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Hands of Steel / one sheet / USA

05.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Hands of Steel
AKA
Vendetta dal futuro [Vendetta from the future] (Italy - original title) | Return of the Terminator (Malaysia - English title) | Atomic Cyborg (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Sergio Martino (as Martin Dolman)
Starring
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro (figure)
Size (inches)
26.5" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In 1997: The guardian of the future is much more than a man

Italian writer/director Sergio Martino is responsible for several notable Giallo films including Torso and The Case of the Scorpion Tail. His output also includes several exploitation and genre films that directly ‘homage’ the work of American directors, including After the Fall of New York (see Carpenter’s Escape From NY) and Hands of Steel, which shamelessly apes James Cameron’s classic Terminator (1984).

The plot sees Daniel Greene‘s cyborg Paco Querak (great name!) sent to kill a blind environmentalist who is interfering with the plans of industrialist Frank Turner (genre legend John Saxon). During the assassination attempt Querak’s human conscience somehow stops him carrying out the deed and he escapes into the Arizona desert. He ends up at a bar in a small town and before long he’s using his strength to arm wrestle truckers and partake in bar brawls, however a team of hitmen has been sent after him and it’s not long before he is tracked down.

Tragically, Claudio Cassinelli, who played one of the hitmen, was killed in a helicopter crash during filming of an action sequence.

I’m crediting the artwork to the great Renato Casaro because the main figure is clearly his illustration as can be seen on this Japanese B2 for the film, which features his signature. The rest of the art is likely to have been done by another artist, but I’m not certain to whom it can be credited. The typeface used for the tagline could not be more 80s if it tried.

Note that Hands of Steel, like many Italian exploitation films, has multiple alternative names and had a different moniker in most major markets.

The full film is available to watch on YouTube. The trailer is also YouTube.

Hands of Steel / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hands of Steel
AKA
Vendetta dal futuro (Italy - original title) | Return of the Terminator (Malaysia - English title) | Atomic Cyborg (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Sergio Martino
Starring
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Doomed To Die / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Doomed To Die
AKA
Mangiati vivi! (Italy - original title) | Eaten Alive! (International English title) | The Emerald Jungle (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Umberto Lenzi
Starring
Robert Kerman, Janet Agren, Ivan Rassimov, Paola Senatore, Me Me Lai, Fiamma Maglione, Franco Fantasia, Franco Coduti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Kerman, Janet Agren, Ivan Rassimov, Paola Senatore, Me Me Lai, Fiamma Maglione, Franco Fantasia, Franco Coduti,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985?
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They have a never ending hunger for human flesh | The most violent human sacrifice you'll ever see!

Eaten Alive / quad / UK

19.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Eaten Alive
AKA
Mangiati vivi! (Italy - original title) | Doomed to Die (USA) | The Emerald Jungle (USA - video)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Umberto Lenzi
Starring
Robert Kerman, Janet Agren, Ivan Rassimov, Paola Senatore, Me Me Lai, Fiamma Maglione, Franco Fantasia, Franco Coduti, Alfred Joseph Berry, Michele Schmiegelm, Mel Ferrer
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Kerman, Janet Agren, Ivan Rassimov, Paola Senatore, Me Me Lai, Fiamma Maglione, Franco Fantasia, Franco Coduti, Alfred Joseph Berry, Michele Schmiegelm, Mel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30 5/16" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Trapped in a jungle of crazy flesh eaters! | The terrifying nightmare that became a reality!

Lurid artwork by the late, great Tom Chantrell on this UK quad for the release of Italian director Umberto Lenzi‘s 1980 entry into the then burgeoning cannibal subgenre of horror, Eaten Alive! (here just Eaten Alive). This is not to be confused with Tobe Hooper’s 1976 film of the same name about a redneck killer with a pet alligator. Eaten Alive wasn’t Lenzi’s first foray into the subgenre and the director is regularly credited with kickstarting it all with his film Deep River Savages (AKA Sacrifice!) in 1972. This film was released the same year as Cannibal Holocaust, directed by fellow countryman Ruggero Deodato, which is today considered to be the pinnacle of the genre and remains notorious to this day. Not to be outdone, Lenzi filmed one of the subgenre’s most unapologetically nasty entries, Cannibal Ferox, only a year after this film was released, but by that point the subgenre was beginning to fade and only a few more obscurities were made during the 1980s.

Unlike Ferox and Holocaust, Eaten Alive is more of a jungle adventure film and isn’t told in the pseudo-documentary, mondo style of the other films. Not only did Lenzi utilise stars from other cannibal films, including the American pornstar-turned-actor Robert Kerman (who appeared in Holocaust and Ferox) but he also borrowed footage from other films such as his own Deep River Savages and The Mountain of the Cannibal God. Like other entries it also depicts scenes of real animal torture and killings which have always proved controversial and are deeply uncomfortable to sit through today (at least for this viewer). Eaten Alive sees an American woman called Sheila (Swedish actress Janet Agren) who travels to remote New Guinea in search of her missing sister Diana (Paola Senatoreaccompanied by Vietnam veteran Mark (Kerman). They discover that Diana has joined a cult deep in the jungle which is being led by a Jim Jones-style guru called Jonas (cannibal flick regular Ivan Rassimov) who rules over his subjects and the local natives using physical and sexual abuse. Sheila, Mark and Diana attempt to escape from the cult’s clutches and there follows several scenes featuring all manner of barbarities.

Today Eaten Alive is considered one of the lesser cannibal films, certainly compared to Holocaust and Ferox, but it’s not without merit for gorehounds looking for a slice of sleazy entertainment. It’s arguably worth a watch as a curio of a film that would never be made today, not least because of the animal cruelty and breathtaking levels of misogyny on display.

Tom Chantrell was a celebrated British artist whose dynamic and colourful work featured on hundreds of posters over a forty year period. His official website features a great biography written by Sim Branaghan, author of the must-own British Film Posters. Chantrell illustrated many classic poster designs, including several Hammer posters such as the brilliant quad for ‘One Million Years B.C.’, and was also responsible for the iconic Star Wars quad, the artwork of which ended up being used around the globe. I have a number of other designs by him on this site. The chunky title treatment is one of the artist’s specialties and features on several of his posters, which can be seen on his official site.

City of the Living Dead / 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
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown | Enzo Sciotti (original 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 and was painted by an artist whose signature is on the poster but I don’t recognise. 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 with the US release title of Gates of Hell (see here) that features some elements of this poster and was apparently painted by the Thai artist Noppadon. If anyone recognises the signature on this poster, or knows who was responsible, please get in touch.

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.

Red Sonja / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Red Sonja
AKA
Yado (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Ronald Lacey, Pat Roach, Terry Richards,, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Netherlands | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Ronald Lacey, Pat Roach, Terry Richards,, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850059
Tagline
A woman and a warrior that became a legend.