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Orca / B2 / style A / Japan

30.12.13

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A - black surround
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late , was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford () and a native American killer whale expert (). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 the ‘style A (black surround)’ and I also have the other two styles which will be added to the site eventually. I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible for this artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

Once Upon A Time In The West / A1 / 1987 re-release / Czechoslovakia

15.09.12

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1987 Czechoslovakian re-release of Sergio Leone’s masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West. The epic 1968 Western stars Charles Bronson as the mysterious Harmonica who arrives in a frontier town and is memorably attacked by a group of trench coat-wearing assassins. Meanwhile, the family of Jill McBain (the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale), who has arrived in the town looking for a fresh start, is brutally slaughtered by unknown perpetrators. The prime suspect Cheyenne (Jason Robards) befriends the widow and joins forces with Harmonica to go after Frank (Henry Fonda in an atypical role), the ruthless gang leader protecting the interests of a railroad company.

This re-release poster features a design by the celebrated Czech artist Zdenek Ziegler. Born in Prague in 1932, Ziegler studied at the Czech Technical University and graduated in 1961. He went on to design over 200 film posters during a 26-year period from 1963 to 1989. The website Terry Posters has a page with a biography of Ziegler and a gallery of his work (with some of them being available to purchase). Since 1990 Ziegler has been a teacher at Academy of Arts in Prague.

Some of his most celebrated designs include a 1970 poster for Hitchock’s Psycho and a great design for Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. His take on the poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien is also very unique.

The Mechanic / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Mechanic
AKA
Killer of Killers (USA - reissue title)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Ridgeway, Frank DeKova, James Davidson, Lindsay Crosby
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Ridgeway, Frank DeKova, James Davidson, Lindsay Crosby,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Piranha / B2 / style B / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Piranha
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski, Richard Deacon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski, Richard Deacon,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Once Upon A Time In The West / screen print / Aesthetic Apparatus / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Once Upon A Time In The West / quad / 2000 BFI re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Orca / B2 / style B / Japan

13.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 style B and there’s also the style A. I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible for this artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

Piranha / B2 / style A / Japan

22.02.15

Poster Poster
Title
Piranha
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski, Richard Deacon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski, Richard Deacon,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bob Larkin
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Director Joe Dante‘s Piranha was one of several killer nature films that followed in the wake of the runaway success of Spielberg’s Jaws. Executive produced by legendary schlockmeister Roger Corman and co-written by John Sayles (his first credit and before he began his directing career) the film was also one of the first jobs for special effects maestros Rob Bottin and Phil Tippett. The film begins as a young couple hiking enter an apparently abandoned military complex and jump into what looks like a swimming pool, but something deadly lurks below the water and the pair soon disappear screaming under the surface. Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies), an insurance investigator, is dispatched to try and track down the teenagers and hires local drunkard Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) to help her.

The pair stumble across the complex and end up draining the pool to see if there’s anything at the bottom. When they do a bedraggled man appears from somewhere in the complex and attacks them to try and stop the pool being emptied. Grogan subdues him and the man proceeds to tell them that the water contained genetically-modified oversized killer piranha fish that were intended to be used against the enemy in the Vietnam war. The drainage pipe leads to a river and Lost River Lake, which is home to a children’s summer camp and a holiday resort. The trio set off to try and warn the camp and resort inhabitants but the fish have already made good progress and evidence of their deadly nature is discovered on the journey to Lost River Lake.

Produced on a reported budget of $600k, the film is certainly no classic but is entertaining enough, featured plenty of shocks to keep audiences happy and rake in a significant profit for Corman’s New World Pictures. Universal Studios, the Jaws production company, were all set to sue New World until Spielberg saw the film and gave it his blessing.

This Japanese B2 features artwork by the American artist Bob Larkin (born 1949) who is primarily known for his work on Marvel comics covers, including Savage Sword of Conan and Planet of the Apes. He also worked on covers for other comics distributors, magazines and packaging for toys. Larkin painted a handful of other film posters, including Monster (AKA Humanoids from the Deep) and Piranha II: The Spawning. The Bob Larkin: Illustrated Man site features a load of examples of his work, including many original paintings.

Orca / B2 / style C / Japan

12.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
'Dino'
Size (inches)
20 3/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 style C and there’s also the style A and style B. There’s a signature that looks like ‘Dino’ at the bottom of the art (see picture 5) but if anyone knows which artist this belongs to please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.