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The Killer Elite / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer Elite
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Killer Elite / B2 / artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer Elite
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 >12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Hindenburg / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

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.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade / one sheet / advance / brown style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Once Upon a Time In America / B2 / Japan

19.09.11

Poster Poster

Considered by many to be Sergio Leone’s masterpiece – certainly not an easy choice to make when there are films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West to choose from – Once Upon a Time in America was to be the Italian director’s last film. Infamously, it had almost 90 minutes removed for its American cinematic release (in 1984), apparently after receiving terrible notice from American critics at the Cannes Film Festival – the re-cut version was also given a slating upon release. Eventually the full 229 minute version was  made available on home video in America. Earlier this year it was announced that the film is currently being restored to an even longer ‘director’s cut’ with over 40 minutes of new material, due for release in 2012.

This Japanese poster features the famous shot of Manhattan bridge from Brooklyn street level, along with the four leads with bandanna face masks and a few other scenes from the film.

Here’s the original trailer on YouTube.

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson
Origin of Film
USA | Mexico
Genre(s) of Film
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Once Upon a Time In America / one sheet / USA

02.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Once Upon a Time In America
AKA
C'era una volta in America (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Sergio Leone
Starring
Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams, Danny Aiello, Richard Bright, James Hayden, William Forsythe, Darlanne Fluegel
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams, Danny Aiello, Richard Bright, James Hayden, William Forsythe, Darlanne Fluegel,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840048
Tagline
As boys, they made a pact to share their fortunes, their loves, their lives. As men, they shared a dream to rise from poverty to power. Forging an empire built on greed, violence and betrayal, their dream would end as a mystery that refused to die.

Considered by many to be Sergio Leone’s masterpiece – certainly not an easy choice to make when there are films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West to choose from – ‘…America’ was to be the Italian director’s last film. Infamously, it had almost 90 minutes removed for its US cinematic release (in 1984), apparently after receiving terrible notice from American critics at the Cannes Film Festival – the re-cut version was also given a slating when it appeared.

Eventually the full 229 minute version was made available on home video in America. In 2012 it was announced that the film was to be restored to an even longer cut with over 40 minutes of newly discovered material that was thought lost. An extended cut of the film was released on blu-ray in 2014.

This one sheet was designed by the American designer and artist Tom Jung, who is probably best known for the Star Wars style A one sheet. A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that Jung used this still photograph by the on-set photographer Angelo Novi as the main image on the poster.

In 2012 I visited the same street in Brooklyn that leads down to the Manhattan Bridge and is featured in the film and on this poster. I took this picture, which gives you an idea of how the street looks today.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

 

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia / B1 / re-release / Japan

27.04.15

Poster Poster
Title
Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson
Origin of Film
USA | Mexico
Genre(s) of Film
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1994
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 2/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the 1994 re-release of the late American director Sam Peckinpah‘s (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs) Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Following the horrendous experience he’d had making Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which had suffered multiple production setbacks and ultimately saw the director and studio (MGM) part ways, Peckinpah decided to make his next film on a low budget and hopefully free from interference. He was to have his wish come true and claimed before his death that it’s the only one of his films that was released in its intended form. The screenplay was written by Peckinpah and Gordon Dawson and the main character played by Warren Oates is now seen as a thinly-veiled self-portrait of the director himself (apparently the actor even borrowed a pair of the director’s sunglasses).

Set in Mexico, the story sees a bounty put out on a the titular character after he impregnates the young daughter of a powerful man known as El Jefe (Emilio Fernández). The $1 million prize sparks the interest of a number of bounty hunters who set off to track Garcia down. Eventually two of them enter the dive bar where Bennie (Oates), a retired American Army officer, is eking out a living. Bennie believes he might be able to track down Garcia so when his girlfriend, the prostitute Elita (Isela Vega), reveals that the man died in a car crash after leaving her bordello, he makes a deal with the bounty hunters to track down the body and bring it to them. He and Elita set off to find Garcia’s grave but they’re not the only ones in pursuit and it’s not long before Peckinpah’s trademark violence is visited upon Bennie and everyone else involved.

In most scenes you can practically smell the alcohol and sweat emanating from Warren Oates and it’s almost certain that he was well lubricated throughout filming. Sadly for Peckinpah, the film was roundly trashed by critics (with a few notable exceptions like Roger Ebert) and was also a box-office failure at the time. It has, however, cultivated a cult following in the years since and has received more favourable contemporary reviews. Many fans of the director see it as the last true Peckinpah film released.

This poster was printed for the re-release in Japan that was marking 10 years since Peckinpah’s death from heart failure in 1984. I’ve only ever seen it in B1 format but it’s possible that a B2 poster exists for this release.

Short Eyes / one sheet / USA

06.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
Short Eyes
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Robert M. Young
Starring
Bruce Davison, José Pérez, Nathan George, Don Blakely, Tony DiBenedetto, Shawn Elliott, Tito Goya, Joseph Carberry, Bob Maroff, Keith Davis, Luis Guzmán
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Davison, José Pérez, Nathan George, Don Blakely, Tony DiBenedetto, Shawn Elliott, Tito Goya, Joseph Carberry, Bob Maroff, Keith Davis, Luis Guzmán,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
LSC&P Design Group Inc
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28" x 42"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"Jesus help me, cause man won't."

A striking design features on this US one sheet for the little-seen 1977 film Short Eyes, which is based on the Miguel Piñero play of the same name and was directed by Robert M. Young. The lead is played by Bruce Davison, one of the all-time classic ‘that guy’ character actors. The film sounds like a pretty tough watch if its Wikipedia description is anything to go by:

‘Short Eyes is set in an unnamed House of Detention in New York City, the prisoners of which are predominantly black or Puerto Rican. One day, a new prisoner is brought in: Clark Davis, a young, middle-class white man accused of raping a young girl. His fellow prisoners immediately turn on him —pedophiles are considered the lowest form of prison life — except for Juan, one of the institution’s older prisoners, who treats him with dignity. While Davis insists he doesn’t remember raping the girl, he admits that he has molested several other children.’

Despite the subject matter it was reviewed well on release and was praised for its realistic depiction of prison life. The film was recently released on blu-ray should you wish to check it out.

The poster design is credited to LSC&P Design Group Inc about whom I’ve been unable to discover much. There’s this page of some of their work on the AIGA website. It also appears to have been a company that was originally founded by the famous designer Herb Lubalin.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade / one sheet / advance / white style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
AKA
--
Year of Film
1989
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, Alexei Sayle
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, Alexei Sayle,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - white style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The man with the hat is back. And this time, he's bringing his dad.

My Best Friend Is A Vampire / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
My Best Friend Is A Vampire
AKA
La Brillante Carriera Di Un Giovane Vampiro [The brilliant career of a young vampire] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Jimmy Huston
Starring
Robert Sean Leonard, Evan Mirand, Cheryl Pollak, Cecilia Peck, David Warner, Rene Auberjonois
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Sean Leonard, Evan Mirand, Cheryl Pollak, Cecilia Peck, David Warner, Rene Auberjonois,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Vampires and teenagers are a lot alike. They're just misunderstood.

Once Upon a Time In America / A1 / Germany

03.03.14

Poster Poster

Considered by many to be Sergio Leone’s masterpiece – certainly not an easy choice to make when there are films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West to choose from – ‘…America’ was to be the Italian director’s last film. Infamously, it had almost 90 minutes removed for its US cinematic release (in 1984), apparently after receiving terrible notice from American critics at the Cannes Film Festival – the re-cut version was also given a slating when it appeared.

Eventually the full 229 minute version was made available on home video in America. In 2012 it was announced that the film was to be restored to an even longer cut with over 40 minutes of newly discovered material that was thought lost. An extended cut of the film was released on blu-ray in 2014.

I recently visited the same street in Brooklyn that leads down to the Manhattan Bridge and is featured in the film and on this poster. I took this picture, which gives you an idea of how the street looks today.

This is the German poster (style A) that was designed and painted by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike.

His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy. Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. The other posters I have collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.