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Wizards / one sheet / style A / USA

02.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Wizards
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Ralph Bakshi
Starring
Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, James Connell, Steve Gravers, Mark Hamill, Susan Tyrrell
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, James Connell, Steve Gravers, Mark Hamill, Susan Tyrrell,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
William Stout
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
77/10
Tagline
An epic fantasy of peace and magic

Great artwork by the legendary fantasy artist William Stout for Ralph Bakshi‘s post-apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi animation Wizards. The film was Bakshi’s first fantasy story and was something of a departure from the urban settings seen is his earlier works, including Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic. His intention was to create a family film that had the same kind of impact of his previous adult features. It’s essentially a good versus evil story set two million years after a nuclear war where fairies, elves and dwarves have returned to reclaim parts of the earth, whilst the rest of the human survivors are mutants roaming the wasteland.

The film sees two wizards called Avatar and Blackwolf, one kind and gentle and the other a grumpy mutant, born to a fairy (stay with me) who end up battling each other to prevent Blackwolf from using his band of mutants to destroy all goodness left on the earth. The film is described on the DVD audio commentary as being ‘an allegorical comment on the moral neutrality of technology and the potentially destructive powers of propaganda’. Blackwolf uses old projections of (genuine) Nazi propaganda marches to inspire his evil troops and frighten his enemies.

The film is notable for its rough animation style and its use of rotoscoping, a technique of painting over live-action footage, to create several of the major sequences, which was employed after Fox (the studio financing the film) refused an increase to the budget. Bakshi would later use the same technique for his 1978 version of the The Lord of the Rings.

This was William Stout’s first film poster and he went on to illustrate over 120 more, a few of which can be seen on his official website. Stout is known for being an incredibly versatile artist and he has worked in multiple fields throughout his long career, including motion picture design, comic art, book illustration, CD covers and paleontological illustration. He worked as conceptual artist and production designer on an impressive range of films, including both of the original Conan adventures, First Blood and The Return of the Living Dead; Stout designed the brilliant Tar-Man. Check out his impressive bio for more details and there are plenty of galleries on the same site.

The creature depicted is Necron 99, a robot assassin who is eventually controlled by Avatar and renamed as Peace.

The official trailer is on YouTube.

Fire and Ice / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Fire and Ice
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Ralph Bakshi
Starring
Susan Tyrrell, Maggie Roswell, William Ostrander, Stephen Mendel, Steve Sandor, Clare Nono, Alan Koss, Hans Howes, Randy Norton
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Susan Tyrrell, Maggie Roswell, William Ostrander, Stephen Mendel, Steve Sandor, Clare Nono, Alan Koss, Hans Howes, Randy Norton,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Frank Frazetta
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Islands In The Stream / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Islands In The Stream
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring
George C. Scott, David Hemmings, Gilbert Roland, Susan Tyrrell, Richard Evans, Claire Bloom, Julius Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George C. Scott, David Hemmings, Gilbert Roland, Susan Tyrrell, Richard Evans, Claire Bloom, Julius Harris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
77/62
Tagline
--

Flesh and Blood / quad / UK

29.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Flesh and Blood
AKA
Flesh+Blood (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck, Susan Tyrrell, Ronald Lacey, Brion James
Origin of Film
Spain | USA | Netherlands
Genre(s) of Film
Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck, Susan Tyrrell, Ronald Lacey, Brion James,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown artist - based on artwork by Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30 3/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A timeless adventure, a passion for wealth and power. Only the strongest will survive.

This is the British quad for the release of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven‘s first English language film, Flesh and Blood (sometimes referred to as Flesh+Blood). Verhoeven had been making films with subsidies from the Dutch government but things had been proving difficult due to the controversial subject matter of his stories so he decided to seek financial backing from a Hollywood studio. The now defunct Orion Pictures stumped up most of the budget for Flesh and Blood and had asked the director for a war film after seeing the celebrated Soldier of Orange. Verhoeven had nothing prepared in that genre so he worked hastily with a regular collaborator, the screenwriter Gerard Soeteman, to adapt some unused material from their TV series Floris, which was set during the Middle-Ages. Verhoeven would later rue the decision to allow Orion to insist on script changes that added a romantic interest to the story.

Set in Italy in 1501, the film features the Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who had worked with Verhoeven several times before (including on Floris), as Martin, the leader of a band of mercenaries who are asked to help Lord Arnolfini (Fernando Hilbeck) retake his city that was captured whilst he was away. After successfully storming and recapturing it the mercenaries are initially told they can ransack the houses of the richest inhabitants of the city, but Arnolfini then changes his mind and orders his army to march the mercenaries from the city without the bounty that was agreed. The group vow to take their revenge and when Arnolfini’s son Steven (Tom Burlinson) leaves the castle to meet Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a noblewoman who has been betrothed to him, the mercenaries strike. After attacking the caravan and badly wounding Arnolfini, they kidnap Agnes and ride away with her. Eventually they end up at a castle where they hole-up and attempt to see off any attempts to rescue Agnes, who is seemingly falling in love with Martin.

Although it features moments of humour, Verhoeven’s intention was to show that the Middle-Ages weren’t as glamorous and pleasant as had been depicted in previous films, so he doesn’t shy away from casual violence, filth and degradation. Agnes in particular is subjected to a humiliating ordeal at the hands of the mercenaries, effectively ending up as their plaything later in the film. There’s plenty of blood-letting too with some battle scenes that are not for the faint hearted. Apparently the production was beset with problems, including an uncooperative international crew who were often drunk or under the influence of drugs, as well as a giant rift that opened up between Verhoeven and Hauer because the actor wanted to build a career as a heroic leading man, but the director wanted his character to be more ambiguous and at times unpleasant. The resulting film is definitely uneven and at times confusing, but is nevertheless engaging. Hauer in particular injects his scenes with plenty of wild energy and Jennifer Jason Leigh is memorable as the sensuous Agnes. Unfortunately Orion botched the American release and the film apparently flopped quickly. Verhoeven would later say he felt that he’d probably made the film too cynical and downbeat for audiences to take.

This artwork was adapted by an unknown British artist from an original piece of art by the Italian artist Renato Casaro, which was originally painted for the German poster. Notable changes include the position of the characters, which widened for this quad, plus the smaller figure of Hauer is also markedly different. One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro had 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. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.