You Searched For: USA

Mr Ricco / 30×40 / USA

03.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Mr Ricco
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bogart
Starring
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/27
Tagline
The one thing people hate more than a cop killer... is the lawyer who gets him off!

Mr Ricco, a little-seen 1970s crime thriller, marked the last starring role in film for ‘The King of Cool’ Dean Martin (unless you count his cameos in the two Cannonball Run films). The Italian-American entertainer, who had seen great success in several of his earlier roles including Rio Bravo and Ocean’s Eleven (with his fellow Rat Pack members), would continue to make popular TV appearances and music recordings but never headline a film again. After reading the reviews on IMDb it appears he was probably getting too old to convincingly pull-off the action scenes that roles like this one required.

Martin appears in the title role as Joe Ricco, a San Francisco lawyer who successfully defends Frankie Steele (Thalmus Rasulala) a member of a black militant group charged with murdering a woman. Shortly afterwards two cops are gunned down and Steele is implicated in the crime after witnesses describe seeing him fleeing the scene. The detective in charge of the case, George Cronyn (Eugene Roche), is angered that Steele appears to have got away with it again and decides to kill one of the members of the Black Serpents (Steele’s group) and implicate another in the cops’ murder. Ricco agrees to defend the wrongly-accused man but soon after is targeted by a lone sniper who almost kills him. Once again, Steele is implicated in the attempted murder so Ricco sets out to discover why his former client is trying to kill him.

This US 30×40 features artwork by 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 the advance for Superman III) and he was the artist who painted the famous portrait of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. He apparently passed away in 2004.

The Thing / ‘Det er en Slags Ting’ / regular / Mark Englert / USA

13.03.17

Poster Poster

John Carpenter’s The Thing, one of my favourite films, has inspired many artists over the years and this screen print by the American artist Mark Englert was created in 2012. Englert, whose official website is here, has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. This print for the The Thing was the artist’s first and was created in response to two other prints in a similar style that were done by artist’s Englert admired. As detailed in this ExpressoBeans thread, he owned Dan McCarthy’s Hoth and JC Richard’s Fortress of Solitude prints, which both feature icy landscapes, and was inspired to create a third image to go with them. He chose The Thing and started to mock up ideas that he began posting in the thread. Over time it evolved into something he was happy with and he decided to have it printed.

Englert made it available for sale on his own site as a timed-edition and the final number sold was 232. There was also a variant version nicknamed ‘yeah, fuck you, too’ which featured a glow-in-the-dark ink layer of the giant creature seen at the end of the film. For more details and images of the elements check out this page on Posterocalpyse. On there he talks about his process:

“It’s my first print, but I’ve been making a living doing illustration for over 12 years now, so I was fairly confident I could pull it off. I work in Photoshop, took pictures of some local mountains after a recent snow storm and drew the rest myself, piece by piece. I drew the dog, base and helicopter at a much larger size then they would be printed in the end, so that when I shrunk them down, they would have a comparable level of detail as the picture of mountains they were placed in front of. The movie is a long-time favorite… lots of note-perfect, iconic moments that are carved into my brain and just re-watchable as hell.”

One of his most popular early prints was for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as an Alien print. Each print is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘Det er en Slags Ting’ is spoken by one of the survivors from the ill-fated Norwegian outpost.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the 2012 Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

The Thing / screen print / regular / Drew Struzan / USA

24.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Drew Struzan
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
25 14/16" x 38 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This year the Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas celebrated the 30th anniversary of the summer of 1982, a period they dubbed ‘the greatest summer of movies…ever’. It’s not hard to see why when, in the space of three months, films like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Mad Max 2,  Tron, Poltergeist and John Carpenter’s The Thing were released in cinemas. A series of screenings have taken place over the past few months and for several of these shows a limited edition screen printed poster was created by the folks at Mondo, the celebrated offshoot of  the Drafthouse.

Perhaps the most exciting of these was the one created for my favourite film of all time, John Carpenter’s The Thing. Mondo surpassed everyone’s expectations for the poster by harking back 30 years and working directly with the legendary artist Drew Struzan who was responsible for the fantastic one sheet for the film. Using the original painted artwork, Drew and the Mondo team were able to create a screen print of the classic image; a perfect choice to celebrate the anniversary of the film’s release.

Announcing the poster, Movies.com carried out an exclusive interview with Struzan and it’s an absolute must-read for fans of the artist and his work. One of the most interesting parts of the interview sees Struzan recalling the creation of the original poster:

“I got a phone call, the simplest phone call I ever got, saying, “We have a job, we want to know if you can do it, the catch is we need it by tomorrow.””

After agreeing to the ridiculously tight deadline, Struzan remembers getting to work:

“It was a very odd experience. I got an immediate concept, which is not unusual for me; I usually have something roving around in my mind. I dressed up in a winter snow outfit and my wife took a Polaroid of me. This was 30 years ago, back in the stone age when the only way to communicating a hundred miles away was the telephone or the fax machine. So I did the drawing and I faxed it back to the studio and they said, “Fine. We need it by tomorrow morning.” I went to work.”

And the result is this iconic image that perfectly captures the mood of the film and stands out as one of Struzan’s best poster designs, which is no mean feat when you consider the artist’s incredible output over several decades.

Around the time of the release, the website Machinima released a brilliant three-part documentary called ‘Limited Run: Mondo’s Modern Classic’ that features the process of creating this poster and includes interviews with Struzan and John Carpenter.

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.

The Avengers / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

31.07.14

Poster Poster

2012 was an important year for several of cinema’s biggest franchises with the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, appearing four years after the last, plus Christopher Nolan bringing his Dark Knight trilogy to a spectacular close with The Dark Knight Rises. However, unquestionably the cinematic event of the year was the much anticipated release of Marvel’s superhero team-up The Avengers.

Even before the successful release of Iron Man in 2008, the production team in charge of what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had planned to release a series of films focusing on individual superheroes based on Marvel comic characters, with the intention of establishing their backstories, and popularity, with fans before uniting them together in a ‘crossover’ film. The original Avengers comic, which brought together previously stand-alone characters including Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man, was first released in 1963 and has been in print since then so it was no surprise that it was chosen to the be the crossover film following the first five standalone stories.

The film was helmed by cult screenwriter/director Joss Whedon who saw worldwide success with TV shows like Buffy, Angel and cult favourite Firefly, but this was his first major studio film and his appointment in 2010 was seen as a surprise, but welcome, choice by many fans. Whedon pushed the studio allow him to begin a new script after reading a screenplay by Zak Penn that they had been tinkering with since 2007 and the studio eventually agreed, with production beginning in July 2010.

Marvel’s faith in Whedon paid off in spectacular style when the film was released in 2012 and broke multiple worldwide box-office records, including highest-grossing opening in the US, the highest opening week earnings and fewest number of days to reach half a billion dollars (23). It was the highest grossing film of 2012 and currently stands at third in the all-time rankings.

To celebrate the release of the film, Marvel once again worked with Austin-based Mondo to release a series of screen prints based on characters from the film. The incomparable Austin-based geek culture outfit has worked on prints for all of the standalone Marvel releases, starting with Iron Man in 2008 and only skipping the same year’s The Incredible Hulk.

The team at Mondo assembled a roster of its most celebrated artists to turn in designs for each of the main characters and these were released over the period of a week in April 2012, beginning with Olly Moss‘ portrait of Black Widow and ending with Thor by Martin Ansin and Iron Man by Kevin Tong. A few weeks later, on the eve of the film’s release, Mondo then revealed a print featuring all of the characters that was designed and illustrated by arguably their most popular artist, Tyler Stout.

As usual, the print came in both regular and variant versions and, despite each having relatively high print runs, the poster sold out within seconds of going on sale on Mondo’s webshop. I was lucky to snag a copy of the print via Tyler’s ‘lottery’, which he now holds on his own site shortly after each print release sells out via Mondo.

Whilst adding the regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the poster as I’ve done previously with his work on the prints for AkiraKill Bill and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The interview can be read in full by clicking here.

Note that the final image of Iron Man is stamped on the back of the print.

Revenge of the Jedi / one sheet / dated version / USA

28.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Revenge of the Jedi
AKA
Return Of The Jedi (release title) | Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Dated version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Saga Continues

The third film in the much-loved original trilogy of Star Wars films was written by Lawrence Kasdan and, in a recently produced documentary, he claims to have suggested that the initially planned title of ‘Return of the Jedi’ was too weak and that ‘Revenge’ would be a better option. A teaser trailer for the film featured the Revenge title and legendary poster artist Drew Struzan, who had worked on the style D one sheet for the first film, was hired to paint this teaser poster.

Lucas eventually decided that revenge was not a Jedi concept so the film was changed back to the original ‘Return’ title and all subsequent posters were renamed too. According to the Star Wars poster book, by the time the title had been changed thousands of Revenge posters had been printed and hundreds had been distributed to theaters. Lucasfilm stopped the shipping of the posters and destroyed all but 6,800 posters, which were sold in three days to Star Wars fan club members for $9.50. (Source: The Star Wars Poster Book).

The excellent resource site Movie Poster Collectors has a page on the poster that confirms:

The vast majority of posters that escaped destruction have the tagline “Coming May 25, 1983 to your galaxy” at the bottom.  According to reports, a very few – perhaps 100 – omit that tag line. The posters without the release date command somewhat higher prices than the “Coming May 25” posters.

Unfortunately because of its collectable nature there have been several fakes printed over the years and the MPC page features details on what to look for if you want to make sure you purchase an original.

The poster is one of Struzan’s most iconic designs and brilliantly depicts a moment from what would eventually be revealed as a fight between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The colours and use of painting techniques are fantastic and you should check out the detailed images to see these up close. The poster features on his own website. The design was later adapted for a British advance quad featuring the Return title.

This teaser one sheet was officially reprinted by Kilian Enterprises on the film’s tenth anniversary but with the Return title instead. This page on Learn About Movie Posters details the various versions that were released.

The other posters I’ve collected by Struzan can be viewed here.

Silent Night Evil Night / 30×40 / USA

25.12.12

Poster Poster
Title
Silent Night Evil Night
AKA
Black Christmas (original Canadian title, later used for the USA and other countries) | Stranger in the House (USA - TV title)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Bob Clark
Starring
Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Marian Waldman, Andrea Martin, James Edmond, Doug McGrath, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin, Michael Rapport
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Marian Waldman, Andrea Martin, James Edmond, Doug McGrath, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin, Michael Rapport,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Tanenbaum
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/148
Tagline
If this picture doesn't make your skin crawl... it's on TOO TIGHT.

This 1974 Canadian horror, originally produced and released as Black Christmas, is often credited as being the first in the slasher sub-genre that went on to spawn countless others in the years that followed, including John Carpenter’s Halloween and Friday the 13th. It was one of the earliest films to feature the concept of a mysterious psychopath hunting down and murdering teens one by one, and it also was one of the first horrors to feature scenes shot from the killers point of view. Director Bob Clark was an American who worked in Canada for over a decade, producing some of the country’s most successful films, of which this was the highpoint. He had previously helmed the low-budget zombie horror Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973) and would later see great success with the teen comedy Porky’s (1982) and the classic A Christmas Story one year later. Clark was tragically killed along with his son in a head-on car crash in 2007.

Although the film had seen great success in Canada with its production title of Black Christmas (for its release in 1974) the American distributor Warner Bros apparently changed the title to Silent Night Evil Night (and later Stranger in the House) because it feared audiences would think the film was an entry in the then burgeoning blaxploitation genre. After flopping in its first release in the USA (in 1975), the title was later changed back to Black Christmas and the posters that had already been printed with ‘Silent Night…’ had a snipe with the original title glued over the top, as can be seen on this one sheet.

The artwork is by the American artist Robert Tanenbaum. To see other posters I’ve collected by him click here.

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.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
AKA
--
Year of Film
1992
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Chris Isaak, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Kyle MacLachlan, Heather Graham
Origin of Film
France | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Chris Isaak, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Kyle MacLachlan, Heather Graham,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In a town like Twin Peaks, no one is innocent.

Despite the phenomenal ratings success that David Lynch and Mark Frost‘s Twin Peaks TV series had enjoyed during its first season, the viewing figures dropped sharply in the middle of the second and the show was put on hiatus by ABC. After a letter-writing campaign by fans, dubbed COOP (Citizens Opposed to the Offing of Peaks), the studio relented and agreed to show the remaining six episodes. The biggest problem the show faced was that halfway through the second series the killer of Laura Palmer had been revealed, which had been the main storyline focus up until that point, and the following episodes failed to hold viewer interest as much.

When ABC revealed they were not planning to make a third series the show’s cancellation was confirmed. Only a month after this happened, Lynch announced that he was planning to make a Twin Peaks film in conjunction with French company CIBY-2000, which ended up being both a prequel and an epilogue to the original show. Working without Mark Frost, Lynch was able to assemble most of the original cast, with the exception of Lara Flynn BoyleSherilyn Fenn and Richard BeymerKyle MacLachlan had been reluctant to return as FBI Agent Dale Cooper and is only featured briefly in the film, which lead Lynch and his co-screenwriter to change the focus of the film, with another murder case and the life of Laura Palmer being key facets of the plot.

In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Chris Isaak plays FBI Agent Chester Desmond who, along with his new partner Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland), are sent to investigate the murder of Teresa Banks in the town of Deer Meadow. After finding an important clue, Desmond mysteriously disappears and the film then cuts to one year later in the town of Twin Peaks, picking up the story of homecoming queen Laura Palmer whose eventual murder has a direct link to that of Teresa Banks.

Despite the cult following of the TV series, the film was both a critical and commercial flop and was greeted with boos and jeers at the Cannes Film Festival, with Quentin Tarantino confessing “After I saw Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me at Cannes, David Lynch had disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different. And you know, I loved him. I loved him.” It also saw poor box-office takings in the USA after the ratings drop of the second series and the unforgiving plot for people unfamiliar with the Twin Peaks universe.

This US one sheet features a portrait of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and the split necklace. Notably this one sheet is double-sided and will have been one of the first to be printed in this way.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Borderline / one sheet / USA

09.12.13

Poster Poster
Title
Borderline
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Jerrold Freedman
Starring
Charles Bronson, Bruno Kirby, Bert Remsen, Michael Lerner, Kenneth McMillan, Ed Harris, Karmin Murcelo, Enrique Castillo, Wilford Brimley, Norman Alden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Bruno Kirby, Bert Remsen, Michael Lerner, Kenneth McMillan, Ed Harris, Karmin Murcelo, Enrique Castillo, Wilford Brimley, Norman Alden,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struan
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800098
Tagline
Somewhere along a thousand miles of barbed wire border the American dream has become a nightmare.

An excellent portrait of Charles Bronson by the great Drew Struzan features on this poster for Borderline (1980), a film that, quite frankly, probably didn’t deserve it. This was one of a number of films that were released in the early 1980s dealing with the issue of illegal immigrants on the USA/Mexico border, including the Jack Nicholson starring The Border (1982), and it was filmed in and around actual border crossing locations. Bronson appears as patrolman Jeb Maynard whose colleague, veteran senior agent Scooter (Wilford Brimley), is brutally murdered along with a Mexican boy by Hotchkiss, an American people smuggler played by Ed Harris in his first notable film role. The FBI are brought into help with the investigation and their assertion is that drug smugglers were responsible, but Jeb and the boy’s mother believe differently so he sets out to discover the truth and bring Hotchkiss to justice.

These two reviews on IMDb appear to sum up most views on the film:

‘I love Charles Bronson, and I really wanted to love Borderline, but it’s about as exciting as a trip to the grocery store.’

‘This was the third turkey in a row for Charles Bronson, after “The White Buffalo” and “Love and Bullets”. It’s so utterly, extraordinarily dull that you may not quite make to the end. There is little plot, no action, no emotion, no humour and generally nothing to engage your interest in any way; even the supporting characters are colourless.’

Drew Struzan is an artist that needs no introduction since he worked on many of the most iconic film posters over the past 35 years. This one sheet for Borderline was one of his earlier efforts and it appeared before classic pieces like The Thing and Back to the Future. The other posters I’ve collected by Drew can be seen here.

The House Where Evil Dwells / one sheet / USA

24.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
The House Where Evil Dwells
AKA
Ghost in Kyoto (Japan)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Kevin Connor
Starring
Edward Albert, Susan George, Doug McClure, Amy Barrett, Mako Hattori, Tsuiyuki Sasaki, Toshiya Maruyama, Tsuyako Okajima, Henry Mitowa, Mayumi Umeda
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Edward Albert, Susan George, Doug McClure, Amy Barrett, Mako Hattori, Tsuiyuki Sasaki, Toshiya Maruyama, Tsuyako Okajima, Henry Mitowa, Mayumi Umeda,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820070
Tagline
An ancient curse has turned their lives into a nightmare of lust and revenge.

Artwork by the American artist John Solie features on this one sheet for the release of the 1982 USA/Japan co-production, The House Where Evil Dwells. Set and shot in Japan, the film is a horror based on a novel by James Hardiman and is effectively a haunted house tale. It opens in the city of Kyoto in 1840 and sees a samurai warrior return home to discover his wife being unfaithful with another man. In an utterly graceless, slow-motion sequence we watch as he butchers the pair before committing seppuku (ritual suicide). As the house is ravaged by a storm, a miniature figurine depicting a pair of lovers (one a devil like creature) is swept into the foundations, presumably cursing the place.

140 years later, the film picks up as US diplomat Alex Curtis (Doug McClure) meets an old friend, Ted Fletcher (Edward Albert) and his wife Laura (Susan George) and daughter at the airport. The family have traveled there to live for a few months for reasons that aren’t exactly made clear (something to do with his career?) and Alex has found them the perfect house to stay in. Of course it’s the same one depicted earlier and it’s now reported to be haunted. The couple soon begin to experience strange occurrences, with the audience first seeing the ghosts of the butchered lovers and angry samurai moving around the family before things take a dark turn as they begin to possess each one in turn. It soon becomes clear that the ghosts intend to free themselves from purgatory by causing Ted, Laura and Alex to commit a similar sort of murder-suicide. A Zen monk living nearby tries to warn the family and stop the ghosts before it’s too late.

It’s fair to say that The House Where Evil Dwells is no masterpiece and in fact is one of the clunkiest horror films I’ve ever watched. Director Kevin Connor, who is best known for the series of sci-fi fantasies he directed for Amicus productions (e.g. The Land That Time Forgot), has since said that his submitted version was heavily cut by producers, removing many scenes of character development. There’s no doubt this would have helped a bit, but it’s the acting from the likes of McClure and Ted Fletcher that really sinks the film. McClure is famous as an inspiration for the character of Troy McClure on The Simpsons, a Hollywood has-been reduced to appearing in shady infomercials and other such work. The actor himself never really found fame in Hollywood, despite appearances in over 500 films and TV shows. On the evidence of his performance here, it’s not hard to see why. Fletcher is perhaps even worse and Susan George, although great in Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, practically phones it in here. The lowlights of the film are undoubtedly the sex scenes between Laura and Ted and later Laura and Alex. Cringeworthy doesn’t quite cover it!

John Solie has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

Missing in Action / one sheet / teaser / USA

01.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Missing in Action
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Joseph Zito
Starring
Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress, Lenore Kasdorf, James Hong, Ernie Ortega, Pierrino Mascarino, Erich Anderson, Joseph Carberry
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress, Lenore Kasdorf, James Hong, Ernie Ortega, Pierrino Mascarino, Erich Anderson, Joseph Carberry,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Stan Watts
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The war's not over until the last man comes home.

Action legend Chuck Norris stars in this Vietnam Prisoner of War (POW) film that shamelessly ripped off borrowed many elements from a script for Rambo: First Blood Part II, which had been written by James Cameron and had been doing the rounds in Hollywood for several months. Apparently folks at the Cannon Group had seen the script and quickly put the first two Missing in Action films into production; part 2, which is actually a prequel, was filmed at the same time as this film.

The story sees Colonel James Braddock escaping from a POW camp after seven years of captivity and then returning to Vietnam on a covert mission to rescue the men he had to leave behind. The film was absolutely savaged by critics on its release, with Derek Adams of Time Out saying that the film is “so bad that it defies belief. It’s xenophobic, amateurish and extraordinarily dull”. The biggest problem with the film is that it feels like a handful of set pieces with a lot of padding to fill in the rest of the running time, making it a frustratingly boring experience.

For all of its faults, it does feature this utterly brilliant minute of action, which has to be seen to be believed.

The poster artwork is by Stan Watts, who painted the posters for Invasion USA and The Delta Force, also starring Norris.

The trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Dreamscape / one sheet / USA

28.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dreamscape
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Joseph Ruben
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Larry Gelman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Larry Gelman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840071
Tagline
Enter a world beyond your wildest imagination where anything can happen | Close your eyes and the adventure begins

Drew Struzan artwork on this poster for the 1984 sci-fi thriller Dreamscape, starring a young and fresh-faced Dennis Quaid, alongside the lovely Kate Capshaw. It also features veteran actors Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow who were, coincidentally, up against each other for the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ prize at the 2012 Academy Awards. Plummer went on to win for the first time in his long career.

Quaid plays psychic Alex Gardner who has been using his skills for personal gain after disappearing from a research project run by Dr. Paul Novotny (Von Sydow). Novotny tracks down Alex and coaxes him into joining his new experiment, which sees psychics’ abilities being used to infiltrate the dreams and nightmares of others. Whilst inside the dreams the psychics are able to influence events with the intention of ridding them of any sleep disorders they’re suffering. Although intended for benevolent purposes, a shadowy government agent (Plummer) clearly has other plans and an ally in the form of deranged psychic (David Patrick Kelly). It’s not long before the life of the President of the USA is in danger and only Alex can save him.

If the idea of infiltrating dreams sounds familiar it’s probably because Christopher Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi masterpiece, Inception, uses a similar conceipt of dream infiltration, although for different purposes and without the use of psychic powers. Despite some notably dodgy effects, Dreamscape is a fun watch and is definitely one of Quaid’s better lead roles. David Patrick Kelly plays a typically excellent bad guy and this was one of several memorable roles for him during the 1980s.

Some of the dreams situations are pretty creepy and well executed, particularly those involving the apocalyptic visions of the President.

Struzan’s artwork features several images taken from dream sequences as well as a couple of the ‘real world’ action scenes in the film. My only criticism of it is that it does make the film look like something of an action-adventure, which is definitely not the case, and the kid depicted as one of the main characters only features for a few brief minutes.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home / one sheet / USA

20.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Leonard Nimoy
Starring
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Jane Wyatt, Catherine Hicks
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Jane Wyatt, Catherine Hicks,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860103
Tagline
Star date: 1986 - How on Earth can they save the future?

A classic piece of Bob Peak artwork on this poster for the fourth in the original series of Star Trek films, The Voyage Home. For some reason, despite Peak having done the poster for the first film, his artwork wasn’t used for the USA posters of the second and third in the series, but did appear on international posters for The Wrath of Khan and The Search For Spock. The studio then went back to using Peak artwork on the US posters for the fourth and fifth films.

The Voyage Home is memorable for its extensive use of location-filming, which took place in around the city of San Francisco, as well as for its humorous, knowing script and barmy plot in which the crew must travel back in time to 1986, find two humpback whales, and transport them into the future so their calls can be used to save Earth in 2286. The film marked the culmination of a storyline that began in The Wrath of Khan.

The rather odd international one sheet for the film can be seen here.

The original trailer for the film is on YouTube.

Sweet Jesus Preacher Man / 30×40 / USA

21.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Sweet Jesus Preacher Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Henning Schellerup
Starring
Roger E. Mosley, William Smith, Michael Pataki, Tom Johnigarn, Joe Tornatore, Damu King, Marla Gibbs, Sam Laws, Phil Hoover, Paul Silliman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roger E. Mosley, William Smith, Michael Pataki, Tom Johnigarn, Joe Tornatore, Damu King, Marla Gibbs, Sam Laws, Phil Hoover, Paul Silliman,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 3/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/189
Tagline
Amen, Brother!

Sweet Jesus Preacher Man is apparently a lesser entry into the 1970s blaxploitation genre and it appears to have been largely forgotten with no DVD release forthcoming. Director Henning Schellerup is perhaps better known as a camera operator and cinematographer, having worked on such films as Death Race 2000A Nightmare on Elm Street and Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Roger E. Mosley (Tom Selleck’s partner in Magnum P.I.) stars as a hit man who who poses as a baptist preacher in order to take over the vice rackets in an L.A. ghetto. After his boss Martelli (character actor William Smith) double-crosses him he sets out on a rampage of revenge leaving bodies in his wake.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this American 30×40 poster so please get in touch if you have an idea. You’ll notice that a large sticker with the credits on it has been applied over what is clearly the original credits block. This was likely done shortly after the posters were printed to correct an error without having to scrap the whole batch and print them again.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Amityville 3-D / one sheet / USA

05.12.16

Poster Poster
Title
Amityville 3-D
AKA
Amityville: The Demon
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, John Beal, Leora Dana, John Harkins, Lori Loughlin, Meg Ryan, Neill Barry
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, John Beal, Leora Dana, John Harkins, Lori Loughlin, Meg Ryan, Neill Barry,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 4/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830163
Tagline
WARNING: in this movie you are the victim.

This is the one sheet for the release of the third film in the Amityville series of horror films, known as Amityville 3-D (or Amityville: The Demon). In an unusual step, the producers of the film were forced to add a line of text to the bottom of the poster asserting that it’s not a sequel to the Amityville and Amityville II. This was because legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis was in the middle of a lawsuit with the Lutz family that were part of the original hauntings that inspired the first films. In the film the original story is referenced, as is the murdered family at the centre of the story, the DeFeos.

Amityville 3-D was one of three big horror releases of 1983 that were presented in 3D (the others being Jaws 3 and Friday the 13th part 3). It’s fair to say that the results were hardly spectacular and audiences and critics alike complained about the blurriness of the 3D content, particularly in this film. Notably, this is the only film released by the now defunct Orion Pictures to be given the 3D treatment.

The plot focuses on the journalist John Baxter (Tony Roberts) who, along with his partner Melanie (Candy Clark), has recently exposed a pair of conmen that were living in the infamous house on 112 Ocean Avenue. He is persuaded to buy the house by a local estate agent and after he agrees to do so a series of events occur that all point to a supernatural presence in the home. John is unconvinced and ignores the pleas of Melanie who is convinced that something lurks inside the house. After his daughter Susan (Lori Loughlin) dies in the lake near the house he is finally convinced to allow his friend, the paranormal investigator Doctor Elliot West (Robert Joy) to check out the house. 

This one sheet features artwork of a demonic claw bursting out of the famous house, presumably giving potential ticket buyers an idea of what they’d be in for with the 3D. I’m unsure who designed or painted it (I believe the hand to be an illustration but may be wrong) so if anyone has an idea, please get in touch.

Nijinsky / one sheet / USA

27.02.17

Poster Poster
Title
Nijinsky
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Herbert Ross
Starring
Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Carla Fracci, Colin Blakely, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jeremy Irons
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Carla Fracci, Colin Blakely, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jeremy Irons,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Hamsel
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800034
Tagline
Genius. Madman. Animal. God. Nijinsky. | A True Story.

Richard Amsel artwork features on this one sheet for the release of the biographical drama Nijinsky. The film tells the story of the celebrated Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky who was born in 1889 in what is now Kiev, Ukraine and died in 1950 in London, England. Often cited as the greatest dancer of the 20th Century he was celebrated for his virtuosity, his ability to dance en pointe and his gravity defying leaps. The film was based on the dancer’s personal diaries and the 1934 biography that was written by his wife Romola de Pulszky. It was directed by the late Herbert Ross, a sometime actor, choreographer, producer and director who is perhaps best known for Footloose (1984).

The plot is described thusly on IMDb:
Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier danseur and aspiring choreographer of the Ballets Russes. The company is managed by the famous Sergei Diaghilev, himself a controlling and fiercely possessive impresario. The increasing tension between these powerful egos, exacerbated by homosexual desire and jealousy, becomes triangular when the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky determinedly attempts to draw the increasingly mentally unstable Nijinsky away from Diaghilev.

Richard Amsel was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and studied at the city’s College of Art. Whilst there he entered and won a nationwide artist competition to paint the poster for the film ‘Hello Dolly!’. Amsel was just 22 at the time and this win helped him quickly establish a career in New York where he worked on album covers (including one for Barry Manilow) as well as magazine covers and editorial art. In addition, he worked on posters some of the most important films of the 1970s, including Chinatown, Nashville and The Sting. During the 1970s he also worked on a series of covers for the American magazine TV Guide, which are still celebrated to this day.

In the 1980s Amsel worked on what is my favourite Indiana Jones poster, the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 re-release one sheet. He had also painted the original release version, featuring a much more serious looking Indy. The artist’s final film poster was the one sheet for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Amsel sadly died of AIDS-related complications that same year. He leaves behind a great legacy of unforgettable artwork, some of which I already have in the Film on Paper collection and which can be seen here.

Thor / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

16.11.16

Poster Poster

This screen print depicting the Marvel character Thor, as played by Chris Hemsworth, was created by the talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin. It was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo as part of a series of prints that were released in preparation for the highly anticipated Marvel superhero team-up, The Avengers (2012). A print was released for each of the seven main heroes featured in the first film. This included one for Captain America by the design outfit Phantom City Creative and one for The Hulk by Ken Taylor. This page on Collider.com shows five of the posters and the other two can be seen here. To finish of the series Mondo asked Tyler Stout to design a poster for the actual Avengers film itself. See here for my interview with Tyler about his work on the print.

Not all of the characters that made the line-up for the first film were given a solo outing before The Avengers was released. The first Iron Man film that was released in 2008 set the template that others followed and made a tidy profit at the box office in doing so. A sequel followed two years later and then Thor’s solo outing was released in 2011 along with the first Captain America film. This then completed what is called Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase Two began with Iron Man 3 in 2013.

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 one. This Thor poster was printed in a regular and variant version with the variant having a grey/silver colourway and glow-in-the-dark inks.

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

Life During Wartime / one sheet / USA

18.10.16

Poster Poster

Artwork by artist Akiko Stehrenberger features on this one sheet poster for the release of director Todd Solondz‘s Life During Wartime. The film is a sort of semi-sequel to Happiness which he directed 11 years earlier. It features the same characters but each one has been re-cast with new actors. The plot mainly revolves around the three Jordan sisters that appeared in Happiness and looks at where their lives are a decade later. Like the director’s other films it straddles a fine line between dark comedy and uncomfortable drama. The performances from the likes of Allison JanneyShirley Henderson and Michael Lerner are all excellent and, although perhaps not as memorable as Happiness, it’s still worth a watch.

Akiko Stehrenberger is one of my favourite poster artists working today and she’s created several memorable pieces of key poster art over the past few years. As detailed on her official website, Akiko began her career in New York City as an illustrator for various magazines, including SPIN and The Source. In 2004 she moved to Los Angeles and began working on illustrations for film posters as well as other freelance projects. She’s won multiple awards and has created poster designs for some of the most celebrated directors working today.

One of her most celebrated posters is the one sheet for Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake of his own film of the same name, released a decade earlier. When first released, many people assumed it was a manipulated photograph of the actress Naomi Watts but this excellent interview on Mubi confirms that it’s a digital illustration. The article is well worth a read to get an idea of how Akiko works and the process she went through for that poster. The gallery of posters on her website features a mixture of designs that were chosen by the distributor to be used as official campaign material as well as ones that didn’t get chosen but are nevertheless excellent. I particularly love this poster for Blue Ruin and the unused quad art for Under the Skin. You can see from her portfolio of work that she’s not afraid to experiment with new styles for each project.

There’s another gallery of her work on IMPawards.

Prime Cut / one sheet / style A / USA

27.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Prime Cut
AKA
Carnage (France)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Ritchie
Starring
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Sissy Spacek, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Sissy Spacek, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/57
Tagline
Together They're Murder In...

A painting by the American artist Tom Jung, who is best known for his work on the style A poster for the release of the first Star Wars film, features on this one sheet for the 1972 crime-drama, Prime Cut. The film was directed by the late Michael Ritchie (Fletch, Downhill Racer) and stars two heavyweight actors of the time in Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman. The former had a string of box-office hits playing tough guys in films such as Point Blank and The Dirty Dozen, and the latter had just starred in the unforgettable The French Connection and was to appear in The Poseidon Adventure in the same year as Prime Cut. It also marked the acting debut of Sissy Spacek who would appear in her most famous role four years later in Brian De Palma’s Carrie.

The plot sees Nick Devlin (Marvin), a Chicago mob enforcer, sent with a crew of men to Kansas City to track down Mary Ann (Hackman) and recover a $500,000 debt. Previous men sent by the mob have disappeared and we witness one being ‘processed’ through Mary Ann’s meat factory, ending up as the filling in a string of sausages that are then sent to the mob boss as a taunt. After driving to Kansas, Devlin first attacks Mary Ann’s brother and warns him that the group are there to collect the debt. The following day they find Mary Ann in a barn where he is the ringleader of a white-slave auction in which young girls are being auctioned off to older men. The women are kept naked in pens like livestock and drugged up so they don’t try to escape. Devlin threatens Mary Ann and rescues one of the women called Poppy (Spacek) “on account”. The rest of the film sees him attempting to secure the missing money and avoiding Mary Ann’s gang of denim-wearing, shotgun-toting farm boys.

The film is fairly brisk at just under 90 minutes and both leads are entertaining to watch throughout. Spacek is also excellent as Poppy and it’s not hard to see why her career took off quickly following her appearance in Prime Cut. There are several memorable scenes in the film, including one faintly ridiculous one where Devlin and Poppy are chased through a wheatfield by a combine harvester, which then goes onto chew up an entire car!

As well as the iconic one sheet for Star Wars, Tom Jung is also known for the style B one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. He was a prolific designer and illustrator for film campaigns from the 1950s through to the 1980s. IMPAwards features a gallery of his work and his Wikipedia article has a selected list of the many posters he worked on. Rather unusually, at least in comparison to other film poster artists, Jung was also a designer of his posters as well as the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Note that this is the Style A one sheet and style B is photographic. Rather unusually, the decision was taken to insert ‘A’ in next to the title at the bottom of the poster which makes it look like the title is ‘A Prime Cut’.

The Omega Man / 30×40 / USA

20.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Omega Man
AKA
1975: occhi bianchi sul pianeta Terra [White eyes on planet earth] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Boris Sagal
Starring
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Jill Giraldi
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Jill Giraldi,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/208
Tagline
The last man alive... is not alone!

American author Richard Matheson‘s 1954 post-apocalyptic tale I Am Legend has been adapted for the screen three times, first in 1964 as the Vincent Price-starring The Last Man on Earth that was shot in Rome and co-directed by Italian Ubaldo Ragona and American Sidney Salkow. The rights to the story had originally been bought by Tony Hinds of the British Hammer Studios and Matheson was asked to write the screenplay, but worries about the gruesome content being too much for British censors saw the script being sold to the American producer Robert Lippert. Matheson was apparently so disappointed with his own screenplay and resultant film that he asked to be credited with the pseudonym Logan Swanson. The Last Man on Earth’s limited success at the box-office might explain why The Omega Man was put into production only seven years later.

Charlton Heston stars as Robert Neville, the Army scientist who manages to inject himself with an experimental vaccine just as the world’s population is obliterated by biological warfare between the Chinese and Russians. Two years later Neville believes himself to be the only surviving human and spends his days exploring a deserted Los Angeles and hunting down a group of infected mutants known as The Family. One day whilst exploring a shopping centre Neville has an encounter with another human survivor but quickly dismisses it as a hallucination, having been alone for so long. When he is captured by The Family and almost burned at the stake his rescue comes from a ragtag bunch of human survivors who ask for his help in saving a group of children that are infected and slowly succumbing to the disease. Neville decides to see if his blood can be used to create a serum to save them, but The Family are not done with him yet…

The Omega Man has several memorable scenes, particularly during the first half of the film as Neville explores a convincingly deserted Los Angeles, which was achieved with out any visual effects by shooting in the city’s business district early on Sunday mornings. The soundtrack is also excellent and Heston does a solid job in the lead role, supported by Rosalind Cash who’s memorable as one of the other survivors with whom Heston shares a controversial (for the time) interracial kiss. The make-up for the mutants has dated rather badly but it’s nowhere near as poor as the terrible CGI abominations that all but sank 2007’s I Am Legend, starring Will Smith in the lead role.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this poster but the pencil drawing is similar to the one seen on the Dirty Harry one sheet that was designed by Bill Gold, so I suspect the same artist may be credited and that Gold was also behind the design. If anyone knows for sure please get in touch.

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.

The Dark Crystal / one sheet / advance / USA

09.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Crystal
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Starring
Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw: Aughra, Percy Edwards, Barry Dennen, Michael Kilgarriff, Jerry Nelson
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw: Aughra, Percy Edwards, Barry Dennen, Michael Kilgarriff, Jerry Nelson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Jeff Kerns, Lili Lakich
Artist
Bob Lee Hickson
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Jim Henson and Frank Oz co-directed this 1982 fantasy, which is notable as being the first full-length, live-action film to feature no human characters at all; puppets play all major roles. It’s notably darker than anything the pair had worked on previously and apparently ended up suffering at the box office; parents were unsure about its suitability as a family film and it was also up against the mega-hit E.T.

The film features puppets and other creatures designed by the renowned English illustrator Brian Froud, whose fantasy artwork has brought him international acclaim. He worked directly with Jim Henson to concept, design and even help to build the complex puppets seen throughout the film. Froud would go on to collaborate with Henson on Labyrinth (1986) and his son Toby even played the baby of the same name who is kidnapped at the start of the film.

This particular poster is the advance US one sheet and the artwork is often wrongly credited to other artists, including Bob Peak and Richard Amsel. Bob Peak did do a poster featuring the titular crystal, but this wasn’t used in the US and can be seen on the Japanese B2. Richard Amsel did the final US one sheet and the artwork features on the UK quad (as well as posters from other countries).

After a bit of research I was able to determine that the designers of this poster were Jeff Kerns and Lili Lakich at the agency Calko, Kerns and Lakich. The latter is well known for her work as a sculptor of neon and has worked in various fields of design for over three decades. Lakich started her professional career designing for the entertainment industry at Seiniger Advertising in Los Angeles. In 1981 she left to form her own studio with two partners and continued to work on film posters and other marketing material until 1987. Her official site’s about page lists an impressive range of work, including logos, identity, brochures and annual reports, signage, packaging, websites and fundraising campaigns for corporations, nonprofits and individuals. Her neon artwork can be seen on the Lakich studio website.

I emailed Lili to ask her if she could recall who was responsible for the artwork on this poster and the following is an excerpt from one of her replies:

I’m afraid I can’t remember who the illustrator was for The Dark Crystal. Somewhere I have a framed poster which may have his name on it, but I can’t access it easily. It was not Bob Peak or Richard Amsel but a young guy that we hired to do comps and then the finished artwork. It was done for Calko, Kerns and Lakich which was my advertising agency from about 1980 to 1987.

UPDATE 05/06/2012
A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that the artist is Bob Lee Hickson and the Dark Crystal image can be seen on his website here.

The film’s original trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Super Fly TNT / 30×40 / USA

23.07.13

Poster Poster
Title
Super Fly TNT
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Ron O'Neal
Starring
Ron O'Neal, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sheila Frazier, Robert Guillaume, Jacques Sernas, William Berger, Roy Bosier, Silvio Noto, Olga Bisera
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ron O'Neal, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sheila Frazier, Robert Guillaume, Jacques Sernas, William Berger, Roy Bosier, Silvio Noto, Olga Bisera,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Craig Nelson
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/233
Tagline
Same dude with a different plan... in another country with a different man.

Written, directed by and starring the late Ron O’Neal, Super Fly TNT was the hastily released follow up to the smash hit 1972 original Super Fly, one of the classic entries into the then burgeoning blaxploitation genre. Reprising his role as Priest from the first film, O’Neal would forever struggle to shake loose from the character and he was always to be known as ‘that Super Fly guy’. In this film, the character has retired from hustling and is living the good life in Rome, Italy with his lady Georgia (Sheila Frazier). Although he’s financially stable following a huge cocaine deal he manage to pull of back in New York, Priest is bored and spends his time playing cards against Italian businessmen.

One day he is approached by an African dignitary Dr. Lamine Sonko (Roscoe Lee Browne) who wants help with a gun smuggling operation that will help overthrow colonialism in his country. Initially reluctant to help, Sonko manages to convince Priest that he owes it to his ‘African brothers’ to help and, feeling a sense of guilt over his hustling days, the Super Fly guy decides to get back into action. The film was critically panned and faired poorly at the box-office; strong proof that rushing a sequel out to cash in on the success of an original usually ends in disaster.

This US 30×40 poster features artwork by the American artist Craig Nelson who has been painting for over forty years, and is an accomplished figure and landscape artist who also teaches at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco where he is Director of Fine Art, Drawing and Painting. Two other film posters that Nelson is known for are the US one sheets for The Monster Squad (1987) and Slap Shot (1977). The artist’s official website can be viewed by clicking here and includes galleries of his fine art paintings and a biography that does have mention of his film work, but there are no galleries of his other posters.