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Monsters / one sheet / teaser / USA

12.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Monsters
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Gareth Edwards
Starring
Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2010
Designer
Gravillis Inc.
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
It's our turn to adapt

British director Gareth Edwards’ excellent Monsters was one of the best films released in 2010 and transcended a micro-budget to become one of the freshest entries in the sci-fi genre for several years. The film is set slightly in the future and several years after a NASA probe crashed back to earth infected with alien life. Half of Mexico had to be quarantined off as the creatures grew and took over the area, and the US military patrols the borders. Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is a US photojournalist who is hired by his boss to escort his daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) from the safe part of Mexico back to the States. The pair are forced to head through the quarantined zone despite the threat of the creatures who are moving across the country on their yearly ‘migration’.

The film was shot entirely on location by a tiny crew, using prosumer cameras and, aside from the two leads, the majority of the characters were played by non-actors. The dialogue was improvised around a loose scene outline and the results were edited whilst the crew was on the road. Gareth Edwards had previously worked as a special effects editor and spent four months designing and creating all of the effects himself, once again using off the shelf equipment and software. It’s a superb achievement and well worth a watch, but don’t go in expecting some kind of fast-paced, gory creature-feature as some cinema-goers were, back in 2010.

This striking US one sheet teaser was designed by Gravillis Inc. and features Whitney Able in a gas mask with a reflection of one of the creatures in the visor. Because the poster is so dark it’s hard to photograph without losing some of the details so check out the original digital file here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Platoon / one sheet / international

10.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Platoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Bryan
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

An iconic image on this one sheet for the release of Oliver Stone‘s Academy Award-winning Vietnam war classic, Platoon, one of a three films that the director made on the subject (the others being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth). The script, which was written by Stone, is based on his own experiences as an infantryman who served in tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He had signed up in 1967 after dropping out of Yale University and specifically requested to see combat in the war that had seen the first ground troops sent to the country two years earlier. Stone served in two different divisions for over a year and was wounded twice,  receiving several medals, including a Purple Heart.

The film follows Charlie Sheen‘s army grunt Chris Taylor (a proxy for Stone) who is serving as part of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian Border. Taylor is fresh into the field and is treated with disdain by the more experienced soldiers (an incredible ensemble of acting talent, including Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David and Forest Whitaker) who have all been in country for months, and he is quickly made aware that his presence is inconsequential. After a few skirmishes in which some members of the division are killed, Taylor is eventually accepted into the group and discovers the grinding boredom and rampant drug use amongst his fellow soldiers. Tensions between two sergeants, the ill-tempered, battle-scarred Barnes (Berenger) and the pleasant, more reasonable Elias (Dafoe) reach breaking point following an incident involving innocent villagers. Upon returning to base, the issue of a court-martial for illegal killing is raised and when the division is sent out on their next patrol, things reach boiling point, leaving Taylor fighting to survive against the enemy as well as members of his own team.

This one sheet features a shot from a pivotal scene in the film where Elias is left behind during an evacuation to escape from advancing Vietcong troops. The shot was used on most posters for the film’s release across the board, but not on the US one sheet. This poster is in fact a one sheet printed for use in English-speaking international countries (note the lack of MPAA rating). It most commonly appears without the white border and measuring 25″ x 39″ but this is the full-size 27″ x 41″ bordered version.

I had always assumed the image was a photograph but I only recently discovered it’s the work of the American artist Mike Bryan who also painted the fantastic and iconic Robocop one sheet. Heritage auction house sold the original paintings for both posters in March 2014 and included with each was a note from Bryan himself. The platoon one can be read here.

The Challenge / one sheet / USA

20.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Challenge
AKA
Sword of the Ninja (US alt. title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Frankenheimer
Starring
Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz, Atsuo Nakamura, Calvin Jung, Clyde Kusatsu, Sab Shimono, Kiyoaki Nagai
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz, Atsuo Nakamura, Calvin Jung, Clyde Kusatsu, Sab Shimono, Kiyoaki Nagai,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
C. W. Taylor
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820127
Tagline
He has trained every thought, every muscle, every nerve, for this moment of truth. | One American against all odds.

Directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds) The Challenge is a 1982 action film that was an American/Japanese co-production and is largely set in the latter country. Scott Glenn stars as Rick Murphy, a down-and-out boxer who is hired to transport an ancient sword (one of a pair called ‘The Equals’) that had been stolen during WWII back into Japan and into the hands of a Hideo (Atsuo Nakamura), a member of the Yoshida family. On arrival in Japan, Murphy discovers that the sword is a fake and he’s inadvertently landed himself in the middle of a feud between the ruthless businessman Hideo and his more traditional Samurai brother Toru (Toshirô Mifune).

At first Murphy sides with Hideo and attempts to steal the real sword from Toru, but he soon realises which man is more honorable and eventually asks Toru to train him in swordsmanship and the ways of the samurai. Eventually he strikes up a relationship with Toru’s daughter Akiko but Hideo still wants the sword and will stop at nothing to steal it. Murphy must team up with Toru and his daughter and put his training to the test.

The film’s martial arts choreography was organised by non other than Steven Seagal six years before his own career in front of the camera began. The film was later released in the US in a cut-down form as Sword of the Ninja. Despite being something of a box-office and critical success The Challenge has never been released on DVD and is frustratinly hard to see at the moment. Fingers crossed for a HD release sometime in the future.

The artwork on this one sheet is by an American artist called C. Winston Taylor, about whom very little can be found online. The Lost Video Archive blog has a post on the artist that features images of some of his other posters and video covers. In the 1990s the artist was hired to paint the covers for a Quantum Leap comic book series and a gallery of those images can be viewed on this site, which also features three images of the artist himself. Comicbookdb.com features a small profile of Taylor with the following mini-biography:

C. Winston Taylor always knew from a young age that he would communicate through his drawings. Fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, where he earned two Bronze Stars, helped solidify this vision. After graduating with honors from the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, he quickly became a well-respected illustrator. His work has received numerous awards and he served as the president of The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. 

The other posters I’ve collected with artwork by C.W. Taylor can be seen by clicking here.

The Sea Wolves / one sheet / UK

01.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Sea Wolves
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Andrew V. McLaglen
Starring
Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Barbara Kellerman, Patrick Macnee, Kenneth Griffith, Patrick Allen
Origin of Film
Switzerland | UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Barbara Kellerman, Patrick Macnee, Kenneth Griffith, Patrick Allen,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Arnaldo Putzu
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The last charge of the Calcutta Light Horse.

Featuring great art by Arnaldo Putzu, this is the UK one sheet for the 1980 action film The Sea Wolves, which is based on real events that occurred during the Second World War. As mentioned on the poster, the story is based on the exploits of ex-members of the Calcutta Light Horse, a cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army that was formed in 1872 and was disbanded a couple of years after the end of WWII. The plot sees British intelligence discovering that a Nazi radio ship is broadcasting the coordinates of allied ships from a harbour in Portuguese Goa, which was neutral during the war, so an all out assault cannot be launched by the Navy because of this.

British Intelligence officers Col. Lewis Pugh (Gregory Peck) and Capt. Gavin Stewart (Roger Moore) lead the operation and covertly enlist retired officer Col. Bill Grice (David Niven) of the Calcutta Light Horse & some of his former soldiers. The gang sneak into Goa and arrange a diversion on the evening of a planned raid, before making their way to the radio ship carrying enough explosives to sink it and put a stop any more transmissions. The film reunited much of the creative team behind an earlier OAPs on a mission film, 1978’s The Wild Geese, including director Andrew V. McLaglen, screenwriter Reginald Rose, producer Euan Lloyd and several of the stars.

Arnaldo Putzu was born in Rome in 1927 and began painting from a very early age and in 1948 he got involved with the world of film publicity under the guidance of the famous artist Enrico De Seta. Eventually Putzu would gain enough confidence in his abilities to set up his own agency and it was this move that saw him getting involved in work for the British studio Rank. Eric Pulford was so impressed with his work that he brought him over to London to work at Downtons in 1967.

The artist worked on many posters whilst living over here and also gained notoriety for lending his talents to the popular children’s magazine Look-in for which he painted almost every cover during its publication lifetime. His best known poster is undoubtedly the one he painted for the Michael Caine gangster classic Get Carter in 1971. My friend and author of the must-own British Film Posters book, Sim Branaghan, met Putzu during the making of his book and describes it as a very memorable experience in the interview I published in 2012. Putzu sadly passed away the same year, aged 85, and Sim wrote an excellent obituary for The Guardian newspaper, which can be read here.

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

I also have the quad poster for the film which can be seen here.

Shamus / one sheet / USA

08.08.16

Poster Poster
Title
Shamus
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Buzz Kulik
Starring
Burt Reynolds, Dyan Cannon, John P. Ryan, Joe Santos, Giorgio Tozzi, Ron Weyand, Larry Block, Beeson Carroll, Kevin Conway
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Burt Reynolds, Dyan Cannon, John P. Ryan, Joe Santos, Giorgio Tozzi, Ron Weyand, Larry Block, Beeson Carroll, Kevin Conway,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/378
Tagline
Shamus is a pro! He never misses!

An unusual illustration with a stylised half-finished look features on this US one sheet for the release of the 1973 film Shamus. It was directed by the late Buzz Kulik who spent the majority of his career directing TV shows and TV movies, including several episodes of The Twilight Zone. The film stars Burt Reynolds who had entered a golden period following his breakout performance in the 1972 film Deliverance. For the rest of the 1970s he would star in two or three films a year, cementing his reputation as a rugged action star and cheeky good ol’ boy, with films like Smokey and the Bandit, as well as an off-screen sex symbol (thanks to things like the infamous magazine centrefold image of him lying on a rug).

Set in New York, Reynolds stars as the titular Shamus McCoy, a hard-living private detective who enjoys drinking, gambling and womanising, but is in need of a new case to top up his bank account. One day he’s approached by an eccentric diamond dealer who’s had a stash of diamonds stolen and Shamus is offered $10k to track them down. What seems like a straightforward case turns out to be nothing of the sort and the PI is thwarted at every opportunity, with a beating by a gang of thugs making him realise he’s onto something big. Shamus teams up with his friend Springy as well as Alexis Montaigne (Dyan Cannon), the sister of a nightclub owner who’s involved in the plot. The gang uncover illegal arms dealing activities and are soon confronted by the deadly intentions of the improbably named, corrupt army Colonel Hardcore (John P. Ryan).

I’ve struggled to identify who is responsible for the artwork so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch. Unusually it features both a smaller illustration and a retouched photographic image. Typically posters from around this period might feature a main photographic image with supporting illustrations (see the Cleopatra Jones poster for example).

Barbarosa / one sheet / USA

13.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
Barbarosa
AKA
La Vengeance mexicaine (France)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Fred Schepisi
Starring
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martinez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martinez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
George Tsui
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820030
Tagline
The Outlaw... The Outcast... And the Legend that was bigger than both of them.

Great artwork features on this US one sheet for the little-seen 1982 western Barbarosa. The film was the first American film to be directed the Australian producer/director Fred Schepisi who would go on to international success with films such as Roxanne and Six Degrees of Separation. It stars the legendary country musician Willie Nelson who forged a career in acting towards the end of the 1970s and this was one of his first feature films. He appears alongside Gary Busey who plays a young farm boy who joins up with Nelson’s titular outlaw. The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

Karl Westover (Busey), an inexperienced farm boy, runs away after unintentionally killing a neighbor, whose family pursues him for vengeance. He meets Barbarosa, a gunman of near-mythical proportions, who is himself in danger from his father-in-law Don Braulio, a wealthy Mexican rancher. Don Braulio wants Barbarosa dead for marrying his daughter against the father’s will. Barbarosa reluctantly takes the clumsy Karl on as a partner, as both of them look to survive the forces lining up against them.

The film appears to have only been released in a few countries, including the US and Australia but was well received by critics at the time. The artwork on this one sheet appears to have been used to promote the film in most of the markets in which it was released. It features the signature (see picture 9) beloning to an artist called George Tsui. A reader of the site commented and helped me identify him after I’d struggled to read the signature originally. I’ve struggled to find out much in the way of biographical details about him other than that he was born in Hong Kong and moved to New York in the late 60s. He first studied at the School of Visual Arts and later majored in oil painting at the Art Students League.

According to this site Tsui worked for NBC for a number of years and won the 1997 Emmy Award for Best Individual Art and Craft. That site also features other pictures of his work. Apparently he worked on other film posters (the titles of which I’m struggling with) and a series of posters for the 1984 Winter Olympics. If anyone has any more information about the artist and his work on film posters please get in touch.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad / one sheet / teaser / USA

15.06.16

Poster Poster

A very unusual teaser one sheet for the release of the 1973 fantasy film The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The poster is dominated by a Zodiac chart and the best I can figure is that this was due to the films links to Greek myths and legends (with the Zodiac having origins in Greek astronomy). The film is notable for being the second of three Sinbad films that feature work from the stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen. The first was released in 1958 and was called The 7th Voyage of Sinbad whilst the third film was released in 1977 and named Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. The ‘Dynarama’ mentioned on this poster was a marketing term that was coined by Harryhausen’s producer and partner and simply refers to the full-colour animation style (it started out as ‘Dynamation’).

Directed by the late Gordon Hessler, the film features the late American actor John Phillip Law as Sinbad and the lovely Caroline Munro as a slave girl who joins the adventure. Former Doctor Who Tom Baker appears as the evil prince Koura. The plot is described thusly:

Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad. Meanwhile Sinbad meets the Vizier who has another part of the interlocking golden map, and they mount a quest across the seas to solve the riddle of the map, accompanied by a slave girl with a mysterious tattoo of an eye on her palm. They encounter strange beasts, tempests, and the dark interference of Koura along the way.

The film was critically well-received at the time of release and made good at the box-office, which no doubt contributed to the short gap between this film and the sequel.

The standard one sheet features most of the images seen around the edges of this poster and can be seen here.

I, the Jury / one sheet / USA

05.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
I, the Jury
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
Richard T. Heffron
Starring
Armand Assante, Barbara Carrera, Laurene Landon, Alan King, Geoffrey Lewis, Paul Sorvino, Judson Scott, Barry Snider
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Armand Assante, Barbara Carrera, Laurene Landon, Alan King, Geoffrey Lewis, Paul Sorvino, Judson Scott, Barry Snider,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He's charming, he's sexy, he's tough, and he's too hot to cool down. He's "The Hammer."

Artwork by the great Drew Struzan features on this one sheet for the release of the 1982 crime drama I, the Jury. Based on a novel of the same name by the late American author Mickey Spillane the story was previously brought to the screen in 1953 (and in 3D to boot). This version features several story elements that aren’t in the original novel.

The screenplay was written by B-movie legend Larry Cohen who was original set to direct but left the production after one week of filming when it became clear that the budget was already out of control. Cohen is the writer and director of films like Q: The Winged Serpent and The Stuff but has concentrated on screenwriting during the 1980s and 2000s. Cohen was replaced by Richard T. Heffron, perhaps best known for helming Futureworld, the sequel to Westworld.

Armand Assante plays detective Mike Hammer who discovers an old detective buddy of his, Jack Williams, has been shot and killed and he sets out to catch who was responsible. The trail leads him to a secretive sex therapy clinic that’s headed up by Dr Bennett (Barbara Carrera). Hammer discovers that Jack was on an undercover mission in the clinic and that’s what cost him his life. Before long the detective realises that he’s uncovered a conspiracy involving a rogue element of the CIA and the New York mafia who will both stop at nothing to keep their secret under wraps. 

Drew Struzan is an artist who barely needs an introduction given that he painted many of the most iconic film posters of all time, including several for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and a slew of other beloved classics like The Thing and The Goonies. The artist’s own site features 4 pages of his work for films and Drew also worked in other areas, including product marketing, book and magazine covers, editorial and multiple paintings as a fine artist. Drew declared that he’d retired in 2008 but has worked on a handful of special paintings since then, including one to announce the most recent Star Wars film in 2015.

To see a gallery of the other posters by Drew that I’ve collected click here.

Mountaintop Motel Massacre / one sheet / video / USA

13.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
Mountaintop Motel Massacre
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Jim McCullough Sr.
Starring
Bill Thurman, Anna Chappell, Will Mitchell, Virginia Loridans, Major Brock, James Bradford, Amy Hill, Marian Jones, Gregg Brazzel
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bill Thurman, Anna Chappell, Will Mitchell, Virginia Loridans, Major Brock, James Bradford, Amy Hill, Marian Jones, Gregg Brazzel,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Video
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 4/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Please do not disturb Evelyn. She already is.

A no nonsense design graces this one sheet for the release of the 1986 horror film Mountaintop Motel Massacre. The film was co-produced and directed by the late Jim McCullough Sr., with his son Jim McCullough Jr. sharing producing duties as well as writing the script. It was apparently shot in 1983 in Shreveport, Louisiana but was not released across the States until 1986 after Roger Corman’s company New World Pictures picked up the distribution rights. I believe it was released straight to video in most countries, including the UK.

Evelyn (Anna Chappell) has spent three years living in an insane asylum and upon her release returns to the eponymous hotel but not before murdering her own daughter Lorri, who it’s revealed was into the occult and conducting seances. The murder unleashes dark forces and when Evelyn once again reopens the hotel to paying guests no one is safe. One night, during a violent thunderstorm, Evelyn commences a murder spree, making her way from room to room via a hidden underground tunnel.

This is actually the one sheet for the video release of the film (note the text at the bottom) but the poster that was used for its release into cinemas is practically identical as can be seen here (note the alternate logo). It also appears that Jim McCullough Sr. attempted to release the film off his own back prior to 1986, titled as just Mountaintop Motel and the poster for that can be seen here.

Corvette Summer / one sheet / style B / USA

23.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
Corvette Summer
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Matthew Robbins
Starring
Mark Hamill, Annie Potts, Eugene Roche, Bill Bryant, Richard McKenzie, Kim Milford, Philip Bruns, Danny Bonaduce, Albert Insinnia, Jane A. Johnston, Stanley Kamel
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Annie Potts, Eugene Roche, Bill Bryant, Richard McKenzie, Kim Milford, Philip Bruns, Danny Bonaduce, Albert Insinnia, Jane A. Johnston, Stanley Kamel,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
780086
Tagline
And he thought fast cars were a thrill...

Colourful artwork features on this style B one sheet for the US release of the 1978 adventure comedy Corvette Summer. The film is perhaps most notable for starring Mark Hamill, fresh from his success with Star Wars a year earlier and prior to filming The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Production began only a short while after Hamill was involved in a car crash in Malibu that left him with facial injuries and visibly scarred. Matthew Robbins assumed directorial duties and he’s perhaps best known as the director of Batteries Not Included and the writer of two films that were directed by Guillermo Del Toro, 1997’s Mimic and 2015’s Crimson Peak.

Hamill stars as high-school senior Kenny Dantley who is obsessed with cars and builds a custom Corvette Stingray as part of a class project. The car has a heavily modified body, bright red paint with flames down the side and is adapted to be right-hand drive so Kenny can talk to girls as he rolls down the street beside them. Soon after unveiling the finished car it is stolen and Kenny manages to follow a trail that leads him to Las Vegas. On the way he meets Vanessa (Annie Potts) who describes herself as a ‘prostitute in training’ and who’s headed to Sin City to try and make it big.

After taking a job at a car wash, Kenny eventually spots the Stingray and sets out to try and steal it back, but the truth behind its disappearance, which involves a teacher from his high school (played by Eugene Roche), shocks Kenny. The revelation only makes him more determined to get his car back and Vanessa is ready to help him. The film received mixed critical notices and performed rather limply at the box-office. It has a minor cult following today, largely due to the Corvettes featured. An article about the ‘hero’ car in the film, which was originally found in a junkyard following a wreck, can be read here.

Frustratingly this poster doesn’t feature any indication of who painted the artwork and I’ve been unable to find anything online either. I did discover that the original painting was sold along with two others at Profiles in History’s ‘Hollywood Auction 56’ in 2013. The items are on page 93 of the auction catalogue PDF, or see here for a standalone page featuring the item on another site.  If anyone has any ideas as to who the artist is, please get in touch.

The original trailer is on YouTube and gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Breakout / one sheet / style A / USA

11.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
Breakout
AKA
Dieci secondi per fuggire [Ten seconds to escape] (Italy)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Tom Gries
Starring
Charles Bronson, Robert Duvall, Jill Ireland
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Robert Duvall, Jill Ireland,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Weezer
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/52
Tagline
Sentenced to 28 years in prison for a crime he never committed. Only two things can get him out - A lot of money and Charles Bronson!

This one sheet for the 1975 action film Breakout features one of those classic taglines that manages to sum up the plot of the film in a couple of sentences. Charles Bronson, flush from the international success of the 1974 thriller Death Wish, leads a star-studded cast, including Robert Duvall, Bronson’s then wife Jill Ireland and a young Randy Quaid. It was helmed by Tom Gries who had started out in television and eventually moved into features, including several westerns such as ‘100 Rifles’. Gries sadly passed away from a heart attack in 1977 but not before he’d worked with Bronson again for Breakheart Pass (also in 1975). The film is loosely based on a real even that’s detailed on the film’s Wikipedia page.

Duvall plays Jay Wagner who is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit that happened in Mexico, 2000 miles away from where he was at the time. Tried by a kangaroo court he is thrown in a grim Mexican jail after being sentenced to 28 years. When his wife Ann (Ireland) learns what’s happened she vows to break him out of the prison and decides to hire wily bush pilot Nick Colton (Bronson) and his improbably named partner Hawk Hawkins (Quaid). The pair make one attempt involving Quad dressing in drag that fails and decide to return with a helicopter. Unfortunately Ann has told Jay’s grandfather, the wealthy businessman Harris Wagner (legendary actor John Huston), their plans without realising that he’s behind Jay’s imprisonment due to an issue with some business deals. Nick and Hawk have to work hard to pull off the escape and avoid being busted by an agent called Cable who Harris sends after them.

Bronson plays his character with an atypical comedic edge, very unlike the roles that had made him a star. The film was a box-office hit, largely due to Columbia trying the then new method of saturation booking where 1300 cinemas across the US were sent prints of the film simultaneously, coupled with plenty of advertising. After it proved a success, Universal then used the method with Jaws the same year and, after the incredible blockbusting results of that release, film releasing tactics were changed forever.

This one sheet is the style A one sheet for the film and features the signature of an artist called Weezer, about whom I’ve been able to discover no information. If anyone has any details about them please get in touch. There’s also a style B one sheet for the film which has similar artwork by a different artist that can be seen here. It’s strange that both posters are so similar in layout and I’m not sure why the studio bothered.

Vertigo / one sheet / 1996 re-release / USA

27.01.16

Poster Poster
Title
Vertigo
AKA
La donna che visse due volte [The woman who lived twice] (Italy)
Year of Film
1958
Director
Alfred Hitchcock
Starring
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Saul Bass
Artist
Saul Bass | Art Goodman (figures)
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This US one sheet was printed to mark the 1996 re-release of a restored print of director Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic thriller Vertigo. The film marked the first time Hitchcock worked with the celebrated American designer Saul Bass and the pair would collaborate on two further films together. Hitchcock had himself started his film career developing inter-title cards for silent movies and he commissioned Bass to create the title sequences for Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho. As detailed in the must-own book ‘Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design’ (designed by Bass’ daughter Jennifer), the director knew of Bass’ work well before the commission as he kept a close eye on movie graphics and was a subscriber to Graphis, a print journal that had featured Saul’s work.

As well as creating the influential title sequences for each film, Bass was also commissioned to design the advertising campaign for Vertigo. He created the central motif of two figures swirling in a vortex, which is detailed in ‘A Life in Film & Design’:

‘The main poster also captures the sensation of vertigo by having a couple sucked into a vortex. The slightly off-kilter, irregular capitals further hint at the vertiginous. The figures were drawn by Art Goodman, who recalled Saul specifying and sketching out a black silhouette for the man and a light outline, like an apparition, for the woman of his obsessions.’

Several different colours and variations were utilised for the various elements of the ad campaign (trade ads, large posters, brochures, etc) with the concept that the variation of colour and design around a central theme ‘was spinning the viewer in another direction’. Some of these alternatives can be seen in this excellent blog post.

Even if the film wasn’t a great box-office and critical triumph during its initial release, with a reappraisal and celebration not happening until several years later, the title sequence advertising campaign was declared an immediate success and was to win Bass several awards. This one sheet is practically identical to the original 1958 poster with the exception of an altered credits block at the bottom and slightly darker shade of orange (note that this poster is also double-sided, for use in lightboxes)

The film’s Wikipedia article details how the 1996 restoration proved quite controversial since the experts charged with the task were forced to alter the soundtrack (during the creation of a new 6 channel track) and restore the colour as best as they could since the original negatives had faded over the years.

This article on Mubi.com by Adrian Curry does a thorough job of detailing all the various posters printed for Vertigo around the world.

For more on Bass I thoroughly recommend picking up ‘Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design’ and also check out the extensive page about him on the brilliant Art of the Title

Deathrow Gameshow / one sheet / USA

05.09.16

Poster Poster
Title
Deathrow Gameshow
Year of Film
1987
Director
Mark Pirro
Starring
John McCafferty, Robyn Blythe, Beano, Darwyn Carson, Mark Lasky, Bill Whitehead, Kent Butler, Debra Lamb, Paul Farbman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John McCafferty, Robyn Blythe, Beano, Darwyn Carson, Mark Lasky, Bill Whitehead, Kent Butler, Debra Lamb, Paul Farbman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Chuck Toedan Wants You ... To Die Laughing!

Deathrow Gameshow is, as you can probably guess, an ultra-low budget b-movie from producer-writer-director Mark Pirro. Not to be confused with the Texan musician, Pirro had made headlines two years earlier with the release of his first film, A Polish Vampire in Burbank, which was produced on a budget of $2500 but went on to gross over $1 million in home video and cable distribution deals. Under the cheekily-monikered Pirromount Pictures, Pirro has written and directed ten features. He continues to work to this day and has a new film due out next year.

As far as I can ascertain, Deathrow Gameshow was given a cinema release in the US but was straight-to-video in most other markets, including the UK. The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

Chuck Toedan is the host of a game show featuring death row convicts competing in life-or-death contests in hopes of cheating the executioner or, at the very least, winning some nice prizes for their next of kin. Not surprisingly, Chuck has made more than a few enemies, from outraged viewers trying to ban his show, to families of losing contestants looking for revenge. A hitman hired by one such family has shown up at Chuck’s office, and he’ll need to enlist the help of his most outspoken critic to keep from ending up like most of his contestants.

Although not a hit whilst in cinemas, I believe that Deathrow Gameshow has gained something of a cult following thanks to its ubiquity on TV networks around the world towards the end of the 1980s. Reviews on IMDB are mixed, to say the least.

I’ve struggled to find out who painted the artwork on this one sheet poster so please get in touch if you have any ideas.

The original trailer can be seen here.

Hard Rock Zombies / one sheet / USA

08.12.15

Poster Poster
Title
Hard Rock Zombies
AKA
Rock Zombies (France)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Krishna Shah
Starring
E.J. Curse, Geno Andrews, Sam Mann, Mick McMains, Lisa Toothman, Jennifer Coe, Ted Wells, Jack Bliesener, Richard Vidan, Phil Fondacaro
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
E.J. Curse, Geno Andrews, Sam Mann, Mick McMains, Lisa Toothman, Jennifer Coe, Ted Wells, Jack Bliesener, Richard Vidan, Phil Fondacaro,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They came from the grave to rock n' rave and misbehave.

Lurid artwork features on this one sheet for Hard Rock Zombies, a 1985 horror-comedy from notorious schlock-peddlers Cannon films. Directed, produced and co-written by Indian-American Krishna Shah, the film was apparently originally conceived as a short that would be the film within a film for Shah’s American Drive-In (also 1985). At some point the production team decided to make HRZ into a feature-length production so the director had two films on the go in a single year.

I’ve not yet seen the film but it’s nutty plot is described on IMDb:

‘A hard rock band travels to the tiny and remote town of Grand Guignol to perform. Peopled by hicks, rubes, werewolves, murderous dwarves, sex perverts, and Hitler, the town is a strange place but that doesn’t stop the band’s lead singer from falling in love with a local girl named Cassie. After Nazi sex perverts kill the band to satisfy their lusts, Cassie calls the rockers back from the grave to save her, the town, and maybe the world.’

The reviews on there aren’t exactly favourable either, for example:

‘The tepid, dreadful zombie flick scrapes the bottom of the barrel, in a way that is truly insulting to barrels. Every possible cliché is driven home with all the subtlety of a steam hammer; every aspect of professional production is gleefully shredded by the intense non-talent in this film. BUT… You simply have to see it. A mess beyond all messes.’

The bizarre trailer is on YouTube if you want to watch it.

 

Best Seller / one sheet / USA

10.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
Best Seller
AKA
Bestseller (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Flynn
Starring
James Woods, Brian Dennehy, Victoria Tennant, Allison Balson, Paul Shenar, George Coe, Anne Pitoniak, Mary Carver, Sully Boyar
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Woods, Brian Dennehy, Victoria Tennant, Allison Balson, Paul Shenar, George Coe, Anne Pitoniak, Mary Carver, Sully Boyar,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
870069
Tagline
If words could kill...

A great photograph of James Woods looking his devilish best alongside Brian Dennehy on this US one sheet for the 1987 crime film Best Seller. Directed by the late John Flynn (Rolling Thunder) and written by the prolific Larry Cohen, the film stars Dennehy as Dennis Meechum, a police officer who is wounded during an attempted robbery on an evidence locker in 1972. He writes a memoir of his experience which is published to great success. Years later he is shown to be struggling with writer’s block whilst raising his daughter alone after being made a widower.

During a research visit to a court room, one of the suspects escapes the court and Meechum chases after him along with a man called Cleve (Woods). The suspect nearly kills Meechum but Cleve intervenes, shooting the suspect before disappearing. Later Cleve meets with Meechum and trues to persuade him to write a new book about his work as a hitman for a shadowy company called Kappa International. The pair travel around the country gathering proof of the hits that Cleve carried out, but David Madlock (Paul Shenar), Kappa’s founder, understandably wants to keep this sordid history under wraps and the pair are soon in grave danger. Madlock even goes after Meechum’s daughter and the stage is set for a final showdown.

I’m unsure who designed this one sheet so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Lethal Pursuit / one sheet / USA

19.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Lethal Pursuit
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Don Jones
Starring
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bill Garland
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Some live for the hunt... Others for the kill.

Definitely one of those cases where the poster is the best thing about the film, Lethal Pursuit is a forgotten action b-movie from 1988. It appears to have only had a cinema release in a handful of countries and was straight to video in others. It hasn’t been given a DVD release anywhere in the world as far as I can tell. The IMDb plot description says:

A rock star babe and her hunky honey find themselves targeted by her psychotic ex, whose insane jealousy sparks a deadly game of desert cat-and-mouse.

There’s a single review on the film’s IMDb page and it’s rather damning. Here’s some excerpts:

There is not much to say except simply, do not watch this film. In fact, if you are reading this I must ask why you even looked this movie up? If you are here because you saw this in the 99 cent VHS bin at the Good Will, where it probably can be found, and want to know weather to buy it. PASS! You will want your dollar back.

Best way to sum it up. Think of every little detail that makes a film a film. Then take this sentence “The ____ of/in this film is awful in every way.” and insert every one of those details. And you have a summary.

There’s an illustrated review of the film on the Betamax Rundown site.

I’ve discovered that this illustration can be credited to the American artist Bill Garland who is probably best known for the brilliant original Mad Max one sheet, but has worked on several other film posters. The artist has a page on Phosphor Art featuring a short biography as well as a selection of his art. It details that Garland has been working for over 30 years and started his career as a Ford Motor company scholar and used these core technical skills to ‘enhance his command of a wide range of artistic styles’. In addition to working with Hollywood studios, Garland also carried out work for commercial clients like Coca Cola and the NFL. I can’t find an official site for the artist so if anyone knows any more details about him please get in touch.

Tabloid / one sheet / USA

07.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Tabloid
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Errol Morris
Starring
Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw, Kent Gavin
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw, Kent Gavin,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
An Errol Morris love story

Tabloid is a 2010 documentary by celebrated filmmaker Errol Morris, who’s probably best known for 1988’s The Thin Blue Line, a documentary about a murder case with a wrongful conviction that is widely accepted to have been instrumental in the innocent person being freed about a year after the film’s release. Tabloid looks at the strange case of the one-time American beauty queen Joyce McKinney who traveled to the UK in the 1970s and kidnapped a Mormon missionary whom she had met and fallen and love with back in the US. Joyce was arrested by UK police and tried in court whilst the case became known as the ‘Mormon sex in chains case‘, after the missionary claimed he had been shackled and raped by Joyce who eventually fled the UK in disguise.

The film’s title references the fact that the case became a cause célèbre amongst the UK tabloid newspapers, with the Daily Express and Daily Mirror both vying for readers and battling for exclusives, especially once sordid details about Joyce’s previous life as a nude model and prostitute were revealed. The film is a fascinating watch but it doesn’t paint a flattering portrait of Joyce who is interviewed throughout, and she comes across as a delusional exhibitionist who is clearly trying to distance herself from her early life. Although initially happy to be associated with the film, and traveling around to various festivals with Morris, Joyce decided to sue the film’s makers in 2011 because she felt it portrayed her as “crazy, a sex offender, an S&M prostitute, and/or a rapist”. The case was thrown out by a judge in 2013 and there’s some mention of her taking it to another court in this article, though it’s unclear whether McKinney continues to pursue it to this day.

I’ve been unable to find out who designed this one sheet so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

The Howling / one sheet / USA

27.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Howling
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Slim Pickens, Elisabeth Brooks, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Slim Pickens, Elisabeth Brooks, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810045
Tagline
Imagine your worst fear a reality.

One of two werewolf themed horrors to be released in 1981, Joe Dante‘s The Howling beat John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London to cinemas by a few months, but both would go on to be cult classics of the genre, even if the latter film won more critical plaudits at the time of its release. Despite hugely different storylines each film features a memorable werewolf transformation scene and The Howling’s one was created by noted practical effects specialist Rob Bottin (The Thing, Robocop), which was his first solo effort away from his mentor Rick Baker. Although he had initially started work on The Howling, Baker had decided to leave the production to work on Landis’ film and handed the reigns over to Bottin. The results are definitely impressive and were certainly groundbreaking for the time, however Baker’s handiwork on AWIL is unforgettable and impressed the judges of the Academy Awards so much that he won the Outstanding Achievement in Makeup in its inaugural year.

Very loosely based on the novel of the same name by Gary Brandner, The Howling’s script was worked on by two screenwriters before Dante brought in John Sayles, with whom he collaborated on 1978’s Piranha to write a third draft. The film begins as the investigative TV report Karen White (Dee Wallace) is on her way to meet the serial murderer Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo) at a sleazy LA porn store as part of a police sting operation. After entering a booth, Karen is surprised by Eddie who is standing behind her and forces her to watch a porno of a young woman being attacked. Karen turns to look at Eddie and her screams attract nearby police officers who shoot and apparently kill him. Severely traumatised by the event and suffering from hallucinatory flashbacks, Karen’s therapist Dr Waggner (Patrick Macnee) refers her to a secluded retreat on the Californian coast called The Colony.

Karen travels there with her boyfriend Bill played by the late Christopher Stone, who was Dee Wallace’s boyfriend at the time and later married her (Stone sadly passed away from a heart attack in 1995), and the pair are welcomed by the residents of the camp, which is made up of several log cabins in a forest near the coast. One night Bill is out for a walk and is attacked and bitten by a werewolf, which is actually Marsha Quist (Elisabeth Brooks) a sultry nymphomaniac who has been at the Colony for months. Later she accosts Bill and the pair make love in the forest as they transform into werewolves together. Karen suspects all is not right and invites her friend Teri (Belinda Balaski), another reporter who is looking into Eddie Quist and has discovered that his body is missing from the morgue, out to visit her. Soon after arriving Teri is attacked and killed by Eddie whom she watches transform into a wolf (with Rob Bottin’s help) and before long Karen discovers the true secret of the Colony. Teri’s partner Chris (Dennis Dugan) comes to Karen’s rescue clutching a rifle loaded with silver bullets.

The film was made on a low budget (circa $1m) and was a commercial success around the globe, making tens of millions of dollars. It inevitably spawned a number of significantly less interesting sequels, starting with 1985’s ‘Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf’. Joe Dante believes that Steven Spielberg saw the film at the cinema and subsequently offered him the directorial job on the cult classic Gremlins (1984).

Despite The Howling’s relatively high profile I’ve been unable to identify the artist responsible for the artwork on this US one sheet, which was also used as the marketing art in several other countries. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch. Note that this particular poster is discoloured somewhat as it is meant to be more orange/yellow in tone, and I believe it’s the result of an error during printing. It’s not the first one sheet for the Howling that I’ve seen with this discolouration and at least three can be seen in emovieposter’s past sales history of the poster. I suspect that a batch of the posters fell victim to an issue with blue/green inks at the time of printing.

Carrie / one sheet / Turkey

05.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Carrie
AKA
Carrie, lo sguardo di Satana [The gaze of Satan] (Italy) | Keri (Serbia)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Betty Buckley, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen, John Travolta
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Betty Buckley, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen, John Travolta,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Turkey
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
26 14/16" x 39 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Brian De Palma‘s horror classic Carrie still stands up today as a perfectly paced thriller and a powerful portrait of the torment suffered by a social outcast on the receiving end of a bullying campaign. Sissy Spacek delivers a breakout performance as Carrie White, the teenager who is picked upon by her teachers, peers and her domineering, abusive mother Margaret (played brilliantly by Piper Laurie). What nobody knows is that Carrie has discovered that she has a latent telekinetic power that flares up when she’s upset or angry. The film also features memorable turns from several young actors who were relative unknowns at the time, including John TravoltaNancy Allen and William Katt as Tommy.

The unforgettable prom night sequence that sees Carrie’s destructive powers fully unleashed was clearly seen as the marketing cornerstone for the film, as evidenced by the images at the bottom of this Turkish one sheet. A still from the scene features on the brilliant Japanese B2. An image of Sissy Spacek drenched in blood is often used to promote the film and has been used for multiple DVD covers and other marketing materials. This artwork only appears on the Turkish poster but my friend Sim Branaghan confirmed that it was originally used by the UK publishing company NEL on the cover of the paperback reprint of Stephen King’s novel as early as 1975. Here’s a link to it on a later 1978 edition, also published by NEL. I’ve searched but am unable to find an artist to whom I can credit it.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre / one sheet / 1980 re-release / USA

09.06.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
AKA
Headcheese, Leatherface (working titles) | Non aprite quella porta [Don't Open That Door] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41" 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Who will survive and what will be left of them? | America's most bizarre and brutal crimes!... | What happened is true. Now the motion picture that's just as real.

One of the best horror films of all time has a poster featuring one of the best taglines of all time. 37 years on, the film has lost none of its raw, brutal power and the US one sheet must have left cinema-goers in no doubt as to the movie they were about to watch. It’s interesting that the decision was made to reveal the (subsequently) iconic Leatherface on the poster and not leave his introduction to the film itself.

This version of the poster was for the 1980 re-release of the film by New Line Cinema. They obtained the rights from the (then) bankrupt Bryanston Distributing Company who originally released the film in 1974. The first release poster is practically identical to this one with the only notable difference being the copyright notice in the bottom left and the lack of an NSS number and blurb on the re-release.

Some more information on the Bryanston/New Line change from IMDB:

“The film’s original distributor was Bryanston Distribution Company, in fact a Mafia front operated by Louis “Butchie” Peraino, who used the movie to launder profits he made from Deep Throat (1972). In return, the production received only enough money to reimburse the investors and pay the cast and crew $405 a piece. The producers eventually discovered that Peraino had lied to them about the film’s profits; after Peraino was arrested on obscenity charges when his role in Deep Throat was revealed, the cast and crew filed a suit against him and were awarded $25,000 each. New Line Cinema, which obtained the rights to “Chain Saw” from the bankrupt Bryanston, paid the cast and crew as part of the purchase agreement.”

The original trailer can be watched here.

The Uncanny / one sheet / UK

22.06.15

Poster Poster

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue / one sheet / USA

25.08.16

Poster Poster

The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue is a sci-fi themed adult film that was directed by the late Gerard Damiano, one of the key figures in the so-called Golden Age of Porn. The name was given retrospectively to a fifteen year period between 1969 and 1984 in which adult films were given positive attention by the general public, mainstream cinemas and film critics. Damiano wrote and directed the legendary adult film Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones, which was one of the top-grossing films of 1973 (in all categories, not just adult films).

This film stars two male actors who were also key figures in the industry; Robert Kerman (AKA R Bolla) and Herschel Savage. Kerman introduced Savage to the industry in 1976 and he would go on to star in over 160 adult titles, including the 1978 classic Debbie Does Dallas. Lysa Thatcher, another prominent character during the golden period also appears.

The plot is described thusly on Wikipedia:

In a futuristic society called ‘Alpha Blue’, sexual needs are fulfilled by a computer. Griffin (Savage) is happy with this state of affairs and spends his time with prostitutes, but Algon (Robert Kerman) longs for the good old days of love and romance. He falls in love with Satisfier 805, Diana (Thatcher).

The artwork on this one sheet is fairly innocent, particularly in comparison to some of the posters for other adult films of the period. I’ve been unable to discover the identity of the artist so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Timerider / one sheet / USA

14.11.16

Poster Poster
Title
Timerider
AKA
Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (alternative full title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
William Dear
Starring
Fred Ward, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote, Richard Masur, Tracey Walter, Ed Lauter, L.Q. Jones, Chris Mulkey, Macon McCalman, Miguel Sandoval
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Fred Ward, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote, Richard Masur, Tracey Walter, Ed Lauter, L.Q. Jones, Chris Mulkey, Macon McCalman, Miguel Sandoval,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820171
Tagline
Lyle Swann is a champion off-road racer. But to the people of 1877, he's something very, very different...

Timerider is a largely forgotten genre mash-up from the early 1980s starring Fred Ward (probably best known for Tremors). Directed, co-written and scored by William Dear, the film deals with the concept of time-travel and sees a cross country dirtbike champion accidentally sent back in time to 1877. Whilst competing in a race, Lyle Swann (Ward) rides through an area which is being used by scientists to try to send a monkey back in time. He’s unaware that he’s gone back in time over a century and doesn’t understand why the people he meets are terrified of him and his bike. Eventually he realises the situation but not before he’s being pursued by a gang of outlaws. He’s taken in by a woman called Claire (Belinda Bauer) who hides his bike before seducing him. Meanwhile, the scientists in the future are desperately trying to retrieve Swann from 1877.

The films ends with quite a creepy payoff which I won’t spoil but made me exclaim ‘Eh?!’ at the screen. Think: what happens in the first Terminator but even weirder. The film is largely forgettable and features some truly terrible performances with mumbled dialogue making it hard to follow in parts. Fred Ward is good value, as always, and the head outlaw, played by Peter Coyote, is a decent enough villain.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design or artwork on this US one sheet so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

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.

Last Days / one sheet / USA

24.07.17

Poster Poster

A striking photographic image features on this one sheet for the release of Gus Van Sant‘s 2005 drama, Last Days. The film is a fictionalized account of the last few days in the life of a musician who is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. Van Sant had been planning the project for over a decade and at one point had wanted to make a biography of the singer. After befriending Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, the director realised that doing so would cause too much pain for Love and the deceased singer’s family, so he decided to fictionalise the story.

Michael Pitt plays the main character Blake and Van Sant had cast him in the part seven years before filming commenced. The rest of the cast includes Lukas HaasAsia Argento and Nicole Vicius, with notorious director Harmony Korine appearing as a character in one scene set in a nightclub. The plot is thin and Van Sant uses a technique he’s employed in a few of his films where the same scene is shown from different view points but at different times throughout the film, with the audience not given clear indication that this has happened. Most of the scenes follow Blake and take place in and around a large house surrounded by trees. Several interactions between him and his housemates, as well as visitors to the house take place, all leading up to a fatal moment with Blake and a shotgun at the end of the film.

The film received mixed critical notices and failed to make much of a dent at the box-office in the US. It received limited releases in several territories, including the UK.

This American one sheet was designed by Shoolery Design which now appears to be defunct as a company but was responsible for a large number of film posters from the mid-1990s up to 2007. A gallery of these designs can be seen on IMPAwards. The man who started the company, Mark Shoolery, seems to still be active and he has a website on which a lot of his work, including film posters, can be seen. It looks like he continues to work as an independent art director and artist and his Instagram feed features logo design work. According to his resume Shoolery has worked on projects for the film industry, the music industry, packaging for various products including toys, and marketing strategy for several companies. The LinkedIn entry for Shoolery design notes the following:

Conceived, developed and executed creative advertising campaigns for major studios, network and cable television, home entertainment, music and live events. Oversaw all in and out of-home advertising, collateral and promotional materials. Directed staff of 80-90 employees producing high-end advertising campaigns. Consulted with studio marketing executives as well as producers and directors of major motion pictures. Supervised celebrity photo shoots worldwide.

The other posters I have that were created by Shoolery Design can be seen here.