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Pan’s Labyrinth / one sheet / special / UK

06.07.11

Poster Poster

Guillermo Del Toro’s sublime, fantastic fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth almost had an official cinema poster by the great Drew Struzan, that is until the studio suits had their way. The poster you see here is from a special screening in London and the design was never actually used as a cinema poster in any country. The final American Pan’s Labyrinth one sheet can be seen here.

The full story of how Struzan and Del Toro worked together on the poster can be found in the fantastic book ‘The Art of Drew Struzan’, which is an absolute must-buy for anyone who who has even a passing interest in Drew’s work (it’s currently only £16.49 on Amazon UK and $23.07 on Amazon.com). The stories associated with each of the artworks are a fascinating insight into what it’s like to work with directors and studios during the creation of a film poster.

These excerpts are taken from the Pan’s Labyrinth section of the book.

Drew on the completion of the artwork:

Then the shit hit the fan – the studio never used the painting. It did wind up on a special vinyl issue of the soundtrack album though.

Once the image had been released online there were many who couldn’t believe that Drew’s artwork wasn’t used for the final poster.

They were having a press conference in Europe, and a reporter actually stood up and asked one of the suits, “How come you didn’t use Struzan’s artwork for the poster?” … The suit’s reply was: “We didn’t use it because it looks too much like art.”

That statement from the studio representative says it all really. It seems like they genuinely believe that cinema-goers won’t respond to illustrated posters any more and that the photoshopped monstrosities so prevalent today are the only way to sell films successfully.

This particular example of the poster was obtained from a very established and trusted poster dealer that had bought them from a contact in London, who managed to secure a few after the event had finished. I’m assuming it was for the UK premiere or a large press screening, but I’d love to know for sure so please get in touch if you have any more details. I’m certain it’s not a bootleg poster as it measures the standard size for one sheets, is printed on decent paper and the details are sharp when viewed up close.

Dark Star / special / 1979 re-release / USA

04.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
Dark Star
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
David Weisman
Artist
Lucky Duck
Size (inches)
22 11/16" x 35 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The ultimate cosmic comedy!

This is a special poster that was printed for the 1979 re-release of ace director John Carpenter‘s first film, Dark Star. The sci-fi comedy was made over a period of several years whilst Carpenter was a student at the famous USC School of Cinematic Arts in California, which counts hundreds of well known directors, producers and screenwriters amongst its alumni. Made in collaboration with his friend and fellow student Dan O’Bannon, the shoestring budget (reportedly just $60,000) meant that the pair were multitasking throughout the shoot, with Carpenter co-writing the screenplay, directing, producing and writing the score, whilst O’Bannon shared the screenwriting duties as well as acting and working on the special effects.

The film follows the exploits of the spaceship Dark Star, an exploratory vessel traveling through space looking for unstable planets to blow up with giant bombs, clearing the way for space colonisation. The small crew has to deal with malfunctioning equipment (including the fact that their last supply of toilet paper was destroyed), a mischievous mascot alien, and a sentient bomb that must be persuaded not to destroy the ship by giving it a rudimentary lesson in phenomenology. As depicted on this poster the crew are also keeping the dead body of their captain in freezer storage and are able to speak directly with his conscious. The film is often credited as the first sci-fi to explore the mundanity of working in space.

After playing successfully in a series of short film festivals, the film was seen by the producer Jack H. Harris who was known for launching the careers of fledgling filmmakers, including John Landis whose first feature Schlock was shepherded onto the screen by the producer. Carpenter and O’Bannon were given budget to expand the short into a feature, and several new sequences were added before its eventual release in 1974. The film opened on a significant number of screens considering its origins but left audiences confused, particularly since it came out of nowhere with a brief marketing campaign that made the film seem like a dark and serious sci-fi. Despite being a box-office flop, the film would later gain a great cult following once it was released onto VHS in the 1980s.

Dan O’Bannon went on to work on the special effects for George Lucas’ Star Wars, as well as further exploring the idea of ‘workers in space’ in his script for Ridley Scott’s Alien. Carpenter would next direct the taught thriller Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), which saw international success and firmly established him as a director, paving the way for his milestone horror film, Halloween (1978).

This re-release poster, which is in stark contrast to the original release US one sheet, is smaller than one sheet size and it’s probably better described as a commercial poster. These are licensed posters that would printed to be sold at cinemas, specialist stores or as a tie-in promotion. In the bottom left there is text mentioning One Stop Posters (Monterey Park) and they were a notable supplier of commercial posters back in the 1970s and 80s. The design is credited to someone called David Weisman and the illustration to Lucky Duck and I’ve struggled to find out any information about either of them. If you have any more details please get in touch.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition / special / Holland

09.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition
AKA
--
Year of Film
--
Director
Stanley Kubrick
Starring
--
Origin of Film
--
Genre(s) of Film
--,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Holland
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

In 2012 I visited Amsterdam to see friends and whilst there had the chance to go to the excellent Eye film museum, which is five minutes from the city’s Central station. The museum was hosting a special exhibition based on the life and work of the late, great Stanley Kubrick. Spread over several large rooms, it covered every film in the director’s filmography and had documentary footage, still photographs, set models, original props and more.

There were some incredible items on display, many taken from the extensive personal archive the director had kept over the years. Some of my favourite items included the alternative poster designs for some of his films, including brilliant ones by Philip Castle, the British artist who collaborated with Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange. The exhibition is a co-production with the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt and continues to tour around the world. It is currently, as of May 2017, in Mexico City.

This exhibition poster, featuring Alex (Malcolm McDowell) from A Clockwork Orange, was available to purchase in the museum’s gift shop. There were two sizes available; this and a larger bus stop poster one. I bought both for the collection.

Fitzcarraldo + Aguirre, Wrath of God / double-bill / special / Japan

11.11.11

Poster Poster

A Japanese double-bill poster for re-release of ace director Werner Herzog‘s two masterpieces. Made ten years apart, both films star Klaus Kinski, a frequent collaborator, and the stories behind the making of the films are legendary.

Fitzcarraldo tells the true story of  one man’s obsession to build an opera house in the Peruvian jungle, a task that sees him having to drag a full-sized steamer boat over a mountain from one river to another. Rather than rely on special effects or clever editing, Herzog and the crew actually did drag a steamer boat over a mountain! The story of the shoot was told in the excellent documentary Burden of Dreams.

Aguirre, Wrath of God was a similarly chaotic and pressured shoot and the story goes that when Kinski decided to leave the set and return home, Herzog pulled a gun on him and threatened to shoot him and then turn the gun on himself.

Herzog once said of Kinski: “People think we had a love-hate relationship. Well, I did not love him, nor did I hate him. We had mutual respect for each other, even as we both planned each other’s murder”.

I believe this double-bill poster was for a Japanese release in either 2000 or 2001 and the artwork is by an artist called Suzuki Cohjizukin about whom I know very little. Some of his other works can be found with a google search but if anyone knows anything more about him please get in touch.

Here are the original trailers for Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre.

The Black Hole / special / Japan

13.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Black Hole
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Gary Nelson
Starring
Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Roddy McDowall, Slim Pickens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Roddy McDowall, Slim Pickens,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
13.5" x 26.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A detailed and colourful illustration on this poster for the Japanese release of Disney’s live-action oddity, The Black Hole. It’s a fairly uncommon size but one that suits the illustration perfectly. Make sure you click the detail thumbnails to see it in its full glory.

The film focuses on the crew of a ship (the USS Palomino) returning from a deep-space exploration mission that discovers a black hole with an apparently derelict ship drifting nearby. After docking with the ship (The long-lost USS Cygnus – as featured on this poster) the crew meets the commander Doctor Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell) and his team of robots, but there is no sign of the human crew. The Palomino’s crew, including Dr Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins) and Dr. Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux), must race against time to discover the mystery behind their disappearance and exactly what Dr Reinhardt’s intentions are.

Despite an extremely hokey script and some decidedly dodgy attempts to emulate the success of Star Wars, the film has several things that make it worth a watch, including some impressive special effects (certainly notable in 1979), well-realised space scenes, a great score by the late John Barry and an excellent robot design in the form of the sinister Maximilian.

Director Edgar Wright is a fan of the film and talks about it on Trailers From Hell – video here.

The other posters I’ve collected for the film can be seen here. Check out the excellent Japanese B1 and B2 posters.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

The Abyss: Special Edition / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Abyss: Special Edition
AKA
--
Year of Film
1989
Director
James Cameron
Starring
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, J.C. Quinn, Kimberly Scott, Leo Burmester
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, J.C. Quinn, Kimberly Scott, Leo Burmester,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Special Edition re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A Decent Factory / special size / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Decent Factory
AKA
Säädyllinen tehdas (Finland)
Year of Film
2005
Director
Thomas Balmes
Starring
Louise Jamison, Hanna Kaskinen
Origin of Film
UK | Finland | France | Denmark | Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Louise Jamison, Hanna Kaskinen,
Type of Poster
special
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 3/8" x 33 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Blade Runner / special / Schlitz College Preview / USA

17.05.11

Poster
Title
Blade Runner
AKA
Blade Runner - Metropolis 2020 (Finland)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Schlitz College Preview
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
17" x 21 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Drumstruck / special poster / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This film is available to watch in its entirety on Vimeo.

Gangster No. 1 / special / artwork advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Gangster No. 1
AKA
--
Year of Film
2000
Director
Paul McGuigan
Starring
Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Kenneth Cranham, Jamie Foreman, Eddie Marsan, Andrew Lincoln, Doug Allen
Origin of Film
UK | Germany | Ireland
Genre(s) of Film
Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Kenneth Cranham, Jamie Foreman, Eddie Marsan, Andrew Lincoln, Doug Allen,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Artwork advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Mike Kaplan
Artist
Philip Castle
Size (inches)
26 14/16" x 39 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

McCabe & Mrs Miller / special / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This particular poster is a bit of a mystery as it’s not the regular one sheet size and is missing all the credits that can be seen on the standard poster. I’m 99% certain it’s from the year of release as the paper is right, the printing detail is spot on and I purchased it from a trusted source.

There are a few markings that might help to shed some light on what it is. If you have any ideas or information please get in touch.

Me and You and Everyone We Know / special / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Return Of The Jedi / quad / Special Edition re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Special Edition re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
30 1/8" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Star Wars / quad / Special Edition re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Special Edition re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
30 1/8" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre / special / 2007 re-release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
AKA
Headcheese, Leatherface (working titles), Non aprite quella porta [Don't Open That Door] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Miyazaki film festival 2007
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2007
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

THX 1138 / special video poster / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
THX 1138
AKA
L'uomo che fuggì dal futuro [The man who's escaping from the future] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Video
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jeff Wack
Size (inches)
19 14/16" x 29 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Tron / B2 / special / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tron
AKA
Tron: The Electronic Gladiator (Australia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Steven Lisberger
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor, Peter Jurasik
Origin of Film
USA | Taiwan
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor, Peter Jurasik,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Special
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Violent Cop / special ICA / UK

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Violent Cop
AKA
Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1989
Director
Takeshi Kitano
Starring
'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami, Makoto Ashikawa, Shirô Sano, Sei Hiraizumi, Mikiko Otonashi, Hakuryu, Ittoku Kishibe, Ken Yoshizawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami, Makoto Ashikawa, Shirô Sano, Sei Hiraizumi, Mikiko Otonashi, Hakuryu, Ittoku Kishibe, Ken Yoshizawa,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
ICA
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
19 6/8" x 23 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
'BEAT' TAKESHI. This man is wild!

Drive / special print / Canada

18.01.12

Poster Poster

Nicolas Winding Refn’s superb neo-noir Drive ended up at the top of many ‘best of 2011’ lists, including my own, and there were few films released last year that matched it for sheer cinematic cool. The nameless protagonist was played by Ryan Gosling who suddenly found himself rocketing to the top of the Hollywood hot list, helped in no small part to the silk ‘Scorpion’ jacket and toothpick his near-silent character sports throughout the film.

At the time I, along with many others, felt that the official US one sheet failed to capture the spirit and feel of this supremely stylish film and its release felt like something of a missed opportunity. Thank goodness, then, that the talented graphic designer and illustrator James White (AKA Signalnoise) also felt this way and took it upon himself to design a fitting poster for the film. The results speak for themselves and James’ use of a single image from the opening sequence of ‘cat and mouse’ (as seen in this clip) combined with the striking neon colours is the perfect distillation of the film into one frame.

The poster was designed as a personal project and something of a tribute to the film but, thanks to the effort of James’ agent, Ollie Judge, James was able to gain permission from the film’s rights owners and print the poster as official merchandise to sell on his website.

I was lucky enough to be sent this first edition late last year that was printed as a limited, not-for-sale run before the rights had been secured. You’ll notice the text at the bottom of the poster that confirms this.

See this blog post on my site for and interview with James and details on the making of this awesome poster.

The official poster will be available to purchase online on Thursday, January 19 at 1pm EST. The poster will be activated in the Signalnoise Store at that time. I will have 300 copies of the 22″ x 28″ poster for $50 along with a super limited 30 copies of the 24″ x 36″ poster for $90.

The trailer for Drive can be watched on YouTube.

The Slams / special size / USA

04.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Slams
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Jonathan Kaplan
Starring
Jim Brown, Judy Pace, Roland Bob Harris, Paul Harris, Frank DeKova, Ted Cassidy, Frenchia Guizon, John Dennis, Jac Emel
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jim Brown, Judy Pace, Roland Bob Harris, Paul Harris, Frank DeKova, Ted Cassidy, Frenchia Guizon, John Dennis, Jac Emel,
Type of Poster
Special over-sized
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
29 7/16" x 45"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R 73/294
Tagline
JIM BROWN goes over the wall to flash with a million $ stash

Great art by John Solie features on this over-sized one sheet for the little-seen blaxploitation actioner The Slams, released in 1973. The film was produced by the brother of infamous b-movie legend Roger Corman, Gene Corman, who was behind a few other blaxploitation features like Hit Man and Darktown Strutters. Corman hired Jonathan Kaplan to direct after he’d worked with his sister-in-law on a couple of exploitation features, and genre-regular and ex-NFL player Jim Brown took the lead role.

Brown plays Curtis Hook, a heist-man who is caught soon after completing a successful robbery that netted him $1.5m (once he’d killed his partners) and is sent to jail. Once there he is assailed by several interested parties, including the corrupt head of the prison guards Captain Stambell (Roland Bob Harris), who all want to know where he stashed the loot. Hook discovers that the locations he left the cash are due to be demolished so he hatches a plan to escape from prison and collect the loot before it’s lost forever.

The artwork on this poster is by the American artist John Solie who has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

I’m unsure why this poster is so over-sized as it’s definitely not a cardstock 30×40″ poster but has all the hallmarks of one, including the text down the side with the NSS information. It’s on standard thin paper and measures 45″ in the vertical so it’s a bit of a mystery. Note that the NSS info has an ‘R’ in front of it, which would typically indicate a re-release poster, but since the film was released in 1973, it’s likely that this was actually meant to indicate that the poster was revised in some way (as noted on this emovieposter.com auction page for a 30×40 of the film).

Blazing Magnum / B2 / Japan

13.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Blazing Magnum
AKA
Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta [A Special Magnum for Tony Saitta] (Italy - original title) | Shadows in an Empty Room (USA) | Big Magnum 77 (Japan - English title)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Alberto De Martino
Starring
Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow, Carole Laure, Jean LeClerc, Gayle Hunnicutt
Origin of Film
Italy | Canada | Panama
Genre(s) of Film
Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow, Carole Laure, Jean LeClerc, Gayle Hunnicutt,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Filmed in Canada by an Italian director (Alberto De Martino under the pseudonym Martin Herbert), Blazing Magnum has multiple alternative titles, including Shadows in an Empty Room, and is an entry into the poliziottesco genre of cinema. The story sees tough Ottawan police captain Tony Saitta (Stuart Whitman) travel to Montreal to investigate the untimely death of his sister at a party. Before long more bodies start to appear, the list of suspects grows and Saitta teams up with Sergeant Ned Matthews (genre stalwart John Saxon) to crack the case.

The film is perhaps best known for it’s insane, nine minute car chase around the streets of Montreal, which was filmed without permits and staged by legendary stunt performer Rémy Julienne, whose work includes six James Bond films and the original Italian Job. The chase can be watched in all its glory on YouTube – it definitely rivals other legendary cinematic car pursuits! It also features a giallo-esque scene in which a murder is committed in the same room as a blind girl, Saitta fighting a bunch of drag queens and a dwarf gangster.

Check out this Motion Picture Purgatory entry on DreadCentral.com.

The artwork on this Japanese poster is by one of my favourite artists, the mysterious Seito. It appears on the Italian poster (image taken from emovieposter.com), as well as others, so it’s likely that Seito may have adapted another illustrator’s work for this B2, unless the other countries used his illustration? The American one sheet is markedly different and plays up the murder mystery side of the plot.

The trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Conan the Barbarian / teaser / USA

02.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
Conan The Barbarian
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Milius
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Frank Frazetta
Size (inches)
22 1/16" x 35 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is a special teaser poster that was created in advance of the release of John Milius‘ swords and sorcery classic Conan the Barbarian. It was an important film in the career of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger since it effectively launched his Hollywood career. The producers had seen Arnie in his documentary Pumping Iron and both felt he had the right quality for the role of the eponymous warrior. Based on the pulp novels of the 1930s by Robert E. Howard, the film sees the young barbarian Conan seek revenge for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the leader of a snake cult. 

This poster was commissioned by producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1980, ahead of the film going into production, and the artwork was taken from a cover of a Conan paperback that was painted in 1974 by the late, great Frank Frazetta. As mentioned on this emovieposter.com auction page, it’s likely that Schwarzenegger had not yet been cast so the art was perfect as a tease for the forthcoming film.

Frazetta is 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 Frazetta’s 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.

Note that there is a version of this poster with a dark yellow background and I’ve never been sure why there are two versions that exist.

Dragon Attack / B2 / photo style / Japan

25.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Dragon Attack
AKA
Mi ni te gong dui (Taiwan - original title) | Fantasy Mission Force (Hong Kong) | Mini Special Force (Malaysia - English title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Yen-ping Chu
Starring
Jackie Chan, Brigitte Lin, Yu Wang, Yueh Sun, David Tao, Jung Fang, Shiu Bu Lia, Frankie Gao, Adam Cheng, Ling Chang
Origin of Film
Taiwan | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Jackie Chan, Brigitte Lin, Yu Wang, Yueh Sun, David Tao, Jung Fang, Shiu Bu Lia, Frankie Gao, Adam Cheng, Ling Chang,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Nothing says you’ve made it like an all-white tuxedo and a Rolls-Royce Phantom, or so thought Hong Kong-born screen legend Jackie Chan circa 1982. This is a B2 poster that was printed around the time of the Japanese release of the film Dragon Attack (AKA Fantasy Mission Force) in which the prolific actor appeared as a wrestler in a team of mercenaries on a rescue mission during an alternative-universe World War II (American muscle-cars feature, for example).

A bizarre mix of comedy and ‘Dirty Dozen’ style men (and women) on a mission, the film is apparently something of a nonsensical but entertaining mess. As one reviewer on IMDb states:

‘Reviewing this movie is like reviewing someone else’s hallucination. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it, no way to even know what I just saw, let alone how to describe it. It makes Yellow Submarine seem as coherent as Schindler’s List.’

Another review has definitely peaked my interest:

‘This movie has everything! Hopping undead corpses. Crazed Amazons. Ghosts who cheat at cards. Japanese Nazis who attack riding atop 1970s clunker cars. Stupid musical numbers. Abraham Lincoln as a World War II general. Throw in loads of gratuitous violence, Chinese guys dressed in kilts and Elvis jumpsuits, and, er, Jacky Chan (and his chicken) and you have quite possibly the stupidest movie ever made.’

The trailer for the film is on YouTube (as is the entire film itself).