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Death Proof / one sheet / international

11.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Death Proof
AKA
Grindhouse (USA - two movies together) | Boulevard de la mort (France)
Year of Film
2007
Director
Quentin Tarantino
Starring
Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms, Rose McGowan, Jordan Ladd, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Quentin Tarantino, Marcy Harriell, Eli Roth
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms, Rose McGowan, Jordan Ladd, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Quentin Tarantino, Marcy Harriell, Eli Roth,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
International
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2007
Designer
BLT Communications, LLC
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
These 8 women are about to meet 1 diabolical man!

This is the scarce international one sheet for the release of Quentin Tarantino’s half of the ill-fated Grindhouse project, Death Proof. featuring Kurt Russell as the sadistic Stuntman Mike, a former Hollywood stuntman who has rigged his 1970s muscle car with a special cage that protects him in the event of a crash making it ‘death proof’. We see what happens when Mike invites Pam (Rose McGowan), a drunken reveller for a ride and kills her with his reckless driving before smashing into a car full of her friends who he’d met earlier that evening killing them all instantly, whilst he survives with only a few minor injuries. Mike evades prosecution because all the witnesses are dead and the girls were intoxicated. Fourteen months later he tries the same trick with another bunch of girls, but he doesn’t reckon on them having a stuntwoman (Zoe Bell) in their midst and before long the tables have turned.

The project was conceived by Tarantino and fellow director (and frequent collaborator) Robert Rodriguez as a homage to the 1970s grindhouse cinemas that would show horror, sci-fi and cult b-movies, often in double or even triple bills. Grindhouse features Death Proof paired with Rodriguez’s zombie action feature Planet Terror whilst a series of fake trailers were filmed and shown before each feature began. The trailers were created especially for Grindhouse by directors including Rob Zombie, Eli Roth and Edgar Wright. One of the trailers for a film called Machete starring Danny Trejo was directed by Rodriguez and was later made into a full length feature, the sequel to which is just about to be released into cinemas in the UK.

The Grindhouse project was shepherded by Tarantino’s regular producing partner Harvey Weinstein and when the film had a near disastrous North American box-office debut, despite positive reviews, the decision was then made to split the two films apart and release them separately in cinemas in the rest of the world. Blame was placed both on the overall length of Grindhouse (three hours plus) and reports that many cinema-goers were confused by the structure and left during the credits of Planet Terror. Both films had multiple minutes added back to their length in order to justify the ticket price of a standalone feature. Two films meant that many more posters were created to market the films and there were two one sheets that were printed in the USA for use internationally – typically that means in English-speaking territories outside of North America like Singapore and Hong Kong. These are pretty scarce posters and I’ll be posting the Planet Terror version in the coming weeks.

Death Proof / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Looper / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

08.07.16

Poster Poster

A striking design by the artist Martin Ansin features on this official screen print for the 2012 sci-fi film Looper. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, creator of the superb ‘Brick’ (2005), the film is a futuristic, somewhat dystopian crime-drama based around the theme of time travel. Looper is set in both 2044 and 2074 and stars Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the same character from each era, with the latter made to look uncannily like the former thanks to the skills of makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji. The audience learns that time-travel was invented in 2074 but then immediately outlawed. Because the tracking of individuals is so advanced and accurate, enterprising criminal gangs begin using the technology to dispose of victims they want disappeared.

These individuals are sent back in time 30 years and killed by the titular loopers who are paid in silver bars strapped to the victims. Eventually, however, all loopers must accept that they too are sent back in time to be killed by their younger selves. They are sent with reward of a packet of gold bars strapped to them and this moment known as ‘closing the loop’, is intended to stop the future authorities seeing a link to the use of time-travel. Young Joe (Gordon-Levitt) discovers that his flat-mate Seth (Paul Dano) failed to close his own loop because his older self warned him of a mysterious figure in the future known as the Rainmaker who has begun to overthrow the crime bosses and is murdering each of the loopers one by one. Joe reluctantly agrees to help his crime boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) track down Seth and close the loop.

One day Joe comes face to face with his older self and the older Joe (Willis) manages to overpower his younger self and he escapes. Older Joe is determined to kill the Rainmaker when he was just a child and young Joe discovers the target is a young child called Cid (Pierce Gagnon) who lives on a remote farm with his mother Sara (Emily Blunt). Sara confides that Cid has advanced telekinetic powers and that the young boy is barely able to control them when he gets angry. Soon, Abe’s henchmen come looking for young Joe and he must try to survive whilst also protecting Cid from older Joe and attempting to stop him from fulfilling his destiny as the Rainmaker.

Johnson also introduces an alternative timeline in which young Joe kills his older self before he can escape but then shows how the timelines are then ingeniously linked together. The film was met with great critical acclaim and performed brilliantly at the box-office, with takings several times the original production cost. Some recent reviews on IMDb have been pretty brutal and unforgiving of what are perceived to be plot holes focused around the time travel concepts, but the director himself has since explained that the film was never intended to get too focused on the technicalities of how it works:

‘Even though it’s a time-travel movie, the pleasure of it doesn’t come from the mass of time travel. It’s not a film like Primer, for instance, where the big part of the enjoyment is kind of working out all the intricacies of it. For Looper, I very much wanted it to be a more character-based movie that is more about how these characters dealt with the situation time travel has brought about.’

This screen print was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo for a screening of the film at the 2012 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. It was created by the talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin, whose work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series, like this amazing Phantom of the Opera one. This design for Looper cleverly captures the time travel concepts and the two versions of the lead character.  The artist also worked on a variant of the poster that features a silver colourway.

The other posters I’ve collected by Ansin can be seen here. His official website is well worth a browse.