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Red Road / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Red Road / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Vampire Circus / quad / UK

06.02.14

Poster Poster

Iconic Vic Fair artwork graces this UK quad for the release of Hammer Films‘ 1972 horror Vampire Circus. Released at a time when the popularity of British gothic horror tales was on the wane, particularly when compared against the more explicit, contemporary horrors coming out of Hollywood (Rosemary’s Baby and later The Exorcist), the film nevertheless managed to stand out from a glut of other films produced by the studio around the same time. A decent script, typically excellent production design and a raft of quality British thespians all help to make Vampire Circus one of the more memorable films to be produced by the House of Horror before its first demise picked up pace a couple of years later

Set in a small village in the studio’s customary ‘mittel-Europe’ sometime in the 19th century, a lengthy pre-credits sequence shows a young girl being led into the castle of vampire Count Mitterhaus by Anna (Domini Blythe), the wife of local schoolmaster Albert Müller (Laurence Payne). Soon after the girl is murdered by the vampire, a group of villagers led by Müller storm the castle, stake the Count and burn the castle to the ground. Anna manages to drag the dying vampire to the crypt beneath the castle and before he perishes he curses the villagers and promises that their children will die to give him back his life. Fast-forward fifteen years, the village is beset by a plague and blockaded by the authorities with the miserable villagers fearing that this is the Count’s doing.

One day the eponymous travelling troupe arrives, having apparently snuck past the blockades, led by a mysterious gypsy woman (Adrienne Corri) and containing a ragtag bunch of performers, including a mischievous clown dwarf, a set of flying twins, an erotic tiger dancer (as depicted on this poster) and Emil, a shape-shifting artiste. At first the villagers are happy to be entertained by the circus as it gives them a reprieve from their misery, but it soon becomes clear that the gang have an ulterior motive for being there. Before long the Count’s dying promise is being kept by Emil, who it turns out is a ‘kinsman’ of Mitterhaus, and the leaders of the village must battle to try to stop the murder of their children and the resurrection of the cursed Count. It’s a well-paced film and certainly a stand-out feature in Hammer’s output of the early 1970s, only let down by some dodgy special effects, which can be explained by a curtailed production period and the dwindling budgets of the time.

During my interview with Vic Fair that was published at the end of 2013 I asked the artist about his work on the poster and this is an excerpt from that article (which also features an image of the original sketch created for the poster):

‘I enjoyed working on the quad I designed for Vampire Circus. I’d wanted to design something that might have been used to advertise an actual circus. The animals on there were pretty much copied directly from a children’s book, as I really didn’t have that much time to work on it. I thought they looked quite amusing, since they’re not exactly anatomically correct portraits of tigers and lions! I also had fun sneaking in the hidden male members, which was really just meant as a bit of a tease towards certain people behind the scenes. I can’t believe I got away with it really.’

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were designed by Vic click here.

Note that this copy came from Vic’s personal archive and it is signed in the bottom right-hand corner.

Vampire Circus / 30×40 / USA

29.07.13

Poster Poster

The taglines on this US 30×40 left cinema-goers in no doubt as to the kind of film they were in for with Hammer Films‘ 1972 horror Vampire Circus. Released at a time when the popularity of British gothic horror tales was on the wane, particularly when compared against the more explicit, contemporary horrors coming out of Hollywood (Rosemary’s Baby and later The Exorcist), the film nevertheless managed to stand out from a glut of other films produced by the studio around the same time. A decent script, typically excellent production design and a raft of quality British thespians all help to make Vampire Circus one of the more memorable films to be produced by the House of Horror before its first demise picked up pace a couple of years later

Set in a small village in the studio’s customary ‘mittel-Europe’ sometime in the 19th century, a lengthy pre-credits sequence shows a young girl being led into the castle of vampire Count Mitterhaus by Anna (Domini Blythe), the wife of local schoolmaster Albert Müller (Laurence Payne). Soon after the girl is murdered by the vampire, a group of villagers led by Müller storm the castle, stake the Count and burn the castle to the ground. Anna manages to drag the dying vampire to the crypt beneath the castle and before he perishes he curses the villagers and promises that their children will die to give him back his life. Fast-forward fifteen years, the village is beset by a plague and blockaded by the authorities with the miserable villagers fearing that this is the Count’s doing.

One day the eponymous travelling troupe arrives, having apparently snuck past the blockades, led by a mysterious gypsy woman (Adrienne Corri) and containing a ragtag bunch of performers, including a mischievous clown dwarf, a set of flying twins, an erotic tiger dancer (as depicted on this poster) and Emil, a shape-shifting artiste. At first the villagers are happy to be entertained by the circus as it gives them a reprieve from their misery, but it soon becomes clear that the gang have an ulterior motive for being there. Before long the Count’s dying promise is being kept by Emil, who it turns out is a ‘kinsman’ of Mitterhaus, and the leaders of the village must battle to try to stop the murder of their children and the resurrection of the cursed Count. It’s a well-paced film and certainly a stand-out feature in Hammer’s output of the early 1970s, only let down by some dodgy special effects, which can be explained by a curtailed production period and the dwindling budgets of the time.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this American poster, which depicts Emil in all his fang-baring glory, so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Red Road / A1 / Czechoslovakia

17.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Red Road
AKA
--
Year of Film
2006
Director
Andrea Arnold
Starring
Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press, Paul Higgins, Andrew Armour
Origin of Film
UK | Denmark
Genre(s) of Film
Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press, Paul Higgins, Andrew Armour,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
Tomáš Brousil
Artist
Tomáš Brousil
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Czech poster for the release of director Andrea Arnold’s 2006 drama Red Road. The film is set in and around Glasgow’s Red Road flats, a series of high-rise blocks designed in a brutalist style that were condemned in 2008 and demolished over five years, starting in 2015. Kate Dickie plays Jackie Morrison, a CCTV operator tasked with monitoring the flats. She is revealed to be living a simple, joyless life based around her work.

One evening a camera picks up the face of a man she wasn’t expecting to see and over the course of the film we watch as Jackie engineers getting closer to Clyde (Tony Curran) who is revealed to be a prisoner that was released early on good behaviour. Jackie hatches a plan to frame Clyde for rape and have him sent back to prison and only at the end of the film do we learn the horrifying reason for her wanting to punish him in such a way.

The film was shot in the Danish Dogme 95 style, which among other rules means utilising only natural lighting (no fake setups) and the use of handheld cameras. The film was rightly lauded and won the prestigious Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival in 2006. Dickie and Curran’s performances were also praised and the pair would go on to win multiple awards in the wake of the film’s release.

A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that the poster was designed by Tomáš Brousil, a renowned graphic artist and designer of fonts who has his own type foundry called Suitcase. According to the Czech Wikipedia page he was born in 1975 in Nitra, Slovakia and started studying at the renowned Academy of Arts in Prague in 2002. Since 2008 he has worked as a teaching assistant for the type designer and professor Jan Solpera.