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The Fall of Ako Castle / B2 / Japan

23.07.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Fall of Ako Castle
AKA
Ako-Jo danzetsu (Japan - original title) | Last of the Ako Clan (International - literal title) | Swords of Vengeance (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Kinji Fukasaku
Starring
Sonny Chiba, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Masaomi Kondo, Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Enami, Kasho Nakamura, Shinsuke Mikimoto
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Sonny Chiba, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Masaomi Kondo, Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Enami, Kasho Nakamura, Shinsuke Mikimoto,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Fall of Ako Castle (AKA Swords of Vengeance) is the late director Kinji Fukasaku‘s take on the real historical event known as the Forty-seven Ronin, which took place in early 18th Century Japan. The tale of revenge focuses on a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their feudal lord is forced to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) after assaulting a court official. The ronin spend two years planning their revenge attack and once it is complete are forced to also commit seppuku for the act of murder. The story was popularised in Japanese culture as emblematic  of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that all good people should preserve in their daily lives.

The story has been brought to the cinema screen at least six times, with perhaps the most famous version being Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki (1962), featuring Toshirō Mifune as one of the ronin, who would also go on to feature in Fukasaku’s version. Next year Keanu Reeves is set to star in 47 Ronin, a Hollywood version of the tale that sees him play a half Japanese half British character who joins the samurai in their quest for revenge.

Superstar actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba headlined Fukasaku’s version and is perhaps best known in the West for his role in 1974’s The Street Fighter, which firmly established him as a martial arts legend. Fukasaku had earlier directed several successful samurai period and yakuza films such as Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973) and the Japanese portion of 1970s Tora! Tora! Tora! His final film, Battle Royale (2000), is perhaps the one he is best known outside of Japan.

The film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

The Fall / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Fall
AKA
--
Year of Film
2006
Director
Tarsem Singh
Starring
Catinca Untaru, Lee Pace, Justine Waddell, Daniel Caltagirone, Marcus Wesley, Robin Smith, Jeetu Verma, Kim Uylenbroek, Leo Bill
Origin of Film
USA | India
Genre(s) of Film
Catinca Untaru, Lee Pace, Justine Waddell, Daniel Caltagirone, Marcus Wesley, Robin Smith, Jeetu Verma, Kim Uylenbroek, Leo Bill,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
The Arterie
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Little Blessing In Disguise.

Fall Break / one sheet / USA

12.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
Fall Break
AKA
The Mutilator (release title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Buddy Cooper
Starring
Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
DiRusso
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Vacation That Became A Nightmare

The slasher film that was eventually released as The Mutilator started out life with a holiday-themed title, no doubt aiming to capitalise on the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween and other films like My Bloody Valentine. My understanding is that the name was changed when producers found the film almost impossible to sell; not only is it the least exciting title for a horror film imaginable, it’s also a name that means nothing to folks outside of the USA.

I believe that this poster was printed in very limited quantities because the name was changed soon after and the film was released across America as The Mutilator. I bought this poster from a film critic who was friends with the director and was given a handful of copies of this original design.

Check out the completely different final release poster with a classic tagline. The original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

The Mutilator / one sheet / USA

12.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Mutilator
AKA
Fall Break (pre-release title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Buddy Cooper
Starring
Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
By pick, by axe, by sword, bye bye!

Buddy Cooper’s 1985 slasher was originally set to be released as Fall Break and, having been given a sensible title change at the last minute, needed a new theatrical poster. The tagline is one of the all time horror greats, even if the film itself isn’t counted as a classic. It’s popularity level isn’t helped by the fact that it has never been officially released on DVD in the US. There is a (pricey) uncut UK disc available but it strikes me as a title that Arrow Video might pick up for release sometime in the future.

I’m not sure if DiRusso, the artist responsible for the Fall Break poster, is also behind this one since there is no signature present. It certainly bears some stylistic similarities to the first poster but please get in touch if you know for sure.

There’s apparently another version of this poster with the blood removed from around the man’s face.

Check out the completely different pre-release poster. The original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Mr Death / one sheet / yellow style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mr Death
AKA
Mr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (full title)
Year of Film
1999
Director
Errol Morris
Starring
Fred A. Leuchter, David Irving, Ernst Zündel
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Fred A. Leuchter, David Irving, Ernst Zündel,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Yellow style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 15/16" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--