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Cannibal Apocalypse / B2 / Japan

03.10.13

Poster Poster
Title
Cannibal Apocalypse
AKA
Apocalypse domani [Apocalypse Tomorrow] (Italy - original title) | Invasion of the Fleshhunters (USA) | Virus (Spain)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Antonio Margheriti
Starring
John Saxon, Elizabeth Turner, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Cinzia De Carolis, Tony King, Wallace Wilkinson, Ramiro Oliveros, John Geroson, May Heatherly
Origin of Film
Italy | Spain
Genre(s) of Film
John Saxon, Elizabeth Turner, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Cinzia De Carolis, Tony King, Wallace Wilkinson, Ramiro Oliveros, John Geroson, May Heatherly,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

What would have been just another entry in the burgeoning cannibal and zombie sub-genres of horror made popular in the wake of the release of the low-budget but hugely profitable Zombie (1979), Cannibal Apocalypse took the standard formula and attempted to do something different. Prolific Italian director Antonio Margheriti, a veteran of several horror and westerns, including Horror Castle (1963) and Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (1973), decided to capitalise on the recent popularity of Apocalypse Now (1979) and begin his screenplay in the jungles of the Vietnam war. The film’s key twist on the typical zombie formula is that the cannibalistic killers are not dead but infected with a virus that turns them into flesh-eaters.

Featuring genre stalwart John Saxon, who has apparently since tried to distance himself from the film, the story begins with Saxon’s American sergeant Norman Hopper attempting to rescue two fellow soldiers, Bukowski (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) and Tom (Tony King), who have been taken captive by the Vietcong and are being kept in a pit. When he attempts to pull them to safety, the soldiers attack and bite Hopper, much to his confusion. Nevertheless the pair are rescued and returned to America. Several years later, Hopper is back in the States and suffering from flashbacks to the horrors of Vietnam when he receives a call to ask for his help in tracking down Bukowski who has escaped from a mental asylum and is on a murderous rampage. After cornering him in a department store, with help from the police and a biker gang, Hopper manages to persuade Bukowski back into custody, but not before he is informed that he is also infected with the same, (oddly) slow-progressing cannibal virus that the two soldiers caught back in the jungle. Before long, Hopper finds himself succumbing to cannibalistic desires and the real carnage begins.

This is the B2 poster for the Japanese cinema release in 1980. The zombie and cannibal genres were particularly popular in the country at that time and many films were given a cinematic release in Japan that went straight to video (or would be released several years later) in countries like the UK. In the case of Cannibal Apocalypse, the film was given a limited release in the US as Cannibal Massacre in 1981 with an ‘X’ rating, withdrawn and then re-released in 1983 in a heavily edited form, retitled as Invasion of the Fleshhunters. As far as I’m aware the film was never given a cinema showing in the UK and the eventual VHS release fell foul of the ridiculous video nasties situation and was banned from shelves. It took over 20 years before the film was made legally available again to British fans.

I’m unsure who is responsible for this unique artwork so please get in touch if you have any ideas.

The full film is available to watch on YouTube, should you wish to get your fill of cannibal fun.

Twilight Of The Dead / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Twilight Of The Dead
AKA
Paura nella città dei morti viventi [Fear in the city of the living dead] (Italy - original title) | City of the Living Dead (International - English title) | Gates of Hell (USA - final title)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Luico Fulci
Starring
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Michele Soavi
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, Michele Soavi,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Dean Thompson
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
And the dead shall rise and walk the earth!

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.