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Leviathan / A1 / Germany

04.02.15

Poster Poster

Leviathan was one of multiple ‘aliens in the deep’ films released in 1989, with James Cameron’s The Abyss being by far the most successful and memorable of the lot (which also included Deep Star Six and The Evil Below). I have absolutely no idea what made Hollywood decide that underwater peril was the situation du jour at that time, but it wasn’t to last as most of the films performed badly at the box-office and made little critical impact. Only Cameron’s film would go on to gather any kind of cult following and the release of a Director’s Cut of the film certainly helped.

Leviathan is set on a deep-sea mining platform with a crew of eight, including geologist Steven Beck (Peter Weller) a new recruit brought in by the Tri-Oceanic Corp to manage the team. During a routine dive one of the crew slips, falling down a ravine and when they land they discover the wreck of a Soviet submarine called Leviathan hidden in a trench. The team manage to salvage a safe from within the ship and bring it back onto the rig.

After opening it up they discover records relating to the death of crew members of the Leviathan as well as what appears to be a bottle of Vodka. Beck and the crew doctor investigate the fate of the submarine whilst some of the other crew members decide to partake in some of the booze. Unbeknownst to them it contains an alien pathogen which causes the pair who drink it to develop severe rashes and then perish before reanimating as a hideously twisted creature (very much in the vein of the creations seen in John Carpenter’s The Thing). Although Beck and the others manage to expel the creature from the rig, part of it remains onboard and mutates into a multi-tentacled beast which stalks the rest of the crew forcing them to fight for their lives and ultimately abandon the platform.

Unfortunately the film fails to generate much in the way of horror or tension and, though the set designs are top notch, the creature effects are largely woeful, particularly the painfully obviously man in bad rubber suit final version of the creature. Weller gives it his best shot but fails to convince as a hero. Apparently the film was originally going to have more in the way of creature effects and there are clearly whole scenes missing, which all points to studio interference.

This German A1 was designed and painted by Renato Casaro, an Italian-born artist who was working prolifically on German posters during the 1970s and 1980s. I interviewed him for this site in 2013 and he talked about his work for the market:

‘You worked on many posters for the German market. Was there a reason for that?
Yes, Germany didn’t really have many posters designers and artists working during the 1970s and 1980s and I certainly didn’t have much in the way of competition. In the 1950s and 60s they had several good artists working on film posters but after that they all retired or died, so there was a gap. I was really fortunate with that whole situation because I was able to work with most of the distributors over there and I was able to choose to work on some really great projects. My work was in demand so Studio Casaro was very busy, especially in the 1980s. Even when some other markets might have been quiet, there was always a project to do for a German client.’

The poster has some similarities with the US one sheet, designed and painted by John Alvin.

10 To Midnight / quad / photo style / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
10 To Midnight
AKA
Bloody Sunday (original script title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Barrie / James Artists Associates / Haymarket Advertising Ltd.
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Bronson... is back on the streets! A cop... a killer... a bloody deadline...

10 To Midnight / quad / artwork style / UK

25.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
10 To Midnight
AKA
Bloody Sunday (original script title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Artwork style
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Rosslyn
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Back in town... with a vengeance!

J. Lee Thompson‘s 10 to Midnight is often called a cross-genre film since it mixes elements of police thrillers with scenes typically seen in slasher films. Charles Bronson stars as Leo Kessler a detective on the hunt for a crazed killer who stabs female college students to death after they reject his advances. The murderer, played by Gene Davis (his IMDb pic is a still from this film), always strips naked to carry out his crime and thus leaves no evidence behind. Eventually Kessler goes against his partner’s advice and plants evidence to frame the killer, but when this ruse is discovered the killer is released and executes his revenge against the detective.

The film is apparently based on the crimes of two real-life serial killers, Richard Speck and Ted Bundy, and the screenplay was originally called Bloody Sunday before being renamed to its current title, which is totally unconnected to the plot.

The film was produced and released by Cannon Films, the legendary production house responsible for a slew of low-budget films throughout the 1980s. Unusually, 10 to Midnight was given two quad posters to promote it; this one featuring artwork and a photographic style, which I also have in the collection and can be seen here. I’m not sure why there were two designs released, but it may be that this artwork style came first and then the photo one was designed for other areas of the UK? The film was released around the time when illustrations were being used less and less as distributors decided that audiences no longer trusted posters (and video sleeves) with artwork, so that might have something to do with it.

I’m also unsure who is responsible for the artwork but there is the word Rosslyn visible as a neon sign in the background street scene so that might be the surname of the illustrator. I’m a fan of the way the knifeman is pointing out the time with his arms.

The original trailer is on YouTube.