You searched for: House

House / one sheet / 2010 re-release / USA

19.06.13

Poster Poster

A cinematic experience quite unlike any other, Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi‘s 1977 masterpiece House is almost impossible to categorize or even describe and simply needs to be seen to be believed. The American distributor Janus Films, who supervised a restoration of the film in 2010, attempt to summarise the film better than I possibly could:

‘How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 movie House? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home, only to come face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat. Too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic, House seems like it was beamed to Earth from another planet.’

Relatively unknown outside of his native Japan, Obayashi had started his career in the field of experimental filmmaking and quickly forged a reputation as a master visual artist. His skills were soon utilised by advertising agencies and he quickly became a sought-after commercial director, working with Western actors including Sophia Loren and Charles Bronson who were earning lucrative paycheques to hawk various goods. The Japanese studio Toho approached Obayashi and asked him to develop a script for a horror film that would hopefully emulate the great success of Spielberg’s Jaws. The director spoke to his 11-year-old daughter Chigumi to get some inspiration, claiming later that adults “only think about things they understand…everything stays on that boring human level”.

The resultant script, written by Chiho Katsura, included several of Chigumi’s suggestions. Toho green-lit the script and then, after struggling to find a director willing to tackle it, gave the job to Obayashi himself despite him not being a member of the Toho staff. The resultant film is clearly the work of someone who is unafraid to experiment with the medium of film and the director spent two months on Toho’s biggest soundstage shooting the script without storyboards and utilising a whole host of special effects techniques, several of which Obayashi seemingly created especially for this film. House was a huge hit, much to the studio’s surprise, unquestionably helped by the fact that the popular band Godiego providing the best-selling soundtrack, thus cementing the film’s appeal to the youth market.

Despite Japanese success the film wasn’t released outside of the country, that is until Janus Films bought the distribution rights and aided with a digital restoration in preparation for a cinema re-release, and eventually a blu-ray release on their Criterion label in 2010. When the Nashville-based designer and artist Sam Smith (AKA Sam’s Myth) prepared a poster for a preview showing of the film at his local Belcourt Theatre he had no idea that Janus would eventually decide to not only use the image for their official one sheet but also as the cover of the eventual Criterion release. In June 2013 I interviewed Sam and the resultant article can be read here. We discussed the House poster and the following excerpt explains how he arrived at the final design:

How quickly did you arrive at using the image of Blanche the cat as the poster image?
Almost instantly actually. In fact, my friend Zack Hall who is a manager at the Belcourt sent me some images and we were brainstorming at that image of Blanche just jumped out at me and seemed like something I could use. But I wanted to transform it from the screenshot into a graphic piece. The angle of that shot isn’t quite straight on, so I manipulated that, and I gave the cat’s face the entire frame of the poster, removed from the picture frame. I touched the image up and blew it out in black and white, and I just saw this field of red-orange over the whole thing, thinking it could really transform that image into something iconic. The lettering and everything else– the little house illustration– all came very quickly, in a single pass. It’s by far the fastest any poster design has ever come together for me. I didn’t really think much about it and don’t really remember it happening.

Were you surprised at how iconic the Blanche image has ended up being?
A little bit, but I must give credit to Obayashi who came up with this image in the first place. It’s not like I drew it or created it out of my own imagination. I feel that I just plucked it out of the film and tried to transform it graphically into something iconic that represented the insane, exciting, colorful energy of the film, while adding my own touches with the lettering and accoutrements. People loved it though. I suggested making t-shirts and stickers, and I still see people wearing them when I’m at a festival or traveling somewhere. It really taught me that in this day and age, the most important quality of a poster is for its design to feel iconic and eye-catching, above all else. The goal is to get people talking about the film and going to see the film and telling their friends about it, and it’s cool to hear people say “you know, the movie with the poster of the red cat face” and realize you had a role in the film finding its audience.

———————

Sam’s blog has a post about the creation of the House poster and is well worth a read.

The House of Exorcism / quad / UK

02.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
The House of Exorcism
AKA
Lisa and the Devil (original cut)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Mario Bava (as Mickey Lion)
Starring
Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Robert Alda, Sylva Koscina, Eduardo Fajardo, Alessio Orano, Alida Valli, Gabriele Tinti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Robert Alda, Sylva Koscina, Eduardo Fajardo, Alessio Orano, Alida Valli, Gabriele Tinti,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Vaughan (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A terrifying journey into the SUPERNATURAL

Over the years a number of films have been subjected to various cuts and re-edits that alter the filmmakers’ original vision for both good and bad. This has included Apocalypse Now with its ‘Redux‘ cut in 2001, the multiple versions of Blade Runner that culminated with 2003’s ‘Final Cut’ and the strange case of Superman II. None of these revisions were quite as ill-judged as the fate that befell Italian director Mario Bava‘s 1974 horror Lisa and the Devil when it flopped at the European box-office.

An entertaining if somewhat bizarre horror set in Spain, the original film focused on Lisa (Elke Sommer) a tourist in Toledo who becomes separated from her group and winds up at a crumbling old mansion on the edge of town. There she meets the eccentric inhabitants and becomes embroiled in a series of strange and often murderous situations involving the family and the house’s mysterious butler (Telly Savalas in one of his more quirky roles).

When the film failed to perform in Italy and the few other European countries in which it was released, the producer Alfredo Leone convinced Bava to retool the film as an Exorcist clone to capitalise on the success of the then recently released American classic. New scenes were shot featuring a demonically possessed Elke Sommer and a priest played by Robert Alda, and the original film was heavily edited so these new flashback scenes could be incorporated.

Leone and Bava clashed heavily over the style of the new scenes and the latter eventually walked away from the project (the director was credited as the fictional Mickey Lion, the surname being English for Leone), which was released in the UK and US as The House of Exorcism to instant critical derision (many reviewers calling it an Exorcist rip-off) and poor commercial performance. All in all the project was a total waste of time for all concerned. Recently the UK video label released Lisa and the Devil on blu-ray in its original version and included the House of Exorcism on the same disc.

Although not confirmed for definite, the artwork on this quad is likely to be by the British designer and artist Mike Vaughan. As detailed in Sim Branaghan’s must-own British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Vaughan was born in 1940 and joined a London advertising agency aged 16, having skipped art school but learning on the job as he rose through the ranks from tea boy to working on accounts for the likes of British Airways and American Express. He started working on film posters at the end of the 1960s and his most famous are the ones he painted for Hammer, which included The Vampire Lovers and Lust For a Vampire.

Sim believes one of Vaughan’s last posters was for the clunker Arabian Adventures in 1979. The artist stopped commercial work altogether at the end of the 1980s and started producing fine artworks, focused on racing yachts and sporting events, that were sold through several prestigious London galleries. Sadly the artist passed away suddenly in July 2003 from a blood clot on the brain. The Hammer Horror Posters website features several of his pieces in a large gallery.

House of Whipcord / quad / UK

12.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
House of Whipcord
AKA
Stag Model Slaughter (USA - reissue)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Pete Walker
Starring
Barbara Markham, Patrick Barr, Ray Brooks, Ann Michelle, Sheila Keith, Dorothy Gordon, Robert Tayman, Ivor Salter, Karan David, Celia Quicke
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Barbara Markham, Patrick Barr, Ray Brooks, Ann Michelle, Sheila Keith, Dorothy Gordon, Robert Tayman, Ivor Salter, Karan David, Celia Quicke,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
... and no one escaped...

This is the original UK quad for the release of House of Whipcord from the British director, producer and writer Pete Walker, who specialised in exploitation pictures during the 1960s and 1970s. Walker started out making shoestring budget sexploitation pictures, including School for Sex that were often relative hits in the UK, which worked out well for him since his films were almost always self-financed and thus most of the profits were his to keep and plough into the next feature. In the early 1970s, Walker grew tired of feeding the ‘dirty mack brigade’ and turned his hand to horror.

Whipcord is certainly one of the directors most memorable films and had a plot that was all but guaranteed to rile certain sections of the British press at the time of release. The film begins in London and focuses on young French model Ann-Marie Di Verney (Penny Irving) who has moved to the capital and has started to pose in nude photoshoots. One evening she is seduced by a mysterious character named, rather ominously Mark E. Desade (played by Robert Tayman) and a relationship develops between the pair. Sometime later Mark invites Ann-Marie to ‘visit his parents’ who live out in the country and only when she arrives does she realise that it was all a ruse to get Ann-Marie into a secret illegal prison which is being ruled over by his unhinged mother Mrs Wakehurst (Barbara Markham) and three ‘guards’, including the sadistic Walker (a memorable performance from regular collaborator Sheila Keith – note the character name!)

Mrs Wakehurst is a former school mistress whose corrupt regime led one of her charges to commit suicide but, believing she did nothing wrong and that lax morals led to the corruption in the school, she seduced the judge who was trying her, Justice Bailey (Patrick Barr), and managed to escape sentence. She then persuaded him to set up what he believed would be a private correctional institute in which ‘girls with loose morals’ would be ‘reeducated’ properly and then let back into the world. As Ann Marie and other inmates discover, the truth is far more horrifying.

The film was critically mauled over here but did solid business in cinemas and was later released in US cinemas through AIP. I’m unsure who is responsible for the design and artwork on this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

The original trailer can be viewed here.

The House of Seven Corpses / one sheet / USA

03.07.17

Poster Poster
Title
The House of Seven Corpses
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Paul Harrison
Starring
John Ireland, Faith Domergue, John Carradine, Carole Wells, Charles Macaulay, Jerry Strickler, Ron Foreman, Dennis Record, Marty Hornstein
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Ireland, Faith Domergue, John Carradine, Carole Wells, Charles Macaulay, Jerry Strickler, Ron Foreman, Dennis Record, Marty Hornstein,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 4/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/20
Tagline
Eight graves! Seven bodies! One killer... and he's already dead.

This is the US one sheet for the release of the largely forgotten 1974 horror, The House of Seven Corpses. The film was the sole feature film directing credit for Paul Harrison who seems to have spent more time as a screenwriter. It stars the prolific character actor John Ireland who is known for his many appearances in Westerns (and the 1960 classic Spartacus) and Faith Domergue, star of some 1950s sci-fi flicks such as This Island Earth. John Carradine, the ridiculously prolific actor (351 appearances!) and father of several actors, including David, also appears.

Ireland plays Eric Hartman, a film director who has decided to shoot his next picture in the titular mansion where seven members of the same family met their untimely ends in various ways. Hoping that the location will provide a suitable ambience to the picture, Hartman only has to put up with the cantankerous caretaker Edgar Price (Carradine) and a difficult star in Gayle Dorian (Domergue) who it’s hinted Hartman had a relationship with in the past. The director’s assistant David discovers the Tibetan Book of the Dead in the house (as you do) and decides to suggest some of the text is used in the witchcraft scenes in the film. Unfortunately, this then triggers the reanimation of a zombie from the graveyard outside the mansion and it proceeds to work it’s murderous way through the cast and crew.

Sadly, the film is almost entirely lacking in any sense of tension or horror and it’s over an hour (of a 90 minute film) before the zombie rises up. None of the characters are particularly appealing so it’s a fairly dull watch for most of the time. There’s a twist that’s incredibly badly handled, so much so that I had no idea it had taken place until I read a plot synopsis afterwards!

This one sheet is at least fairly interesting, with a creepy graveyard image that has been made using a cut and paste photomontage technique. The film’s logo is also very 1970s.

The House by the Cemetery / quad / UK

01.11.12

Poster Poster

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

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

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

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

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

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

The House Where Evil Dwells / one sheet / USA

24.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
The House Where Evil Dwells
AKA
Ghost in Kyoto (Japan)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Kevin Connor
Starring
Edward Albert, Susan George, Doug McClure, Amy Barrett, Mako Hattori, Tsuiyuki Sasaki, Toshiya Maruyama, Tsuyako Okajima, Henry Mitowa, Mayumi Umeda
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Edward Albert, Susan George, Doug McClure, Amy Barrett, Mako Hattori, Tsuiyuki Sasaki, Toshiya Maruyama, Tsuyako Okajima, Henry Mitowa, Mayumi Umeda,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820070
Tagline
An ancient curse has turned their lives into a nightmare of lust and revenge.

Artwork by the American artist John Solie features on this one sheet for the release of the 1982 USA/Japan co-production, The House Where Evil Dwells. Set and shot in Japan, the film is a horror based on a novel by James Hardiman and is effectively a haunted house tale. It opens in the city of Kyoto in 1840 and sees a samurai warrior return home to discover his wife being unfaithful with another man. In an utterly graceless, slow-motion sequence we watch as he butchers the pair before committing seppuku (ritual suicide). As the house is ravaged by a storm, a miniature figurine depicting a pair of lovers (one a devil like creature) is swept into the foundations, presumably cursing the place.

140 years later, the film picks up as US diplomat Alex Curtis (Doug McClure) meets an old friend, Ted Fletcher (Edward Albert) and his wife Laura (Susan George) and daughter at the airport. The family have traveled there to live for a few months for reasons that aren’t exactly made clear (something to do with his career?) and Alex has found them the perfect house to stay in. Of course it’s the same one depicted earlier and it’s now reported to be haunted. The couple soon begin to experience strange occurrences, with the audience first seeing the ghosts of the butchered lovers and angry samurai moving around the family before things take a dark turn as they begin to possess each one in turn. It soon becomes clear that the ghosts intend to free themselves from purgatory by causing Ted, Laura and Alex to commit a similar sort of murder-suicide. A Zen monk living nearby tries to warn the family and stop the ghosts before it’s too late.

It’s fair to say that The House Where Evil Dwells is no masterpiece and in fact is one of the clunkiest horror films I’ve ever watched. Director Kevin Connor, who is best known for the series of sci-fi fantasies he directed for Amicus productions (e.g. The Land That Time Forgot), has since said that his submitted version was heavily cut by producers, removing many scenes of character development. There’s no doubt this would have helped a bit, but it’s the acting from the likes of McClure and Ted Fletcher that really sinks the film. McClure is famous as an inspiration for the character of Troy McClure on The Simpsons, a Hollywood has-been reduced to appearing in shady infomercials and other such work. The actor himself never really found fame in Hollywood, despite appearances in over 500 films and TV shows. On the evidence of his performance here, it’s not hard to see why. Fletcher is perhaps even worse and Susan George, although great in Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, practically phones it in here. The lowlights of the film are undoubtedly the sex scenes between Laura and Ted and later Laura and Alex. Cringeworthy doesn’t quite cover it!

John Solie has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

House Of Wax / one sheet / 1981 3D re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
House Of Wax
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
André De Toth
Starring
Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts, Angela Clarke, Paul Cavanagh, Dabbs Greer, Charles Bronson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts, Angela Clarke, Paul Cavanagh, Dabbs Greer, Charles Bronson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R810812
Tagline
You've never been scared until you've been scared in 3-D.

House of Wax / quad / 1982 re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
House of Wax
AKA
--
Year of Film
1953
Director
André De Toth
Starring
Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts, Angela Clarke, Paul Cavanagh, Dabbs Greer, Charles Bronson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts, Angela Clarke, Paul Cavanagh, Dabbs Greer, Charles Bronson,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
29 7/8" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
You've never been scared 'til you've been scared in... | The classic 3-D horror movie of all time.

The House of the Devil / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The House of the Devil
AKA
--
Year of Film
2009
Director
Ti West
Starring
Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, AJ Bowen, Dee Wallace, Heather Robb, Darryl Nau, Brenda Cooney, Danielle Noe, Mary B. McCann, John Speredakos
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, AJ Bowen, Dee Wallace, Heather Robb, Darryl Nau, Brenda Cooney, Danielle Noe, Mary B. McCann, John Speredakos,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2009
Designer
Neil Kellerhouse
Artist
Neil Kellerhouse
Size (inches)
27" x 39 9/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Talk on the phone. Finish your homework. Watch TV. Die.

The Legend of Hell House / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Legend of Hell House
AKA
Dopo la vita [After life] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
John Hough
Starring
Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill, Gayle Hunnicutt, Roland Culver, Peter Bowles
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill, Gayle Hunnicutt, Roland Culver, Peter Bowles,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Silent Night Evil Night / 30×40 / USA

25.12.12

Poster Poster
Title
Silent Night Evil Night
AKA
Black Christmas (original Canadian title, later used for the USA and other countries) | Stranger in the House (USA - TV title)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Bob Clark
Starring
Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Marian Waldman, Andrea Martin, James Edmond, Doug McGrath, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin, Michael Rapport
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Marian Waldman, Andrea Martin, James Edmond, Doug McGrath, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin, Michael Rapport,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Tanenbaum
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/148
Tagline
If this picture doesn't make your skin crawl... it's on TOO TIGHT.

This 1974 Canadian horror, originally produced and released as Black Christmas, is often credited as being the first in the slasher sub-genre that went on to spawn countless others in the years that followed, including John Carpenter’s Halloween and Friday the 13th. It was one of the earliest films to feature the concept of a mysterious psychopath hunting down and murdering teens one by one, and it also was one of the first horrors to feature scenes shot from the killers point of view. Director Bob Clark was an American who worked in Canada for over a decade, producing some of the country’s most successful films, of which this was the highpoint. He had previously helmed the low-budget zombie horror Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973) and would later see great success with the teen comedy Porky’s (1982) and the classic A Christmas Story one year later. Clark was tragically killed along with his son in a head-on car crash in 2007.

Although the film had seen great success in Canada with its production title of Black Christmas (for its release in 1974) the American distributor Warner Bros apparently changed the title to Silent Night Evil Night (and later Stranger in the House) because it feared audiences would think the film was an entry in the then burgeoning blaxploitation genre. After flopping in its first release in the USA (in 1975), the title was later changed back to Black Christmas and the posters that had already been printed with ‘Silent Night…’ had a snipe with the original title glued over the top, as can be seen on this one sheet.

The artwork is by the American artist Robert Tanenbaum. To see other posters I’ve collected by him click here.

Jaws / one sheet / USA

17.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Jaws
AKA
Les dents de la mer [The teeth of the sea] (France)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Seiniger Advertising | Magidell Agency | Universal in-house design
Artist
Roger Kastel
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/155
Tagline
The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No.1 best seller

I’ve waited many years to add this iconic one sheet for Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Jaws to the Film on Paper collection as I wanted to find a rolled copy, which is no meant feat considering the film’s popularity and the fact that it was released in the mid-1970s (rolled posters from this period are rare). I finally won this copy in an auction earlier this year and what’s notable is that when other rolled originals of Jaws appear they almost always have the same NSS information layout at the bottom as this one, which many dealers and collectors believe means they originate from the Cleveland, Ohio NSS office. CineMasterpieces have a number of Jaws one sheets in their inventory (many already sold) and you can compare the different layouts of the NSS information (here’s an example).

The instantly recognisable image was painted by the American artist Roger Kastel and was originally commissioned for the paperback cover of Peter Benchley’s novel, but when Universal saw the artwork they bought the rights to use it for the poster and following the worldwide success of the film it would go onto become one of the most imitated and parodied images of all time, as well as a merchandising product in its own right.

Collector’s Weekly published a fascinating article about the creation of the poster and the events that led up to Kastel being commissioned to work on the poster. The artist recalls the day the project dropped into his lap:

“I had just delivered a painting to Bantam’s art director, Len Leone,” he says. “Bantam was just loaded with great artists at that time, and Len really gave Bantam its look. I was sitting in Len’s office when Oscar Dystel, Bantam’s publisher, came in. He said, ‘Wait a minute. Don’t leave. I have a great book for you to read’. And he ran out and came back with ‘Jaws.’”

A cover had already been painted by the renowned book cover illustrator for the Doubleday hardback edition of the book but as Kastel remembers it Dystel wasn’t happy with the first cover:

“He wanted me to read the book to pick out a new part to illustrate. But, of course, the best part was the beginning, where Chrissie goes into the water nude.” Turns out the Doubleday concept, if not the execution, was not so bad after all. Kastel did a sketch for Dystel and Leone to critique. “The only direction Oscar and Len gave me was to make the shark bigger, and very realistic.”

Kastel visited his usual go-to source for reference material, the Museum of Natural History in New York, but came up short:

“They didn’t have anything I could use, so I asked if they had a shark exhibit. They said they did but that it was closed for cleaning. It was lunchtime, so I went upstairs anyway, and there were all these different stuffed sharks, just laying on boards. I had my camera with me so I took a few pictures. The shark in my painting developed from there. I just tried to paint a ferocious-looking shark that was still realistic.”

When the book was released the graphic nature of the image saw the paperback banned from shelves in Boston, Massachusetts, and St. Petersburg, Florida, but Bantam didn’t mind the publicity as it greatly boosted sales. The cover also caught the attention of the film studio who were developing the story for the big screen:

“Apparently Universal had tried other poster ideas, but in the end they picked mine. They changed the color of the ‘JAWS’ lettering, added the actor names and other credits, and blurred the girl’s breasts with some foam.”

Kastel is unsure what fate befell the original oil painting (which was approximately 20″ x 30″) and the last time he saw it was when the paperback was first released:

“It was hanging at the Society of Illustrators in New York,” he says. “It was framed because it was on a book tour, and then it went out to Hollywood for the movie. I expected it to come back, but it never did. Either someone has it or it’s lost in storage at Universal. They really should report it as stolen.”

I’ve credited the design of the poster to three parties, although Tony Seiniger (and his agency) is most often cited as the man behind it. This article on Posterwire features comments that also call out another agency called Magidell who apparently had input as well as Universal’s in-house marketing team. Kastel also painted the ‘Gone with the Wind’ style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. Check out his official site here.

Evil Dead / Thailand

09.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
Evil Dead
AKA
La casa [The house] (Italy) | Into the Woods (USA working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noppadol
Size (inches)
21 1/16" x 29 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Thai poster for the release of Sam Raimi’s brilliant low-budget horror The Evil Dead, which made an instant cult icon of lead actor (and friend of Raimi) Bruce Campbell who plays Ash, one of five friends who travel to a small cabin in the woods on vacation. The group discover a gnarled old book in the basement that turns out to be a Sumerian version of the Book of the Dead. Along with it are tapes containing translation of the text and when these are played demons are summoned in the woods. The house is subjected to a sustained attack and one by one the friends are possessed, turning into ‘deadites’ and leaving just Ash to survive the night and the forces of the evil dead.

Both this film and its 1987 sequel were big hits in the UK after the first was bought at the Cannes Film Festival by the legendary British distribution (and later production) company Palace Pictures. Released in cinemas and on VHS almost simultaneously the modest outlay for the rights to distribute the film proved to be an excellent deal as it went on to see great box-office takings and thousands of tapes sold. The Evil Dead was eventually caught up in the infamous video nasties debacle of the 1980s and was banned for a number of years under the Video Recordings Act.

The sequel, made six years later and technically a retcon sequel, was allotted a significantly larger budget than the first and is more of a black comedy than the original. Ash is put through a continually escalating series of horrific encounters that allow him to show the full extent of his talent for slapstick comedy.

This Thai poster featuring a montage of scenes from the film was painted by a Thai artist called Noppadol about whom I’ve been unable to discover very little, other than a few of the other film poster titles he worked on (including Saturn 3 and The Beyond). If anyone knows any more details please get in touch.

Black Snake Moan / one sheet / Ricci style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Black Snake Moan
AKA
--
Year of Film
2006
Director
Craig Brewer
Starring
Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Raymond-James, John Cothran, Jr., David Banner, Son House
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Raymond-James, John Cothran, Jr., David Banner, Son House,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Ricci
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
Petrol
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Everything is hotter down south.

Black Snake Moan / one sheet / Ricci and Jackson style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Black Snake Moan
AKA
--
Year of Film
2006
Director
Craig Brewer
Starring
Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Raymond-James, John Cothran, Jr., David Banner, Son House
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Raymond-James, John Cothran, Jr., David Banner, Son House,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Ricci and Jackson
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
Petrol
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Everything is hotter down south.

The Evil Dead / quad / UK

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Evil Dead
AKA
La casa [The house] (Italy) | Into the Woods (USA working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Evil Dead / B2 / chainsaw style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Evil Dead
AKA
La casa [The house] (Italy) | Into the Woods (USA working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Chainsaw style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Evil Dead / B2 / Deadite style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Evil Dead
AKA
La casa [The house] (Italy) | Into the Woods (USA working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Theresa Tilly,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Deadite style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Prom Night / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Prom Night
AKA
Non entrate in quella casa [Don't go in that house] (Italy)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Paul Lynch
Starring
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Macario "Mac" Gomez Quibus
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800110
Tagline
If you're not back by midnight... you won't be coming home.

Prom Night / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Prom Night
AKA
Non entrate in quella casa [Don't go in that house] (Italy)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Paul Lynch
Starring
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman,
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 29"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Up / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster