You Searched For: Horror

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
--

The Rocky Horror Picture Show / one sheet / style A / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Jim Sharman
Starring
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Seiniger Advertising
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/127
Tagline
A Different Set Of Jaws.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Jim Sharman
Starring
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Funhouse / B2 / Japan

27.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Funhouse
AKA
Il Tunnel dell'Orrore [The Tunnel of Horror] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Elizabeth Berridge, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee, Kevin Conway, William Finley, Sylvia Miles, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Elizabeth Berridge, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee, Kevin Conway, William Finley, Sylvia Miles, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A creepy slice of horror from Tobe Hooper, the man responsible for the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Funhouse features a menacing atmosphere helped by great production design, solid performances from a number of character actors and a genuinely ghoulish killer. The story sees a quartet of teenage friends; Amy (Elizabeth Berridge), her boyfriend Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), her best friend Liz (Largo Woodruff) and Liz’s boyfriend Richie (Miles Chapin), visit a traveling carnival where they smoke marijuana, sneak into an over-21 strip show and interact with the carnies who run the shows. Richie dares the group to spend the night in the The Funhouse, an indoor ride on rails (often called a ghost train in the UK), and the girls reluctantly agree to hide until the park clears of people.

After sneaking into the depths of the ride the group inadvertently witness the mute, mask-wearing ride operator murder Madame Zena (Sylvia Miles), the fortune teller who also moonlights as a prostitute. When the ride’s barker Conrad (Kevin Conway) discovers what has happened it is revealed that he is the father of the murderous ride operator, actually called Gunther, and when Conrad admonishes him he knocks the mask off revealing a hideous freak underneath. Conrad realises that the crime has been witnessed by the kids and he unleashes Gunther to track them down. The rest of the film sees the teenagers trying to outwit the murderous carnies and escape The Funhouse alive. The make-up for Gunther is incredibly effective and he surely ranks up their as one of the best horror movie bad guys.

This Japanese B2 features an obscured photograph of Gunther which emphasises his glowing eyes. A photo montage of the four unlucky teens is displayed at the bottom along with the same logo seen on the US one sheet.

The Funhouse / one sheet / USA

21.10.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Funhouse
AKA
Il Tunnel dell'Orrore [The Tunnel of Horror] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Elizabeth Berridge, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee, Kevin Conway, William Finley, Sylvia Miles, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Elizabeth Berridge, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee, Kevin Conway, William Finley, Sylvia Miles, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810070
Tagline
Something is alive in the Funhouse!

A creepy slice of horror from Tobe Hooper, the man responsible for the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre (as noted on this poster), The Funhouse features a menacing atmosphere helped by great production design, solid performances from a number of character actors and a genuinely ghoulish killer. The story sees a quartet of teenage friends; Amy (Elizabeth Berridge), her boyfriend Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), her best friend Liz (Largo Woodruff) and Liz’s boyfriend Richie (Miles Chapin), visit a traveling carnival where they smoke marijuana, sneak into an over-21 strip show and interact with the carnies who run the shows. Richie dares the group to spend the night in the The Funhouse, an indoor ride on rails (often called a ghost train in the UK), and the girls reluctantly agree to hide until the park clears of people.

After sneaking into the depths of the ride the group inadvertently witness the mute, mask-wearing ride operator murder Madame Zena (Sylvia Miles), the fortune teller who also moonlights as a prostitute. When the ride’s barker Conrad (Kevin Conway) discovers what has happened it is revealed that he is the father of the murderous ride operator, actually called Gunther, and when Conrad admonishes him he knocks the mask off revealing a hideous freak underneath. Conrad realises that the crime has been witnessed by the kids and he unleashes Gunther to track them down. The rest of the film sees the teenagers trying to outwit the murderous carnies and escape The Funhouse alive. The make-up for Gunther is incredibly effective and he surely ranks up their as one of the best horror movie bad guys.

This US one sheet features the jaw of Gunther and is supposed to be something of a parody of the classic one sheet for The Rocky Horror Picture Show (the bright red lips). I’m not certain whether it’s actually painted or is a photographic image, although there has definitely been some additional touch-up work if it’s the latter. If anyone knows for sure please get in touch.

Frightmare / one sheet / USA

07.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
Frightmare
AKA
Horror Star (working title / international English title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Norman Thaddeus Vane
Starring
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock
Origin of Film
USA
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
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Terry Lamb (original artwork, adapted and tweaked)
Size (inches)
27 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
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.

Street Trash / one sheet / USA

03.07.11

Poster Poster
Title
Street Trash
AKA
Horror in Bowery Street (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
J. Michael Muro
Starring
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39" 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

‘The ultimate melt movie’, Street Trash, the classic 1987 splatter-fest, is as gore-filled and tasteless as this American one sheet suggests. The image of the unlucky tramp melting into the toilet was re-used for the multiple VHS and DVD releases and is definitely up there as one of the all-time great horror poster images. I remember reading/hearing who did the artwork but forgot to write it down so if anyone knows could they please get in touch or leave a comment.

It’s interesting that they used a quote from a British radio broadcaster, the late Tommy Vance, for the American poster, but it’s not hard to see why; If that combination of classic titles doesn’t make you want to watch the film then there’s no hope.

The splendid original trailer can be see on YouTube – “It’s easy to find us…. we’re all over the place.”

Here’s the IMDb page for the film. Vaguely interesting bit of trivia: I bought this one sheet from the person who plays the chef in the restaurant scene and only found out after the fact.

Alien / one sheet / 15th Anniversary / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Killian Studios - 15th Anniversary
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1994
Designer
John Alvin
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R94/201
Tagline
--

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare / Thailand

25.01.17

Poster Poster

This is the original Thai poster for the release of the sixth entry in the beloved horror franchise of A Nightmare Before Elm Street. Entitled Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, it’s one of the weakest entries in the series, and that’s saying something! The finality implied by the title was nothing of the sort and a sequel was released only three years later. This was also the only film in the series to feature 3D sequences and these feature during the final 10 minutes. The 3D effects are largely terrible and had to be watched with the frustrating Anaglyph method, which uses a red filter on one eye and blue on the other. According to this fan site over 11 million pairs of glasses were distributed to cinemas at the time of release.

I watched the film again recently and had a hard time following the plot, if I’m honest. It’s set 8 years in the future (1999) and Freddy has killed almost every child in the fictional town of Springwood. The only surviving teenager ‘John Doe’ (Shon Greenblatt) is confronted by Freddy in a dream and is accidentally knocked past the town’s limits. Freddy cannot follow away from the Springwood but realises that he’ll be able to find more prey if he can somehow escape its confines.

After hitting his head and suffering from Amnesia, John is taken to a youth shelter in a nearby town where he meets other troubled teens and psychologist named Maggie Borroughs (Lisa Zane, sister of Billy). Maggie later discovers she’s Freddy’s daughter who was adopted at a young age. When Freddy tries to use the connection they have to access other children, she and the teens must battle to stop the killer and put an end to his reign of terror for good. Maggie dons 3D glasses and enters the dreamworld of Freddy where she discovers his darkest secrets and discovers the source of his powers; a trio of ‘dream demons’ who prevent him from dying. She realises she must pull him into the real world if she is to inflict fatal damage.

The artwork on this poster is by Tongdee Panumas who 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. The central image of Freddy and his glove is from the American one sheet, which can be viewed here.

Note that the dark line seen across the centre of the poster is actually where two painted canvases have been joined together by the artist – the art was then copied ready for printing and the text and other details overlaid.

A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell
AKA
--
Year of Film
1990
Director
Brett Piper
Starring
Paul Guzzi, Linda Corwin, Alex Pirnie
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Paul Guzzi, Linda Corwin, Alex Pirnie,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
-
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The pre-historic and the pre-pubescent, together at last!

Alien / one sheet / studio version / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Studio version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Bemis Balkind
Artist
Philip Gips
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In space no one can hear you scream.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Chuck Russell
Starring
Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Craig, Wasson, Robert Englund
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Craig, Wasson, Robert Englund,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Matthew Joseph Peak
Size (inches)
27" x 40 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If you think you'll get out alive, you must be dreaming.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Jack Sholder
Starring
Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange, Marshall Bell, Melinda O. Fee, Tom McFadden, Sydney Walsh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange, Marshall Bell, Melinda O. Fee, Tom McFadden, Sydney Walsh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Matthew Joseph Peak
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Man Of Your Dreams Is Back

A Nightmare On Elm Street / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare On Elm Street
AKA
Nightmare dal profondo della notte [Nightmare from the depths of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Wes Craven
Starring
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Matthew Joseph Peak
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If Nancy Doesn't Wake Up Screaming She Won't Wake Up At All...

The Thing / ‘Det er en Slags Ting’ / regular / Mark Englert / USA

13.03.17

Poster Poster

John Carpenter’s The Thing, one of my favourite films, has inspired many artists over the years and this screen print by the American artist Mark Englert was created in 2012. Englert, whose official website is here, has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. This print for the The Thing was the artist’s first and was created in response to two other prints in a similar style that were done by artist’s Englert admired. As detailed in this ExpressoBeans thread, he owned Dan McCarthy’s Hoth and JC Richard’s Fortress of Solitude prints, which both feature icy landscapes, and was inspired to create a third image to go with them. He chose The Thing and started to mock up ideas that he began posting in the thread. Over time it evolved into something he was happy with and he decided to have it printed.

Englert made it available for sale on his own site as a timed-edition and the final number sold was 232. There was also a variant version nicknamed ‘yeah, fuck you, too’ which featured a glow-in-the-dark ink layer of the giant creature seen at the end of the film. For more details and images of the elements check out this page on Posterocalpyse. On there he talks about his process:

“It’s my first print, but I’ve been making a living doing illustration for over 12 years now, so I was fairly confident I could pull it off. I work in Photoshop, took pictures of some local mountains after a recent snow storm and drew the rest myself, piece by piece. I drew the dog, base and helicopter at a much larger size then they would be printed in the end, so that when I shrunk them down, they would have a comparable level of detail as the picture of mountains they were placed in front of. The movie is a long-time favorite… lots of note-perfect, iconic moments that are carved into my brain and just re-watchable as hell.”

One of his most popular early prints was for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as an Alien print. Each print is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘Det er en Slags Ting’ is spoken by one of the survivors from the ill-fated Norwegian outpost.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the 2012 Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

The Toxic Avenger / quad / UK

25.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Toxic Avenger
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Starring
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He was 98 lbs. of solid nerd until he became... | A new kind of super hero

Released by the infamous American production and distribution company Troma, The Toxic Avenger was something of a box-office failure on its first release, but subsequent long-running shows on the midnight movie circuit at the Bleecker Street Cinemas in New York City helped to cement its current reputation as a cult classic. The film would go on to become Troma Studios’ most successful film, spawning numerous sequels, spinoffs and even a stage musical. The Toxic Avenger himself even features as their official mascot and this original entry is seen as the film that ‘built the house of Troma’.

Melvin Junko (Mark Torgl) is a social misfit working at the Tromaville Health Club as a down-trodden mop boy who is often at the receiving end of the cruel pranks of a pair of bullies called Bozo (Gary Schneider) and Slug (Robert Prichard) and their girlfriends. One day whilst being chased through the club Melvin jumps out of a second story window and lands in a vat of toxic waste, which burns his skin and completely disfigures him. After running home and jumping in a bath to try and wash the waste off he finds himself mutating into a creature of superhuman strength. The rest of the film sees Melvin fighting crime in Tromaville as the Toxic Avenger, menacing the corrupt mayor Peter Belgoody (Pat Ryan).

The artwork on this British quad is, as far as I’m aware, unique to the poster. I’ve been unable to discover who the artist responsible is so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

The superb original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Magic / B2 / Japan

12.12.16

Poster Poster
Title
Magic
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Richard Attenborough
Starring
Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter, David Ogden Stiers
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter, David Ogden Stiers,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design features on this Japanese B2 for the release of the 1978 psychological horror, Magic. The film’s screenplay was written by the celebrated novelist, playwright and screenwriter William Goldman. It’s based on the novel of the same name that Goldman had written and released two years earlier, and the producer Joseph E. Levine paid $1m for the rights. Levine hired Richard Attenborough to direct, with whom he’d just completed the war epic A Bridge Too Far. Then the actor Anthony Hopkins, a collaborator of both producer and director (including their last film), was brought onboard to play the lead character.

Hopkins plays Charles “Corky” Withers, a man determined to make a career out of being stage magician. We first see him flop with an act that involves card tricks performed in front of a disinterested audience. The film then jumps a year and Corky has found great success by involving a ventriloquist dummy into his act. A powerful agent called Ben Greene (Burgess Meredith) plans to make an even bigger success of Corky’s act by getting him a slot on prime time TV. However, no one realises that Corky is mentally unstable and his dummy, named Fats, is gaining control over his master.

When it’s suggested that he undergo a medical check to prepare for the TV show, Corky escapes the city and heads to the Catskills mountains where he grew up. There he rekindles a friendship he had with a high school crush called Peggy (Ann-Margret) who is trapped in a loveless marriage with Corky’s old friend Duke (Ed Lauter). Corky begins to relax and is relieved to be away from the pressure of his act, but when Greene appears to convince him to get help to treat his condition, things go awry and Fats acts to protect ‘himself’ with fatal consequences.

The film was a critical success and Hopkins received award nominations for his performance, whilst Goldman won an award for his screenplay in 1979.

The design on this poster is unique to the Japanese market and the B1 version of the poster is nearly identical. The close-up of Fats the dummy at the bottom of the poster was the main image used in the US and UK to promote the film.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 / B2 / style A / Japan

23.11.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley, Bill Johnson, Ken Evert, Harlan Jordan, Kirk Sisco
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley, Bill Johnson, Ken Evert, Harlan Jordan, Kirk Sisco,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster (style A) for the release of Tobe Hooper’s sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Set and released 13 years after the groundbreaking original film, the story was written by Hooper and the film was this time produced by the notorious schlock-peddlers Cannon Films. The film is set in another part of Texas and sees a radio disc-jockey, Vanita ‘Stretch’ Brock (Caroline Williams), become the target of the psychotic ‘family’ seen in the first film. At the start of the film a pair of jocks are killed by Leatherface (Bill Johnson) after they play chicken with the car that he and Chop-Top (Bill Moseley) are in.

By coincidence, the pair were on a call to Stretch’s radio station and the attack is recorded by her. After she replays the tape live on air the patriarch of the family, The Cook (Jim Siedow), hears it and sends Leatherface and Chop-Top after her. When Leatherface decides to spare Stretch, she follows the pair back to their hideout in an old amusement park and soon ends up in their clutches again. Luckily, a former Texas Ranger called Lieutentant ‘Lefty’ Enright (Dennis Hopper in a role he later said was his worst) has been on the trail of the murderous family and sets out to rescue Stretch and put an end to their reign of terror.

The film was a success at the US box-office and an even bigger hit on home video. It was never actually released at the cinema in the UK as the BBFC demanded cuts totalling over 20 minutes, so Cannon decided not to bother with a release. The film is apparently still banned in Germany and Singapore and heavily edited in other countries. It’s fairly different in tone than the original film and falls short of the raw, brutal quality of the original. Hooper decided to inject more black humour into the script and it’s fair to say that, although not short on gore, the film strikes something of a lighter tone than the original.

This Japanese B2 features bold, striking text and Leatherface surrounded by scenes from the film. It’s montage style that is seen on several Japanese posters from the 1980s.

I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle / quad / UK

31.07.17

Poster Poster
Title
I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle
AKA
Iron Thunder (Germany)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Dirk Campbell
Starring
Neil Morrissey, Amanda Noar, Michael Elphick, Anthony Daniels, Andrew Powell, George Rossi, Daniel Peacock, Midge Taylor, David Daker, Burt Kwouk, Brendan Donnison
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Neil Morrissey, Amanda Noar, Michael Elphick, Anthony Daniels, Andrew Powell, George Rossi, Daniel Peacock, Midge Taylor, David Daker, Burt Kwouk, Brendan Donnison,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Most motorcycles run on petrol, this one runs on blood!

Colourful artwork features on this UK quad for the release of the 1990 ultra l0w budget horror-comedy, I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle. The film remains the sole feature film credit for the director Dirk Campbell who appears to have spent most of his career in television. The majority of the cast are also from TV backgrounds, including lead Neil Morrissey (‘Men Behaving Badly’, ‘Line of Duty’) and the late Michael Elphick. The latter is perhaps best known for playing the titular lead in Boon, which ran for 93 episodes and also starred Morrissey. The production of the film apparently utilised the sets of Boon without the TV company being aware and several other members of the cast and crew were involved.

Set in and around Birmingham, the film opens with a demonic ritual being performed by a biker gang at night. Just as the ceremony is about to be completed they are attacked and murdered by a rival gang led by Roach (Andrew Powell). During the mayhem, the demon is shown to have been summoned and it quickly enters the body of the lead occultist. After Roach’s gang have fled the scene, the demonic presence reanimates the dead body and then drips its blood into the petrol tank of the occultist’s motorbike.

The next day, motorcycle courier Noddy (Morrissey) meets with a mechanic who has taken ownership of the demonic bike and is selling it without realising what is inside. Although everything seems normal to begin with, Noddy and his partner Kim (Amanda Noar) gradually realise that the bike is no ordinary machine, especially when their mechanic is brutally murdered at home, with blood and tire treads found all over the walls. Inspector Cleaver (Elphick) becomes involved in the case, bodies begin piling up, and soon Noddy is turning to a biker/priest (Anthony Daniels) to help exorcise the killer demon.

Despite its low-budget origins, the film is a fun watch and the script has some genuinely hilarious lines in it. There are also some inventive action scenes and the killer machine itself is well handled. There’s also one of the most surreal/gross scenes involving a dream sequence and the contents of a toilet bowl ever committed to celluloid. The film is surprisingly gory and doesn’t skimp on violence – most of the special effects are well done. I’m not saying it’s a classic, far from it, but it’s certainly worth a watch!

Frustratingly, I’ve struggled to find out who was responsible for the artwork on this country of origin poster. I am certain that it’s not the work of Graham Humphreys as I had this confirmed to me in an email from the man himself. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch. Note the rather brilliant quote from Sam Raimi (Evil Dead)!

From Beyond / Thailand

14.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
From Beyond
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stuart Gordon
Starring
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire, Del Russel
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire, Del Russel,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jinda
Size (inches)
21 4/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Suitably over-the-top artwork by Jinda features on this Thai poster for From Beyond. Loosely based on the short story of the same name by famed horror author H. P. Lovecraft, the film was director Stuart Gordon’s second following Reanimator (1985). Gordon once again called on the services of two of the stars of that film, with Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton both returning. The film was produced in Italy in order to keep costs down and the director also shot his film Dolls at the same time in the same studio.

Combs plays Crawford Tillinghast, a physician and assistant to Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel). The pair have been working on a device called The Resonator which they hope will stimulate the pineal gland. The machine appears to be a success but one unforeseen consequence is that it allows people in the vicinity to see creatures from an alternate dimension that are all around them. Determined to carry on, Pretorius is eventually attacked and seemingly killed by an unseen creature. Tillinghast escapes from the laboratory and is arrested by police who suspect his involvement in the scientist’s death. 

Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Crampton) begins treating Tillinghast and eventually persuades the hospital to allow her to release him into her care to investigate his claims. The pair return to the Pretorius’ home accompanied by a police detective called Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree). The trio soon discover that the scientist is alive but no longer very human in appearance. Once again The Resonator is activated and events start to spin out of control.

I’ve been unable to find out much about Jinda other than the titles of several of the Thai film posters he painted the artwork for. If anyone has anymore information on him please get in touch.

Predator / original artwork / Thailand

28.09.16

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
Original artwork
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
2016
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
28 5/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Earlier this year I commissioned (through a mutual friend) the legendary Thai artist Tongdee to reimagine a poster for one of my favourite films, Predator (1987). The film was released in Thailand at a time when the use of painted artwork was being phased out and the original Thai poster is a photographic design that was based on the US one sheet. I’m a huge fan of Thai film poster artwork because of the typically lurid use of colours and lack of censoring, which led to some incredible posters like Tongdee’s Apocalypse Now and the one for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.

Because the original photographic poster was comparatively disappointing, I was excited to see what Tongdee would create. I gave him free reign with the exception of a couple of things I was keen to see (the iconic thermal-vision being one) and after a few weeks was sent a sketch with his idea for the layout. After requesting a couple of very minor tweaks I gave the go ahead and Tongdee began working on the actual painting. Last week I received the finished article and I’m very happy with the result. I love the layout and the use of colours, including the incorporation of the thermal-vision Predator hand. I also love the artistic licence he took on a few elements (I’ll let you figure out what I’m talking about) which was typical of his paintings from the original period of him working on film posters.

The painting is just over American one sheet size and I plan to get it framed as soon as possible. I’ve tried to take as many pictures as possible so you can see the details, and you’ll be able to see the grain from the canvas onto which Tongdee painted. I’ve also included three pictures that I was sent showing the painting with Tongdee in his studio. There’s also one photo (fourth from last) which shows the painting as it was sent to me, having been removed from the wooden frame over which it was stretched for painting.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was incredibly prolific during the 70s, 80s and 90s and, although he no longer paints official film posters for Thai distributors he is still painting for other clients. I’ve been unable to find out much about him from a biographical point of view other than that he was born in 1947. My hope is to someday travel to Thailand to meet and interview him.

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!’

To see the other Thai posters I’ve collected click here.

 

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / Thailand

01.09.16

Poster Poster

This is the original Thai poster 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.

This Thai poster was painted by Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who 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 it’s based on the artwork from the US one sheet that was painted by Matthew Peak (son of Bob), which can be seen here. Tongdee repainted the entire thing and added several new figures to create more of a montage.

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