poster that I recently discovered had your input is the quad for The Castle, which is that small independent Australian film that came out in the 1990s. You modelled the wall plaque that’s featured on it, right? How did that come about?
We went to a screening of the film and afterwards had a meeting to discuss what we all thought was a unique and challenging film to create a poster for.  Later I sat down with Steve Laws, the studio manager and a leading creative, and we thrashed out some ideas, but inspiration was lacking.  The following day an excited Steve came into my office and explained his idea for making something ‘that the dad in the film would be happy to have in his poolroom’ (a famous quote from the film).

Steve’s idea was that we should create something that you could easily imagine hanging in the poolroom amongst all of the other bric-a-brac. We decided to imitate those bass-relief plaster plaques that you see in kitsch-filled shops. So we went out and bought some Plasticine and a very large plate to base the model on, and I set to work. I modelled the characters and the airplane taking off over the bungalow. The title was cut out of Plasticine and included around the base. I remember thinking that my art school training in sculpture was a real help.

Steve and I enjoyed a good laugh as we watched the thing develop, and a series of transparencies were made to show the client how it was progressing. When it was finished I painted it with poster colour then sprayed it with varnish to protect the delicate surface, and that was that. For the background of the poster we wanted to reproduce the wallpaper of the poolroom but couldn’t find anything we liked, so we ended up using a macro close-up of one of the FEREF account executive’s silk ties!

Note that the article also features an image of an initial sketch idea for the poster by Brian.

Predator / one sheet / international

05.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Predator
AKA
O Predador (Brazil / Portugal)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Brian Bysouth, Stephen Laws, Frank Hillary (FEREF)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

One of the best films of the 1980s and certainly one of the Austrian Oak‘s finest roles, Predator is a film I’ve seen more times than I care to remember. Directed by John McTiernan, who would go on to helm Die Hard the following year (arguably the greatest action movie ever made), the film is an excellent mix of gung-ho action and sci-fi horror with a truly iconic monster that has gone on to appear in several (not so great) sequels and spin-offs.

The story sees Schwarzenegger’s team of single-monikered, rough-neck commandos dropped into a dangerous South-American jungle ostensibly on a rescue mission. When they discover a series of butchered and skinned corpses it soon becomes clear that they’re dealing with more than just a bunch of gun-toting guerrillas and someone, or something, is following them through the jungle. The film features several memorable characters, including Native American Sonny Landham‘s Billy, a man-mountain with much-needed tracking skills and the first one to realise they’re not alone, and Bill Duke‘s Mac who memorably leads the charge with a mini-gun when one of his comrades is killed. Like many of Schwarzenegger’s films, Predator is eminently quotable and features countless memorable lines spoken by several of the characters – ‘If it bleeds, we can kill it!’

This is the scarce international one sheet that was likely to have been printed in the USA for use in English-speaking international markets. I’m unsure who is responsible for the design but it does feature the same photo of Arnie that features on the UK quad that was put together at the London design agency FEREF.

Metalstorm / quad / 3D sticker version / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Metalstorm
AKA
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (full title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Charles Band
Starring
Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston, Richard Moll, R. David Smith
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston, Richard Moll, R. David Smith,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
3D sticker version
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Eddie Paul (Feref-James)
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
It's High Noon at the end of the Universe.

This British quad for the sci-fi clunker Metalstorm was designed by Eddie Paul at the FEREF design agency and the artwork was painted by British artist Brian Bysouth. In 2012 I met and interviewed the artist and the resulting article can be read here.

Whodunit? / quad / UK

06.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Whodunit?
AKA
Island of Blood (USA) | Scared Alive (USA - alt. title) | El asesino de los bloopers (Argentina)
Year of Film
1982
Director
William T. Naud (as Bill Naud)
Starring
Marie-Alise Recasner, Rick Dean, Ron Gardner, Terence Goodman, Richard Helm, Jeanine Marie, Jared McVay, G. Rockett Phillips, Jim Piper
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Marie-Alise Recasner, Rick Dean, Ron Gardner, Terence Goodman, Richard Helm, Jeanine Marie, Jared McVay, G. Rockett Phillips, Jim Piper,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
FEREF-James The Partnership
Artist
Mike Vaughan
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Seven people are dead - and you're next!

This is the UK quad for a rather obscure 1980s slasher flick that is known by various names around the globe, including Island of Blood and Scared Alive, but was released in the UK as Whodunit? Directed by William T. Naud (here credited as Bill Naud), whose IMDb profile shows him as not being very prolific, the film is apparently based unofficially on Agatha Christie’s mystery novel And Then There Were None. The Wikipedia page for the film describes the plot thusly:

A film crew and a motley collection of thespians set out for an island that will be the perfect location for their next feel good, light hearted, comedy picture. But unfortunately someone has other ideas and destroys their mode of transport before finishing off the surviving cast and crew (wearing a skull-like mask) with the aid of a chainsaw, machete, and nail gun, all to a sick sado-masochistic type song (that this homicidal psycho has a fetish for). This psychotic murderer also has an accomplice, a fellow crewman who is skilled in the art of booby traps, rigging a shower to rain battery acid and scalding swimming pool that boils alive anyone who falls in.

It appears only to have been released on VHS here and in the US and no DVD is forthcoming. Judging by the handful of reviews on IMDb it might be a while before we see this one appear on blu-ray.

This quad bears a line crediting the design to the British design agency FEREF-James The Partnership, who were (and still are) a London-based agency creating advertising for the film industry. The original line up featured five designers and artists who had worked together at other agencies and decided to form their own and the name FEREF derives from each co-founder’s first initial. They worked on hundreds of posters during the 1970s and 1980s and employed many of the most talented artists to work on the posters, including Brian Bysouth (who eventually joined the company full time). It is believed this artwork was by the FEREF regular Mike Vaughan, who painted plenty of posters during the 1970s and 1980s.

Top Gun / quad / UK

30.04.14

Poster Poster

Top Gun is one of the quintessential popcorn films of the 1980s and certainly the one that launched and boosted several Hollywood careers, including that of its director, the late Tony Scott, star Tom Cruise and producing partners Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson who were responsible for some of the biggest box-office successes of the 80s and 1990s. The film’s script was based on a magazine article about a top Navy fighter pilot training school, Cruise plays pilot Maverick who is bumped up the ranks and sent to the Top Gun training school after he successfully aids a fellow pilot in distress. There his reckless flying draws the attention of the school’s instructors and disdain from fellow trainees, including top student Iceman (Val Kilmer) who considers his methods dangerous and unsafe. At the same time, Maverick chases after a civilian contractor called Charlie (Kelly McGilliswho is initially wary of his advances. The film features corny dialogue and cheesy acting but is never anything but entertaining and its soundtrack, by Harold Faltermeyer, is one of the most successful of all time in terms of sales.

This British quad was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012. In the mid-1980s the requests for painted artwork, of which Brian was a renowned specialist, were drying up so Brian realised it was time to learn how to use computers to create photographic posters, as detailed below. This Top Gun quad is likely to have been one of the first computer-generated posters that the designer worked on (see also the Predator quad)

——————————

Computers as an art tool came in during the time you were at FEREF. What was it like making that transition? Was it easy for the company?
Yes, luckily Steve Laws, the studio manager at the time and also a good designer, managed to persuade the upper management that desktop publishing was coming and that we had to embrace it. I can’t remember exactly when this was, but it was clear that the Apple Macintosh was the best computer. At that time they were very expensive but gradually the studio was equipped with the new technology.

Unfortunately, the computers replaced the jobs of paste up artists and it soon became apparent that unless they were capable of making the transition they were no longer needed. One machine and an operator could add all the text and details to an advert or illustration, ready for it to be sent to the printer. To keep their jobs our paste up artists had to learn how to use a Mac.

In the beginning the computers couldn’t handle very large files so things went very slowly, especially with complex designs. But when Macs started to get a lot faster the way forward was firmly established and we began to recruit skilled computer designers and operators.

I realised when my illustration work was drying up that I needed to become more of an art director. I was interested in helping out the Mac designers and I was able to use my experience to help them. I always found it easy to suggest ways to improve a design, which they came to appreciate; gradually it became usual for me to be asked to help if a design was proving troublesome.  I wasn’t as quick on the Macs as the operators but I realised that I had to learn Photoshop to enable me to art direct them properly. Learning the correct commands was essential, so I read the manual of Photoshop 3, (which I think was the version at that time), and learned the various key-commands and technical terms.

Eventually I asked for a Mac of my own and I was given use of one that had become surplus. When I wasn’t painting I was practicing. Looking back now, it was instrumental in helping me when I was asked to work on the Star Trek DVD covers.

——————————-

To see the other posters in the Film on Paper collection that were designed and/or painted by Brian Bysouth click here.

 

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
FEREF
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.

Flash Gordon / quad / UK

18.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
FEREF
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

There are few films quite like Flash Gordon and having re-watched it on blu-ray recently I was reminded how much of an impression it had on me when I first saw it as a child. I also listened to the excellent audio commentary with director Mike Hodges, who admits to being an unlikely choice to direct and confirms in no uncertain terms that they were making things up as they went along. It sounds like a typically chaotic Dino De Laurentiis production with scenes being written the night before filming and huge amounts of the budget going on the costume and set designs (though these are very impressive, even today).

There are several reasons the film remains one of my favourites of the 1980s:

Acting
Topol is insanely over the top as Dr Hans Zarkov with an accent that changes from scene to scene. It’s not hard to see why Sam J. Jones never hit the big time, although you can’t say he doesn’t give the role his all. Max Von Sydow is clearly having fun playing Ming and Brian Blessed is spectacular as Vultan the Hawksman; no one else could deliver the simple line ‘pass me the remote control’ with such unbridled gusto. A pre-Bond Timothy Dalton is also rather memorable, sporting a spectacular moustache.

The woodbeast
This infamous scene (featuring Peter Duncan) terrified me as a child, and not just ‘wow, that’s a bit weird’, I’m talking more like ‘I’m never going near a tree stump ever again’. Scarred. For. Life. There’s also an odd ‘black whoopee-cushion with tendrils’ creature that attacks Flash and is seared into my memory, even if it looks like a painted balloon when you watch it again today.

The costumes and set designs
As mentioned, a serious amount of budget was spent on costumes and sets by Danilo Donati and it shows. You only have to watch this brief clip to get an idea of the amount of work that went into them – very impressive stuff.

Ornella Muti
Just like Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die, Ornella (playing Princess Aura) was responsible for putting more than a few hairs on my chest. Her costumes are the very definition of figure-hugging. The infamous interrogation scene has to be seen to be believed.

The music
An awesome soundtrack by Brit rockers Queen that still sounds superb today. I almost tried to persuade my wife to walk down the aisle to the sound of Ming’s wedding march; it’s that good. The 2011 remaster is available on Spotify.

This British quad was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro (check out the incredible amount of work here), and the design can be seen on several of the film’s international posters, including the slightly different Japanese ones. Interestingly the logo on the poster is also seen throughout the film (Flash has it on his t-shirt at one point for example), which is a crossover that very rarely happens.

You can see more of Casaro’s posters that I’ve collected here.

The great original trailer can be seen here.

Razorback / quad / UK

24.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Razorback
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood, David Argue, Judy Morris, John Howard, John Ewart
Origin of Film
Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood, David Argue, Judy Morris, John Howard, John Ewart,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
FEREF
Artist
Boris Vallejo
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
No nightmare will prepare you for it...

‘Jaws with boars’, Razorback was the debut feature of Australian director Russell Mulcahy, probably best known for the 1986 fantasy classic Highlander. Prior to shooting the film Mulcahy had been working as a successful music video director for several years and is credited with the first video ever to air on MTV (Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles).

Set and filmed in the Australian outback, the story sees American Carl Winters (Gregory Harrison) traveling there to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his wife, a reporter who was looking at the illegal hunting of outback wildlife. Carl soon discovers that she was attacked by an oversized Razorback boar and teams up with a local hunter (Bill Kerr), whose grandson was killed by the beast, and his friend Sarah (Arkie Whiteley). They set out to track down and stop the creature before it can kill again but have to contend with a pair of deranged locals intent on covering up their part in the death of Carl’s wife.

Mulcahy’s direction and Dean Semler’s award-winning cinematography elevate the film above the usual low-budget horror fare. The special effects used to realise the titular beast aren’t particularly great but there a handful of scenes that are well done, including some long shots of the rhino-sized animatronic monstrosity. The ending feels notably rushed and an interview with Alan Jones (critic, and friend of Mulcahy) on the DVD makes it clear that the director was forced to film the last few minutes against his wishes; Mulcahy having planned an alternative ending.

I’m crediting the artwork to ace illustrator Boris Vallejo, despite the lack of his usual signature, because it’s clearly his work as seen on this signed Belgian poster (image taken from emovieposter). It could be that Boris worked on a landscape layout, but It’s likely that a British designer was tasked with adapting his original artwork to the quad format. It’s equally possible that a British illustrator was asked to ape his style with a new layout. Regardless, it’s only fair that he is given the credit.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back / double bill / quad / UK

02.09.14

Poster Poster

Following the unprecedented success of the original Star Wars, released in 1977 to worldwide audience acclaim, expectations were high for the sequel which was put into production a few months after its release. Three years later, The Empire Strikes Back arrived in cinemas and was met with huge audience and critical acclaim, firmly cementing the series’ place in the hearts of millions of fans across the globe. A less well-received third part of the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi, and a lacklustre set of prequel films failed to dampen audience enthusiasm for the franchise and a new film adventure is set to be released at the end of 2015.

To capitalise on the successful release of the films, particularly before home video was a reality, distributor 20th Century Fox decided to release a double-bill of both Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back in to cinemas towards the end of 1980. This event was repeated across the world but this British quad is unique to this country and is the result of the amalgamation of the original quads for both films, plus an extra photographic element not included on either in the figure of Jedi master Yoda, which was probably added due to the characters’ popularity.

The original Star Wars quad was designed and illustrated by the late, great British artist Tom Chantrell whose dynamic and colourful work featured on hundreds of posters over a forty year period. The artist sadly passed away in 2001 but last year his widow Shirley launched his official website, which showcases his work and features a great biography written by Sim Branaghan, author of the must-own book British Film Posters. Chantrell illustrated many classic poster designs, including several Hammer posters such as the brilliant quad for ‘One Million Years B.C.’, and he was also responsible for many other pieces of iconic poster artwork. I have a number of other designs by Chantrell on this site and you can read an exclusive interview with Shirley by clicking here.

The Empire Strikes Back quad features the artwork painted for the US style B one sheetwhich was by the American artist Tom Jung, perhaps best known for his iconic ‘style A’ one sheet that he painted for the release of the original Star Wars. Jung 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 posters he worked on. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Another special quad was put together for a triple-bill event after the release of Return of the Jedi, which again featured elements of the artwork from all three separate release quads. Note that this poster can be found undersized at around 28″ x 40″ and this was because several hundred copies were machine trimmed to be used in special frames on the London Underground, a fate which befell a number of posters around the end of the 1970s and early 1980s.

 

Raid on Entebbe / quad / UK

04.07.12

Poster Poster

Raid on Entebbe is based on the true story of Operation Thunderbolt a mission undertaken by Israeli commandos in 1976 with the aim of rescuing hostages from a hijacked Air France plane being held at Entebbe airport in Uganda. The plane and hostages were under control of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells and, after landing in Uganda, almost all of the non-Israeli hostages had been released. After it became clear that the Ugandan president Idi Amin was actively helping the terrorists, a daring rescue was planned by the Israeli Defence Forces, which resulted in the rescue of all but four of the hostages and the death of only one commando,  Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, the brother of Benjamin Netanyahu who would later serve as the Israeli prime minister.

There were actually three film versions of the events put into production within months of the rescue; two were US-produced including this film, which followed the hastily made-for-TV Victory at Entebbe, starring the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor. Legendary director and producer Menahem Golan also put together an Israeli-made versions starring mostly Jewish actors called Mivtsa Yonatan (AKA Operation Thunderbolt). Raid on Entebbe was first shown on TV in the US but was given a theatrical release in other countries, including the UK.

Action legend Charles Bronson was obviously seen as the biggest draw for UK audiences over the likes of Peter Finch who actually passed away 10 days after the film first aired and would be given a posthumous Academy Award for his role in the film Network.

This UK quad features stylised artwork painted with large brushstrokes onto a canvas, the grain of which is clearly still visible. Sim Branaghan believes this to be the work of British artist Mike Vaughan, perhaps best known for his work on several Hammer Horror quads, including Twins of Evil.

Die Hard / quad / UK

18.02.13

Poster Poster
Title
Die Hard
AKA
Jungla de cristal (Spain) | Die hard: Operasjon skyskraper (Norway)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
FEREF
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level!

As the depressingly poor fifth entry into the Die Hard franchise hits cinemas this month, it’s very clear that the series will never again hit the heights of the original 1988 classic. Regarded by many film fans as the best action movie of all time, Die Hard stars Bruce Willis in arguably his most iconic role (certainly the part that made him a megastar) as John McClane, the good cop having a very bad day when a terrorist group takes control of Nakatomi Plaza, the office building in which his wife works. John McTiernan was the right director to deliver excitement and unremittingly violent thrills since he’d proven his skill with the superb Predator (1987) and the action in Die Hard continues to escalate to a nail-biting crescendo, with several unforgettable set-pieces.

Alan Rickman delivers an iconic performance as the leader of the terrorists, Hans Gruber, who meets his demise in an oft-parodied, slow-motion manner. What makes the film work so well is the perfectly-balanced script that features a great mix of nerve-shredding action with just the right amount of humour and a series of well-realised characters. The other thing the script does well is to not make the character of John McClane an unstoppable, invincible superhero – he’s a flawed man with his own set of problems and he bleeds when cut just like the rest of us – think the glass on the floor!

This is the UK quad and features an image of Nakatomi Plaza and its exploding roof, with the face of a concerned-looking Bruce Willis. The advance American one sheet features a sweaty Willis clutching a gun but I much prefer this darker image that also features on the final American one sheet (note the different spelling of storeys/stories).

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / quad / UK

20.06.16

Poster Poster

This is the UK quad for the release of the fourth entry in the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise (subtitled The Dream Master). The film marked a big break for Finnish director Renny Harlin who admitted to heavily petitioning the film’s producer, and founder of New Line Cinema, Robert (Bob) Shaye for the job. Harlin had previously helmed a couple of low-budget flicks (Born American and Prison) but the box-office success of this film led to him being given the job of directing the Die Hard sequel in 1990. Sadly, his career stalled towards the end of that decade following a series of box-office bombs that included Cliffhanger and Cutthroat Island.

The fourth film followed on from one of the best entries in the franchise, 1987’s Dream Warriors, which was a marked improvement over the first sequel. This was thanks in part to the involvement of the first film’s Wes Craven, who had been absent from Part 2.

The Dream Master picks up a few months after the events of the third film and features characters that had last been seen in a mental hospital, but are now living at home and seemingly back to normal. Kirsten, previously played by Patricia Arquette and here by Tuesday Knight, has the ability to bring others into her dreams. When she senses Freddy is trying to return after being banished to hell at the end of Part 3, she contacts Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) and Joey (Rodney Eastman) to warn them not to dream about Freddy in case it causes his return.

Unfortunately, Kincaid fails to heed Kirsten’s warning and he falls asleep, dreaming of the car junkyard where Freddy’s bones were previously consecrated with holy water. His dog urinates on Freddy’s bones and this, for some bizarre reason, causes his resurrection whereupon he swiftly kills Kincaid. Freddy begins to terrorize Kirsten and her group of school friends and she realises she needs to pass on her powers to Alice before she too is killed. Freddy’s plan was to use Kirsten to move onto a new set of kids after he’s killed the original group (all children of the parents who murdered him before the events of the first film) and together this new gang must try to put an end to his nefarious plans once and for all.

———-

Palace Pictures had been handling the British distribution of the horror franchise since the first film and had worked with the same artist, Graham Humphreys, to produce unique poster designs for the UK market. When it came to promoting The Dream Master, Graham produced this quad and a larger 4-sheet (with alternate artwork) for use in cinema lobbies and on billboards. The quad features the stained glass window seen in a sequence involving a dilapidated church near the end of the film, as well as the Crave Inn diner where Alice works (its name is a not very subtle nod to the franchise’s creator).

When I interviewed Graham in 2011 for this site he talked the Elm Street posters and here’s an excerpt:

—————-

In 1987 it was back to an illustration for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. It’s a great image with the ‘Crave Inn Diner’ and the stained glass featuring Freddy in silhouette. Can you remember why they went back to illustration for this?
I think by that time they just felt that they were flogging a dead horse with the Nightmare on Elm Street films. They said ‘take a look at the film and do what you want’. My idea was to do a postcard idea, ‘Greetings from hell’, and unfortunately without a computer it’s very hard to understand how stuff’s going to look when it’s actually printed. So for example with the Evil Dead you’ll notice that the copy line at the top is very hard to read because, tonally, the orange disappears against the purple. Given a computer there are all sorts of things I could have done, like a drop shadow or a glow behind it.

So it was often the case that you wouldn’t know what it was going to look like until you printed it?
No, everything was an experiment. This poster could have been so much different as well though. The stained glass from the final scene in the church was good for me because it was a lovely device that meant I could use the large silhouette [of Freddy]. I also thought it was interesting because at that point the face was so familiar so we could take it dark again; we know who he is. We also did the cheeky James Bond spoof poster.

Ah, you were involved with that?
I was, it was my idea.

 

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Graham also had the idea of creating a small run of double crowns that spoofed the iconic James Bond gun barrel opening sequence created by Maurice Binder and first seen in Dr No (1962). This was because The Dream Master was being released up against The Living Daylights, the latest entry in the long-running spy franchise. The resulting poster can be seen here.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Graham click here and read the exclusive interview with the artist here.

Black Joy / quad / UK

28.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
Black Joy
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Anthony Simmons
Starring
Norman Beaton, Trevor Thomas, Floella Benjamin, Dawn Hope, Oscar James, Paul J. Medford, Shango Baku
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Norman Beaton, Trevor Thomas, Floella Benjamin, Dawn Hope, Oscar James, Paul J. Medford, Shango Baku,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
FEREF
Artist
Arnaldo Putzu
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Life is for living...

Excellent artwork by the Italian artist Arnaldo Putzu features on this quad poster for the release of the 1977 British film Black Joy. Based on a stage play called ‘Dark Days and Light Nights’ by Jamal Ali (who also wrote the screenplay) it was directed by the late Anthony Simmons. The film, something of a time capsule of a period in London’s history, is a culture-clash comedy about a Guyanese country boy called Ben Jones (Trevor Thomaswho arrives in the borough of Brixton. Ben had assumed life will be easier in the UK but after meeting several streetwise characters, including a wannabe hustler called Dave King (Norman Beaton), he soon learns that not everyone is out for his best interests.

The film notably stars Floella Benjamin a Trinidadian actress who is famous for her work as a presenter on children’s TV programmes in the 1970s and 80s, including Play School, and more recently for her extensive charity work and as the chancellor of the University of Exeter. In 2010 she was made a Baroness as a Liberal Democrat Life Peer and is a member of the House of Lords.

 

Arnaldo Putzu was born in Rome in 1927 and began painting from a very early age. In 1948 he began his relationship with the world of film publicity under the guidance of the famous artist Enrico De Seta. Eventually Putzu would gain enough confidence in his abilities to set up his own agency and it was this move that saw him getting involved in work for the British studio Rank. Eric Pulford was so impressed with his work that he brought him over to London to work at Downtons in 1967.

The artist worked on many quads whilst over here and also gained notoriety for lending his talents to the popular children’s magazine Look-in, for which he painted almost every cover during its publication lifetime. His best-known quad is undoubtedly the one he painted for the Michael Caine gangster classic Get Carter in 1971. My friend, and author of the must-own British Film Posters, Sim Branaghan met Putzu during the making of his book and describes it as a very memorable experience in the interview I published in 2012. Putzu sadly passed away the same year, aged 85, and Sim wrote an excellent obituary for The Guardian newspaper, which can be read here.

Blue Velvet / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Licence to Kill / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Fly / quad / teaser / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Fly
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
FEREF associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 3/8" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Be afraid... Be very afraid...

Army Of Darkness / one sheet / international

25.02.14

Poster Poster
Title
Army of Darkness
AKA
Army of Darkness: The Medieval Dead (alternative title) | Kyaputien supamaketto: Shiryo no harawata III - Captain Supermarket (Japan)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
FEREF
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27" x 39 10/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
How can you destroy an army that's already dead?

This is the scarce international one sheet for the release of Army of Darkness, the third installment in the Evil Dead trilogy. As with the previous entries in the cult horror series, the film was directed by Sam Raimi, produced by Robert Tapert and stars their friend Bruce Campbell as Ash, the unlucky goofball at the centre of the chaos. Re-interpreting the end of Evil Dead II somewhat, the film opens as Ash is sucked through a time portal and lands in 1300AD, whereupon he is captured by a medieval army led by Lord Arthur who believes him to be in league with his enemy.

After battling a deadite in a pit, Ash is set free and celebrated as a hero by Arthur and his men. He also meets and strikes up a friendship with Sheila, the sister of a fallen knight. Upon learning that he must find and use the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (Book of the Dead, as seen in the previous films) to return to his time, Ash sets off to locate it but things don’t go quite to plan. Whilst running through a haunted forest, he ends up crashing into a mirror inside a windmill and, in a superb sequence, is attacked by several mini clones of himself. Eventually one of them creates a full-size evil version of Ash and is soon uniting all of the deadites together to form the Army of Darkness.

Infamously, Universal Studios wrestled control from Raimi during post-production as they were unhappy with the downbeat ending that the director had shot, which depicted Ash drinking too much special potion and waking up in a post-apocalyptic future landscape. Another ‘happy’ ending, set in a supermarket with Ash recalling events of the film to a colleague, was filmed during reshoots and Army of Darkness was released in the US with that ending. Raimi was able to restore his preferred ending for international releases, including the UK, and subsequent home video releases have included both cuts.

This one sheet was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike.

His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy. Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. The other posters I have collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

This artwork also features on the UK quad and a few other European posters, including the Spanish release. The American one sheet features an excellent illustration by Michael Hussar.