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Frightmare / one sheet / USA


Poster Poster
Horror Star (working title / international English title)
Year of Film
Norman Thaddeus Vane
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Skull style
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Terry Lamb (original artwork, adapted and tweaked)
Size (inches)
27 39 14/16"
SS or DS
There is no escape, not even death...

This is the ‘skull style’ US one sheet for the release of the low-budget 1983 horror Frightmare (AKA Horror Star), directed by the late Norman Thaddeus Vane. The film is largely forgotten today and only really notable as featuring the first appearance of genre legend Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator). The film stars the late German-British actor Ferdy Mayne, a prolific actor who appeared in over 230 films and TV shows over a 60 year period. He is perhaps best known for his performance as Count von Krolock in Roman Polanski’s 1967 film, The Fearless Vampire Killers.

In Frightmare Mayne plays an aging horror film star called Conrad Razkoff, who is very much in the mould of the legendary British actor Christopher Lee – in fact, Lee appears on TV several times playing Dracula, which the audience are meant to infer is Razkoff in his prime. The actor has been reduced to appearing in adverts for dentures and is also suffering from poor health, fainting during a talk to drama students at a university. Soon afterwards Razkoff passes away, but not before he smothers his abusive agent. After his coffin is placed inside an improbably large crypt, which is lit by neon lights, a young group of fans of the star break into the cemetery and decide to steal his corpse.

After returning to the mansion in which they all live, the group sit him at the head of the table and later dance with his corpse before returning him to his coffin in the attic. Razkoff’s wife has discovered that her husband’s body is missing and uses a medium to try and contact him in the afterlife and find out where his body is. This has the unfortunate side-effect of reviving the actor as a murderous zombie who proceeds to work his way through the group of fans, killing each one using different methods. Eventually one of the survivors realises his body must be returned to his crypt. There’s barely anything in the way of character development and it’s hard to care for any of the victims when you have no clue who they are. Mayne’s performance is at least respectable and you do buy him as a fading horror star. It’s also pretty clear what producers like Charles Band saw in a young Jeffrey Combs.

This US one sheet is unusual in that it borrows some key artwork painted for a previous horror film, the 1974 Amicus anthology From Beyond the Grave, and tweaks it slightly in terms of colours and the removal of some elements. The original artwork was painted by the American illustrator Terry Lamb and can be seen here. You can see that the two living creatures were removed and various other elements were modified, but it’s unquestionably the same piece of art. If anyone has any more information as to why the recycling of art took place please get in touch.

Where Eagles Dare / B2 / Japan


Poster Poster

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

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

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

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