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Vampires in Havana / screen print / Cuba

22.10.12

Poster Poster
Title
Vampires in Havana
AKA
¡Vampiros en La Habana! (Cuba - original title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Juan Padrón
Starring
Manuel Marín, Margarita Aguero, Frank González, Irela Bravo, Carlos González, Mirella Guillot, Carmen Solar, Juan Padrón
Origin of Film
Cuba | Spain | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Manuel Marín, Margarita Aguero, Frank González, Irela Bravo, Carlos González, Mirella Guillot, Carmen Solar, Juan Padrón,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Restrike
Origin of Poster
Cuba
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Eduardo Munoz Bachs
Artist
Eduardo Munoz Bachs
Size (inches)
20 2/16" x 30 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the island of Cuba for a ten day trip which was a fantastic experience. It really does feel like a country stuck in a time warp, circa 1965, particularly once you leave the capital and head into the countryside. It’s a stunningly beautiful island with very hospitable people but the relative poverty of the country is clear to see. It’s often said that the government is likely to relax the current freeze on foreign (particularly Western) investment once ‘Comandante’ Fidel Castro passes away, although with his brother Raul currently in charge very little has changed. This article on the BBC gives you an insight into the current situation.

The Cuban people’s love for film and cinema-going is legendary and our guidebook claimed that at the end of the 1950s there were over 300 cinemas in the capital Havana alone. Today, these great old buildings continue to thrive and whilst there I witnessed the queues of people lining up to see the latest releases. I took this picture of the Yara cinema in the Vedado area of Havana before the evening crowds descended.

Whilst in Havana I visited a bookshop that was selling original Cuban propaganda posters printed in the 1950s and 60s by OSPAAAL. They also had a handful of screen-printed film posters, all of which were reprints of the original Cuban cinema posters or re-imagined designs by local artists. They are officially screen printed by the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia) in Havana.

This is a screen print of the original poster for the 1985 animated film Vampires in Havana, which was directed by Cuban Juan Padrón. The story follows Joseph Amadeus von Dracula, known as Pepito, a trumpet player living in 1930s Havana who spends his time plotting to overthrow the incumbent dictatorship of Gerardo Machado. He’s completely unaware that he’s actually a vampire and that his uncle, a descendant of the original Count Dracula, has been using him as a test subject a secret formula which allows vampires to move about freely in sunlight. After learning about the potion, two sets of Vampires, including a group of Chicago mobster bloodsuckers, chase after Pepito with plans to use it for their own selfish means, but all is not as it seems with the potion.

The artwork is by the late designer and children’s book illustrator Eduardo Munoz Bachs who was born in Span in 1937 and moved to Cuba with his parents in 1941. Despite having no formal training in graphic design he designed his first poster for the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematografica), which was founded after the Cuban revolution to produce and promote Cuban films. He went on to design over 2000 film posters and is considered one of the most important Cuban graphic designers ever to have worked. He sadly passed away in 2001.

This Pinterest gallery features many of his posters. Whilst I was at the shop I also picked up a poster for A Clockwork Orange and one for The Godfather.