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Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid / B2 / Japan

25.01.12

Poster Poster

A striking use of Japanese characters on this poster for Sam Peckinpah’s 1973 take on the true story of lawman versus outlaw, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The film starred James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson and featured American musician Bob Dylan in his first film role. Dylan also composed several songs for the soundtrack and released an album of the same name that year, which featured the classic song ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’.

This was Peckinpah’s third western and it’s said that he wanted the film to be the definitive statement on the genre. Sadly, multiple problems beset the production, including budgetary and time constraints, malfunctioning equipment and sick cast and crew members. This led to a falling out between the director and the studio (MGM) and ultimately saw the film being removed from Peckinpah’s control. The footage was roughly edited and cut down before being dumped into cinemas, with an unsurprisingly poor critical and commercial outcome.

In 1988 a director’s cut of the film was released and led to it being given a favourable reappraisal from critics and many now hail the film as one of Peckinpah’s best. In 2005 a third version was released onto DVD, which combines the two cuts and adds in some new material whilst still running shorter than the director’s cut.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Battle Creek Brawl / B2 / style A / Japan

21.11.14

Poster Poster

Battle Creek Brawl (known in the US and elsewhere as The Big Brawl) was martial arts superstar Jackie Chan‘s first attempt at breaking into the American film industry. The film was directed by the late Robert Clouse who was behind Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, the first martial arts film to be co-produced by a Hollywood studio (also sadly to be Lee’s last). Clouse went on to direct Jim Kelly’s Black Belt Jones (1974) and put together the posthumous Bruce Lee film The Game of Death (1978) so he was an obvious choice for Chan’s hopeful big break into the lucrative US market. The director chose to employ much of the crew from Enter the Dragon.

Set in 1930s Chicago, though filmed mostly in Texas, the film focuses on Chinese-American Jerry Kwan (Chan) whose father runs a restaurant. One day a gang of mobsters pays the restaurant a visit and tries to force Kwan’s father to pay part of his profits to them. When Jerry fights back the mob take notice of his martial arts skills and force him to take part in the illegal fighting tournament Battle Creek Brawl by kidnaping his brother’s fiancee.

Kwan must enlist the help of his martial arts master Herbert (played by Japanese-American actor Mako) in order to train to face his opponents, including the fearsome, brutal fighter Kiss (H.B. Haggerty), winner of the previous tournament whose nickname is due to the single kiss he gives his defeated opponents. Sadly for all involved the film was something of a flop and was nowhere near the Enter the Dragon success story that Chan was hoping for. After trying his hand at various supporting roles (including Cannonball Run) Chan eventually scored his first hit with the Hollywood production Rumble in the Bronx 15 years later.

The Toxic Avenger / quad / UK

25.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Toxic Avenger
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Starring
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He was 98 lbs. of solid nerd until he became... | A new kind of super hero

Released by the infamous American production and distribution company Troma, The Toxic Avenger was something of a box-office failure on its first release, but subsequent long-running shows on the midnight movie circuit at the Bleecker Street Cinemas in New York City helped to cement its current reputation as a cult classic. The film would go on to become Troma Studios’ most successful film, spawning numerous sequels, spinoffs and even a stage musical. The Toxic Avenger himself even features as their official mascot and this original entry is seen as the film that ‘built the house of Troma’.

Melvin Junko (Mark Torgl) is a social misfit working at the Tromaville Health Club as a down-trodden mop boy who is often at the receiving end of the cruel pranks of a pair of bullies called Bozo (Gary Schneider) and Slug (Robert Prichard) and their girlfriends. One day whilst being chased through the club Melvin jumps out of a second story window and lands in a vat of toxic waste, which burns his skin and completely disfigures him. After running home and jumping in a bath to try and wash the waste off he finds himself mutating into a creature of superhuman strength. The rest of the film sees Melvin fighting crime in Tromaville as the Toxic Avenger, menacing the corrupt mayor Peter Belgoody (Pat Ryan).

The artwork on this British quad is, as far as I’m aware, unique to the poster. I’ve been unable to discover who the artist responsible is so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

The superb original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Street Trash / one sheet / USA

03.07.11

Poster Poster
Title
Street Trash
AKA
Horror in Bowery Street (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
J. Michael Muro
Starring
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39" 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

‘The ultimate melt movie’, Street Trash, the classic 1987 splatter-fest, is as gore-filled and tasteless as this American one sheet suggests. The image of the unlucky tramp melting into the toilet was re-used for the multiple VHS and DVD releases and is definitely up there as one of the all-time great horror poster images. I remember reading/hearing who did the artwork but forgot to write it down so if anyone knows could they please get in touch or leave a comment.

It’s interesting that they used a quote from a British radio broadcaster, the late Tommy Vance, for the American poster, but it’s not hard to see why; If that combination of classic titles doesn’t make you want to watch the film then there’s no hope.

The splendid original trailer can be see on YouTube – “It’s easy to find us…. we’re all over the place.”

Here’s the IMDb page for the film. Vaguely interesting bit of trivia: I bought this one sheet from the person who plays the chef in the restaurant scene and only found out after the fact.

Who Slew Auntie Roo? / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Who Slew Auntie Roo?
AKA
Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (UK)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Curtis Harrington
Starring
Shelley Winters, Mark Lester, Chloe Franks, Ralph Richardson, Lionel Jeffries, Hugh Griffith, Rosalie Crutchley, Pat Heywood, Judy Cornwell, Michael Gothard
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Shelley Winters, Mark Lester, Chloe Franks, Ralph Richardson, Lionel Jeffries, Hugh Griffith, Rosalie Crutchley, Pat Heywood, Judy Cornwell, Michael Gothard,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/370
Tagline
Say Goodnight to Auntie Roo, Kiddies... It's DEAD TIME

Willow / B1 / Poland

18.12.15

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 5/16" x 37 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Willow / one sheet / UK

14.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world where heroes come in all sizes and adventure is the greatest magic of all.

Excellent artwork on this UK one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

This one sheet was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012, There is also a quad for Willow featuring the same artwork. Brian is one of my favourite artists and worked on multiple classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Hands of Steel / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hands of Steel
AKA
Vendetta dal futuro (Italy - original title) | Return of the Terminator (Malaysia - English title) | Atomic Cyborg (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Sergio Martino
Starring
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Hands of Steel / one sheet / USA

05.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Hands of Steel
AKA
Vendetta dal futuro [Vendetta from the future] (Italy - original title) | Return of the Terminator (Malaysia - English title) | Atomic Cyborg (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Sergio Martino (as Martin Dolman)
Starring
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro (figure)
Size (inches)
26.5" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In 1997: The guardian of the future is much more than a man

Italian writer/director Sergio Martino is responsible for several notable Giallo films including Torso and The Case of the Scorpion Tail. His output also includes several exploitation and genre films that directly ‘homage’ the work of American directors, including After the Fall of New York (see Carpenter’s Escape From NY) and Hands of Steel, which shamelessly apes James Cameron’s classic Terminator (1984).

The plot sees Daniel Greene‘s cyborg Paco Querak (great name!) sent to kill a blind environmentalist who is interfering with the plans of industrialist Frank Turner (genre legend John Saxon). During the assassination attempt Querak’s human conscience somehow stops him carrying out the deed and he escapes into the Arizona desert. He ends up at a bar in a small town and before long he’s using his strength to arm wrestle truckers and partake in bar brawls, however a team of hitmen has been sent after him and it’s not long before he is tracked down.

Tragically, Claudio Cassinelli, who played one of the hitmen, was killed in a helicopter crash during filming of an action sequence.

I’m crediting the artwork to the great Renato Casaro because the main figure is clearly his illustration as can be seen on this Japanese B2 for the film, which features his signature. The rest of the art is likely to have been done by another artist, but I’m not certain to whom it can be credited. The typeface used for the tagline could not be more 80s if it tried.

Note that Hands of Steel, like many Italian exploitation films, has multiple alternative names and had a different moniker in most major markets.

The full film is available to watch on YouTube. The trailer is also YouTube.

Red Sonja / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Red Sonja
AKA
Yado (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Ronald Lacey, Pat Roach, Terry Richards,, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Netherlands | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Ronald Lacey, Pat Roach, Terry Richards,, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850059
Tagline
A woman and a warrior that became a legend.

Street Trash / B2 / Japan

25.06.13

Poster Poster
Title
Street Trash
AKA
Horror in Bowery Street (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
J. Michael Muro
Starring
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman
Origin of Film
USA
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

‘The ultimate melt movie’, the classic 1987 splatter-fest Street Trash is as gore-filled and tasteless as this Japanese B2 poster depicts. A sleazy liquor store owner finds a case of old wine labelled ‘Tenafly Viper’ in his basement and, rather than dispose of it, he decides to offload the case to the local homeless population for a dollar a bottle. It soon becomes clear that Viper is really not fit for consumption and the poor hobos are having literal meltdowns after drinking it. An overzealous cop (Bill Chepil) begins to investigate the deaths whilst two homeless brothers, Fred (Mike Lackey) and Kevin (Mark Sferrazza) learn of Viper’s potency and try to warn others whilst dealing with the machinations of the unhinged homeless Vietnam vet Bronson (Vic Noto).

The blue face at the bottom of the poster is what’s left when the first hobo (pictured to the left) succumbs to the effects of the deadly drink and disintegrates into a toilet bowl, as depicted on the superb US one sheet.

The splendid original trailer can be see on YouTube – “It’s easy to find us…. we’re all over the place.”

Night Shift / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Night Shift
AKA
Love in New York (Japan - English title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Gina Hecht, Pat Corley, Bobby Di Cicco, Nita Talbot, Basil Hoffman, Tim Rossovich, Clint Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Gina Hecht, Pat Corley, Bobby Di Cicco, Nita Talbot, Basil Hoffman, Tim Rossovich, Clint Howard,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Hobson
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820094
Tagline
Ever since two enterprising young men turned the City Morgue into a swinging business, people have been dying to get in.

Sudden Impact / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Sudden Impact
AKA
Dirty Harry 4 (Japan - English title) | Coraggio... fatti ammazzare (Italy)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman, Paul Drake, Audrie J. Neenan, Jack Thibeau, Michael Currie, Albert Popwell, Mark Keyloun, Kevyn Major Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman, Paul Drake, Audrie J. Neenan, Jack Thibeau, Michael Currie, Albert Popwell, Mark Keyloun, Kevyn Major Howard,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830169
Tagline
Dirty Harry is at it again.

The Super Cops / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Super Cops
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Gordon Parks
Starring
Ron Leibman, David Selby, Sheila Frazier, Pat Hingle, Dan Frazer, Joseph Sirola, Arny Freeman, Bernard Kates, Alex Colon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ron Leibman, David Selby, Sheila Frazier, Pat Hingle, Dan Frazer, Joseph Sirola, Arny Freeman, Bernard Kates, Alex Colon,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 3/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Sudden Impact / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Sudden Impact
AKA
Dirty Harry 4 (Japan - English title) | Coraggio... fatti ammazzare (Italy)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman, Paul Drake, Audrie J. Neenan, Jack Thibeau, Michael Currie, Albert Popwell, Mark Keyloun, Kevyn Major Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman, Paul Drake, Audrie J. Neenan, Jack Thibeau, Michael Currie, Albert Popwell, Mark Keyloun, Kevyn Major Howard,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Bill Gold (original USA version)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Willow / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Excellent artwork by John Alvin features on this US one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 60th birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

To see the posters I’ve collected by Alvin click here.

The Toxic Avenger / one sheet / red title style / USA

16.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Toxic Avenger
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Starring
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Prichard, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl, Dick Martinsen,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Red title style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Sid Blaize
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He was 98 lbs. of solid nerd until he became... | The first Super-Hero... from New Jersey!

Released by the infamous American production and distribution company Troma, The Toxic Avenger went on to become their most successful film, spawning numerous sequels and spinoffs. He’s now featured as their official mascot.

This poster features artwork by Sid Blaize and is one of two one sheets printed for the film. The other one looks like this (image taken from emovieposter.com).

The superb original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Class of Nuke ‘Em High / quad / UK

13.02.13

Poster Poster
Title
Class of Nuke 'Em High
AKA
Atomic College (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Richard W. Haines, Lloyd Kaufman
Starring
Janelle Brady, Gil Brenton, Robert Prichard, Pat Ryan, James Nugent Vernon, Brad Dunker, Gary Schneider, Théo Cohan, Gary Rosenblatt, Mary Taylor, Rick Howard, Lauren Heather McMahon, Chris McNamee
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Janelle Brady, Gil Brenton, Robert Prichard, Pat Ryan, James Nugent Vernon, Brad Dunker, Gary Schneider, Théo Cohan, Gary Rosenblatt, Mary Taylor, Rick Howard, Lauren Heather McMahon, Chris McNamee,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They were there... to learn the three R's... READIN'.... WRITIN' and RADIATION!

An appropriately lurid design on this UK quad for the release of infamous independent studio Troma Entertainment’s Class of Nuke ‘Em High. The film was directed by Richard W. Haines and Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman (under the pseudonym Samuel Weil) and the story centres on the Tromaville High School in New Jersey, which is located close to a dodgy nuclear power-plant that continuously suffers leaks of hazardous material. The Cretins are the school’s anarchic gang (who feature heavily on this poster) and are responsible for peddling drugs to the other pupils. When they inadvertently buy a marijuana plant that has been contaminated by nuclear waste things start to get very messy indeed. Of particular note is the parasitic offspring birthed by Chrissy (Janelle Brady) under the influence of the toxic weed, which mutates into the spiky monstrosity seen at the top of this poster.

Criticising a Troma production is a bit like tearing down a school production; this is amateur entertainment at best, with acting that is hilariously awful across the board, choppy editing and a total lack of atmosphere. With that being said, if you go in expecting the usual Troma mixing-pot of gore, guns, girls and explosions you won’t leave too disappointed. Some of the effects are actually well-realised on what I can only assume was a minuscule budget.

The montage on this quad was designed and painted by one of my favourite British artists Brian Bysouth, whose wonderfully detailed illustrations featured on hundreds of posters over three decades. Some of his most famous posters include the withdrawn one sheet for A View to a KillHighlanderBig Trouble in Little China and The Living Daylights. In 2012 I was lucky enough to meet and interview Brian and the resultant article can be read by clicking here.

The Gumball Rally / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gumball Rally
AKA
Chewing Gum Rallye (France) | La corsa più pazza del mondo [The craziest race in the world] (Italy)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Charles Bail
Starring
Michael Sarrazin, Norman Burton, Raúl Juliá, Gary Busey, Susan Flannery, Steven Keats, Tim McIntire, Joanne Nail, J. Pat O'Malley, Nicholas Pryor
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Sarrazin, Norman Burton, Raúl Juliá, Gary Busey, Susan Flannery, Steven Keats, Tim McIntire, Joanne Nail, J. Pat O'Malley, Nicholas Pryor,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Gauntlet / one sheet / commercial / USA

20.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gauntlet
AKA
L'uomo nel mirino [The man in the (gun) scope] (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Commercial
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Frank Frazetta
Size (inches)
27 12/16" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Fantastic artwork by the late, great Frank Frazetta on this poster for the 1977 action film, The Gauntlet, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film marked the second pairing of Eastwood with his then off-screen girlfriend Sondra Locke, here playing a prostitute who is being hunted by the Mob, with Eastwood as the cop assigned to protect her.

Frazetta was the perfect choice to depict Eastwood as a muscled-up action star with his long career creating fantasy and science-fiction artwork featuring hulking warriors and improbably curvy ladies. Frazetta was much admired for his unique style and was a strong influence on many other illustrators over the years. He worked on illustrations for comics, as well as album and book covers and a handful of film posters.

Some galleries of his work can be seen here. A selection of comic covers and other film posters can be seen on this site. Frazetta sadly passed away in 2010 but there is no question that his legacy lives on through his wonderful artwork.

This particular poster was released at the same time as the regular one sheet (with credits etc) and shows the full artwork at (close to) 27″ x 41″. It’s technically counted as a commerical poster and my belief is that it was for sale in cinemas or at certain stores in the US.

The other Frazetta posters I’ve managed to collect can be seen here.

 

The Gauntlet / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gauntlet
AKA
L'uomo nel mirino [The man in the (gun) scope] (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Gauntlet / B2 / artwork / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gauntlet
AKA
L'uomo nel mirino [The man in the (gun) scope] (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Frank Frazetta
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Starflight One / quad / UK

27.06.13

Poster Poster
Title
Starflight One
AKA
Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (USA - original title) | Airport 85 (Philippines)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Jerry Jameson
Starring
Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Gail Strickland, George DiCenzo, Tess Harper, Terry Kiser, Heather McAdam, Michael Sacks, Gary Bayer, Pat Corley, Robert Webber
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Gail Strickland, George DiCenzo, Tess Harper, Terry Kiser, Heather McAdam, Michael Sacks, Gary Bayer, Pat Corley, Robert Webber,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Eddie Paul
Artist
Josh Kirby
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The first hypersonic passenger plane marooned in outer space helpless... ready for certain death

Superb artwork by the British artist Josh Kirby (not to be confused with the American comic book artist Jack Kirby) on this UK quad for the release of Starflight One, which was originally shown as a TV movie in the US with the considerably clunkier title of Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land. Unquestionably the final hurrah for the ‘airplane in peril’ subgenre of the disaster movie that started with Airport in 1970 – Starflight’s director Jerry Jameson was actually at the helm of Airport ’77 – the film was unofficially dubbed Airport ’83. The world’s first ‘hypersonic’ passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to Sydney in a mere four hours, sets off on its maiden voyage before an unexpected encounter with a rocket sends it up into space and on a decaying orbit around earth. The plane will burn up on atmospheric re-entry and the crew and a team from NASA must work out a way to rescue the passengers before time runs out. The film is, by all accounts, significantly less interesting than that premise makes it sound.

Josh Kirby was born Ronald William Kirby in the town of Waterloo, Lancashire in 1928 and went on to study at Liverpool City School of Art from 1943 to 1949. He gained the nickname Josh after a fellow pupil noticed how similar his early work was to the painting of Joshua Reynolds. As detailed in Sim Branaghan’s must-own book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Kirby moved down to London soon after graduating and secured a job at Pulford Publicity, an agency that specialised in the creation of film marketing materials. Kirby worked on a number of quads for Pulford publicity during the 1950s whilst also painting posters for a film company in Paris.

He also began work on book jackets for the likes of Pan Publicity, which included the first paperback edition of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker in 1956, and eventually turned out over 400 of them. In the 1970s Kirby began freelancing for the film publicity agency FEREF, working with the likes of the designer Eddie Paul on a number of posters, including one for the 1972 film Henry VIII and his Six Wives. He worked on this superb illustration for Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979 but it was unused, apparently because several of the character illustrations were considered too risqué for cinema-goers.

Kirby’s preferred genres were unquestionably sci-fi and fantasy and much of his best-loved work was in this area, including the UK quads for The Beastmaster, Krull and probably most famously Return of the Jedi, for which he created a wonderfully colourful montage of characters and vehicles from the film. When the market for poster illustration dried up towards the middle of the 1980s, Kirby began what would prove to be a long relationship working on the brilliantly detailed book covers for author Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels. Josh Kirby passed away unexpectedly in his sleep at his home in Norfolk in October 2001 leaving behind an incredible body of work and a legion of fans.

Brick / quad / blue and white style / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Kick-Ass / one sheet / advance / Kick-Ass style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster