You Searched For: Thai

Tron / Thai

27.10.14

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
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A unique and colourful montage by artist Tongdee features on this Thai poster for the release of Disney’s groundbreaking sci-fi film, Tron. Another title that was released in the incredible summer of 1982, which included Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and The Thing, the film follows the adventures of hacker Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who finds himself broken down into data and absorbed into a 3D computer world of his own making. There he must join forces with his lover Yori and the titular Tron to battle the malevolent Master Control Program and liberate the system from its dictatorial grip, which is the only way Flynn can return to the real world.

The film features seminal use of computer graphics to depict the world inside the mainframe and, although the visuals date the film somewhat when viewed today, back in 1982 they wowed audiences worldwide and were instrumental in CGI’s rise to prominence in the years that followed.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

Return of the Living Dead / Thai

19.11.14

Poster Poster

Unique artwork by artist Tongdee on this Thai poster for the release of the 80s zombie classic Return of the Living Dead, featuring a depiction of the memorable character played by Linnea Quigley (represented here in undead form). When I first saw the film I was a little mystified by her ‘Barbie doll’ look (smooth bump) when she’s naked in the graveyard and only later found out that one of the producers made her wear prosthetics to cover up her privates. I can only imagine that it confused a lot of impressionable teenagers who were watching this back in the 1980s.

I recently bought the blu-ray and have to say the film still holds up really well – the creature designs and music are particular standouts. I’m definitely going to pick up ‘The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead’ book, which is meant to be excellent.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The US one sheet is markedly different and can be seen here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Die Hard / Thai

22.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Die Hard
AKA
Jungla de cristal (Spain) | Die hard: Operasjon skyskraper (Norway)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for what is regarded by many film fans as the best action movie of all time. Die Hard stars Bruce Willis in arguably his most iconic role (certainly the part that made him a megastar) as John McClane, the good cop having a very bad day when a terrorist group takes control of Nakatomi Plaza, the office building in which his wife works. John McTiernan was the right director to deliver excitement and unremittingly violent thrills since he’d proven his skill with the superb Predator (1987) and the action in Die Hard continues to escalate to a nail-biting crescendo, with several unforgettable set-pieces.

Alan Rickman delivers an iconic performance as the leader of the terrorists, Hans Gruber, who meets his demise in an oft-parodied, slow-motion manner. What makes the film work so well is the perfectly-balanced script that features a great mix of nerve-shredding action with just the right amount of humour and a series of well-realised characters. The other thing the script does well is to not make the character of John McClane an unstoppable, invincible superhero – he’s a flawed man with his own set of problems and he bleeds when cut just like the rest of us – think the glass on the floor!

This Thai poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The advance American one sheet features a sweaty Willis clutching a gun but I much prefer the darker image that features on the final American one sheet and the UK quad.

Operation of the Gun / Thailand

29.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Operation of the gun
AKA
ผ่าปืน (Thai - original title)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Chalong Pakdeevijit
Starring
Sombat Metanee, Naowarat Yuktanan, Manop Aswathep
Origin of Film
Thailand
Genre(s) of Film
Sombat Metanee, Naowarat Yuktanan, Manop Aswathep,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Dramatic and detailed artwork by Tongdee Panumas features on this poster for the release of the Thai film ‘Operation of the Gun’ (AKA Gun Cut, AKA Rifle, AKA Gunpowder). The original title is ผ่าปืน and it is unlikely to have ever been officially released in markets like the US and UK so the English title is up for debate. If anyone knows for sure whether it was given an official international title, please get in touch.

I know very little about the film, other than that it stars the famous Thai actor Sombat Metanee, who at one point was in the Guinness Book of Records for the most appearances by an actor. It’s calculated that he has starred in over 2000 film and TV shows during his career. In the year this film was released (1980) he starred  Western audiences may have seen him appear in the Thai film Tears of the Black Tiger (2000). It was directed by Chalong Pakdeevijit (ฉลอง ภักดีวิจิตร) – the actual Western spelling of his name varies considerably from what I can tell – who directed a number of action thrillers, as this Thai Wikipedia page indicates.

The film is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube, should you so wish (and have an understanding of Thai).

Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this particular copy of the poster has been hand-signed by Tongdee and I bought it from someone who had visited Thailand, met the artist and had him sign a few posters. I’ve seen photographic evidence that it’s a genuine signature.

Erik the Viking / Thailand

17.07.17

Poster Poster

This Thai poster for Terry Jones’ 1989 fantasy film Erik the Viking features artwork by Tongdee Panumas. The prolific Jones (actor, director, author, screenwriter, poet, historian) is best known as a Monty Python member and director of the comedy group’s feature films. The film was inspired by Jones’ own 1983 children’s book The Saga of Erik the Viking but shares only character names; the plotline is completely different. Based largely on Norse mythology, Tim Robbins stars as the titular Viking who discovers in the opening scene that he has no taste for the usual Viking activities of raping and pillaging. He learns from a wise old woman that Fenrir the wolf has swallowed the sun and plunged the world into the chaotic age of Ragnarök. Erik resolves to gather a motley crew together to travel to Asgard and petition the gods to end Ragnarök and bring sunlight back to his people. First he must travel to Hy-Brasil and recover the ‘Horn Resounding’ and there he meets King Arnulf (Jones) and promptly falls in love with his daughter, Princess Aud (Imogen Stubbs).

The film was largely critically panned and didn’t fare too well at the box-office. Over the years Jones and his son Bill have made a few edits to the film, with a VHS release chopping 18 minutes from the runtime, before a 2006 “Director’s Son’s Cut” saw it reduced down to just 75 minutes (from the original theatrical running time of 107 minutes).

This Thai poster features a repainted take on the figures falling out of the viking boat, as seen on the German poster (and painted by Renato Casaro), but adds more colour and a montage of action scenes as was typical of the artist responsible. Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this particular copy of the poster has been hand-signed by Tongdee and I bought it from someone who had visited Thailand, met the artist and had him sign a few posters. I’ve seen photographic evidence that it’s a genuine signature.

Evil Dead II / Thailand

29.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Evil Dead II
AKA
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (USA title)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Danny Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks, Lou Hancock
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Danny Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks, Lou Hancock,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jinda
Size (inches)
21 4/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique and wild artwork by Jinda features on this original Thai poster for the (superior IMO) sequel to Sam Raimi’s brilliant low-budget horror The Evil Dead. The films were a great success in the UK after the first was bought at the Cannes Film Festival by the legendary British distribution (and later production) company Palace Pictures. Released in cinemas and on VHS almost simultaneously the modest outlay for the rights to distribute the film proved to be an excellent deal as it went on to see great box-office takings and thousands of tapes sold. The first film was eventually caught up in the infamous video nasties debacle of the 1980s and was banned for a number of years under the Video Recordings Act.

Evil Dead II, made six years later and technically a retcon sequel, was allotted a significantly larger budget than the first and is more of a black comedy than the original. Lead actor Bruce Campbell is put through a continually escalating series of horrific encounters that allow him to show the full extent of his talent for slapstick comedy.

I’ve been unable to find out much about Jinda other than the titles of several of the Thai film posters he painted the artwork for. If anyone has anymore information on him please get in touch.

 

The Long Good Friday / Thailand

16.12.15

Poster Poster

This is the original poster for the Thai release of the classic British gangster film The Long Good Friday, starring the late, great Bob Hoskins. The story focuses on Harold Shand (Hoskins), an underworld kingpin whose grand plans to develop the London Docklands, with the backing of the American Mafia, start to go awry when a series of bombs kill his associates and undermine his credibility. Harold needs to discover who is behind the killings and exact revenge before the deal is lost.

The film is notable for its use of real London locations and it’s a thrill to watch the film now and see how much of the capital has changed. It was only made 33 years ago but the city is barely recognisable compared to today.

The film had a fairly tumultuous time getting into cinemas and was saved from being cut to shreds and offloaded as a TV special after its original production company (ITC) weren’t happy with the results. Helen Mirren was friends with Eric Idle who saw the film and recommended it to George Harrison who had just started up Handmade Films. Harrison saw commercial potential and was able to purchase the rights for less than the original production cost. The film went on to be a solid success for Handmade.

There is a signature on this artwork, which is unique to the Thai poster, but I’m not sure who it belongs to. Please get in touch if you have an idea. I’ll update the post once I know the identity of the artist.

The original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / Thailand

01.09.16

Poster Poster

This is the original Thai poster for the release of the fourth entry in the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise (subtitled The Dream Master). The film marked a big break for Finnish director Renny Harlin who admitted to heavily petitioning the film’s producer, and founder of New Line Cinema, Robert (Bob) Shaye for the job. Harlin had previously helmed a couple of low-budget flicks (Born American and Prison) but the box-office success of this film led to him being given the job of directing the Die Hard sequel in 1990. Sadly, his career stalled towards the end of that decade following a series of box-office bombs that included Cliffhanger and Cutthroat Island.

The fourth film followed on from one of the best entries in the franchise, 1987’s Dream Warriors, which was a marked improvement over the first sequel. This was thanks in part to the involvement of the first film’s Wes Craven, who had been absent from Part 2.

The Dream Master picks up a few months after the events of the third film and features characters that had last been seen in a mental hospital, but are now living at home and seemingly back to normal. Kirsten, previously played by Patricia Arquette and here by Tuesday Knight, has the ability to bring others into her dreams. When she senses Freddy is trying to return after being banished to hell at the end of Part 3, she contacts Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) and Joey (Rodney Eastman) to warn them not to dream about Freddy in case it causes his return.

Unfortunately, Kincaid fails to heed Kirsten’s warning and he falls asleep, dreaming of the car junkyard where Freddy’s bones were previously consecrated with holy water. His dog urinates on Freddy’s bones and this, for some bizarre reason, causes his resurrection whereupon he swiftly kills Kincaid. Freddy begins to terrorize Kirsten and her group of school friends and she realises she needs to pass on her powers to Alice before she too is killed. Freddy’s plan was to use Kirsten to move onto a new set of kids after he’s killed the original group (all children of the parents who murdered him before the events of the first film) and together this new gang must try to put an end to his nefarious plans once and for all.

This Thai poster was painted by Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that it’s based on the artwork from the US one sheet that was painted by Matthew Peak (son of Bob), which can be seen here. Tongdee repainted the entire thing and added several new figures to create more of a montage.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Tongdee click here.

 

From Beyond / Thailand

14.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
From Beyond
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stuart Gordon
Starring
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire, Del Russel
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire, Del Russel,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jinda
Size (inches)
21 4/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Suitably over-the-top artwork by Jinda features on this Thai poster for From Beyond. Loosely based on the short story of the same name by famed horror author H. P. Lovecraft, the film was director Stuart Gordon’s second following Reanimator (1985). Gordon once again called on the services of two of the stars of that film, with Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton both returning. The film was produced in Italy in order to keep costs down and the director also shot his film Dolls at the same time in the same studio.

Combs plays Crawford Tillinghast, a physician and assistant to Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel). The pair have been working on a device called The Resonator which they hope will stimulate the pineal gland. The machine appears to be a success but one unforeseen consequence is that it allows people in the vicinity to see creatures from an alternate dimension that are all around them. Determined to carry on, Pretorius is eventually attacked and seemingly killed by an unseen creature. Tillinghast escapes from the laboratory and is arrested by police who suspect his involvement in the scientist’s death. 

Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Crampton) begins treating Tillinghast and eventually persuades the hospital to allow her to release him into her care to investigate his claims. The pair return to the Pretorius’ home accompanied by a police detective called Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree). The trio soon discover that the scientist is alive but no longer very human in appearance. Once again The Resonator is activated and events start to spin out of control.

I’ve been unable to find out much about Jinda other than the titles of several of the Thai film posters he painted the artwork for. If anyone has anymore information on him please get in touch.

Escape From New York / Thailand

12.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
25 9/16" x 37.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original poster for the Thai release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York. I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

This poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch.

The main illustration of Snake Plissken is unique to this poster but some of the other elements, especially the montage to the left, are based on the final US one sheet for the film that was painted by Barry E Jackson. The set of portraits in boxes are taken from the US advance poster that was painted by Stan Watts.

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

The Beyond / Thailand

01.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Beyond
AKA
Die Geisterstadt der Zombies (Germany) | L'aldilà (Italy) | 7 Doors of Death (USA)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noppadon
Size (inches)
21" x 29 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this Thai poster for the release of Lucio Fulci‘s classic horror The Beyond (1981). Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and The Beyond is one of what are often considered to be the big four Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The House By the Cemetery and City of the Living Dead), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

The Beyond is the second film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films that began with 1980s City of the Living Dead and ended with The House By the Cemetery. British actress Catriona MacColl, star of the other two films, plays New Yorker Liza Merril who has inherited a run-down Louisiana hotel and decides to spend her savings on renovating the place. What she doesn’t realise is that it was built over one of ‘Seven Doors of Death’, which are direct pathways to hell, and when people involved in helping her repair the hotel begin to die horribly she is helped by a local doctor (David Warbeck) and a mysterious local blind woman called Emily (Cinzia Monreale). It soon becomes clear that the pathway is letting supernatural evil out and creating bloodthirsty zombies of the dead and Liza must fight for her very survival.

As with many of Fulci’s films, the story plays second fiddle to the striking visuals and gory set-pieces as the body count ramps up. It’s never less than memorable and is often cited by Fulci fans as their favourite of his films. The Beyond also features a great score by regular Fulci collaborator Fabio Frizzi. The film was butchered heavily for its original US release (as ‘7 Doors of Death’) and was missing most of the gore scenes and a different soundtrack. The UK release was originally heavily cut, despite being granted an ‘X’ certificate. It was finally passed fully uncut in 2001.

This montage featuring some of the more memorable moments of gory violence from the film was painted by a Thai artist called Noppadon about whom I’ve been unable to discover very little, other than a few of the other film poster titles he worked on (including Saturn 3 and Evil Dead). If anyone knows any more details please get in touch.

Although folded and not in amazing condition this is a very scarce poster and one that’s getting increasingly hard to find. I’ll continue to try and locate one without the fold lines but suspect it won’t be easy. The blue ink marks on the bottom of the poster relate to showings at specific times in specific cinemas and were stamped on after the original printing.

First Blood / large / Thailand

08.12.16

Poster Poster
Title
First Blood
AKA
Rambo (multiple countries)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey,
Type of Poster
Thai one sheet
Style of Poster
Large style
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas | Drew Struzan (original Rambo figure holding gun, repainted by Tongdee)
Size (inches)
27.5" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce, large-size poster for the Thai release of the first film in what would become known as the Rambo series, First Blood. Helmed by the Canadian director Ted Kotcheff, the film was co-written by the film’s star Sylvester Stallone. Stallone would eventually become best known for two series that between them saw 11 films released over a 40 year period; the Rocky boxing saga and Rambo. The first Rocky film had been met with critical and commercial success when it was released in 1976. A sequel followed three years later and Stallone had Rocky III in cinemas at the same time as First Blood (1982). The latter cemented the actor as a box-office behemoth and he became one of the 1980’s action megastars, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.

First Blood started life as a 1972 novel by author David Morrell which had its rights optioned by Columbia Pictures almost immediately. The project then spent the next decade bouncing between studios, producers and directors. Eventually Stallone was offered the lead role and Ted Kotcheff agreed to direct for the legendary producers Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna of Carolco Pictures.

John J. Rambo (Stallone) is a former US Special Forces soldier who has returned from Vietnam still haunted and disoriented by his experiences there. He decides to pay a visit to an ex-forces friend by hitchhiking across the country. When he arrives he discovers that his pal died soon after returning from the war due to exposure to Agent Orange. Rambo continues his journey on foot and eventually arrives in the small town of Hope, Washington. There he is confronted and abused by the local sheriff known as Teasle (Brian Dennehy) who drives Rambo out of town and tells him not to return.

Deciding to defy the orders, Rambo is soon arrested by Teasle for a series of bogus charges. Whilst in detention and being sadistically attacked by the other corrupt sheriffs, Rambo has flashbacks to being a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Fearing for his life, he fights his way out of the jail. There then follows a cat and mouse chase as he flees into the nearby forest, pursued by Teasle and a gang of his men. He manages to evade and outwit the sheriffs and eventually his former commanding officer Trautman (an excellent Richard Crenna) arrives in Hope to help with the situation. Trautman warns the lawmen that Rambo will not come quietly and urges them not to corner him. When they fail to heed his warning, a series of violent encounters ends with Rambo pitched against Teasle in a night-time confrontation.

The film was a huge box-office success on its release, although film critics were less than impressed at the time. It would later be given a critical reappraisal and quickly gained cult status once it was released on home video. Two sequels were released in the 1980s but these were much more gung-ho and violent than the original. It’s often forgotten how relatively tame the first Rambo film is compared to the three sequels, particularly the later revival film, Rambo (2008).

This is one of three Thai posters that exist for First Blood. At least one of them is for a later re-release but I believe this poster, which is the size of a US one-sheet, was printed for the original cinema release in Thailand. The main figure of Rambo with the giant machine gun is based on the artwork by Drew Struzan that was used on the American one sheet and British quad. It has been repainted by Tongdee and the rest of the poster is of the artist’s own creation.

Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Platoon / Thailand

20.04.15

Poster Poster
Title
Platoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kwow
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of Oliver Stone‘s Academy Award-winning Vietnam war classic, Platoon, one of a three films that the director made on the subject (the others being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth). The script, which was written by Stone, is based on his own experiences as an infantryman who served in tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He had signed up in 1967 after dropping out of Yale University and specifically requested to see combat in the war that had seen the first ground troops sent to the country two years earlier. Stone served in two different divisions for over a year and was wounded twice,  receiving several medals, including a Purple Heart.

The film follows Charlie Sheen‘s army grunt Chris Taylor (a proxy for Stone) who is serving as part of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian Border. Taylor is fresh into the field and is treated with disdain by the more experienced soldiers (an incredible ensemble of acting talent, including Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David and Forest Whitaker) who have all been in country for months, and he is quickly made aware that his presence is inconsequential. After a few skirmishes in which some members of the division are killed, Taylor is eventually accepted into the group and discovers the grinding boredom and rampant drug use amongst his fellow soldiers. Tensions between two sergeants, the ill-tempered, battle-scarred Barnes (Berenger) and the pleasant, more reasonable Elias (Dafoe) reach breaking point following an incident involving innocent villagers. Upon returning to base, the issue of a court-martial for illegal killing is raised and when the division is sent out on their next patrol, things reach boiling point, leaving Taylor fighting to survive against the enemy as well as members of his own team.

The artwork on this Thai poster is by the artist who signs his work Kwow, about whom I’ve been able to discover little beyond other titles he worked on. The figure kneeling with his arms up references one of the most iconic scenes of the movie, which also appeared on several international posters for the film and was painted by Mike Ryan (the original artwork was sold at auction in 2014).

Heart Condition / Thailand

01.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Heart Condition
AKA
Black Ghost (Spain)
Year of Film
1990
Director
James D. Parriott
Starring
Bob Hoskins, Denzel Washington, Chloe Webb, Roger E. Mosley, Ja'net DuBois, Alan Rachins, Ray Baker, Jeffrey Meek, Eva LaRue
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bob Hoskins, Denzel Washington, Chloe Webb, Roger E. Mosley, Ja'net DuBois, Alan Rachins, Ray Baker, Jeffrey Meek, Eva LaRue,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
24" x 34 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the 1990 fantasy-comedy, Heart Condition, starring the late Bob Hoskins and Denzel Washington. The film was written and directed by James D. Parriott who appears to have spent most of his career working in TV (including shows like Grey’s Anatomy). It was one of only a handful of ‘racial’ comedies that Denzel starred in and he was apparently talked into doing it by his then agent. After the film was critically mauled and sank at the box-office he fired his agent and wasn’t to appear in another comedy film for over two decades.

IMDb describes the plot like this:

Jack Moony (Hoskins), a white cop, has it in for a black lawyer to the drug crowd, Napoleon Stone (Washington). That Stone is now dating his ex-girlfriend doesn’t help matters at all. Stone is shot after Moony suffers a heart attack and wakes to find that he not only has a new heart, but that it is Stone’s and that Stone’s ghost is now his constant companion. Stone is insistent that Moony not only take care of his heart now but that Moony solve his murder.

This Thai poster features a repainted take on the two leads as featured on the US one sheet but adds significantly more colour and a montage of action scenes as was typical of the artist responsible. Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this particular copy of the poster has been hand-signed by Tongdee and I bought it from someone who had visited Thailand, met the artist and had him sign a few posters. I’ve seen photographic evidence that it’s a genuine signature.

The Killer / Thailand

21.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer
AKA
Dip huet seung hung (Hong Kong - original title) | Bloodshed of Two Heroes (International - literal title) | Blast Killer (West Germany)
Year of Film
1989
Director
John Woo
Starring
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu Kong,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of legendary Hong Kong director John Woo‘s landmark action-fest The Killer, which was the film that launched both him and lead actor Chow Yun-Fat onto the international stage. Although Woo had garnered acclaim for A Better Tomorrow (1986) and its sequel, both featuring Yun-Fat, it was The Killer’s perfect blend of hyper-kinetic violence, well-written characters and action spectacle that set it apart from Woo’s earlier films. The film would be followed by the spectacular Hard Boiled (1992), after which Woo’s career in Hollywood was launched, to somewhat mixed success. The Killer’s impact on other Western filmmakers cannot be denied, with the likes of Luc Besson clearly borrowing plot points and action beats for both Nikita and Léon: The Professional (1994), whilst both Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado) and Quentin Tarantino were clearly huge fans.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as a hired assassin who accidentally blinds a nightclub singer called Jennie (Sally Yeh) during the course of a hit, and after the pair strike up a relationship he decides to take one last job to pay for an operation to restore her sight. After being double-crossed by his Triad clients Ah Jong manages to escape from a group of hired guns, but not before coming to the attention of police detective Li Ying (Danny Lee). At first the hot-shot cop aims to take Ah Jong into custody but when he realises that he’s no ordinary hitman and sees the predicament he’s in, Detective Li decides to team up with the killer to take down the mobsters. This was the first film in which Woo used his trademark white doves taking flight in the middle of action scenes.

This Thai poster was painted by the artist Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) whowas an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The artwork for this Thai poster was actually re-used (and slightly cropped) for the US one sheet when the film was released there. The sniper rifle-toting gunman also features on the UK quad.

Never Say Never Again / re-release / Thailand

16.03.16

Poster Poster

An excellent portrait of Sean Connery surrounded by an action montage features on this German poster for Never Say Never Again, a non-canon James Bond film. The existence and status of the film is due to a long-running legal issue involving Bond creator Ian Fleming and a film producer called Kevin McClory. The pair had worked together on an abandoned Bond project called Longitude 78 that Fleming later turned into the novel Thunderball without crediting the producer or another writer who worked on the project. The case went to the high court and McClory was then given the right to produce the resultant Thunderball film in 1965 as well as the ability to remake the novel turned film after 10 years had elapsed. It took a bit longer than that but eventually McClory brought the same story to the screen in 1983, which happened to be the year that Octopussy, an official entry into the series starring Roger Moore, was released.

Connery wasn’t always in the frame to return as Bond, but after he developed an initial draft of the script with novelist Len Deighton in the 1970s, his name became attached to the project and he was eventually persuaded to star thanks to a significant fee as well as a share of the profits and the ability to veto script and casting decisions. Irvin Kershner came onboard to direct and the rest of the cast was filled with the likes of Max von Sydow as the arch-villain Blofeld and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximilian Largo (key villain in Thunderball). A young Kim Basinger appears as Domino, the partner of Largo and later a love interest for Bond.

The film’s plot about the hunt for stolen nuclear warheads features a great deal of similarities with Thunderball, given that it is effectively a remake, but there are significant stylistic differences and also several references made to the fact that Connery is playing an older Bond (he was 52 at the time). The ending is hugely different from Thunderball and ditches the now embarrassing sequence on the out-of-control ship and replaces it with a bit of an anticlimactic showdown underwater. The rest of the film is entertaining enough with excellent use of locations and some thrilling action and stunt sequences, although it’s certainly no match for the best of the canonical series. It was favourably received critically at the time of release and supposedly went on to outperform Octopussy at the box office in 1983, which no doubt annoyed the folks at Eon Productions.

This Thai poster features excellent artwork by Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this is the re-release version of the poster. The first release version is larger in size and features a Pepsi logo and different printer credit in the bottom right. The re-release is missing the Pepsi logo and the painted image has a slight red tint to it. There’s also some noticeable damage that has been captured during printing. It’s possible that the original art was re-used and by that time it had been damaged, or a first release poster was scanned which had some damage on it. There are marks in various parts of the artwork but the most noticeable one is across Sean Connery’s forehead. Click here to see a picture of the two side by side. If anyone knows anything more about this please leave a comment below.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were painted by Tongdee click here.

 

Rambo: First Blood Part II / Thailand

05.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Rambo: First Blood Part II
AKA
Rambo II: la vendetta [the revenge] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
George P. Cosmatos
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Julian Turner
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Julian Turner,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
24 1/16" x 34 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
No man, no law, no war can stop him.

This is the Thai poster for the release of the follow up to the action classic First Blood (1982). Coming three years after the original, Rambo: First Blood Part II – note the addition of the character’s surname to the title – had a script that was co-written by James Cameron and Sylvester Stallone. George P. Cosmatos was chosen to direct the film and the legendary partnership of Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna, who were behind many of the best action films of the 1980s and 90s, were executive producers. 

The film picks up where the original left off, with ex-commando John Rambo (Stallone) serving time in prison for the events of the first film. His former commander Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) visits him whilst he’s cracking rocks in a quarry with other prisoners and asks him if he’d help with a mission to locate MIA / Prisoners of War (POWs) in Vietnam. The public believe there are still American soldiers out there in the country, despite denials by the US and Vietnamese government. This was a very topical issue in the early 1980s and First Blood Part II was one of the first films to tackle the issue directly. Promised a pardon for his previous actions, Rambo accepts and travels to Thailand from where we he will be covertly dropped into Vietnam. He’s given orders that it’s just a reconnaissance mission – photographs can be shot but nothing else.

During the parachute drop things go awry when his parachute is caught in the door of the plane and he’s forced to cut away his bag of equipment before managing to untangle himself. Landing with only a large knife and a fold-out bow, Rambo manages to meet up with his contact Co-Bao (the stunning Julia Nickson) who helps him locate the camp in which it’s believed the prisoners may be held. Sneaking in during the night, he locates the American prisoners and breaks one out of the camp, intending to rescue the others with more support. The trio head to the pre-arranged rendezvous point with the Vietnamese guards in hot pursuit. Desperately trying to climb onto the rescue helicopter, they discover that the government agent overseeing the mission, Marshall Murdock (Charles Napier), orders his men not to pick them up. The whole thing was intended as a kind of PR mission to appease the American public angry about the POW situation. Murdock incorrectly believed that no prisoners would be located.

Rambo and the prisoner are captured by the Vietnamese and returned to the camp whilst Co-Bao manages to escape. They soon discover that the Soviets are arming and training the local soldiers. They meet the local commander, Lt. Col. Podovsky (Steven Berkoff) and his henchman Sergeant Yushin who torture Rambo and force him to disavow the POWs over the radio. When they threaten the life of a prisoner and Co-Bao attacks the hut in which they’re in, Rambo seizes his chance, rampaging out of the camp with Co-Bao following. The Russian and Vietnamese soldiers soon realise they messed with the wrong man as he proceeds to kill them one by one in a famous sequence during which the body count rises into the 70s.

The film was critically mauled on release but was a huge box-office hit, being the first film released in America to open on over 2000 screens. It accrued several times its original budget with a worldwide take of north of $300m. First Blood Part II is one of the defining action films of the 1980s and has been much imitated and parodied (particularly by Charlie Sheen in Hot Shots! Part Deux) since. A far less successful sequel would follow three years later before the series took a long hiatus prior to being resurrected in 2008 with Rambo.

The artwork on this poster is by Tongdee Panumas who was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch. The central image of Stallone holding a bazooka was redrawn from the photograph used for the American one sheet, which can be seen here.

Note that the dark line seen across the centre of the poster is actually where two painted canvases have been joined together by the artist – the art was then copied and the text and other details overlaid.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare / Thailand

25.01.17

Poster Poster

This is the original Thai poster for the release of the sixth entry in the beloved horror franchise of A Nightmare Before Elm Street. Entitled Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, it’s one of the weakest entries in the series, and that’s saying something! The finality implied by the title was nothing of the sort and a sequel was released only three years later. This was also the only film in the series to feature 3D sequences and these feature during the final 10 minutes. The 3D effects are largely terrible and had to be watched with the frustrating Anaglyph method, which uses a red filter on one eye and blue on the other. According to this fan site over 11 million pairs of glasses were distributed to cinemas at the time of release.

I watched the film again recently and had a hard time following the plot, if I’m honest. It’s set 8 years in the future (1999) and Freddy has killed almost every child in the fictional town of Springwood. The only surviving teenager ‘John Doe’ (Shon Greenblatt) is confronted by Freddy in a dream and is accidentally knocked past the town’s limits. Freddy cannot follow away from the Springwood but realises that he’ll be able to find more prey if he can somehow escape its confines.

After hitting his head and suffering from Amnesia, John is taken to a youth shelter in a nearby town where he meets other troubled teens and psychologist named Maggie Borroughs (Lisa Zane, sister of Billy). Maggie later discovers she’s Freddy’s daughter who was adopted at a young age. When Freddy tries to use the connection they have to access other children, she and the teens must battle to stop the killer and put an end to his reign of terror for good. Maggie dons 3D glasses and enters the dreamworld of Freddy where she discovers his darkest secrets and discovers the source of his powers; a trio of ‘dream demons’ who prevent him from dying. She realises she must pull him into the real world if she is to inflict fatal damage.

The artwork on this poster is by Tongdee Panumas who was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch. The central image of Freddy and his glove is from the American one sheet, which can be viewed here.

Note that the dark line seen across the centre of the poster is actually where two painted canvases have been joined together by the artist – the art was then copied ready for printing and the text and other details overlaid.

Superman II / Thailand

07.11.16

Poster Poster
Title
Superman II
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Richard Lester | Richard Donner
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt, Lezlie Deane, Ricky Dean Logan, Breckin Meyer, Yaphet Kotto, Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr, Elinor Donahue, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 31"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of Superman II, the sequel to 1978’s Superman the Movie. The artwork is partially based on the international one sheet painted by the American artist Dan Goozee (see here). Goozee’s artwork also appeared on the Japanese B2 poster. My belief is that the Thai artist, Tongdee Panumas, repainted the original artwork and then added new items to the montage.

Superman II is infamous for its troubled production which saw original director Richard Donner replaced part way through filming. The producers of the first film had decided to shoot the sequel at the same time. Donner had filmed multiple scenes, including those featuring Marlon Brando, but at a certain point a decision was made to pause filming the sequel to get the first film out of the door. Once Superman the Movie was released into cinemas, the production team returned to finish off the sequel. In the interim period, the producers had been sued by Brando for a slice of the first film’s profits so his filmed scenes were excised from the sequel.

Richard Lester, who was originally brought on as an uncredited line producer on the first film, was chosen to replace Donner. The latter had fallen out with the producer Pierre Spengler whilst filming the first movie and soon discovered that he wasn’t to be invited back to complete the sequel. Lester ended up refilming many of the scenes that Donner had completed but quite a lot of the latter’s work survived in the final cut, including scenes with Gene Hackman who was unable to return for the reshoots. Composer John Williams also had a scheduling conflict but he recommended Ken Thorne, a friend and fellow composer, to the production team.

The fairly simple storyline sees the villains teased at the start of the first film, Kryptonians General Zod (a memorable performance by Terence Stamp) and his two accomplices, escape from the Phantom Zone and descend to earth. There they cause havoc and eventually break into the White House, holding the president hostage. Meanwhile, Clark Kent and Lois Lane are on holiday cementing their romantic relationship. Lois has become convinced that her boyfriend is in fact Superman in disguise. Lex Luthor has also managed to escape from prison and agrees a tentative deal with the Zod that he will help them find Superman in exchange for him being given Australia to rule. The stage is set for a showdown between the four Kryptonians at the Fortress of Solitude.

Despite the behind the scenes woes, the film is actually a very strong sequel and was critically acclaimed on release. The box-office receipts were also very healthy and led to an inevitable sequel 3 years later (it was even teased at the start of the credits for part II).

Tongdee’s artwork features several key scenes from the film and I particularly love the floating Superman head in the bottom right. Note that there’s a Trebor advert on the left side and this is common for Thai posters of the era. I believe that companies paid to have their brand associated with a film’s release (as is common practice today) and these logos would often make it onto the poster. Pepsi is one brand logo that often appears on Thai posters.

Tongdee was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Superman / Thailand

01.08.16

Poster Poster

Unique artwork by the Thai artist Tongdee Panumas features on this Thai poster for the release of Superman in 1978 (although the release date in Thailand was likely later). Whilst there had been several other superhero films released over the preceding decades, including three Superman ones, this is often considered to presage the hugely popular franchises of today, including Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and DC’s new crop of films. The Superman character had been invented in 1933 by two high school students, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who would go on to sell their creation to the original incarnation of DC Comics (then called Action Comics) in 1938.

The first Superman film appeared exactly 30 years before this one and was actually a 15 chapter serial that dealt with the character’s origin story, from his birth on the dying planet of Krypton to his eventual assumption of the guise of mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent in the city of Metropolis. The 1978 film tackled the same origin story and was in development for around four years after Alexander and Ilya Salkind, a father and son producing team, negotiated the rights from DC in 1974. The Godfather scribe Mario Puzo was hired to write the script and the hunt for a suitable director took almost three years before Richard Donner was eventually selected. The producers decided to film Superman and its sequel back-to-back, but tensions during the production saw the latter’s production put on hold to focus on the first film. Puzo’s script was apparently completely retooled by Donner and an uncredited Tom Mankiewicz.

The casting of Superman was as protracted as the hunt for a director and several A-list actors were offered the part before the production team decided to instead go with the relatively unknown Christopher Reeve. The choice would be richly rewarded, both in financial terms but also in the amounts of critical praise Reeve would garner over the months following the films release. Any doubts about the film being a schlocky retread of previous superhero films were put to bed by the casting of the likes of Marlon Brando (taking a then record salary with profits percentage totalling $19m) as Superman’s father Jor-El, Gene Hackman as the villainous Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. 

The film begins with the destruction of Krypton and Kal-El’s (Superman) parents sending their infant son off into space to land on Earth in the fictional town of Smallville in Kansas. The boy is found and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent as their own son (whom they name Clark) and the couple vow to keep his burgeoning powers a secret. When he reaches 18, following the death of Jonathan, Clark hears a psychic call and travels to the Arctic with a crystal he finds in the craft that took him to earth. There the crystal builds the Fortress of Solitude where a hologram of Jor-El teaches his son about his origins and the extent of his powers. After 12 years of training Clark heads to Metropolis and takes a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet newspaper where he meets Lois Lane, a fellow reporter. Soon after he begins using his powers in public for the first time with heroic rescues and acts of crime prevention proving to Metropolis that there is a superhero in their midst.

The nefarious plans of Lex Luthor threaten the lives of everyone on the West Coast of America and Superman must act to stop him, however the master criminal learns of Superman’s weakness when it comes to the radioactive element Kryptonite which, as the name suggests, comes from his home planet. At the time the film was the most expensive made, with a budget of $55 million, but it ended up as a huge box-office success and earned over $300m during its cinema run.The then groundbreaking special effects were particularly praised and the film was able to capitalise on cinema audiences’ appetite for science-fiction and fantasy following the release of films such as Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind a year earlier. Critics lavished the film with praise and the sequel was quickly put into turnaround by the producers, although things didn’t exactly work out smoothly for most involved.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that the scenes from the film depicted towards the bottom of the poster also appear in much more detail on a series of Thai lobby posters that I plan to add to the site in the near future. Elements of this poster are of course based on the classic US poster by Bob Peak that features the Superman logo against blue sky and clouds.

Beastmaster 2 / Thailand

15.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
Beastmaster 2
AKA
Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (International alt. title)
Year of Film
1991
Director
Sylvio Tabet
Starring
Marc Singer, Kari Wuhrer, Sarah Douglas, Wings Hauser, James Avery, Robert Fieldsteel, Arthur Malet, Robert Z'Dar
Origin of Film
USA | France
Genre(s) of Film
Marc Singer, Kari Wuhrer, Sarah Douglas, Wings Hauser, James Avery, Robert Fieldsteel, Arthur Malet, Robert Z'Dar,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
25" x 35.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Colourful artwork by the artist Tongdee Panumas on this poster for the Thai release of the belated sequel to the 1982 original, Beastmaster 2. The film was directed by Sylvio Tabet who was the co-producer on the first film. The original screenwriter also returned, although judging by the number of screenwriter credits on the film’s IMDb page it clearly went through multiple re-writes before making it to the screen. The only member of the first film’s cast to return was Marc Singer who plays the titular character, also known as Dar. The plot is described thusly on Wikipedia:

Dar, the Beastmaster, is back and now he has to deal with his half-brother, Arklon (Wings Hauser), and a sorceress named Lyranna (Sarah Douglas) who have escaped to present day Los Angeles. Despite the name, the movie is not about traveling through a time portal, but traveling through a portal to a parallel universe that 1991 Earth exists in. Dar and his animal companions, Ruh, Kodo, Podo and Sharak, must follow them through the portal and stop them from obtaining a neutron bomb. During his visit, Dar meets a rich girl named Jackie Trent (Kari Wuhrer) and they become friends.

The film was roundly panned by critics and largely ignored by audiences on its release. Today it’s considered to be one of the worst sequels ever made. The handful of reviews on IMDb are largely unforgiving, for example:

If you are ever in the mood for a truly terrible film, it would be hard to find something that could even compare to this. I have spent a lot of time watching a lot of terrible movies just for the sheer joy I get from it, and man, this is one of the worst. This movie was so bad, I had to buy the third Beastermaster online. That one wasn’t as bad, which is amazing since it was straight to video.

The ending sounds unintentionally hilarious:

During the closing credits (at least in the version that hit theatres), the Beastmaster can be seen running into the sunset. This sunset is actually a painted backdrop, and after a while, you can clearly discern that the guy is actually running in place for almost two minutes as the credits roll! A perfect end to a perfect movie!

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that the line across the centre of the poster is where the original artboards onto which Tongdee paints were joined. Thai artists apparently often struggled to find large enough canvases to paint on.

City of the Living Dead / Thailand

02.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
City of the Living Dead
AKA
Paura nella città dei morti viventi [Fear in the city of the living dead] (Italy - original title) | Gates of Hell (US - alternative title) | Twilight of the Living Dead
Year of Film
1980
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown | Enzo Sciotti (original rising from the grave imagery)
Size (inches)
21 6/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director Lucio Fulci is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and City of the Living Dead is one of what I consider to be the ‘big four’ Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

City of the Living Dead is the first film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films and was followed by The Beyond in 1981. It stars British actress Catriona MacColl (credited on the poster as Katherine MacColl) who then collaborated with Fulci on the next two entries. The plot sees Father Thomas, a priest in the small New England town of Dunwich, hang himself in a misty cemetery. For reasons that aren’t made clear, this causes the gates of hell to open and the dead to return from the grave. Meanwhile in New York City, Mary Woodhouse (MacColl) is taking part in a séance where she sees the priest’s actions and apparently dies from fright.

A reporter named Peter Bell (Christopher George) hears about the situation and tries to gain entry to the building before being turned away. He later visits Mary’s grave, discovers she has been buried alive and frees her with a pick-axe. The pair then decide to travel to Dunwich where they meet up with a local psychiatrist called Gerry (Carlo De Mejo) and attempt to locate the tomb of Father Thomas to try and close the gates of hell. However, the evil is spreading through the town and ghouls have begun to rise from the ground.

As was typical with all of Fulci’s output during this period, the film features several scenes of brutal, graphic gore and the Thai artist has decided to go for broke, depicting the more memorable moments on this poster. There’s one death scene in particular, featuring a giant drill, that would fall foul of the BBFC, the folks responsible for passing the film for release in the UK. Upon its original cinema release the drill scene was cut from the film, as was the case with the initial VHS release. The film was then caught up in the infamous Video Nasties situation in the early 1980s and, although not on the infamous list (unlike The House by the Cemetery), the VHS had to be resubmitted and had almost two and a half minutes excised from it. An uncut version finally saw UK release in 2001.

This Thai poster features artwork that is largely unique to it and was painted by an artist whose signature is on the poster but I don’t recognise. The montage does feature a reproduction of the artwork found on the Italian locandina poster that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti. It’s worth noting that there is an alternative Thai poster with the US release title of Gates of Hell (see here) that features some elements of this poster and was apparently painted by the Thai artist Noppadon. If anyone recognises the signature on this poster, or knows who was responsible, please get in touch.

Although folded and not in great condition this is a scarce poster and one that’s getting increasingly hard to find. I’ll continue to try and locate one without the fold lines but suspect it won’t be easy.

Robocop 2 / Thailand

22.06.16

Poster Poster

Excellent artwork by Tongdee Panumas features on this Thai poster for the release of the 1990 sequel, Robocop 2. The film is definitely not a patch on the classic original, although it does have a few redeeming qualities. Paul Verhoeven decided to pass on directing the sequel as he wasn’t happy with the direction the studio wanted to take the story. He was then offered the job on Total Recall which ended up being released the same year as Robocop 2. The original screenwriters also failed to return and the script was penned by Frank Miller (best known for Sin City and his work as a comic book writer) and Walon Green (The Wild Bunch). Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) signed on as director and it would turn out to be the final film he would helm.

The film is notably dark and possibly even more violent than the original. Peter Weller returns as the eponymous cyborg who continues to police the streets of an increasingly out of control Detroit. The city is dealing with an epidemic surrounding a new drug called Nuke, pushed by the psychotic Cain (Tom Noonan) and his gang of miscreants. The nefarious corporation OCP is also moving ahead with secret plans to bankrupt the city and turn it into their own Delta City, independent of the US government.

As part of the plan they have been increasing the amount of crime in the city by causing police strikes. They also intend to expand the Robocop program by using dead criminals, and not police officers, as the basis for their next cyborgs. When Cain is mortally wounded during a confrontation with Robocop, the unscrupulous scientist Faxx (Belinda Bauer) seizes the opportunity to implant his brain in her new robotic creation. Unfortunately for her and OCP Cain’s addiction to Nuke, which they initially think they can use to control him, turns out to be their undoing. Only Robocop can stop the new cyborg’s rampage and end the Delta City dream once and for all.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that the line across the centre of the poster is where the original artboards onto which Tongdee paints were joined. Thai artists apparently often struggled to find large enough canvases to paint on. There are also some other marks where the original canvases were damaged before printing – see the close up of the female figure on the right as an example. The main figure on this poster is repainted from the photographic international one sheet which can be seen here.

Timebomb / Thailand

18.05.16

Poster Poster

An action-packed and colourful montage by the artist Tongdee features on this Thai poster for the release of the 1991 sci-fi thriller Timebomb. Produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis, the daughter of the legendary Italian producer Dino, the film was helmed by Avi Nesher, an Israeli producer, screenwriter and director. American actor Michael Biehn was chosen for the lead role after the director saw his performance in James Cameron’s The Abyss (1989) and British actress Patsy Kensit (who’s now mostly retired from acting) also appears. The plot is described thusly on Wikipedia:

Mild-mannered watchmaker Eddy Kay (Biehn) runs into a burning building to save a trapped woman and is featured in the news as a result. Watching the news, Colonel Taylor (Richard Jordan) is shocked to see Eddy, whom he had assumed to be dead. A game of cat and mouse begins as Eddy, with the help of psychiatrist Dr. Anna Nolmar (Patsy Kensit), tries to discover his past and why they want him dead.Eddy and Dr. Nolmar discover that he was part of a secret government program to create assassins. Using various sensory deprivation and brainwashing techniques, the assassins could be sent to infiltrate other organisations and facilities undetected and carry out programmed missions. Eddy manages to capture and interrogate one of the female assassins (Tracy Scoggins), finding out the Colonel’s current assassination plan. He then plots to confront Colonel Taylor and put an end to the assassination program once and for all.

The excellent artwork on this Thai poster is by Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.