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Predator / original artwork / Thailand

28.09.16

Poster Poster
Title
Predator
AKA
O Predador (Brazil / Portugal)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves,
Type of Poster
Original artwork
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
2016
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
28 5/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Earlier this year I commissioned (through a mutual friend) the legendary Thai artist Tongdee to reimagine a poster for one of my favourite films, Predator (1987). The film was released in Thailand at a time when the use of painted artwork was being phased out and the original Thai poster is a photographic design that was based on the US one sheet. I’m a huge fan of Thai film poster artwork because of the typically lurid use of colours and lack of censoring, which led to some incredible posters like Tongdee’s Apocalypse Now and the one for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.

Because the original photographic poster was comparatively disappointing, I was excited to see what Tongdee would create. I gave him free reign with the exception of a couple of things I was keen to see (the iconic thermal-vision being one) and after a few weeks was sent a sketch with his idea for the layout. After requesting a couple of very minor tweaks I gave the go ahead and Tongdee began working on the actual painting. Last week I received the finished article and I’m very happy with the result. I love the layout and the use of colours, including the incorporation of the thermal-vision Predator hand. I also love the artistic licence he took on a few elements (I’ll let you figure out what I’m talking about) which was typical of his paintings from the original period of him working on film posters.

The painting is just over American one sheet size and I plan to get it framed as soon as possible. I’ve tried to take as many pictures as possible so you can see the details, and you’ll be able to see the grain from the canvas onto which Tongdee painted. I’ve also included three pictures that I was sent showing the painting with Tongdee in his studio. There’s also one photo (fourth from last) which shows the painting as it was sent to me, having been removed from the wooden frame over which it was stretched for painting.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was incredibly prolific during the 70s, 80s and 90s and, although he no longer paints official film posters for Thai distributors he is still painting for other clients. I’ve been unable to find out much about him from a biographical point of view other than that he was born in 1947. My hope is to someday travel to Thailand to meet and interview him.

One of the best films of the 1980s and certainly one of the Austrian Oak‘s finest roles, Predator is a film I’ve seen more times than I care to remember. Directed by John McTiernan, who would go on to helm Die Hard the following year (arguably the greatest action movie ever made), the film is an excellent mix of gung-ho action and sci-fi horror with a truly iconic monster that has gone on to appear in several (not so great) sequels and spin-offs.

The story sees Schwarzenegger’s team of single-monikered, rough-neck commandos dropped into a dangerous South-American jungle ostensibly on a rescue mission. When they discover a series of butchered and skinned corpses it soon becomes clear that they’re dealing with more than just a bunch of gun-toting guerrillas and someone, or something, is following them through the jungle. The film features several memorable characters, including Native American Sonny Landham‘s Billy, a man-mountain with much-needed tracking skills and the first one to realise they’re not alone, and Bill Duke‘s Mac who memorably leads the charge with a mini-gun when one of his comrades is killed. Like many of Schwarzenegger’s films, Predator is eminently quotable and features countless memorable lines spoken by several of the characters – ‘If it bleeds, we can kill it!’

To see the other Thai posters I’ve collected click here.

 

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / B2 / artwork style / Japan

10.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
AKA
Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2000
Director
Masaaki Tezuka
Starring
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the B2 poster for the Japanese release of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus which was the 24th film in the long-running franchise featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the third generation of Godzilla films (known as the Millennium Series), which are all standalone (with the exception of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS) and were mooted as ‘alternative universe’ stories. It ended up as the least financially successful film in the Millennium series, with the special effects director Kenji Suzuki apparently taking the blame. Referencing the first film, the story sets up a universe in Godzilla attacks the first Japanese nuclear power plant in 1966 which led to the formation of a section of the Japanese Self Defence Force called G-Graspers, dedicated to fighting Godzilla.

After nuclear energy is replaced by ‘plasma energy’ in 1996 it is hoped that the kaiju will no longer attack Japanese cities in search of nuclear energy, but the plan fails and plasma energy is also eventually outlawed. Later in 2001 an experimental satellite weapon called the Dimension Tide is fired and opens up a wormhole through which a prehistoric dragonfly appears, lays an egg and disappears back through the wormhole. A young boy discovers the egg and takes it with him when he moves to Tokyo, but when the egg starts oozing a strange liquid the boy throws it into the sewers. The egg is actually hundreds of smaller eggs which start to grow on contact with water and evolve into large dragonfly larvae which soon hatch and become adult Meganulon.

When Godzilla attacks Tokyo once more, the dragonflies are attracted to his energy and engage him in battle, but they are no match for the kaiju’s power and are almost all obliterated. Those that survive return to the sewers and, with an amount of energy taken from Godzilla, they inject a large cocoon that hatches as Megaguirus, queen of the Meganulon, and she immediately heads towards Godzilla, ready for an epic showdown.

The artwork on this poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla vs Destroyah / B2 / artwork style / Japan

06.12.13

Poster Poster

Artist Noriyoshi Ohrai provides another great illustration on this Japanese poster for the release of Godzilla vs Destroyah, which was the 22nd film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the final release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

Prior to release the production company Toho announced that this film would see the death of this incarnation of the legendary kaiju in order to make way for an American version of Godzilla (a film that was eventually released in 1998 to critical derision). The film begins with Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka), the psychic who has has previously used her powers to communicate with Godzilla, discovering that his home on Birth Island has been completely destroyed by an unknown force. Sometime later Godzilla appears near Tokyo covered in glowing, red hot rashes and the Japan Self Defense Force instructs a scientist to investigate what’s causing his condition.

It is soon discovered that Godzilla’s heart, which is effectively a nuclear reactor, is going into meltdown and once it reaches 1200 degrees Celsius it will explode with the force of 1000 nuclear bombs. The JSDF launch the flying attack fortress Super X-III to try to keep control of the situation. Meanwhile, scientists have developed a new formula for the ‘Oxygen Destroyer’ weapon that was originally created by Dr. Serizawa back in 1954 (the original Godzilla film) but fears over its side effects are realised when a number of mutated creatures are found to have been infected by the formula and are growing at an alarming rate. Quickly they evolve into crab-like creatures that start attacking Japan and have several skirmishes with the JSDF who dub the eventual combined creature ‘Destroyah’. Godzilla Junior reappears, greatly resembling his father, and the stage is set for several showdowns between Destroyah and the two Godzillas whilst scientists race to try and prevent a meltdown disaster.

This film features several calls back to the original 1954 Godzilla, including a cameo by Momoko Kôchi who played Emiko Yamane in the original film. This bit of trivia on IMDb hints at an early planned version of the final Heisei era Godzilla film:

An original idea for this movie had Godzilla fighting the original 1954 Godzilla in ghost form. The project, “Godzilla VS Ghost Godzilla”, was scrapped because the producers thought Godzilla didn’t need to fight a clone version of himself for three movies in a row, following Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla(1993) and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994).

The artwork on the poster is by the late Noriyoshi Ohrai who was something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

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.

Tentacles / B2 / Ohrai artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tentacles
AKA
Tentacoli (Italy - original title) | Macki (Poland)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Oliver Hellman
Starring
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Ohrai artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Codename Wildgeese / quad / UK

05.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Codename Wildgeese
AKA
Geheimcode: Wildgänse (Germany - original title) | Arcobaleno selvaggio [Wild Rainbow] (Italy) | Code name: Wild Geese (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Antonio Margheriti
Starring
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer
Origin of Film
Italy | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Enzo Sciotti (original artwork) | Tom Chantrell (quad adaptations)
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Codename Wildgeese is a 1984 entry in the ‘Macaroni Combat‘ genre of Italian-made action/war films that was helmed by the prolific director Antonio Margheriti (most often credited as Anthony M. Dawson) and is usually associated with the 1978 British film The Wild Geese. Both films are ensemble-cast action films in which Western mercenaries are sent into ‘wild’, lawless, dictator-ruled countries to carry out a mission and escape alive. Both films feature aging cast members who probably should have known better and I don’t doubt that Margheriti and his enterprising distributors chose the Wildgeese element of the title to capitalise on the success of the earlier film.

The late Lewis Collins, known for his leading man roles in action-fare such as TVs The Profressionals and the 1982 British action film Who Dares Wins, appears as the leader of a mercenary group which is employed covertly by the DEA (in the shape of Ernest Borgnine) and sent into the opium-producing area in Asia known as the Golden Triangle to attempt to stem the supply of illegal opium to the west. His team, which includes pilot China (Lee Van Cleef), make their way into the Triangle and engage an enemy base in a quarry before pushing onto the factories and a fiery showdown.

The film is largely a damp squib with very little in the way of memorable action sequences or an engaging script. The effects and gunplay are largely poor and the editing and soundtrack are notably bad. It’s certainly not a patch on The Wild Geese, which in itself was no masterpiece.

A reader of the site, Andrew Lamb, got in touch to confirm that the quad is an adaptation of artwork that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti and originally intended for, I believe, the German poster. Andrew commented the following (the original can be seen at the bottom of the page):

It was later adapted for the UK quad using a photo duplicate of the original artwork, with paint applied around the edges to fill the quad size, then new titles applied over the top. This was done by Tom Chantrell. My guess is that he was commissioned to paint the artwork and liked Sciotti’s art so much that it was suggested by him and agreed upon to be used instead. I’m not 100% certain of this, however I own the original artwork layout for the UK quad and it came from a lot of Tom Chantrell’s work. So that’s my hunch.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / B1 / Japan

01.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
AKA
Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2000
Director
Masaaki Tezuka
Starring
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the B1 poster for the Japanese release of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus which was the 24th film in the long-running franchise featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the third generation of Godzilla films (known as the Millennium Series), which are all standalone (with the exception of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS) and were mooted as ‘alternative universe’ stories. It ended up as the least financially successful film in the Millennium series, with the special effects director Kenji Suzuki apparently taking the blame. Referencing the first film, the story sets up a universe in Godzilla attacks the first Japanese nuclear power plant in 1966 which led to the formation of a section of the Japanese Self Defence Force called G-Graspers, dedicated to fighting Godzilla.

After nuclear energy is replaced by ‘plasma energy’ in 1996 it is hoped that the kaiju will no longer attack Japanese cities in search of nuclear energy, but the plan fails and plasma energy is also eventually outlawed. Later in 2001 an experimental satellite weapon called the Dimension Tide is fired and opens up a wormhole through which a prehistoric dragonfly appears, lays an egg and disappears back through the wormhole. A young boy discovers the egg and takes it with him when he moves to Tokyo, but when the egg starts oozing a strange liquid the boy throws it into the sewers. The egg is actually hundreds of smaller eggs which start to grow on contact with water and evolve into large dragonfly larvae which soon hatch and become adult Meganulon.

When Godzilla attacks Tokyo once more, the dragonflies are attracted to his energy and engage him in battle, but they are no match for the kaiju’s power and are almost all obliterated. Those that survive return to the sewers and, with an amount of energy taken from Godzilla, they inject a large cocoon that hatches as Megaguirus, queen of the Meganulon, and she immediately heads towards Godzilla, ready for an epic showdown.

The artwork on this poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

Frightmare / one sheet / USA

07.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
Frightmare
AKA
Horror Star (working title / international English title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Norman Thaddeus Vane
Starring
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Skull style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Terry Lamb (original artwork, adapted and tweaked)
Size (inches)
27 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
There is no escape, not even death...

This is the ‘skull style’ US one sheet for the release of the low-budget 1983 horror Frightmare (AKA Horror Star), directed by the late Norman Thaddeus Vane. The film is largely forgotten today and only really notable as featuring the first appearance of genre legend Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator). The film stars the late German-British actor Ferdy Mayne, a prolific actor who appeared in over 230 films and TV shows over a 60 year period. He is perhaps best known for his performance as Count von Krolock in Roman Polanski’s 1967 film, The Fearless Vampire Killers.

In Frightmare Mayne plays an aging horror film star called Conrad Razkoff, who is very much in the mould of the legendary British actor Christopher Lee – in fact, Lee appears on TV several times playing Dracula, which the audience are meant to infer is Razkoff in his prime. The actor has been reduced to appearing in adverts for dentures and is also suffering from poor health, fainting during a talk to drama students at a university. Soon afterwards Razkoff passes away, but not before he smothers his abusive agent. After his coffin is placed inside an improbably large crypt, which is lit by neon lights, a young group of fans of the star break into the cemetery and decide to steal his corpse.

After returning to the mansion in which they all live, the group sit him at the head of the table and later dance with his corpse before returning him to his coffin in the attic. Razkoff’s wife has discovered that her husband’s body is missing and uses a medium to try and contact him in the afterlife and find out where his body is. This has the unfortunate side-effect of reviving the actor as a murderous zombie who proceeds to work his way through the group of fans, killing each one using different methods. Eventually one of the survivors realises his body must be returned to his crypt. There’s barely anything in the way of character development and it’s hard to care for any of the victims when you have no clue who they are. Mayne’s performance is at least respectable and you do buy him as a fading horror star. It’s also pretty clear what producers like Charles Band saw in a young Jeffrey Combs.

This US one sheet is unusual in that it borrows some key artwork painted for a previous horror film, the 1974 Amicus anthology From Beyond the Grave, and tweaks it slightly in terms of colours and the removal of some elements. The original artwork was painted by the American illustrator Terry Lamb and can be seen here. You can see that the two living creatures were removed and various other elements were modified, but it’s unquestionably the same piece of art. If anyone has any more information as to why the recycling of art took place please get in touch.

Juggernaut / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Juggernaut
AKA
Terror on the Britannic (UK - DVD title / USA)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Richard Lester
Starring
Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, David Hemmings, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley Knight, Ian Holm, Clifton James
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, David Hemmings, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley Knight, Ian Holm, Clifton James,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert McCall (original ship exploding artwork)
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Possession / quad / UK

22.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
Possession
AKA
The Night the Screaming Stops (USA - reissue title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Andrzej Zulawski
Starring
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent, Johanna Hofer, Carl Duering, Shaun Lawton, Michael Hogben
Origin of Film
France | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent, Johanna Hofer, Carl Duering, Shaun Lawton, Michael Hogben,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Tom Chantrell | Barbara Baranowska AKA 'Basha' (original French artwork)
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
She created a monster... as her secret lover!

Polish director Andrzej Zulawski‘s Possession is a definite marmite film; you’ll either love it or totally detest it. I’m firmly in the former camp but it’s not hard to see why it might rankle with certain viewers. A multinational production, the film was shot in West Berlin (whilst The Wall was still standing), financed largely by French money and stars Kiwi actor Sam Neill alongside the stunning French actress Isabelle Adjani. Possession begins as what seems like a straightforward relationship drama, depicting the breakdown of the marriage between husband and wife Mark (Neill) and Anna (Adjani) as it gets increasingly fraught. The audience witnesses several scenes of extreme shrieking, hysteria and mental breakdown from both parties as Mark comes to terms with his wife’s infidelity.

It’s when Mark decides to investigate who his wife has been seeing that the film takes a turn for the surreal and horrific. At first he discovers that she had been having an affair with a new-age sleaze-ball called Heinrich (Heinz Bennent) but after confronting him at his house they both realise that Anna has also been meeting a mysterious third party. Mark then hires a private detective to try and discover where his wife disappears to when she’s not at their apartment. As alluded to with this poster’s tagline, the audience soon discovers that what Anna is tending to in a dingy apartment in the Turkish district of Berlin is not altogether human. When the detective (and later his lover) go missing, both Heinrich and Mark uncover the horrifying truth. I won’t spoil the reveal except to say that Italian special effects maestro Carlo Rambaldi (of ‘Close Encounters…’ and ‘E.T.’ fame) was involved in the creation of several versions of a slimy, tentacled creature.

Isabelle Adjani won the best actress prize at Cannes for her dual performance as the hysterical, unhinged Anna and the ‘is she real-or-not?’ Helen, a kind and gentle teacher who works at the school where the couple’s son Bob is a pupil. As Anna, the actress turns everything up to 11 and at times the shrieking is almost unbearable. In perhaps the most infamous sequence in the film, the so-called ‘miscarriage’ scene, she has a full-on orgiastic meltdown in a dingy German subway that culminates with her oozing blood and a white liquid from her face and neck. Neill also gives an over-the-top performance throughout and it’s the level of hysteria that likely sees many viewers heading for the remote (or cinema exit if they were in attendance back in 1981).

For reasons which aren’t really clear, the film was embroiled in the Video Nasties debacle here in the UK and was banned outright in 1983, but not before having it’s cinema debut thanks to New Realm distributors two years earlier. It’s inclusion on the DPPs list is a complete mystery as it’s nowhere near as gruesome or brutal as some of the other titles on there and is unquestionably one of the best titles to fall foul of the whole thing.

This very scarce original UK quad was created by the brilliant British designer and artist Tom Chantrell whose dynamic and colourful designs featured on hundreds of posters over a forty year period. His official website features a great biography written by Sim Branaghan, author of the must-own British Film Posters. The artwork is unquestionably based on the French poster artwork that was painted by the Polish artist Barbara Baranowska (AKA ‘Basha’). I’ve been unable to discover much about the artist, other than a short biography on the Horse Hospital website. It seems that her work for Possession is the poster for which she is most well-known.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Godzilla vs Biollante / B1 / Japan

18.07.13

Poster Poster

A colourful montage on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs Biollante, which was the 17th film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

This film was the belated follow up to the 1984 series reboot, Return of Godzilla, and the concept for the film was actually the result of a fan competition to decide the plot, which had seen Shinichirô Kobayashi, a dentist and part-time scriptwriter, emerge as the winner. His script was heavily altered before filming began. Considered something of a box-office failure, Godzilla vs Biollante features the legendary beast facing off against a brand new foe that hadn’t featured in the franchise before and this was used to excuse its poor showing. Toho would return to familiar enemies in the films that followed in the franchise, such as 1991’s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.

In this film, which follows on from events in ‘Return of…’, a team of American paramilitary soldiers working on behalf of a US genetics company attempt to collect material left over from Godzilla’s last attack on Tokyo. Whilst escaping with a sample, the team are attacked by a mysterious lone operative and the material is stolen. Meanwhile, Genshiro Shiragami, a Japanese scientist working in the Middle East, is about to return home with his beloved daughter Erika when a terrorist strike destroys his lab and kills Erika. Five years later, a grief stricken Shiragami is working on experiments for the government to try and develop a way to defeat Godzilla should he return. What his benefactors don’t realise is that Shiragami has also conducted a secret trial in which he combined the cells of Godzilla with those of a rose (the psychic energy of which he has also been studying) and the cells of Erika. The result is a creature he calls Biollante, and before long Godzilla is released from his volcano prison and heads straight for a confrontation with the new kaiju.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Zombie Creeping Flesh / quad / UK

30.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
Zombie Creeping Flesh
AKA
Virus (Italy - original title) | Hell of the Living Dead (International - English title / USA) | Night of the Zombies (USA) | Apocalipsis caníbal (Spain)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn), Claudio Fragasso (uncredited)
Starring
Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay, José Gras, Gabriel Renom, Josep Lluís Fonoll, Pietro Fumelli, Bruno Boni, Patrizia Costa, Cesare Di Vito, Sergio Pislar, Bernard Seray, Víctor Israel
Origin of Film
Italy | Spain
Genre(s) of Film
Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay, José Gras, Gabriel Renom, Josep Lluís Fonoll, Pietro Fumelli, Bruno Boni, Patrizia Costa, Cesare Di Vito, Sergio Pislar, Bernard Seray, Víctor Israel,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ted Baldwin (UK adaptation of Italian artwork - unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
When the Creeping Dead devour the living flesh...

One of several copycat zombie films made following the success of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, this effort by Italian director Bruno Mattei (under the pseudonym Vincent Dawn) shamelessly features many of the same types of characters and situations seen in the earlier films (SWAT team, zombie kids, hostages), and even uses sections of Goblin‘s score for DotD.

It sounds like the production was something of a nightmare, with botched filming and script-altering that rendered much of the film’s plot incomprehensible. The film features several sections of documentary footage taken from other productions and the original script apparently had a much grander scope:

In the first draft, Claudio Fragasso had followed the idea of an entire Third World made up of an army of zombies against whom the armed forces of the industrialized nations would have had to fight. However, the script had to be altered considerably due to budget limitations.

This quad features artwork which Sim Branaghan, author of the great book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, believes to have been adapted from the original Italian poster. Ted Baldwin, who was the regular illustrator used by distributor Mircale Films, is likely to have made several changes to adapt it to the quad format.

Here’s the original trailer.

Godzilla vs Mothra / 1992 version / B1 / Japan

28.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Mothra
AKA
Gojira vs. Mosura (Japan - original title) | Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Saburô Shinoda, Akiji Kobayashi, Akira Takarada, Makoto Ohtake, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Hurricane Ryu' Hariken
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Saburô Shinoda, Akiji Kobayashi, Akira Takarada, Makoto Ohtake, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Hurricane Ryu' Hariken,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs Mothra, which was the 19th film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the fourth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era. There was an earlier film in the franchise called Mothra vs Godzilla (1964) but this film is not a remake of that story.

Godzilla vs Mothra is, adjusted for inflation, the most financially successful entry in the entire series. The story sees a meteor crashing to earth and awakening not only the legendary lizard but also uncovering an egg of the benevolent giant moth, plus an evil version of Mothra called Battra that was created by Earth’s ‘life force’ to protect the planet itself from threat. Godzilla sets off on one of his usual rampages and Battra attacks Tokyo in anger at the pollution that mankind has caused. The trio of monsters face-off against each other in several battles and there’s also a subplot involving an Indiana-Jones-like treasure hunter and ethereal creatures known as Cosmos who are involved in the bigger conflict.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla vs King Ghidorah / B1 / advance / Japan

03.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs King Ghidorah
AKA
Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1991
Director
Kazuki Ohmori
Starring
Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Tokuma Nishioka, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kenji Sahara, Kôichi Ueda, Sô Yamamura
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Tokuma Nishioka, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kenji Sahara, Kôichi Ueda, Sô Yamamura,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Advance - artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 13/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A stunning piece of artwork on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, which was the 18th film in the series featuring the King of Monsters. The film was the third release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

The story sees the legendary monster facing off against one of his greatest foes, the three-headed dragon monster King Ghidorah. The origin of the monster has changed over the years and this film is no exception; in this story Ghidorah is the result of the irradiated fusing of three genetically-engineered bat-like creatures called ‘Dorats’. The monster is then unleashed on Japan by the villains in the film, time-travellers from the 23rd century called the Futurians. By the end of the film Godzilla has to battle Mecha-King Ghidorah, a resurrected cyborg version that is brought to Tokyo from the future – typically brilliantly bonkers story-telling!

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Scanners / B1 / Japan

03.05.13

Poster Poster

David Cronenberg‘s ‘future shock’ classic features a memorable turn by Michael Ironside as the superbly-monikered Daryl Revok, the evil leader of a renegade group of ‘Scanners’; mutant humans born with extreme telepathic and telekinetic powers who are capable of controlling machines and infiltrating the minds of others, often with head-popping consequences. The film is responsible for one of the best animated gifs on the internet.

This Japanese B1 features great artwork but I’ve been unable to identify the artist, so if you have any ideas please get in touch. The main figure is based on the one illustrated by Joann on the excellent British quad.

The film’s original British trailer is on YouTube (“You pray it will end…and it will!”).

 

Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla / B2 / Japan

28.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla
AKA
Gojira VS Supesugojira (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1994
Director
Kensho Yamashita
Starring
Megumi Odaka, Jun Hashizume, Zenkichi Yoneyama, Akira Emoto, Towako Yoshikawa, Yôsuke Saitô, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Megumi Odaka, Jun Hashizume, Zenkichi Yoneyama, Akira Emoto, Towako Yoshikawa, Yôsuke Saitô, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1994
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B2 poster for Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla, which was the 21st film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was the sixth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

The story is typically ludicrous and sees fellow kaiju Mothra travel in to space to stop a meteor hitting earth and inadvertently exposing cells from Godzilla (and Biollante) to the radiation from a black hole, which then triggers the creation of an aggressive extraterrestrial closely resembling the famous monster. SpaceGodzilla immediately heads to earth, destroying a space station on the way, and after battling and knocking out Godzilla it imprisons his son on Birth Island and heads to Japan intent on destruction. The Japan Self Defense Forces have time to scramble their latest weapon in the fight against kaiju, the penguin-like robot called Mogeura. But is it enough to stop the rampaging alien?

The artwork on the poster is by the late Noriyoshi Ohrai who was something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla / 1993 version / B1 / Japan

12.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
AKA
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (alternative title) | Gojira VS Mekagojira (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1993
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda, Leo Meneghetti, Daijiro Harada, Tadao Takashima
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda, Leo Meneghetti, Daijiro Harada, Tadao Takashima,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B2 poster for Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, which was the 2oth film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters) and was marketed as the 40th anniversary of the series. The film was also the fifth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era. Despite sharing the same title with a 1974 film, this is neither a remake or a re-imagining of the earlier version.

The story sees the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (UNGCC) created in order to stop the legendary monster. Two machines are manufactured from the salvaged parts of Mecha-King Ghidorah, a mechanised abomination last seen in 1991s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah; one is a flying gunship called Garuda and the other is the titular Godzilla-like robotic beast. When a mysterious egg is discovered on an island in the Bering sea, both Godzilla and Rodan – the irradiated pteranodon seen in several previous films in the series – appear and battle over it, allowing a team to escape to a research centre in Kyoto. When the egg hatches it is revealed to be Baby Godzilla (AKA Godzilla Junior) and once again the legendary Kaiju is summoned to Japan by its psychic powers. The UNGCC decide to mobilise their new defence weapons and both Rodan and Godzilla are pitched against the metallic foes.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.