You Searched For: Thailand

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.

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.

Akira / Thailand

03.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
Unknown
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Katsuhiro Ôtomo‘s landmark manga series Akira was adapted into a feature-length anime film in 1988 and directed by Ôtomo himself. The film is set 30 years after an explosion levelled Tokyo and started World War III. Neo-Tokyo eventually rises from the ashes but it is a run-down, seedy city that is ravaged by marauding biker gangs and terrorists. Two members of a biker gang, Akira and his friend Kaneda, come into contact with an esper (a human with special powers, including telepathy) and soon Tetsuo is embroiled in a secret government project known as Akira. Kaneda must set out to stop his friend from triggering another cataclysmic disaster with the help of a trio of espers.

The film adapted most of the first half of the manga and dropped a lot of the content from the second half. It was hailed as a critical success on its release and remains many fans’ favourite anime film. Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja ScrollGhost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

This is the poster for the release of the film in Thailand and features unique artwork painted by a local artist. There is a signature on the poster but I’m unable to read it so if anyone has any idea who painted the artwork please get in touch.

I also have two Japanese B2 posters for the film; style A and style B, the Japanese B1 poster, as well as the American one sheet, and ace illustrator Tyler Stout’s take on the film.

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.

 

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.

The Silence of the Lambs / Thailand

15.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Silence Of The Lambs
AKA
Il silenzio degli innocenti [The silence of the innocents] (Italy)
Year of Film
1991
Director
Jonathan Demme
Starring
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Kasi Lemmons, Frankie Faison, Diane Baker, Charles Napier
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Kasi Lemmons, Frankie Faison, Diane Baker, Charles Napier,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
23 15/16 x 34 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of the unforgettable thriller The Silence of the Lambs, a film that would win multiple awards across the globe following its release in 1991. Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris which was the second to feature the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a sociopathic serial killer who was the focus of several of his novels (in fact all but one) and featured in multiple films and a TV series since his first appearance in the novel Red Dragon (later released as the 1986 film Manhunter). The Silence of the Lambs was directed by Jonathan Demme and based on a screenplay by Ted Tally who would later adapt Harris again with another version of Red Dragon in 2002.

Jodie Foster gives a deservedly award-winning performance as the young FBI recruit Clarice Starling who excels during her training and is given the task of interviewing the incarcerated Lecter (a mesmerising, against-type performance by Anthony Hopkins). The Bureau wants to see if Lecter can help them in their hunt for another serial killer, dubbed Buffalo Bill, who is on the loose and has been skinning the corpses of his female victims. Lecter decides to toy with Clarice and she must work to gain his trust, whilst the audience are shown Bill picking up his next victim. The tension rises as Clarice closes in on the killer through clues given by Lecter and the stage is set for a nerve-shredding finale. The film won the ‘big five’ at the 1991 Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Actress for Hopkins and Foster, as well as Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Tally. It would prove to be a huge hit across the globe and enter the cultural lexicon in a significant way. The character of Lecter continues to fascinate and a recent TV series (called simply Hannibal) was a cult success.

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.

The faces of Foster and Hopkins of course feature on the classic American posters, including the Style C one sheet which merges the two, although this is more like the UK quad. At first glance I thought that Tongdee had painted the montage at the bottom over a reproduction of the photographic originals but on closer inspection it’s clear that he repainted the whole lot, including the intricate details on the infamous Deaths Head moths (featuring the freaky ‘skull’ image). The montage below is unique to this poster and features four depictions of Lecter at various points in the film.

Halloween / Thailand

03.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown (central image based on Bob Gleason art from US one sheet)
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Thai poster for the release of John Carpenter‘s seminal horror film Halloween. An independent release, financed by one man (Moustapha Akkad), the film was produced on a low budget of $300k and would go on to gross over $70m worldwide. Halloween kickstarted a franchise that would run for seven sequels (and a recent remake) and the masked character of Michael Myers would enter the horror pantheon as one of its most memorable monsters.

Carpenter wrote the screenplay with his then girlfriend, producer Debra Hill and is often credited as being the the first in a long line of slasher films, although films like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho were obvious inspirations. The film has little in the way of gore or violence and instead uses clever camera work and sound design to brilliant effect, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. There have been countless imitations over the years but few that match up to the taught, perfectly-paced original Halloween.

This Thai poster features the classic illustration of a knife blade morphing into a carved pumpkin that was created by the American artist Bob Gleason and used on the US one sheet and several other posters around the globe. The lurid montage at the bottom of the poster was created by a local Thai artist whose signature I’ve been unable to identify. If anyone has any ideas who was responsible, please get in touch.

In March 2016 Gleason’s original artwork was put up for auction (selling for just under $84k) and was accompanied by a letter from the artist talking about its creation, which is well worth a read.

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.

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.

Predator / original artwork / Thailand

28.09.16

Poster Poster
Title
Predator
AKA
O Predador (Brazil / Portugal)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves,
Type of Poster
Original artwork
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
2016
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
28 5/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Earlier this year I commissioned (through a mutual friend) the legendary Thai artist Tongdee to reimagine a poster for one of my favourite films, Predator (1987). The film was released in Thailand at a time when the use of painted artwork was being phased out and the original Thai poster is a photographic design that was based on the US one sheet. I’m a huge fan of Thai film poster artwork because of the typically lurid use of colours and lack of censoring, which led to some incredible posters like Tongdee’s Apocalypse Now and the one for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.

Because the original photographic poster was comparatively disappointing, I was excited to see what Tongdee would create. I gave him free reign with the exception of a couple of things I was keen to see (the iconic thermal-vision being one) and after a few weeks was sent a sketch with his idea for the layout. After requesting a couple of very minor tweaks I gave the go ahead and Tongdee began working on the actual painting. Last week I received the finished article and I’m very happy with the result. I love the layout and the use of colours, including the incorporation of the thermal-vision Predator hand. I also love the artistic licence he took on a few elements (I’ll let you figure out what I’m talking about) which was typical of his paintings from the original period of him working on film posters.

The painting is just over American one sheet size and I plan to get it framed as soon as possible. I’ve tried to take as many pictures as possible so you can see the details, and you’ll be able to see the grain from the canvas onto which Tongdee painted. I’ve also included three pictures that I was sent showing the painting with Tongdee in his studio. There’s also one photo (fourth from last) which shows the painting as it was sent to me, having been removed from the wooden frame over which it was stretched for painting.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was incredibly prolific during the 70s, 80s and 90s and, although he no longer paints official film posters for Thai distributors he is still painting for other clients. I’ve been unable to find out much about him from a biographical point of view other than that he was born in 1947. My hope is to someday travel to Thailand to meet and interview him.

One of the best films of the 1980s and certainly one of the Austrian Oak‘s finest roles, Predator is a film I’ve seen more times than I care to remember. Directed by John McTiernan, who would go on to helm Die Hard the following year (arguably the greatest action movie ever made), the film is an excellent mix of gung-ho action and sci-fi horror with a truly iconic monster that has gone on to appear in several (not so great) sequels and spin-offs.

The story sees Schwarzenegger’s team of single-monikered, rough-neck commandos dropped into a dangerous South-American jungle ostensibly on a rescue mission. When they discover a series of butchered and skinned corpses it soon becomes clear that they’re dealing with more than just a bunch of gun-toting guerrillas and someone, or something, is following them through the jungle. The film features several memorable characters, including Native American Sonny Landham‘s Billy, a man-mountain with much-needed tracking skills and the first one to realise they’re not alone, and Bill Duke‘s Mac who memorably leads the charge with a mini-gun when one of his comrades is killed. Like many of Schwarzenegger’s films, Predator is eminently quotable and features countless memorable lines spoken by several of the characters – ‘If it bleeds, we can kill it!’

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

 

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.

Duel / re-release / Thailand

01.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Duel
AKA
--
Year of Film
1971
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell, Eugene Dynarski, Lucille Benson, Tim Herbert
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell, Eugene Dynarski, Lucille Benson, Tim Herbert,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
198?
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
21 4/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Steven Spielberg‘s brilliant Duel was originally made for TV but was later expanded by 16 minutes and released in cinemas around the globe, making it technically the director’s second feature-length film. One of the best thrillers ever made, the story follows businessman David Mann (Dennis Weaver) who is traveling along a two-lane highway on the way to an important meeting. After getting stuck behind a series of slow moving vehicles he decides to overtake a rusty tanker truck and manages to enrage the driver, thus beginning an episode of road rage that escalates beyond Mann’s worst nightmares.

Cleverly, the psychotic truck driver is never fully shown, thus making it seem like it’s the truck itself that’s in deadly pursuit of Mann. The film was based on a short story by the legendary sci-fi author and screenwriter Richard Matheson who has penned countless classic novels, short stories and screenplays, including the original ‘I Am Legend’, and one of the best Twilight Zone episodes ever, ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet‘ (a similar kind of ‘single man versus relentless evil’ story).

One of the original trucks used in the film survives to this day and is pictured here along with a similar Plymouth Valiant to the one driven by Mann in the film.

This is one of two Thai posters that I’m aware of for the release of the film there and I believe this to be for a later re-release (though I’m not certain of the year). I have the other style and will be adding it to the site in the future. There is a signature on the poster but I’m not sure which artist it belongs to. If anyone has an idea please get in touch.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

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.

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
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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Prince Of Darkness / Thailand

15.02.16

Poster Poster

This is the original Thai poster for the release of John Carpenter’s 1987 horror Prince of Darkness. As well as being in the director’s chair, Carpenter wrote the soundtrack and also the screenplay under the pseudonym Martin Quatermass, which is a direct homage to Bernard Quatermass, the lead character in Hammer’s film and TV series that started with The Quatermass Experiment and that features several elements in common with Carpenter’s story. The film is the second in what the director calls his ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’ that started with The Thing (1982) and ended with In the Mouth of Madness (1994) and is the result of Carpenter’s interest in theoretical physics and atomic theory as well as the idea of an ultimate evil or ‘anti-god’ combined with the physics-based concept of matter and anti-matter.

The plot sees Los Angeles priest Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence, his character name directly referencing Halloween) invite Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong, returning from Big Trouble in Little China) and a group of his students from a local university to help him investigate a mysterious, liquid-filled canister in the basement of an abandoned church that was being guarded by an elderly priest who passed away leaving a diary and a key to the basement. Amongst the group  is Brian Marsh (Jameson Parker) a theoretical physics student and a sceptical science student called Walter (Dennis Dun, also from Big Trouble in Little China), plus several other scientist types – one of the film’s weak spots is that it fails to give any explanation or back story to characters we’re supposed to care about/have some interest in.

Something in the canister is stirring and is causing strange events such as insects swarming the church and the local homeless population, which includes rocker Alice Cooper as ‘street schizo’, behaving as a zombie-like group. One of the students, Susan (Anne Marie Howard) is possessed by a burst of liquid from the canister and begins to kill and spread the possession to other members of the group, which has clear echoes of the way The Thing moves through the Antarctic camp. Meanwhile, the rest of the group have been experiencing the same ‘tachyon transmission’ purportedly from the future and warning them of the danger they face. They soon come to realise that the container actually holds the son of an even greater evil and one that is determined to escape from the realm of anti-matter and into our world. Brian and the handful of non-possessed team members must battle to stop the anti-god from fulfilling its plans before it is too late.

The film features a creepy atmosphere helped no-end by Carpenter’s superb score – one of his very best in my opinion. Despite the aforementioned underdeveloped characters there are still several decent performances, including that of the ever-reliable Pleasence and Lisa Blount, one of the students who is instrumental in stopping the anti-god at the end of the film. The make-up and special effects still stand up well and the set and production design are also worth a mention. It might not be up there with Halloween or The Thing, but it’s still one of Carpenter’s better films and one that definitely deserves its cult reputation.

This Thai poster features a montage of unique artwork painted by the Thai artist who signs his work ‘Jinda’. I’ve struggled to find out much about him so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch. The artist has painted some of the more memorable gore sequences from the film, although the main image of the woman crashing through the broken mirror isn’t exactly accurate, as anyone who’s seen the film can attest.

The section featuring the church and the oozing green liquid featured on several international posters, including the US one sheet and (partially) on the Japanese B2.

An American Werewolf in London / Thailand

11.01.16

Poster Poster
Title
An American Werewolf in London
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Landis
Starring
David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Brian Glover, David Schofield
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Brian Glover, David Schofield,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kwow
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
From the director of Animal House - a different kind of animal | A masterpiece of terror

Director John Landis’ horror classic An American Werewolf in London was, unusually for the time, released simultaneously in North American and British cinemas. The film was shot in the UK with a largely local cast and crew thanks to the Eady Levy, which provided funding for British productions based on taxed box-office receipts. The levy attracted a number of foreign producers and directors including Stanley KubrickSidney Lumet and John Huston. The levy lasted for almost thirty years before being wound-up in 1985.

It was this incentive that saw Landis and his producing partners (including frequent collaborator George Folsey Jr.) move over here for the duration of filming, and although the two lead actors (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) are American, the majority of the rest of the cast are British, including the gorgeous Jenny Agutter. The film makes excellent use of several London locations, with a memorable sequence on the Underground, plus the climactic scenes shot in and around Piccadilly Circus. There is an excellent article on the Guardian website that was written by Landis in 2009 in which he recalls his memories of shooting the film.

This Thai poster features colourful, unique artwork that was painted by the Thai artist who signs his art ‘Kwow’. I’ve struggled to find out much about him so if anyone has any more details please get in touch. Kwow decided to depict the infamous transformation scene as the main image along with a montage of gore from various points in the film, including the freakish dream that David has whilst in hospital that features evil creatures dressed in SS uniforms. Note that the numbers below Kwow’s signature are his phone number at the time. It was common practice for Thai artists to add their numbers to artwork in the hope of attracting further business.

Fans of the film would be wise to pick up the 2009 blu-ray release as it features a must-watch documentary on the film called Beware the Moon: Remembering ‘An American Werewolf in London’ that was conceived and filmed by life-long AWIL devotee Paul Davis. It features the majority of the surviving cast and crew and has clearly been put together by someone who cares about the film deeply.

The Boat / Thailand

09.06.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Boat
AKA
Das Boot (Germany - original title) | U-Bôto (Japan) | U-Boot 96 (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Wolfgang Petersen
Starring
Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge, Bernd Tauber, Erwin Leder, Martin May, Heinz Hoenig, Uwe Ochsenknecht
Origin of Film
West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge, Bernd Tauber, Erwin Leder, Martin May, Heinz Hoenig, Uwe Ochsenknecht,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
Unknown
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
25 1/16" x 37"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The is the Thai poster for the release of the classic German war film The Boat (AKA Das Boot) which was painted by Tongdee Panumas. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, who also wrote the screenplay, the film is adapted from the 1973 novel of the same name by Lothar-Günther Buchheim. It tells the fictional story of life aboard U-96, a German U-boat, during World War II and depicts both the excitement of battle but also the tedium and claustrophobia of being trapped in a metal tube deep below the surface of the Atlantic ocean. Jürgen Prochnow gives a memorable performance as the grizzled boat’s captain who looks after a crew made up of seasoned veterans and wide-eyed new recruits, as well as a war correspondent who has been assigned to U-96.

The film is notable for being released in multiple versions over the years, with the original cinema release clocking in at 150 minutes. This is the version that was released in the US, Germany, the UK and elsewhere in 1981 and would go on to garner great critical acclaim, as well as several Academy Award nominations. A few years later a longer version was assembled and shown as a mini-series on UK and German TV. In 1997 Petersen oversaw the production of a director’s cut, which combed through six hours of footage to create a version that runs for 3 and a half hours. This is what is now commonly available on home video for fans of the film.

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.

The illustration of the U-boat is almost certain to have been based on the artwork from the international one sheet (painted by Gary Meyer) which can be seen here.

Flash Gordon / landscape / Thailand

13.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
Landscape
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 6/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

There are few films quite like Flash Gordon and having re-watched it on blu-ray recently I was reminded how much of an impression it had on me when I first saw it as a child. I also listened to the excellent audio commentary with director Mike Hodges, who admits to being an unlikely choice to direct and confirms in no uncertain terms that they were making things up as they went along. It sounds like a typically chaotic Dino De Laurentiis production with scenes being written the night before filming and huge amounts of the budget going on the costume and set designs (though these are very impressive, even today).

There are several reasons the film remains one of my favourites of the 1980s:

Acting
Topol is insanely over the top as Dr Hans Zarkov with an accent that changes from scene to scene. It’s not hard to see why Sam J. Jones never hit the big time, although you can’t say he doesn’t give the role his all. Max Von Sydow is clearly having fun playing Ming and Brian Blessed is spectacular as Vultan the Hawksman; no one else could deliver the simple line ‘pass me the remote control’ with such unbridled gusto. A pre-Bond Timothy Dalton is also rather memorable, sporting a spectacular moustache.

The woodbeast
This infamous scene (featuring Peter Duncan) terrified me as a child, and not just ‘wow, that’s a bit weird’, I’m talking more like ‘I’m never going near a tree stump ever again’. Scarred. For. Life. There’s also an odd ‘black whoopee-cushion with tendrils’ creature that attacks Flash and is seared into my memory, even if it looks like a painted balloon when you watch it again today.

The costumes and set designs
As mentioned, a serious amount of budget was spent on costumes and sets by Danilo Donati and it shows. You only have to watch this brief clip to get an idea of the amount of work that went into them – very impressive stuff.

Ornella Muti
Just like Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die, Ornella (playing Princess Aura) was responsible for putting more than a few hairs on my chest. Her costumes are the very definition of figure-hugging. The infamous interrogation scene has to be seen to be believed.

The music
An awesome soundtrack by Brit rockers Queen that still sounds superb today. I almost tried to persuade my wife to walk down the aisle to the sound of Ming’s wedding march; it’s that good. The 2011 remaster is available on Spotify.

This landscape 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!

I believe elements of this poster were copied from the same stills that were used to make some of the other worldwide posters for Flash Gordon, so it’s likely that the film was actually released some time after 1980. If anyone knows the date please get in touch. I also have a portrait version of the poster in the collection.