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Time Bandits / B2 / artwork style / Japan

17.05.13

Poster Poster

This Japanese B2 for Terry Gilliam‘s time-travelling fantasy Time Bandits features unique artwork exclusive to the poster. The 1981 film is one of the director’s best, in my opinion, and features typically brilliant imagery combined with a great cast, including a few surprising cameos.

The film follows 11-year-old Kevin (Craig Warnock) and his adventures with a troupe of time-travelling dwarves who are on the run from their master, the Supreme Being. As the gang use a special map to hop through holes in the universe and into different time periods they soon realise that their journey is being controlled by a sinister force. It’s not long before they are forced to confront Evil and save themselves from certain death. The ending of the film, which I won’t spoil, is brilliantly bonkers.

According to IMDb, in 1996 Terry Gilliam and [screenwriter and actor] Charles McKeown collaborated on a script for Time Bandits 2, bringing back most of the original cast, with the exceptions of David Rappaport and Tiny Ross who had passed away a few years before, and owing to Jack Purvis being paralysed from a car accident, his character was written to be in a similar state. But following the death of Purvis, the project was shelved indefinitely.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this poster and there are no signatures or any other identifying marks. If you have any ideas please get in touch.

The excellent, unusual trailer is on YouTube.

 

Dragonslayer / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dragonslayer
AKA
Il drago del lago di fuoco [The dragon from the lake of fire] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Matthew Robbins
Starring
Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Sydney Bromley, Chloe Salaman, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Sydney Bromley, Chloe Salaman, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
Jeffrey Jones
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810075
Tagline
In the Dark Ages, Magic was a weapon. Love was a mystery. Adventure was everywhere... And Dragons were real.

Dragonslayer / quad / UK

04.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dragonslayer
AKA
Il drago del lago di fuoco [The dragon from the lake of fire] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Matthew Robbins
Starring
Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Sydney Bromley, Chloe Salaman, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Sydney Bromley, Chloe Salaman, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Its talons tear. Its breath burns. It is terror. And only sorcery can destroy it.

Great artwork by Brian Bysouth, from a design by Vic Fair, for this wizard versus dragon fantasy tale, which was co-produced by Disney and Paramount and directed by Matthew Robbins (Batteries Not Included). Apparently the effects for Vermithrax the dragon were given 25% of the film’s budget and were realised by several different teams, including Phil Tippet at ILM (final design and model), Brian Johnson (special effects) and Ken Ralston (flying scenes).

‘Go-motion’, a variant of stop-motion animation using computer-controlled cameras and developed by ILM for The Empire Strikes Back, was used for the scenes showing the dragon flying and walking with the intention of making these scenes feel more realistic.

Whilst Guillermo Del Toro was preparing to film his ultimately doomed version of The Hobbit, he stated:

One of the best and one of the strongest landmarks that almost nobody can overcome is ‘Dragonslayer.’ The design of the Vermithrax Pejorative is perhaps one of the most perfect creature designs ever made.

In 2012 I met and interviewed Brian Bysouth and the resulting article can be read here.

The US one sheet is markedly different but is also something of a classic, with artwork by Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

The Crying Game / quad / UK

14.03.16

Poster Poster

This UK quad poster for the release of Neil Jordan‘s 1992 drama The Crying Game is notable for marking the end of an era of British film posters featuring painted artwork. As Sim Branaghan writes in his must-own book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, ‘By the time this [quad] appeared in 1992, illustration on British posters was effectively dead.’ After this time it was a rare exception that a film wasn’t advertised using a photographic montage, often with the same image being used around the globe to promote a film.

The production company behind the film, Palace Pictures, had worked with Jordan on other features, including Mona Lisa and The Company of Wolves and had regularly worked with artists and illustrators when it came to the posters for the films they released. Celebrated artist Graham Humphreys received his big break into working as an illustrator for film posters when he was asked to paint the artwork to be used on the quad for The Evil Dead, which Palace were distributing in the UK. For more details see the Film on Paper interview with Humphreys which can be read here.

The Crying Game was written by Jordan (he would later win an Academy Award for the screenplay) and stars Stephen Rea as a member of an IRA crew who kidnap a British soldier called Jody (Forest Whitaker) by luring him into a wood with the promise of sex from one of their squad, Jude (Miranda Richardson). The group demand the release of imprisoned IRA members and threaten to execute Jody if their requests are not met.

Fergus and the soldier strike up an uneasy friendship, despite their differences. When the hostage situation goes horribly wrong Fergus is forced into hiding and moves to London, assuming a new identity as ‘Jimmy’. There he looks up Jody’s girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) whom Jody had spoken a lot about and eventually the pair form a tentative relationship. But there’s more to Dil than Fergus realises and the danger that his past life will be uncovered by her grows ever larger.

The film was met with critical praise and glowing reviews around the globe but failed to perform at the UK and Ireland box-office, something that is now felt to be due to its heavy political undertones and the public’s attitude towards the IRA. It was released in the US by Miramax and became a sleeper hit over the following weeks. As hinted at by one of the press quotes on the poster, it’s one of those films that has a plot twist so significant that it becomes the main reason people are aware of and discuss the film (see also ‘The Sixth Sense’).

 

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

Time Bandits / quad / UK

10.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
Time Bandits
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Ralph Richardson, Peter Vaughan, David Warner, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Ralph Richardson, Peter Vaughan, David Warner, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Terry Gilliam
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
All the dreams you've ever had and not just the good ones.

This British quad for Terry Gilliam‘s time-travelling fantasy features artwork by the director himself. His signature can be seen to the bottom right of the castle and a more scribbly ‘Gilliam’ is subtly hidden in the background hills (see photo 3). Time Bandits is one of the director’s best, in my opinion, and features typically brilliant imagery combined with a great cast, including a few surprising cameos.

The film follows 11-year-old Kevin (Craig Warnock) and his adventures with a troupe of time-travelling dwarves who are on the run from their master, the Supreme Being. As the gang use a special map to hop through holes in the universe and into different time periods they soon realise that their journey is being controlled by a sinister force. It’s not long before they are forced to confront Evil and save themselves from certain death. The ending of the film, which I won’t spoil, is brilliantly bonkers.

According to IMDb, in 1996 Terry Gilliam and [screenwriter and actor] Charles McKeown collaborated on a script for Time Bandits 2, bringing back most of the original cast, with the exceptions of David Rappaport and Tiny Ross who had passed away a few years before, and owing to Jack Purvis being paralysed from a car accident, his character was written to be in a similar state. But following the death of Purvis, the project was shelved indefinitely.

The excellent, unusual trailer is on YouTube.