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The Killer / quad / UK

02.08.13

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
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce UK quad 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 quad features the same image of Yun-Fat holding the Dragunov sniper-rifle as seen on the American one sheet (although that image is illustrated) and this page on the Internet Firearms Database features gives a lengthy run-down of all the guns featured in the film (hint: a lot). The quote from the Time Out reviewer deserves special mention as you have to applaud anyone who uses the phrase ‘dementedly elegiac thriller’ and gets away with it.

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.

Ichi the Killer / B2 / style A / Japan

08.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Ichi the Killer
AKA
Koroshiya 1 (Japan - English title - means 'Hitman')
Year of Film
2001
Director
Takashi Miike
Starring
Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters printed for the release of director Takashi Miike‘s controversial 2001 film Ichi the Killer. A notably prolific director, Miike released 6 other films in the same year as Ichi alone, although it would be this one that would gain the most international notoriety. Based on the manga series of the same name by Hideo Yamamoto, the film focuses on the machinations of rival yakuza gangs within a crime syndicate and their interaction with Ichi (Nao Ômori), a shy and seemingly meek loner with a very dark side.

The film begins with the supposed disappearance of the gang boss Anjo, who vanishes from his apartment with millions of Yen, much to the confusion of his men. The audience sees the bloody aftermath of the fate that Anjo suffered at the hands of Ichi but a clean up crew led by Jijii (Shin’ya Tsukamoto) returns his apartment to a spotless state before his henchmen, led by the sadistic Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) arrives.

The hunt for Anjo begins and Kakihara wastes no time in kidnapping a rival gang leader, Suzuki (Susumu Terajima) and hangs him from meat hooks to try and get him to confess. When it becomes clear he’s got the wrong culprit, Kakihara is forced to apologise and then cuts off his own tongue as a punishment. After being kicked out of the syndicate, the gang continues to hunt for Anjo. The audience learns that Jijii has been psychologically manipulating Ichi for years and has trained him in preparation to be used as a kind of weapon against whoever he decides to target. Suzuki has offered Jijii a large sum of money to take out Kakihara and his gang in revenge for their earlier attack and they must hunt for Ichi before he can get to them first.

It’s fair to say that, in true Miike style, the film doesn’t shy away from violence and sadistic torture and there are some truly brutal sequences. It’s not hard to see why it attracted controversy and was even banned outright in a few countries soon after its release. Despite some very ropey CGI there are several scenes that still shock today and Miike uses editing and sound design to great effect.

This poster, which I’ve named ‘Style A’ features the standout character of Kakihara (here with the number 1 seen on the back of Ichi’s killer’s outfit projected onto his face). The other style also features Kakihara but in a very different situation.

The Killer / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

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
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

The Killer Elite / B2 / artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer Elite
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 >12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Killer Elite / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Killer Elite
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Burt Young, Gig Young, Tom Clancy, Tiana Alexandra, Walter Kelley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Stone Killer / quad / UK

29.11.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Stone Killer
AKA
Le cercle noir [The black circle] (France) | América violenta [Violent America] (Spain)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
This cop plays dirty! | Take away his badge and he'd top the Ten Most Wanted list!

This is the British quad poster for the release of the 1973 crime drama The Stone Killer. The film was one of a number that starred action legend Charles Bronson and was directed by Michael Winner. Their most successful collaboration (in box-office terms), Death Wish, was released a year later. The film features a cop who bends the rules to crack a case and was made in the wake of the hugely successful Clint Eastwood film, Dirty Harry (1971). That film also focused on a detective willing to play dirty, as this poster’s tagline shouts.

Bronson plays detective Lou Torrey who has recently been transferred to a Los Angeles beat. After the murder of a former hitman, he uncovers a plot involving the local mafia. The don, Al Vescari (Martin Balsam) has instigated a number of murders in revenge for killings that took place in 1931. This spree saw Sicilian capos executed across the US (a real-life crime dubbed the Night of the Sicilian Vespers). Vescari has decided to use Vietnam vets to carry out the killings and Torrey must race against time to stop the hitmen before the revenge plot is complete.

The stark imagery on this quad also featured on the US one sheet (see here) and the title block and main tagline have also been recycled by the British designer.

Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer / one sheet / withdrawn / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
John McNaughton
Starring
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold
Origin of Film
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Withdrawn
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Joe Coleman
Size (inches)
25 1/16" x 38 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This one sheet, with brutal artwork by Joe Coleman, was supposedly withdrawn from cinemas and it’s not hard to see why.  I watched the uncut version of the film recently and, 25 years on, it hasn’t lost any of its shocking power.

Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
John McNaughton
Starring
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold
Origin of Film
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He's not Freddy. He's not Jason. He's real.

Killer Force / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Killer Force
AKA
The Diamond Mercenaries (UK)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Val Guest
Starring
Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda, Hugh O'Brian, Christopher Lee, O.J. Simpson, Maud Adams, Ian Yule, Michael Mayer
Origin of Film
Ireland | Switzerland | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda, Hugh O'Brian, Christopher Lee, O.J. Simpson, Maud Adams, Ian Yule, Michael Mayer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/4
Tagline
They were professionals who killed for hire. But the man who hunted them killed for pleasure!

Killer Party / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Killer Party
AKA
The April Fool (USA - alternative title)
Year of Film
1986
Director
William Fruet
Starring
Martin Hewitt, Ralph Seymour, Elaine Wilkes, Paul Bartel, Sherry Willis-Burch, Alicia Fleer, Woody Brown, Joanna Johnson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Martin Hewitt, Ralph Seymour, Elaine Wilkes, Paul Bartel, Sherry Willis-Burch, Alicia Fleer, Woody Brown, Joanna Johnson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Joann Daley
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860073
Tagline
By the end of the dance, some of the sorority sisters were dead on their feet. | DEADicated to the class of '86.

The Stone Killer / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Stone Killer
AKA
Le cercle noir [The black circle] (France) | América violenta [Violent America] (Spain)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Orca / B2 / style B / Japan

13.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 style B and there’s also the style A. I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible for this artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

Orca / B2 / style C / Japan

12.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
'Dino'
Size (inches)
20 3/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 style C and there’s also the style A and style B. There’s a signature that looks like ‘Dino’ at the bottom of the art (see picture 5) but if anyone knows which artist this belongs to please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

Orca / B2 / style A / Japan

30.12.13

Poster Poster
Title
Orca
AKA
Orca: Killer Whale (alt. title) | The Killer Whale (alt. title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Michael Anderson
Starring
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Scott Walker, Peter Hooten, Wayne Heffley,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A man versus giant killer fish film that was released two years after the original summer blockbuster Jaws, Orca was always going to be compared to Spielberg’s classic even if its lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was apparently angered by the links; ‘I get really offended when people make the comparison’, he is quoted as saying at the time of release. The late Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was determined to one-up the spectacle of Jaws and tasked the screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni to “find a fish tougher and more terrible than the great white”, which led them to the killer whale and production on ‘Orca’ began.

Harris plays Nolan, the Irish captain of a fishing boat operating in the waters off the coast of northern Canada who hears of a lucrative contract being offered for the live capture of a killer whale and hopes the bounty will pay off the mortgage on his boat. After Nolan and his crew accidentally spear a pregnant female killer whale they drag it onto the ship where it miscarries, and almost dies, before the male (Orca) attacks the ship, killing one of the crew before the female is cut loose and falls into the water. The next morning the body of the female whale washes up on shore and before long it becomes clear that Orca is out for revenge, as he attacks the fishing village and destroys vital fuel lines. The villagers insist Nolan is responsible and task him with killing Orca so he sets off with the remainder of his crew, plus marine biologist Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling) and a native American killer whale expert (Will Sampson). The whale leads the boat away from the village into frozen, iceberg covered waters and the stage is set for a final confrontation.

Unfortunately for De Laurentiis and all involved the film was critically derided and sank quickly at the box office, particularly since the juggernaut that was Star Wars was already smashing box office records around the world. The idea of a vengeful fish obviously didn’t go down too well with audiences, although the people behind 1987’s awful Jaws: The Revenge must have forgotten this by the time it was decided to make a third Jaws sequel. The practice of hunting and capturing killer whales to feed the demand from aquariums in the 1960s and 70s was sadly all too prevalent, as documented in the recent heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, which also points out that there are no documented cases of humans being killed by the whales in the wild.

The artwork on the American one sheet was painted by John Berkey who also worked on the poster for the De Laurentiis produced remake of King Kong a year earlier, and the Orca art was also used for the British quad. The Japanese marketing campaign, however, featured at least three B2-sized posters, including this one, that featured artwork apparently unique to the posters and only the B1 format used the Berkey painting. I’ve called this B2 the ‘style A (black surround)’ and I also have the other two styles which will be added to the site eventually. I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible for this artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the bonkers original trailer on YouTube.

The Mechanic / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Mechanic
AKA
Killer of Killers (USA - reissue title)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Ridgeway, Frank DeKova, James Davidson, Lindsay Crosby
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Ridgeway, Frank DeKova, James Davidson, Lindsay Crosby,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ghost In The Machine / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Ghost In The Machine
AKA
Killer machine (Italy)
Year of Film
1993
Director
Rachel Talalay
Starring
Karen Allen, Chris Mulkey, Ted Marcoux, Wil Horneff, Jessica Walter, Brandon Quintin Adams
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Karen Allen, Chris Mulkey, Ted Marcoux, Wil Horneff, Jessica Walter, Brandon Quintin Adams,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They said the killer was better off dead. They were wrong.

Frogs / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Frogs
AKA
Frogs - Killer aus dem Sumpf (West Germany)
Year of Film
1972
Director
George McCowan
Starring
Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Friday the 13th Part 2 / Turkey

24.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
Friday the 13th Part 2
AKA
L'assassino ti siede accanto [You're sitting next to the killer] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steve Miner
Starring
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd,
Type of Poster
Turkish
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Turkey
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ömer Muz
Size (inches)
27" x 39.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Following only a year after the release of the original film, Friday the 13th Part 2 stuck very close to the formula that had made the first film such a surprising box office hit. The film’s original director and producer Sean S. Cunningham decided not to return for the sequel after disagreements with studio Paramount over the direction it should take. Despite the fact that the film’s original killer had been decapitated at the end, the studio wanted to continue the same storyline, whereas Cunningham and others (including make-up maestro Tom Savini) had wanted to make the series more of an anthology with different unique storylines for each instalment. 

Steve Miner, an associate-producer on the original, was tapped to direct the sequel (he would also helm part 3) and the story was set in the same area as the first film with the action taking place at another camp on Crystal Lake along from where the original set of murders happened. The producers realised they could use the character of Jason Voorhees, the supposedly drowned son of the original killer Pamela Voorhees, as the antagonist and it’s revealed that his body was never found.

As a new set of teenagers arrive at the summer camp ahead of the influx of kids, a killer stalks and murders them one by one, in much the same fashion as the original film. The film has a similar jump-scare ending to the first but it’s fudged slightly as it’s not clear whether it was another dream or not. The character of Jason was nevertheless established as the main bad guy and the series would continue successfully for the next 25-plus years. Part 2 was a victim of the original’s success in that the MPAA were a lot more strict in terms of the gore content this time around and several scenes were cut or truncated to appease the sensors.

This poster features the signature of Ömer Muz, a prolific artist who worked on many painted film posters their release. I’ve been unable to find out much about him so if anyone has any details please get in touch.

Friday the 13th Part 2 / B2 / Japan

02.02.15

Poster Poster
Title
Friday the 13th Part 2
AKA
L'assassino ti siede accanto [You're sitting next to the killer] (Italy)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steve Miner
Starring
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Following only a year after the release of the original film, Friday the 13th Part 2 stuck very close to the formula that had made the first film such a surprising box office hit. The film’s original director and producer Sean S. Cunningham decided not to return for the sequel after disagreements with studio Paramount over the direction it should take. Despite the fact that the film’s original killer had been decapitated at the end, the studio wanted to continue the same storyline, whereas Cunningham and others (including make-up maestro Tom Savini) had wanted to make the series more of an anthology with different unique storylines for each instalment. 

Steve Miner, an associate-producer on the original, was tapped to direct the sequel (he would also helm part 3) and the story was set in the same area as the first film with the action taking place at another camp on Crystal Lake along from where the original set of murders happened. The producers realised they could use the character of Jason Voorhees, the supposedly drowned son of the original killer Pamela Voorhees, as the antagonist and it’s revealed that his body was never found.

As a new set of teenagers arrive at the summer camp ahead of the influx of kids, a killer stalks and murders them one by one, in much the same fashion as the original film. The film has a similar jump-scare ending to the first but it’s fudged slightly as it’s not clear whether it was another dream or not. The character of Jason was nevertheless established as the main bad guy and the series would continue successfully for the next 25-plus years. Part 2 was a victim of the original’s success in that the MPAA were a lot more strict in terms of the gore content this time around and several scenes were cut or truncated to appease the sensors.

This Japanese B2 is a lot more interesting than the US one sheet and I’m unsure who is responsible for the art of the axe. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.