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Kiss of the Spider Woman / one sheet / international

19.10.12

Poster Poster

This international one sheet for Kiss of the Spider Woman features a stunning Art Deco inspired design, which is unique to this poster. The film was directed by Argentine-born Brazilian Hector Babenco and is based in a jail in an unnamed South American country ruled by a dictatorship. Luis Molina (William Hurt) is a homosexual imprisoned for ‘corrupting a minor’ who shares a cell with Valentin Arregui (the late Raul Julia), a member of a revolutionist group who has been tortured and imprisoned.

To pass the time, and to take Arregui’s mind off the abuse he suffers whilst imprisoned, Molina recounts scenes from his favourite film, a romantic thriller set during World War II featuring Sonia Braga as Leni La Maison, AKA the Spider Woman, in this film within a film. The storyline mirrors the experiences of the two cell-mates and slowly a friendship develops between the pair, but Molina has been harbouring a secret which endangers the lives of them both.

William Hurt won the Best Actor gong at the 1986 Academy Awards as well as several other prizes for his portrayal of Molina. The film, itself adapted from a novel by Argentine author Manuel Puig, was later made into a successful Broadway musical in 1993.

The artist responsible is called Richard Mahon who is perhaps best known for his iconic image that was used to advertise David Cronenberg’s The Fly around the world, including on the American one sheet. He has an official website that features a gallery of his illustration work. The image may look grainy but this is actually an element of the design (the green background is particularly rough).

The trailer is on YouTube.

Blood and Lace / 30×40 / USA

06.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Blood and Lace
AKA
Il Martello Macchiato di Sangue [The Hammer Stained with Blood] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Philip S. Gilbert
Starring
Gloria Grahame, Melody Patterson, Milton Selzer, Len Lesser, Vic Tayback, Terri Messina, Ronald Taft, Dennis Christopher
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gloria Grahame, Melody Patterson, Milton Selzer, Len Lesser, Vic Tayback, Terri Messina, Ronald Taft, Dennis Christopher,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/69
Tagline
SHOCK after SHOCK after SHOCK as Desire drives a bargain with DEATH!

Another largely forgotten horror from the early 1970s, Blood and Lace sounds a very interesting film, particularly since it was apparently released with a PG rating (actually ‘GP’, but equivalent) despite featuring brutal murders and torture of children. This website also shows how many similarities there are between this and several other horrors that came after it (including the killer’s striking resemblance to Freddy Krueger).

Notably, this was director Philip S. Gilbert’s only film. It seems that it has never been released on DVD but was briefly available to stream on US Netflix so there’s a chance that it may be given a release soon.

This US 30×40 features photographs that have been hand-tinted using brilliantly lurid colours and note the poorly-drawn blood-splatters on the hammer. I’m a big fan of what the designer of the poster did with the title.

The use of large, repeating type is a common them with horror film posters from this period.

The original trailer can be found on YouTube.

Swiss Family Robinson / quad / 1976 re-release / UK

10.08.15

Poster Poster

A typically detailed and action-packed illustration by Brian Byouth on this 1976 re-release poster for the 1960 Disney adaptation of the 1812 novel The Swiss Robinson by Johann David Wyss. The story had already been filmed once by RKO pictures in 1940 and was a commercial success so another adaptation was considered a sure bet. Filmed on location in Tobago as well as at Pinewood studios in the UK, the film was directed by the late British director Ken Annakin who worked with Disney on a number of pictures. Legendary Brit actor John Mills plays the father of a family that is shipwrecked on a remote tropical island whilst en-route to New Guinea and the film deals with their adventures as they make a new home and try to cope with marauding pirates who are roaming the waters around the island and are causing havoc for ships that enter its waters.

The film differs significantly from the novel and the changes are detailed on the Wikiepdia page for the film. Happily for all involved it was well received by critics and audiences and went on to be the highest earning film of 1960 (beating Hitchcock’s Psycho and Kubrick’s Spartacus). Adjusted for inflation the film made over $427 million which makes it one of the biggest hits of all time. 

British artist Brian Bysouth worked on many Disney posters during the 1970s and early 1980s, including several for re-releases of earlier films from the 1950s and 60s like this one. Brian is one of my favourite artists and worked on many classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. In 2012 I was fortunate to meet and interview Brian for this site and the article can be read here. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Morvern Callar / quad / advance / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Morvern Callar
AKA
--
Year of Film
2002
Director
Lynne Ramsay
Starring
Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Linda McGuire, Ruby Milton, Dolly Wells, Dan Cadan, Carolyn Calder
Origin of Film
UK | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Linda McGuire, Ruby Milton, Dolly Wells, Dan Cadan, Carolyn Calder,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2002
Designer
TEA - The Entertainment Agency
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--