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I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle / quad / UK

31.07.17

Poster Poster
Title
I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle
AKA
Iron Thunder (Germany)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Dirk Campbell
Starring
Neil Morrissey, Amanda Noar, Michael Elphick, Anthony Daniels, Andrew Powell, George Rossi, Daniel Peacock, Midge Taylor, David Daker, Burt Kwouk, Brendan Donnison
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Neil Morrissey, Amanda Noar, Michael Elphick, Anthony Daniels, Andrew Powell, George Rossi, Daniel Peacock, Midge Taylor, David Daker, Burt Kwouk, Brendan Donnison,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Most motorcycles run on petrol, this one runs on blood!

Colourful artwork features on this UK quad for the release of the 1990 ultra l0w budget horror-comedy, I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle. The film remains the sole feature film credit for the director Dirk Campbell who appears to have spent most of his career in television. The majority of the cast are also from TV backgrounds, including lead Neil Morrissey (‘Men Behaving Badly’, ‘Line of Duty’) and the late Michael Elphick. The latter is perhaps best known for playing the titular lead in Boon, which ran for 93 episodes and also starred Morrissey. The production of the film apparently utilised the sets of Boon without the TV company being aware and several other members of the cast and crew were involved.

Set in and around Birmingham, the film opens with a demonic ritual being performed by a biker gang at night. Just as the ceremony is about to be completed they are attacked and murdered by a rival gang led by Roach (Andrew Powell). During the mayhem, the demon is shown to have been summoned and it quickly enters the body of the lead occultist. After Roach’s gang have fled the scene, the demonic presence reanimates the dead body and then drips its blood into the petrol tank of the occultist’s motorbike.

The next day, motorcycle courier Noddy (Morrissey) meets with a mechanic who has taken ownership of the demonic bike and is selling it without realising what is inside. Although everything seems normal to begin with, Noddy and his partner Kim (Amanda Noar) gradually realise that the bike is no ordinary machine, especially when their mechanic is brutally murdered at home, with blood and tire treads found all over the walls. Inspector Cleaver (Elphick) becomes involved in the case, bodies begin piling up, and soon Noddy is turning to a biker/priest (Anthony Daniels) to help exorcise the killer demon.

Despite its low-budget origins, the film is a fun watch and the script has some genuinely hilarious lines in it. There are also some inventive action scenes and the killer machine itself is well handled. There’s also one of the most surreal/gross scenes involving a dream sequence and the contents of a toilet bowl ever committed to celluloid. The film is surprisingly gory and doesn’t skimp on violence – most of the special effects are well done. I’m not saying it’s a classic, far from it, but it’s certainly worth a watch!

Frustratingly, I’ve struggled to find out who was responsible for the artwork on this country of origin poster. I am certain that it’s not the work of Graham Humphreys as I had this confirmed to me in an email from the man himself. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch. Note the rather brilliant quote from Sam Raimi (Evil Dead)!

Withnail and I / one sheet / USA

14.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Withnail and I
AKA
Shakespeare a colazione [Shakespeare at breakfast] (Italy)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Bruce Robinson
Starring
Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Daragh O'Malley, Michael Wardle, Una Brandon-Jones
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Daragh O'Malley, Michael Wardle, Una Brandon-Jones,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ralph Steadman
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Bruce Robinson’s Withnail & I is my favourite British film and one of the best black comedies ever made. Based on the director’s own experiences of living in North London as an unemployed actor, the film stars Richard E. Grant in his debut film role as the titular Withnail and Paul McGann as ‘I’/Marwood. Tired of the mess in their squalid apartment and sick of the lack of job prospects, the pair decide to take advantage of the fact that Withnail’s eccentric uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) has a cottage in the Lake District, and they plan a relaxing break in the country. After driving up North in Marwood’s battered Jaguar the pair find their time in the cottage is significantly less idyllic than they’d hoped, and the film follows their escapades as they  have to deal with inclement weather, a lack of supplies and a bunch of oddball locals. To make matters worse Monty arrives unannounced and takes a keen interest in Marwood.

The artwork on this American one sheet is by the famed British cartoonist and illustrator Ralph Steadman who is perhaps best known for his long-term collaboration with the late American author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Born in 1936, Steadman is a noted political cartoonist and has painted book covers for writers such as Ted Hughes and George Orwell, as well as editorial work for papers like The Independent. Steadman’s work with Thompson saw him accompanying the journalist on several field trips, which saw the birth of the famed Gonzo style of journalism. He illustrated the covers for both Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 and the classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which saw the creation of the stylised character of Thompson depicted with bucket hats, aviator glasses and a cigarette holder. The artist’s official website features a great biography and plenty of galleries of his work.

Steadman has illustrated several film posters, including Terry Gilliam’s brilliant adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the film based on Thompson’s life Where the Buffalo Roam, as well as the recent documentary Gonzo. In addition to this one sheet, the artwork seen here was used on the superb British quad for the film.

The Great Train Robbery / one sheet / USA

03.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Great Train Robbery
AKA
The First Great Train Robbery (UK - full title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Michael Crichton
Starring
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Roger Kastel
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790007
Tagline
Never have so few taken so much from so many.

Roger Kastel artwork on this poster for the 1978 heist-caper starring Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery and directed by the late Michael Crichton. The film is based on his book of the same name, which is itself loosely based on an actual heist known as the Great Gold Robbery of 1855 in which a large quantity of gold was stolen from a train by a master thief and his accomplices. Pierce (Connery) works with Agar (Sutherland) to acquire the four keys that are required to break into the storage compartment on the moving train and must then attempt to escape with the loot.

The film is notable for the stunt-work, including walking on the roof of a moving train, that was apparently done by Connery himself. It’s also worth noting that the film was renamed to The First Great Train Robbery in the UK so it wouldn’t get confused with an infamous British train robbery in 1963 in which £2.6 million was stolen from a train in Buckinghamshire. The crime was dubbed The Great Train Robbery by the British press.

Roger Kastel’s website can be viewed here and it features plenty of great images of his brilliant work, including the iconic image that he originally drew for the paperback cover of Jaws, which was later used on movie posters for the film all over the world.. He’s also responsible for the excellent ‘Gone with the Wind’ style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back.

The original trailer for the film is on YouTube.

The Great Train Robbery / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Great Train Robbery
AKA
The First Great Train Robbery (UK - full title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Michael Crichton
Starring
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Withnail and I / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Withnail and I
AKA
Shakespeare a colazione [Shakespeare at breakfast] (Italy)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Bruce Robinson
Starring
Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Daragh O'Malley, Michael Wardle, Una Brandon-Jones
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Daragh O'Malley, Michael Wardle, Una Brandon-Jones,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ralph Steadman
Size (inches)
29 7/8" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--