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Hands of Steel / one sheet / USA

05.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Hands of Steel
AKA
Vendetta dal futuro [Vendetta from the future] (Italy - original title) | Return of the Terminator (Malaysia - English title) | Atomic Cyborg (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Sergio Martino (as Martin Dolman)
Starring
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro (figure)
Size (inches)
26.5" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In 1997: The guardian of the future is much more than a man

Italian writer/director Sergio Martino is responsible for several notable Giallo films including Torso and The Case of the Scorpion Tail. His output also includes several exploitation and genre films that directly ‘homage’ the work of American directors, including After the Fall of New York (see Carpenter’s Escape From NY) and Hands of Steel, which shamelessly apes James Cameron’s classic Terminator (1984).

The plot sees Daniel Greene‘s cyborg Paco Querak (great name!) sent to kill a blind environmentalist who is interfering with the plans of industrialist Frank Turner (genre legend John Saxon). During the assassination attempt Querak’s human conscience somehow stops him carrying out the deed and he escapes into the Arizona desert. He ends up at a bar in a small town and before long he’s using his strength to arm wrestle truckers and partake in bar brawls, however a team of hitmen has been sent after him and it’s not long before he is tracked down.

Tragically, Claudio Cassinelli, who played one of the hitmen, was killed in a helicopter crash during filming of an action sequence.

I’m crediting the artwork to the great Renato Casaro because the main figure is clearly his illustration as can be seen on this Japanese B2 for the film, which features his signature. The rest of the art is likely to have been done by another artist, but I’m not certain to whom it can be credited. The typeface used for the tagline could not be more 80s if it tried.

Note that Hands of Steel, like many Italian exploitation films, has multiple alternative names and had a different moniker in most major markets.

The full film is available to watch on YouTube. The trailer is also YouTube.

Dune / one sheet / international

15.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dune
AKA
Der Wüstenplanet (West Germany)
Year of Film
1984
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
International
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world beyond your experience, beyond your imagination.

Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune was always going to be a difficult novel to turn into a sub three-hour film, particularly because of the complex universe, intricate lore and multiple characters it features. The initial novel went onto spawn a Dune franchise, comprising of five more books written by Herbert as well as board games, video games and a series of prequels written after Herbert’s death.

The film that was eventually released in 1984 went through a long gestation, attracting multiple production teams and several directors over a thirteen year period from when the rights were first optioned. Wikipedia has a nice explanation of the various versions (see ‘Production’). In 1975 it looked like legendary director Alejandro Jodorowsky would realise his version of the film with an incredible selection of actors:

In 1975, Jodorowsky planned to film the story as a ten-hour feature, in collaboration with Salvador DalíOrson WellesGloria SwansonDavid CarradineGeraldine ChaplinAlain DelonHervé Villechaize and Mick Jagger.

Even more exciting, in my opinion, was the roster of talent he had assembled behind the camera:

Jodorowsky set up a pre-production unit in Paris consisting of Chris Foss, a British artist who designed covers for science fiction periodicals, Jean Giraud (Moebius), a French illustrator who created and also wrote and drew for Metal Hurlant magazine, and H. R. GigerDan O’Bannon was to head the special effects department.

After a couple of years the project stalled and the financial backing dried up. Frank Herbert traveled to Europe to meet with Jodorowsky and discovered that his script would have resulted in a 14-hour movie.

This website has a great account of Jodorowsky’s version written by the man himself. Earlier this year it was announced that a film was being made that documents this failed version. More info and a trailer can be found here.

The rights were sold to Italian producer Dino de Laurentiis who spent several years trying to get his version of the project off the ground. At one point it looked like Ridley Scott would direct but he eventually left to work on Blade Runner after realising how long Dune would take to bring to screen.

In 1981 De Laurentiis approached director David Lynch after his daughter had seen The Elephant Man and recommended it to her father. Lynch went on to write six drafts of the screenplay before filming commenced in March, 1983. The first cut of the film ran over four hours and, although Lynch was aiming for a preferred length of three hours, the backers (including Universal Pictures) insisted on a two hour film. This meant many scenes were completely excised, new scenes were shot to simplify others and a voice over was added.

All of this resulted in a film that is widely considered as something of a mess, with poor critical reception and box office takings meaning plans for possible sequels were shelved indefinitely. Today, Lynch doesn’t like to talk about the film in interviews and has turned down offers from Universal to reassemble a longer ‘director’s cut’.

The poster
This rarely seen international one sheet was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome, which was part of the legendary Cinecittà studios and handled film publicity for many Italian productions. Casaro would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world and his skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike.

His artwork has featured on posters in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy. Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

This artwork was used on the Italian poster for the film and Casaro’s signature can be seen in the middle right of the poster. This international one sheet was likely printed in America for use in English-speaking international markets.

Dances With Wolves / A1 / Germany

30.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Dances With Wolves
AKA
Der mit dem Wolf tanzt (Germany)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Kevin Costner
Starring
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

It’s hard to believe it’s now 23 years since Kevin Costner’s epic western Dances with Wolves was first released, and whilst it’s easy to be sniffy about later efforts like Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997 – also directed by him), this film still stands up as a memorable and touching story of the end of the Wild West and of the Native American’s interaction with The White People whose journey across the country would ultimately prove disastrous for so many tribes. Set during the Civil War, it tells the story of Lieutenant Dunbar (Costner) who actively seeks exile at a lonely frontier outpost and follows his experiences as he copes with the harsh climate, lack of supplies and dealings with the local Indians. Eventually he adapts to life on the frontier and begins to earn the trust of the tribes, but it’s not long before the war, and other less friendly Native Americans, challenge his newfound identity.

This German A1 poster, which features a fantastic portrait of actor Graham Greene alongside Costner, and a shot from the buffalo hunt scene, was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 40 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome, which was part of the legendary Cinecittà studios and handled film publicity for many Italian productions. Casaro would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world and his skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike.

His artwork has featured on many German posters as well as others from countries including Japan, UK, North America as well as in his native Italy. Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

Octopussy / quad / UK

09.08.13

Poster Poster

This is the UK quad for Roger Moore‘s sixth outing as the legendary spy, 1983’s Octopussy. Considered by many to be one of the weaker entries in the long-running series, the film nevertheless continued the more ‘realistic’ and down to earth approach that was taken for the previous entry, For Your Eyes Only (1981), following the over-the-top lunacy of Moonraker (1979). The story sees Bond sent to investigate the death of his fellow agent ‘009’ who perishes in front of the British embassy in East Berlin clutching a copy of a priceless Fabergé egg. When the trail leads to an auction house in London where the real egg is to be sold, Bond enters a bidding war with the mysterious Afghan prince Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan), forcing him to spend several times its listing price.

After following Khan back to his palace in Rajasthan, India, the spy eventually ends up in the clutches of Khan’s bodyguard Gobinda (an imposing Kabir Bedi) and, after escaping, discovers that the prince is working with a power-hungry Soviet general named Orlov (Steven Berkoff) who plans to detonate a nuclear bomb in a US Air Force base in Germany in order to destabilise Europe and expand Soviet borders. Bond heads to a palace on an Indian lake on the trail of Octopussy (Maud Adams), the enigmatic leader of an all-female cult and head of a travelling circus troupe that Khan and Orlov plan to use to smuggle the weapon into the base. Bond must convince Octopussy that Khan is only using her for his nefarious plot and sets out to prevent the bomb from detonating before Europe is plunged into chaos.

This quad was jointly illustrated by both Renato Casaro, an Italian artist with a prolific output, and the American artist Dan Goozee who painted the central two figures for the US one sheet. They were reused here and then surrounded by the montage of action scenes painted by Casaro. On the Japanese B2, Casaro actually repainted the figures, which then sat alongside a slightly modified montage.

Renato Casaro began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome, which was part of the legendary Cinecittà studios and handled film publicity for many Italian productions. Casaro soon decided to become a freelance artist and went on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on many German posters as well as others from countries including Japan, UK, North America as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

Tenebrae / quad / UK

20.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Tenebrae
AKA
Tenebre (alternate spelling) | Shadow (Japan - English title) | Unsane (USA)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Dario Argento
Starring
Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni, Eva Robins, Carola Stagnaro, John Steiner, Lara Wendel, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Giuliano Gemma
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni, Eva Robins, Carola Stagnaro, John Steiner, Lara Wendel, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Giuliano Gemma,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Graffiti Productions Limited
Artist
Renato Casaro (original art) | An unknown British artist added the bow
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
From the undisputed master of the macabre... | Terror beyond belief

This is the incredibly scarce British quad for the release of Dario Argento‘s Tenebrae (AKA Tenebre), which marked the Italian horror maestro’s return to the giallo genre with which he made his name, following two excursions into supernatural horror with Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980). Argento often credits himself with starting the trend for Italian giallo films with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), despite the fact that directors including Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi had been working on films that met all the criteria of the sub-genre since 1963. After a bruising experience whilst making Inferno in conjunction with Hollywood (in the form of 20th Century Fox) and the film meeting a lukewarm reception upon release, Argento returned with fresh enthusiasm to create what is arguably one of the best giallos of all.

Italian-American actor Anthony Franciosa stars as the American author Peter Neal, famous for having written a series of violent horror novels, who travels to Rome to promote his latest novel ‘Tenebrae’. Soon after arriving Neal is confronted by two police detectives (played by Giuliano Gemma and Carola Stagnaro) who inform him that a murder has been committed by a killer obsessed with his novels, and a letter sent to his hotel room confirms this. Soon after, a journalist who had accused Neal of creating ‘misogynist filth’ and her lesbian lover are brutally murdered by the same razor blade-wielding killer. Another letter arrives at Neal’s hotel room and the author decides to try and discover who is behind the murders as the threat to him and his entourage escalates. This being a giallo, and an Argento one at that, there are plenty of twists to keep the viewer discombobulated right to the end.

Argento claims that the inspiration for the story came from an experience he had at the hands of an obsessive fan whilst working on an unfinished project in Hollywood towards the end of the 1970s. What started as a friendly series of phone calls from someone claiming to love his work escalated into something darker and more threatening, and the director eventually fled back to Rome when it became clear that the person was seriously unhinged. It’s also something of a riposte to the criticisms Argento had received from some critics and commentators who claimed his films were overly violent towards women and that his casual misogyny could encourage real-world violence from his films’ fans. There’s a reason Peter Neal remarks to a pushy journalist ‘Let me ask you something? If someone is killed with a Smith & Wesson revolver… Do you go and interview the president of Smith & Wesson?’

Tenebrae was released into UK cinemas in 1982 with 4 seconds of cuts imposed by the BBFC, but soon after its release on video in 1983 the film fell foul of the infamous video nasty debacle which saw 72 films deemed to be in violation of the obscene publications act. 39 films on the Director of Public Prosecutions‘ list were successfully prosecuted and banned from rental or sale in the UK, despite the fact that many, including Tenebrae, had already seen cinema releases with BBFC approval. It took years before relaxation in censorship saw many of the films being re-released on video and DVD, and it wasn’t until 2003 that Tenebrae was finally available in a completely uncut form.

The image of the murdered woman on this quad was originally painted by the Italian artist Renato Casaro for the Italian poster but the bloody cut in the throat seen on the original was clearly seen as too much for the British market and a red bow was painted in its place. The quad’s design was handled by the London-based studio Graffiti Productions, which was started in 1969 by two friends Paul Brown-Constable and Nimal Jayasekera. The pair worked on marketing for an eclectic range of films, including several international releases, plus homegrown titles like Scum and a few Hollywood productions. As well as posters the firm was one of the first to take on work for  home video distributors at the start of the boom in the early 1980s. Most of their posters are easy to identify because they either feature a stylised company logo or a line of text, as on this poster.

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen / one sheet / international

25.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey
Origin of Film
UK | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Renato Casaro | Vic Fair (main figure)
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Remarkable. Unbelievable. Impossible. And true.

This is the international one sheet for the release of the 1988 fantasy comedy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Based on the tall tales that the real-life 18th century German Baron Münchhausen allegedly told about his wartime dealings with the Ottoman Empire, the film is a riotous exploration of the power of storytelling and imagination. Gilliam plucked the veteran actor John Neville, in his early sixties at the time, from near obscurity to play the titular Baron who teams up with a young girl and a whole host of bizarre characters to save an unnamed European city from defeat by a besieging Turkish army. 

Actress (and recently director) Sarah Polley appears in her first screen role as Sally Salt, a member of a theatre troupe that has been touring the country showing farcical reconstructions of Munchausen’s supposed adventures. At one show the real Baron arrives into the theatre just as a Turkish army appears outside the city walls and begins to attack. What follows is a madcap mix of improbable, recollected tales and daring adventures as the Baron takes Sally on a journey to gather together his old gang of associates, including the fastest runner in the world (Eric Idle), a giant strongman and a dwarf able to expel powerful gusts of wind that can knock tens of people over. Their journey takes them to the moon where they encounter the eccentric King of the Moon (a memorable cameo from Robin Williams), into the crater of an active volcano where they meet the Roman God Vulcan (Oliver Reed) and his wife Venus (one of Uma Thurman‘s earliest film roles) and inside the belly of a giant sea monster, before they head back to the besieged city to rescue it from certain defeat.

Featuring a number of notable actors, often in dual roles that reflect the film’s clever play on the idea of fantasy and reality, the story is never anything less than entertaining and the action on screen completely belies the ridiculous behind the scenes travails that Gilliam went through to bring his vision to life. The film suffered a number of setbacks during its production, including a budget that more than doubled and a change of management at the studio that almost saw the film cancelled entirely (production was shut down for several weeks). The film was eventually practically dumped into cinemas in the States with a limited release that saw a corresponding lack of box office takings, and this was despite strong critical reception. It faired better in Europe but was unable to recoup its reported budget of over $45 million.

This poster’s creation saw the pairing of two not inconsiderable talents in the shape of the British designer and artist Vic Fair and the prolific designer/artist Renato Casaro. More details of each of them can be found in the two exclusive interviews I carried out with each for the website: Vic Fair interview and Renato Casaro interview.

In his interview Vic talks about working with Gilliam (and the interview also features a concept illustration by the artist):

———————–

What was it like working with Terry Gilliam?
‘It could be quite frustrating sometimes as he’d get me to do loads of work and then at the very last minute he’d change his mind and ask someone else to do it. He had this team of artists and designers always on call and often they’d end up taking over, so it often felt like a waste of time.

He was really good at making you feel like you’d solved all his marketing problems though. He used to say things like ‘That’s it! You’ve done it! It’s perfect!’ and he’d kick the bloke off the chair sitting next to him and usher you to take his place at the table. You’d have all these other chaps on his team looking enviously at you, but you knew that it wasn’t over and that there’d be more designs to come. A couple of days later you’d discover that he’d changed his mind and wanted to see some more ideas for the design.’

———————–

In his interview, Renato recalls working with Vic on this poster:

————————

‘One other thing that’s important to say is that I was generally not beholden to an art director and usually I was the designer and the artist on every film poster I worked on. One exception was a pleasant collaboration that I had with the British designer Vic Fair for a poster for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He had designed a one sheet intended for international use and I worked on the painting for it. I would always make sure to watch the film first, or if that wasn’t possible receive stills from the production, or in some cases even visit the set whilst they were filming, as I mentioned. But I was never working to someone else’s design direction – at Studio Casaro I always made sure I had complete creative control on movie jobs.’

———————–

Certain Fury / quad / UK

27.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Certain Fury
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Stephen Gyllenhaal
Starring
Tatum O'Neal, Irene Cara, Nicholas Campbell, George Murdock, Moses Gunn, Peter Fonda, Rodney Gage, Jonathon Pallone, David Longworth
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tatum O'Neal, Irene Cara, Nicholas Campbell, George Murdock, Moses Gunn, Peter Fonda, Rodney Gage, Jonathon Pallone, David Longworth,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Two Academy Award winning stars... in the one motion picture that hurtles them from innocence - to fear - to rage!

Great artwork by Renato Casaro features on this UK quad for the release of the largely forgotten 1985 b-movie Certain Fury. As this poster is keen to point out, the film stars two young award-winning actresses, Tatum O’Neal (daughter of Ryan) and Irene Cara, a singer-songwriter who had won awards for her work on Fame and Flashdance. Tatum plays Scarlet, a tough, young delinquent who supports herself with prostitution and drug-dealing and Irene is Tracy, the daughter of a doctor, who has been arrested for drug possession and resisting arrest. The pair first meet in a courtroom and are waiting to be seen by the judge when other defendants begin attacking the court staff and police, leading to a deadly shootout. Scarlet and Tracy manage to escape the carnage and enter into the city’s sewers whilst being pursued by the police who believe they were part of the shootout. Soon the accidental death of a policeman is blamed on their actions and they have most of the force after them as well as various criminals who Scarlet asks for help before they turn on her and Tracy.

The film was poorly reviewed at the time and hardly set the box-office on fire. It’s never been released on home video since the days of VHS and, if the IMDb reviews are anything to go by, there’s probably a good reason. It sounds like a film that’s not even ‘so bad it’s good’ and this seems like one of those cases where the poster art is the best thing about the film!

One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro is an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Flesh and Blood / quad / UK

29.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Flesh and Blood
AKA
Flesh+Blood (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck, Susan Tyrrell, Ronald Lacey, Brion James
Origin of Film
Spain | USA | Netherlands
Genre(s) of Film
Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck, Susan Tyrrell, Ronald Lacey, Brion James,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown artist - based on artwork by Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30 3/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A timeless adventure, a passion for wealth and power. Only the strongest will survive.

This is the British quad for the release of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven‘s first English language film, Flesh and Blood (sometimes referred to as Flesh+Blood). Verhoeven had been making films with subsidies from the Dutch government but things had been proving difficult due to the controversial subject matter of his stories so he decided to seek financial backing from a Hollywood studio. The now defunct Orion Pictures stumped up most of the budget for Flesh and Blood and had asked the director for a war film after seeing the celebrated Soldier of Orange. Verhoeven had nothing prepared in that genre so he worked hastily with a regular collaborator, the screenwriter Gerard Soeteman, to adapt some unused material from their TV series Floris, which was set during the Middle-Ages. Verhoeven would later rue the decision to allow Orion to insist on script changes that added a romantic interest to the story.

Set in Italy in 1501, the film features the Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who had worked with Verhoeven several times before (including on Floris), as Martin, the leader of a band of mercenaries who are asked to help Lord Arnolfini (Fernando Hilbeck) retake his city that was captured whilst he was away. After successfully storming and recapturing it the mercenaries are initially told they can ransack the houses of the richest inhabitants of the city, but Arnolfini then changes his mind and orders his army to march the mercenaries from the city without the bounty that was agreed. The group vow to take their revenge and when Arnolfini’s son Steven (Tom Burlinson) leaves the castle to meet Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a noblewoman who has been betrothed to him, the mercenaries strike. After attacking the caravan and badly wounding Arnolfini, they kidnap Agnes and ride away with her. Eventually they end up at a castle where they hole-up and attempt to see off any attempts to rescue Agnes, who is seemingly falling in love with Martin.

Although it features moments of humour, Verhoeven’s intention was to show that the Middle-Ages weren’t as glamorous and pleasant as had been depicted in previous films, so he doesn’t shy away from casual violence, filth and degradation. Agnes in particular is subjected to a humiliating ordeal at the hands of the mercenaries, effectively ending up as their plaything later in the film. There’s plenty of blood-letting too with some battle scenes that are not for the faint hearted. Apparently the production was beset with problems, including an uncooperative international crew who were often drunk or under the influence of drugs, as well as a giant rift that opened up between Verhoeven and Hauer because the actor wanted to build a career as a heroic leading man, but the director wanted his character to be more ambiguous and at times unpleasant. The resulting film is definitely uneven and at times confusing, but is nevertheless engaging. Hauer in particular injects his scenes with plenty of wild energy and Jennifer Jason Leigh is memorable as the sensuous Agnes. Unfortunately Orion botched the American release and the film apparently flopped quickly. Verhoeven would later say he felt that he’d probably made the film too cynical and downbeat for audiences to take.

This artwork was adapted by an unknown British artist from an original piece of art by the Italian artist Renato Casaro, which was originally painted for the German poster. Notable changes include the position of the characters, which widened for this quad, plus the smaller figure of Hauer is also markedly different. One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro had a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Erik the Viking / Thailand

17.07.17

Poster Poster

This Thai poster for Terry Jones’ 1989 fantasy film Erik the Viking features artwork by Tongdee Panumas. The prolific Jones (actor, director, author, screenwriter, poet, historian) is best known as a Monty Python member and director of the comedy group’s feature films. The film was inspired by Jones’ own 1983 children’s book The Saga of Erik the Viking but shares only character names; the plotline is completely different. Based largely on Norse mythology, Tim Robbins stars as the titular Viking who discovers in the opening scene that he has no taste for the usual Viking activities of raping and pillaging. He learns from a wise old woman that Fenrir the wolf has swallowed the sun and plunged the world into the chaotic age of Ragnarök. Erik resolves to gather a motley crew together to travel to Asgard and petition the gods to end Ragnarök and bring sunlight back to his people. First he must travel to Hy-Brasil and recover the ‘Horn Resounding’ and there he meets King Arnulf (Jones) and promptly falls in love with his daughter, Princess Aud (Imogen Stubbs).

The film was largely critically panned and didn’t fare too well at the box-office. Over the years Jones and his son Bill have made a few edits to the film, with a VHS release chopping 18 minutes from the runtime, before a 2006 “Director’s Son’s Cut” saw it reduced down to just 75 minutes (from the original theatrical running time of 107 minutes).

This Thai poster features a repainted take on the figures falling out of the viking boat, as seen on the German poster (and painted by Renato Casaro), but adds more colour and a montage of action scenes as was typical of the artist responsible. Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this particular copy of the poster has been hand-signed by Tongdee and I bought it from someone who had visited Thailand, met the artist and had him sign a few posters. I’ve seen photographic evidence that it’s a genuine signature.

Army Of Darkness / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Army of Darkness: The Medieval Dead
AKA
Army of Darkness (USA) | Kyaputien supamaketto: Shiryo no harawata III - Captain Supermarket (Japan)
Year of Film
1993
Director
Sam Raimi
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.

Cliffhanger / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cliffhanger
AKA
Risco Total (Brazil)
Year of Film
1993
Director
Renny Harlin
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, Leon, Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite
Origin of Film
Italy | France | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, Leon, Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The height of adventure

Conan The Barbarian / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Conan The Barbarian
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Milius
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Thief Warrior Gladiator King

Hands of Steel / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hands of Steel
AKA
Vendetta dal futuro (Italy - original title) | Return of the Terminator (Malaysia - English title) | Atomic Cyborg (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Sergio Martino
Starring
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli, George Eastman, Robert Ben, Pat Monti,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Flash Gordon / B2 / artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Flash Gordon / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Innocent Blood / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Maniac Cop / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Maniac Cop
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
William Lustig
Starring
Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, Robert Z'Dar
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, Robert Z'Dar,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30 1/8" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
You have the right to remain silent...forever.

Rambo III / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Rambo III
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Peter MacDonald
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it's to save his friend.

Rambo: First Blood Part II / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Rambo: First Blood Part II
AKA
Rambo II: la vendetta [the revenge] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
George P. Cosmatos
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Julian Turner
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Julian Turner,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
28" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
No man, no law, no war can stop him.

Red Sonja / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Red Sonja
AKA
Yado (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Ronald Lacey, Pat Roach, Terry Richards,, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Netherlands | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Ronald Lacey, Pat Roach, Terry Richards,, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850059
Tagline
A woman and a warrior that became a legend.

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!

The Wraith / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Wraith
AKA
Interceptor (West Germany) | Il replicante [The replicant] (Italy)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Mike Marvin
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn, Randy Quaid, Matthew Barry, David Sherrill, Jamie Bozian, Clint Howard, Griffin O'Neal, Chris Nash
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Nick Cassavetes, Sherilyn Fenn, Randy Quaid, Matthew Barry, David Sherrill, Jamie Bozian, Clint Howard, Griffin O'Neal, Chris Nash,
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 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
If you've done nothing wrong.... you've nothing to fear...