You Searched For: UK%2520%257C%2520Canada

Morvern Callar / quad / advance / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Morvern Callar
AKA
--
Year of Film
2002
Director
Lynne Ramsay
Starring
Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Linda McGuire, Ruby Milton, Dolly Wells, Dan Cadan, Carolyn Calder
Origin of Film
UK | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Linda McGuire, Ruby Milton, Dolly Wells, Dan Cadan, Carolyn Calder,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2002
Designer
TEA - The Entertainment Agency
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
AKA
Furyo (Canada / France / Italy / Turkey) | Senjô no merî Kurisumasu (Japan)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Nagisa Oshima
Starring
David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson, Johnny Okura, Alistair Browning
Origin of Film
UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Jack Thompson, Johnny Okura, Alistair Browning,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Pens
Artist
Pens
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Welcome to Blood City / one sheet / UK

12.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Welcome to Blood City
AKA
Blood City (US)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Peter Sasdy
Starring
Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, Hollis McLaren, Chris Wiggins, Henry Ramer, Allan Royal, John Evans
Origin of Film
UK | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, Hollis McLaren, Chris Wiggins, Henry Ramer, Allan Royal, John Evans,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Vaughan (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this scarce UK one sheet for the release of the 1977 sci-fi-western, Welcome to Blood City. A British-Canadian co-production, there’s no doubt it was created in the wake of the very successful Westworld that was released a few years earlier. With that said, this film uses the different construct of events taking place in virtual reality, with scientists working for an unnamed organisation watching the events unfold on screens. The film was directed by Peter Sasdy, a Hungarian director who is best known for helming a number of British films during the 1970s, including a few Hammer horrors. It has a few notable stars in the cast, including the late Jack PalanceKeir Dullea (of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame) and Samantha Eggar (Cronenberg’s The Brood).

The film begins during some kind of worldwide event (exactly what isn’t made clear) during which Dullea’s character is seemingly abducted by soldiers at gunpoint. He then awakes in a strange wilderness with no memory of what happened to him, along with a group of others all wearing overalls. As they begin to walk into a forest they are accosted by two strangers with shotguns. Whilst they are attacked, a mysterious man (Palance) wearing an outfit that resembles a sheriff’s uniform watches the situation, apparently unmoved. Eventually he greets them and leads them to the titular settlement. Once there they have the rules of the town explained to them. I’ve got to admit, the plot isn’t the easiest to follow – a situation not helped by the only available copy of the film being a terrible VHS-level pan and scan one, which also appears to be zoomed to cap it off. The sound is equally as bad.

Eventually we learn that in order to survive and escape being slaves, the captives must kill others in the town and once they reach twenty kills they are considered ‘immortal’. The purpose for the scientists watching is to seemingly satisfy their military benefactors who want to find out which of the people (in the real world, not Blood City) will make the best soldiers that can be sent off to some unexplained conflict. Samantha Eggar plays one of the two scientists tasked with following events in the simulation. She becomes infatuated with Dullea’s character and begins inserting herself into the simulation and manipulating events so that he will survive. The film is little-seen and the quality of the only copy available probably points to both a lack of demand but also potential rights-issues (it was apparently made as some kind of tax-shelter deal).

The artwork on this UK one sheet, which features different art to the UK quad, is, I believe, by the British artist Mike Vaughan. He also worked on a handful of posters for Hammer horrors, as well as posters like this one for Raid on Entebbe. If anyone knows for sure who painted this art please get in touch.

Naked Lunch / quad / UK

22.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Exterminate all rational thought

Naked Lunch is cult Canadian director David Cronenberg‘s semi-adaptation of the celebrated American writer William S. Burroughsnovel of the same name. The book, which is a collection of vignettes with little in the way of connecting narrative, was written in 1959 and several attempts had been made over the years to try and adapt it for the screen. The structure of the book meant crafting a coherent plot was a tall order for any screenwriter, so Cronenberg decided to try a slightly different approach. The resultant film features scenes and characters from the vignettes but blends them with a semi-biographical look at the process Burroughs went through to write the original book, and includes incidents and characters (albeit renamed) from his experiences during the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s.

The resultant film, despite having more of a connecting narrative, is no less batshit crazy for it. Peter Weller plays Burroughs as William Lee (a sometime pen name of the author) who is working as a bug exterminator and whose wife Joan Lee (Judy Davis) has become addicted to the powder he uses to kill the critters. He is also a heroin addict and is arrested by the police for possession. Whilst in custody he begins to hallucinate and sees a giant bug who tells him he is being recruited as a secret agent and that his mission is to kill Joan who may or not be a shape-shifting agent working for a shady organisation. Disbelieving, he smashes the bug and escapes from custody, returning home to find Joan having sex with one of his friends. Soon afterwards he accidentally kills Joan by shooting her in the head after attempting to shoot a glass off her head, William Tell-style (this mirrors a real incident in which Burroughs killed his then partner Joan Vollmer in Mexico).

On the run from the police, he’s introduced to a bipedal alien called a Mugwump in a bar who gives him a travel ticket to get to Interzone (an area of a North African country) where he can lie low and carry out missions for his ‘handlers’. There he meets a whole host of odd characters, including Tom Frost (Ian Holm) and his wife Joan who bears a striking relation to his deceased wife. He continues to write reports for his imaginary handlers, with his typewriter soon morphing into another talking bug. Things continue to get progressively weirder as he is told to search out the mysterious Dr Benway, the source of a drug that is swamping the Interzone.

The above description makes the film sound vaguely conventional when it is anything but and there’s no doubt that it’s a marmite film for many who watch it. The film had a botched release in North America which saw it only recouping a small percentage of its original budget due to a limited number of screenings. Nevertheless it was largely lauded by critics and has since garnered something of a cult following.

This British quad features a unique design that includes a close-up photograph of Weller’s William Lee above a centipede. The film had a range of poster designs across the globe, with little repetition in the designs. The US one sheet is memorable but by far my favourite is the incredible Japanese ‘bug’-style poster that features a freaky illustration by H Sorayama.

The Uncanny / one sheet / UK

22.06.15

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1977 British-Canadian horror anthology The Uncanny, which is based around the unlikely theme of malevolent cats. The film is often mistakenly credited as being an Amicus Productions anthology (like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror) but it was in fact a Rank release with the involvement of Milton Subotsky, one half of the Amicus team, which had disbanded in 1975.

The film features three stories told as part of an overarching framing tale that sees Peter Cushing as a British author visiting his agent in Montreal to present the idea for his next book, which is that all cats are inherently evil, supernatural creatures. To illustrate his reasoning he tells three separate tales, each from different eras and locations. The first is set in London and sees Miss Malkin (Joan Greenwood) a sick, wealthy widower leave her fortune to her houseful of cats, which angers her only nephew. He enlists the help of the housemaid Janet (Susan Penhaligon) who attempts to steal the copies of the will but disturbs the elderly woman as she’s doing so and kills her in the struggle that follows. Much to Janet’s surprise, the moggies then take their revenge on her and the nephew.

The second story is based in Quebec and sees Lucy (Katrina Holden Bronson) an orphaned girl, going to live with her Aunt and bringing her beloved cat Wellington with her. After being mistreated by the family who decide to try and dispose of Wellington, Lucy seeks help from her collection of witchcraft books and takes out her anger on her malicious cousin Angela. The final story is set in Hollywood during the 1930s and features Donald Pleasence giving it his all as an actor who rigs an onset accident that kills his wife so he can shack up with his mistress, a younger actress. Unfortunately, his wife’s cat is none too pleased with its owner being offed and sets out to get its revenge, which it does in a ridiculous finale.

The film features very little in the way of horror, with only some very fake looking blood in a few scenes and absolutely nothing in the way of suspense. The special effects are mostly awful and in the scenes where cats are supposedly attacking people you can practically see the hands of the animal handlers who’ve just thrown them at the victim. The middle story set in Canada is particularly poor, thanks to a woeful performance by the actress playing Lucy. The simple fact is that cats are not particularly scary and anyone who owns a cat knows that the worst that might happen is a bit of scratched skin. Apparently the film flopped at the box office and was never even given a release in American cinemas.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who is one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He is responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed Vic for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here.

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

Death Ship / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Ship
AKA
Cauchemar nazi [Nazi nightmare] (France)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Alvin Rakoff
Starring
George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Sally Ann Howes
Origin of Film
UK | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Sally Ann Howes,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
29 7/8" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Those who survive the ghost ship are better off dead!

Happy Birthday To Me / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Happy Birthday To Me
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracey E. Bregman, Jack Blum, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracey E. Bregman, Jack Blum, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 7/8" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
John Will Never Eat Shish Kebab Again. Six of the most bizarre murders you will ever see. | Steven will never ride a motorcycle again. Greg will never lift weights again. Who's killing the school's snobbish top ten? At the rate they're going there will be no one left for Virginia's birthday party... alive. | Pray You're Not Invited To The Party.

Dawn Of The Dead / 2004 / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dawn Of The Dead
AKA
--
Year of Film
2004
Director
Zack Snyder
Starring
Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth
Origin of Film
USA | Canada | Japan | France
Genre(s) of Film
Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2004
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.

The Gate / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gate
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Tibor Takács
Starring
Stephen Dorff, Christa Denton, Louis Tripp, Kelly Rowan, Jennifer Irwin
Origin of Film
Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Stephen Dorff, Christa Denton, Louis Tripp, Kelly Rowan, Jennifer Irwin,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
There's a Passageway - A Gate Behind Which the Demons Wait to Take Back What Was Once Theirs. | ... pray it's not too late!

Scanners / quad / UK

26.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
Scanners
AKA
Telekinesis (Mexico)
Year of Film
1981
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Stephen Lack, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Lawrence Dane, Robert A. Silverman, Jock Brandis, Lee Broker, Mavor Moore
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Stephen Lack, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan, Jennifer O'Neill, Lawrence Dane, Robert A. Silverman, Jock Brandis, Lee Broker, Mavor Moore,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Joann Daley
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
10 SECONDS: The Pain Begins. 15 SECONDS: You Can't Breathe. 20 SECONDS: You Explode. | ...Their Thoughts Can Kill!

David Cronenberg‘s ‘future shock’ classic Scanners features a memorable turn by Michael Ironside as the superbly-monikered Daryl Revok, the evil leader of a renegade group of ‘Scanners’; mutant humans born with extreme telepathic and telekinetic powers who are capable of controlling machines and infiltrating the minds of others, often with head-popping consequences. The film is responsible for one of the best animated gifs on the internet.

This British quad features great artwork by Joann Daley and a great tagline. It loses the headline seen on the US one sheet but retains the ’10 seconds…’ section.

Check out the equally great Japanese poster.

The film’s original British trailer is on YouTube (“You pray it will end…and it will!”).

 

 

Requiem For A Dream / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Videodrome / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Videodrome
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Red Square
Artist
Harry Wilson
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
First it controlled her mind, then it destroyed her body

This is the British quad for the release of cult Canadian director David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. Like much of the director’s output, Videodrome is definitely not for the faint of heart and contains some utterly unforgettable moments of Cronenberg’s patented body-horror mutations. James Woods stars as Max Renn the sleazy CEO of a minor cable TV station who is constantly on the lookout for cheap exploitation fare to broadcast. Renn is told about Videodrome, a new and mysterious signal apparently being broadcast out of Malaysia which purports to depict real ‘snuff’ movies of victims being tortured and killed.

Renn decides to start pirating the show and broadcasting it to his audience. This soon attracts widespread attention that puts him into contact with sadomasochistic psychiatrist Nicki Brand (Debby Harry) and Professor Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley). When he discovers that the signal is actually being broadcast out of Pittsburgh, Renn decides to investigate further and he plunges into a nightmarish conspiracy that goes deeper than he ever imagined. As the American tagline says ‘First it controls your mind. Then it destroys your body’. Fans of Cronenberg’s proclivity for unnatural cavities and the melding of flesh with inorganic substances are not left disappointed, and the gun on this poster hints towards the finale.

This British quad features artwork unique to this poster by Harry Wilson, about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. The designer is credited as Red Square, again something of a mystery so if you have any further details about either party please get in touch.

In addition to the quad I also have the American one sheet and the Japanese B2.

Star Wars / quad / Special Edition re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Special Edition re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
30 1/8" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Pretty In Pink / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Pretty In Pink
AKA
Rose bonbon (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Howard Deutch
Starring
Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
He's crazy about her. She's crazy about him. He's just crazy.

Raising Arizona / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Raising Arizona
AKA
Arizona Junior (Canada / France / Greece / Hungary / Italy / Sweden)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Joel Coen
Starring
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, T.J. Kuhn
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, T.J. Kuhn,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A comedy beyond belief.

Heavy Metal / quad / UK

14.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
Heavy Metal
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Gerald Potterton
Starring
Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Chris Achilleos
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Step Beyond Science Fiction

A great piece of artwork by Chris Achilleos on this UK quad for the release of Heavy Metal, an animated film based on stories from the magazine of the same name, which was known for its blend of science fiction, fantasy and erotica. Developed over a period of three years, the film is an anthology of tales connected by a framing story, with each one being based on a segment from the magazine or created specifically for the film. Like its source material it contains plenty of graphic violence and sexual imagery, although the film is somewhat softer in comparison to the tales seen in print. Several different animation houses worked on the segments, which is how it was able to be completed in a relatively short period of time. The voice cast included John CandyEugene Levy and Harold Ramis.

Chris Achilleos is one of the foremost British sci-fi and fantasy artists and has been working for over 40 years, creating some of the most celebrated artwork in the genre. Born in Cyprus, Achilleos and his family emigrated to London in 1959 and he went on to study illustration at Hornsey Art College where he learned the skills of technical illustration and became proficient with the airbrush in his final year. The artist would go on to create illustrations and painted work for album covers, book covers, magazines and would publish a series of books showcasing his skills. In addition, Achilleos also worked on concept designs for films including Willow (1988), King Arthur (2004) and the Last Legion (2007). This portrait of the heroine Taarna and her faithful steed was influential on the creation of the segment in the film, although the level of detail in the animation doesn’t quite match up to his skills!

Sim Branaghan, author of the brilliant British Film Posters, interviewed the artist for his book and notes that Achilleos’ film work often ended in frustration and disappointment. His first contact with the film industry came with a call from Julian Senior, a marketing executive at Warners at the time, who invited Achilleos to produce some concepts for Greystoke (1984). These were swept aside for an urgent job to produce three big illustrations for posters for Supergirl (1984) that ended up being scrapped when the distribution of the film changed and the work went to the FEREF agency.

Achilleos was also asked to work on posters for Blade Runner that ended up being rejected by the clients who decided to go with the photo montage of the UK quad. There were other frustrating no-gos with designs for Clash of the Titans, Twilight Zone (1983) and an illustration for Batman (1989) that was caught up in a knotty legal wrangle. Some posters designs did make it through, including Riding High (1979), this artwork for Heavy Metal that was used on the UK quad as well as the US one sheet and Japanese B2, plus a quad for Jackie Chan vehicle The Protector (1986).

Star Wars / quad / Oscars version / UK

12.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Oscars version
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977 (this version printed 1978)
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
May the force be with you

Not only is this probably the best poster artwork for the film that started the biggest sci-fi franchise of all, it’s also considered by many to be the greatest work by the late, great British artist Tom Chantrell. Declaring it so is not an easy decision to make since Chantrell illustrated thousands of posters during his long career and there are many classic designs to choose from, including several Hammer posters and a brilliant design for ‘One Million Years B.C.’. I have a number of other posters by him on this site for you to peruse.

In 2013 I interviewed Chantrell’s widow Shirley about their life together and she recalled how Tom would often ask her to pose so he could capture the correct stance for female characters appearing on his posters. Shirley recalls how the project came about for Tom:

Tom was given an invite to the premier showing and we all went along as a family. As soon as he’d seen the film he had the synopsis, the 10” x 8” press stills and then he started to think about how he was going to tackle the project. From beginning to end it took one month, which is a lot of work for one poster. He’d never taken that long before and I don’t think he did again.

Shirley once again posed for Tom and this time she was his Princess Leia. She not only still has the reference photos taken that day but also still has the same dress she wore.

This poster perfectly captures the excitement and adventure of the seminal sci-fi blockbuster and, although originally intended just to be used for the UK market on the quad, the art was liked so much by Lucasfilm that the decision was made to use it for this style C one sheet, as well as for other posters around the world. George Lucas himself would later purchase the original artwork for his archives and I like to imagine it’s hanging on a wall in Skywalker Ranch.

This particular style of the poster is known as the ‘Oscars version’, so called because it was printed once the film had won a handful of Academy Awards a few months after the original UK release. Whilst it would be nice to have the non-Oscar version I’m certainly not complaining, especially since this one is rolled and in fantastic condition.

Sadly, Tom Chantrell passed away in 2001 and poster historian Sim Branaghan wrote his obituary for the Guardian. He may no longer be with us but his classic designs have stood the test of time and continue to impress decades later.

Star Wars / quad / UK

25.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
First printing
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
May the force be with you

Not only is this probably the best poster artwork for the film that started the biggest sci-fi franchise of all, it’s also considered by many to be the greatest work by the late, great British artist Tom Chantrell. Declaring it so is not an easy decision to make since Chantrell illustrated thousands of posters during his long career and there are many classic designs to choose from, including several Hammer posters and a brilliant design for ‘One Million Years B.C.’. I have a number of other posters by him on this site for you to peruse.

In 2013 I interviewed Chantrell’s widow Shirley about their life together and she recalled how Tom would often ask her to pose so he could capture the correct stance for female characters appearing on his posters. Shirley recalls how the project came about for Tom:

Tom was given an invite to the premier showing and we all went along as a family. As soon as he’d seen the film he had the synopsis, the 10” x 8” press stills and then he started to think about how he was going to tackle the project. From beginning to end it took one month, which is a lot of work for one poster. He’d never taken that long before and I don’t think he did again.

Shirley once again posed for Tom and this time she was his Princess Leia. She not only still has the reference photos taken that day but also still has the same dress she wore.

This poster perfectly captures the excitement and adventure of the seminal sci-fi blockbuster and, although originally intended just to be used for the UK market, the art was liked so much by Lucasfilm that the decision was made to use it for a style C one sheet as well as for other posters around the world. George Lucas himself would later purchase the original artwork for his archives and I like to imagine it’s hanging on a wall in Skywalker Ranch.

This particular style of the poster is the first printing of the poster for the initial 1977 release in cinemas and this can be distinguished from the later printing known as the ‘Oscars version’, so called because it was printed once the film had won a handful of Academy Awards a few months after the original UK release. The ongoing success and phenomenon of the film meant that many more copies of the second version were printed as it was shown around the UK. The Oscars version is also in the Film on Paper collection and can be viewed here.

During the time I spent with Shirley we browsed through several boxes of the plentiful material she has kept from the days that Tom was working on film posters. I was amazed to see that he had retained the original invoice that he had sent to 20th Century Fox (Star Wars’ UK distributors) and some letters from Fox relating to the invoice, which confirmed that he had been paid the sum of £1000 for his original work on the art. These can be viewed by accessing picture thumbnails 28 and 29.

Sadly, Tom Chantrell passed away in 2001 and my friend, and author of the must own British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Sim Branaghan wrote his obituary for the Guardian. He may no longer be with us but Tom Chantrell’s classic artworks have stood the test of time and continue to impress decades later.

Superman III / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Superman III
AKA
Superman vs. Superman (USA - original script title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Lester
Starring
Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder
Origin of Film
UK | Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If the world's most powerful computer can control even Superman...no one on earth is safe!

Naked Lunch / B2 / bug style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Bug style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
H Sorayama
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Naked Lunch / B2 / red style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Red style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Superman III / one sheet / advance / USA

03.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Superman III
AKA
Superman vs. Superman (USA - original script title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Lester
Starring
Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder
Origin of Film
UK | Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Richard Pryor was clearly seen as a major draw for audiences who were contemplating going to watch the third entry in the Christopher Reeve series of Superman films, and the artwork on this US advance one sheet was reused for the final design. In the end, the inclusion of the infamous comedian proved one of the films biggest flaws since most of his scenes involved slapstick comedy, and his character’s daft antics serve to almost completely eradicate any of the gravitas the previous films had manage to establish. Pryor had appeared in a string of successful comedies during the early 1980s, including Stir Crazy (1980), but his casting in this film apparently came about after he mentioned on a US talk show how much he’d like to appear in a Superman film.

Richard Lester, the director who had completed work on the troubled Superman II after Richard Donner had been fired, took on directing duties for the sequel. The story sees Pryor’s computer ‘genius’ Gus Gorman blackmailed into using his skills for wealthy megalomaniac Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), whose various plans for world domination are foiled by Superman. After attempting to cripple the superhero with synthesised kryptonite, the plan goes awry when a key ingredient is missed and, rather than stopping him, the material causes Superman to turn into an evil incarnation of his former self. This ends in a battle between the righteous Clark Kent and the malicious Superman and after successfully defeating his alter-ego, the good Superman heads to Webster’s lair in the grand canyon where a giant supercomputer built by Gorman almost succeeds in defeating the hero.

The film features a sequence that terrified me when I watched it as a child, which sees the supercomputer turning self-aware and forcefully changing Webster’s sister into a bizarre cyborg creature.

The poster art is credited to an American artist called Larry Salk about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. A now defunct gallery site described him as a freelance illustrator who worked on around 165 film posters, as well as painting for advertisements, video game covers, record sleeves and more. IMPAwards features a few of his posters (I have his one sheet for the 3D re-release of House of Wax) and he was the artist who painted the famous portrait of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. He apparently passed away in 2004.

The late artist John Berkey painted a scene from the finale on the international one sheet.

Naked Lunch / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Hajime Sorayama
Size (inches)
28 9/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Man of Steel / screen print / Martin Ansin / USA

03.07.15

Poster Poster

It’s fair to say that Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel divided both critics and audiences upon its release in 2013. Following Bryan Singer’s failed attempt to rekindle the franchise with the disappointment that was 2006’s Superman Returns, expectations were high for this film, coming as it did with production backing from Christopher Nolan who’d struck gold with his Batman trilogy. British actor Henry Cavill stepped into the role of Clark Kent / Kal-El and was joined by a number of notable actors, including Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, his adoptive father, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. The film is effectively an origin story and opens with the destruction of Superman’s home planet of Krypton, resulting in the death of his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and mother Faora-Ul (Antje Traue). The rest of the film deals with his arrival on earth and adoption by the Kent family, whose attempts to conceal their adopted son’s identity are threatened by the arrival of the evil Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his gang of miscreants.

The film is undoubtedly visually stunning with state of the art special effects but is lacking something in the storytelling department, certainly not helped by a fairly clunky script. A lot of the criticism about the film was levelled at the final quarter of the film that sees Superman face off against Zod in the middle of a Metropolis that is smashed to pieces by the two Kryptonians with seemingly no thought for the potential loss of life in the city. Additionally, the climactic scene is often cited as being very un-Superman. It also served as a prelude to 2016’s Batman vs Superman and the much anticipated Justice League film due the year after.

This screen print by the Uruguayan artist Martin Ansin was released by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. There is a variant that was printed onto a sheet of steel and only 130 of those were released. The regular edition was a timed-release and was available to purchase over a period of three days (standard Mondo releases are done at a random time on a first-come, first-served basis). This meant that the edition of the regular print ended up being 5585.

The pose of Superman was apparently inspired by a painting by the celebrated artist Alex Ross, which is itself a homage to the first issue of the Superman comic that was printed in 1939.

One of my favourite artists active today, Martin Ansin‘s 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 print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.