Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Time Traveller's Wife

What the hell was the guy smoking that made him think it to be a good idea to take a perfectly beautiful image for a quad and turn it sideways?

Or had he just finished his 10 ways to annoy people course before he designed that poster?

But I probably will watch it anyway, even though so far there speaks nothing for it that I will actually like this movie. Rachael McAdams & Eric Bana show no real chemistry to me and I never got through the book which I bought blindly on the rave reviews it got, unfortunately nobody told me that it was written in first person present tense a formula I never got into. It's hard to put a finger on it but something about that way of writing inhibits me from losing myself in the story which does sound intriguing, so I do hope that the movie is worth it and maybe I'll pick up the book a second time if I like the movie enough.
I certainly don't like that poster art as it stands!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Let me excuse in advance for the recurring label-fraud, these are indeed no spoof posters but imaginative re-interpretations of old classics:

TCM has let some posters be re-imagined for it’s Summer under the Stars program, my fave of the bunch being the Rorschach Skull for Jekyl & Hyde, followed on the heel by the subtler image for To catch a thief, and Guess who’s coming for Dinner is a clever design that doesn’t need you to know the title in order to get what it is talking about.

The Blood Diamond one is from a similar themed Worth1000 contest, a beautiful piece of art.
And last we have a new version of an old acquaintance, I love it’s clever concept and how it perfectly captures the spirit of the time when Logan’s Run was made.

From TCM we've got some finalised poster art that can be found here, but most of which I find rather disappointing lacking the finesse that made the teaser posters above.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

You never forget your first

I've told you that once already, didn’t I?
Only that I actually almost did, forget my first I mean.
In all honesty this is a kind of fraudulent labelling, both the off the wall part and the being the first, but it is close enough for both claims to count as essentially true:
This German poster for La gifle never made it on my wall but it was ironically the first to enter my collection of movie posters, ironically in the way that I don’t really like it’s style, which was quite popular at the time.

But it has my first movie star crush on it, Isabelle Adjani.

No, that’s not quite true. The first star I crushed on was probably Veronica Lake in I married a witch, but that was at a age where such crushes are more like mother figures, the way you crush on your first teacher*.
Isabelle Adjani appeared in a manner of speaking for the first time as a full grown woman in my life.

*40’s sex icon Veronica probably wouldn’t be amused to be compared to a primary school teacher, but then again, maybe she would.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Recurring Image

We've seen some variations on that theme this month already, here's one more: George A. Romero's take.

This Asian poster uses a picture from the nightmare sequence in Day of the Dead.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

American Beauty

There must be something about that poster that I continually miss, I could name at least three websites ad hoc that have this poster listed in their top-ten, if not in the premier spot than at least in a runner-up place.
So what is it that those people see?

I’ve seen it described as being erotic, but when I look at it all I see is the close-up of a belly button that could off belong to any body, and a rose held in place by a hand that looks strangely alien as if belonging to a second person we get to see even less of.

Another regular exclamation I tend to encounter is praising the cleverness of the tagline:
…look closer.
I’ve looked at that darn thing close enough that it started to dissolve into the singular points that make it up and didn’t see anything beyond what I always saw.
I don't get it, not at all, but it makes me smile how Sorority Boys varied the line by adding: (Not that close), seems somebody out there knows me just too well.

With American Beauty it's like those strangely impersonal nude shots you encounter at times where the photographer cut off the head, and sometimes the limbs too, leaving you with a completely characterless torso to stare at. But this is worse, if it wasn’t for the alien hand I wouldn’t even haven thought at first glance that this strangely gender neutral object could be part of a body, makes we wonder if maybe it would be a better picture without the hand, but maybe that is the point, maybe we are indeed not looking at somebody’s vaguely question mark shaped belly button, maybe this is not a belly at all but… hum, no, no that seems not to be the answer.

Well, there will always be some posters that we don’t get, who’s reasoning for people to put it in their personal ‘best of’ lists escapes us, confounds us even, and for me this is American Beauty.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where do posters come from?

Poster "Teeth"; Picture taken from "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sorority Row

Hollywood is fond of doing remakes and currently they are on a pillaging tour through the eighties. In the wake of this plundering we are about to get a remake of The House on Sorority Row, and as if planned as a foreshadowing of the to be expected quality the teaser poster is adorned with the most unoriginal, most bland looking, most generic horror design we had the misfortune to encounter in a long time.

Following the same inescapability for remakes the poster artwork can’t hold a candle to the beautiful original design.
But what’s worse is the ill humour shown by the designers when arranging the young cast of victims for this new slasher movie in a pose that is more than just passingly reminiscent of bodies piled up for burial in a mass grave.

One can only wonder why they did not go as far as calling the movie Sorority Girl Holocaust while being at it.
Well, given the chance I would have preferred to see a remake of Vampires of Sorority Row anyway.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Evil Divas

Spoof posters, third round. This time we spotlight the Evil Divas concepts which take well known movies as their base for fictious adult-horror movie posters.

The whole Gallery with artist notes on models and inspirations can be can be found here:

Fun stuff indeed, and just a bit kinky.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Helping Hands

"What do you mean help? We are helping, we are helping hands."

*Poster "Pulse" ; Photos "Labyrinth"*

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Art comparison

Excuse me for opening today’s blogpost with the album cover for Def Leppard’s Retro Active, there’s a point I want to make however. I love this poster art for The Descent, neat idea and a sure attention grabber, but I prefer the Leppard cover for a quite simple reason:
Same as the poster for The Descent it is a sure attention grabber, but where the former dissolves into it’s singular parts that do not hold up to a close view, the Leppard cover begins only to show the true cleverness of it’s execution upon closer observance.

Cabin Fever can be seen as a extension of the point made above, a beautiful design that holds up even at close range instead of revealing itself to be a simple gimmick without real visual depth. However, in this style I do slightly prefer the artwork for Premonition. It has a haunting quality and there’s a admirable elegance to how, with a few simple strokes the artist captured the essence of Sandra Bullock’s looks for this motive.

With a clever stroke of a brush artist Renato Casaro bridges the decades to form a link between Dino DeLaurentiis’ Flash Gordon and the earlier Barbarella. Kindred in spirit, fathered by the same producer.

Nightmares are all the same, as these two posters show, and fear can be a most sensual experience.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


“The Uwe” Boll first appeared on my map when I saw the brilliant trailer for House of the Dead (a Video-Game adaptation) on a Underworld press release DVD.
Not movie of the year brilliant, but brilliant fun.
Or so I thought, boy was I wrong.

Though HotD is not without merits, about all the scenes in the trailer and non of the rest, the execution simply stinks and including original game footage has to count as one stupid idea!
I’m not sure what hurts more, the painstakingly bad almost story the movie serves up or the odd moments when it actually works and gives us a genuine Survival-Horror feeling The Uwe consequently and continuously fails to expand on; a phenomena that can be observed in practically all his movies, as if there was a side of him that actually would have talent in filmmaking if he did let it run free or maybe it’s the other way around and those short moments of quality filmmaking only turn up when he has to restrain himself.
Nonetheless the Uwe has build up a constant output of constant quality, or rather lack of, backed by consistently brilliant trailers (who ever is doing those clearly knows his job) over the years and it has become a kind of ritual to at least rent the newest of his Bollwerks to see how bad it got this time.

Much in this vein I encountered Tunnel Rats, a movie about a less exploited topic of the war in Vietnam, expecting the worst. I’m sure this makes a good part of the reason why I was pleasantly surprised by the movie, but fact is that it also has a certain quality, an odd charm to it. No mistaking, Tunnel Rats is a raw, brutal movie that builds only very loosely on story. Like the war Boll gives not much about why these people are here and as bloody and painful as dying is depicted in that movie as impersonal it is.

If this movie has a message to give then it can only be: War doesn’t care!

Tunnel Rats is no Rescue Dawn, there’s no lingering on the beauty of Vietnam’s landscape (mostly because Boll simply can’t effort that with his budget) and there’s no glint of heroism to his characters, the movie is close to the Australian The odd angry shot but closer still to
Anthony M. Dawson’s war movies.
It feels aimless and mainstream viewers will miss a conclusion to it, but that exactly is what makes Tunnel Rats at times feel honest, it’s a snapshot of war, and war doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The extreme violence shown in the movie, reminded me of something Herzog said regarding a deleted scene from Rescue Dawn:
“I don’t like to show violence against humans”

That’s a strange thing to say for a director of a War movie, no?
Because can this one of all genres justify not to show violence?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lost Empire

German magazin Moviestar titled an ’88 article devoted to Charles Band’s Empire International “Screen-Comics for the 80’s”, that’s certainly as accurate a summarizing of the ‘Empire Style’ as can be made.
And cinefantastique says in an ’95 article about Full Moon Entertainment, Band’s follow-up company to short-lived Empire,

“If nothing else Charles Band has proven himself a master of advertising”
these were the keys to the success of Empire international.
Charles Band was on the way to become for the video market what Golan-Globus were for eighties cinema, but same as the Cannon Group, Empire fell in the end victim to it’s ambition.

Charles Band founded Empire after having shot “Parasite” (a movie that was probably only saved from oblivion because it marked young Demi Moore’s screen debut) in order to gain better control over the publication and merchandising of his movies.
Swordkill” the actual first Empire production was only later released, reputedly the first release made was the vanity project “Dungeonmaster” a episode movie for which every one of the Empire house directors created a segment, the movie is shockingly bad even for Empire’s low-budget standards (nonetheless Empire produced a follow up called “Pulse Pounders”).
Soon afterwards followed little movies like the Blade Runner/Terminator rip-off “Trancers”, the Fantasy/Horror themed “Troll” and the acclaimed “Eleminators” that managed to quickly gather a devoted following but it was Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft adaptation “Re-Animator” (a co-production between Charles Band & Brian Yuzna) that cemented Empire’s renown.

With only a handful of movies Empire had become a household name, a synonym for cheap but solid genre productions, but at the height of it’s game Empire was already falling apart.
Band miscalculated the economic market when buying DeLauretiis old studio complex, affectionately named Dinocittà, in Italy for his Empire International, calculating on cheap production costs due to a strong Dollar. Also in order to sustain growth and satisfy the fast growing video market Band bought independent productions shot out-house that more often than not couldn’t keep up with the expected Empire standard and released them under the label Wizard Video. On top of this Band financed a further vanity project, the dreaded “Pulse Pounders”, and started his most prestigious project; the (for Empire standards) high budgeted “Robot Jox” intended to mark both Empire’s and Stuart Gordon’s rise to a higher league should only become their Swan Song. Despite the advance accolades “Robot Jox” got from the press it could not save Empire from the inevitable but rather bound up to much resources and took to long to finish to be of any use to the already faltering company and after only five short years Empire had to close doors in ‘88.

Empire’s legacy and heirs:

In Germany the publisher VPS video continued for some time publishing under the Empire label such movies as “Godzilla vs. Biolante” or “Dark Room” but also movies that had started out as Empire projects and got finished under Band’s new direct-to-video label Full Moon Entertainment like “Arena”.
How many of the by then un-produced movies managed to escape Empire’s fall is hard to tell exactly, Full Moons “The Primevals” was already part of the Empire catalogue and some reputed lost movies like “Huntress” appeared later on Band’s newly founded, ill-fated erotic label Torchlight.

But in spite of the fact that Full Moon continued and finalised some of their projects the more prolific, financially more stable follow-up misses the spirit which made up Empire. If one was searching for a company to name as heir, Brian Yuzna’s Fantastic Factory would be closer to retaining the old Empire spirit.

A Empire cover gallery

Thanks are in order to fellow bloggers
Otto Rivers from videotopsy
Video junkie William S. Wilson

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stickers - Round III

A third round of stickers, this time for Video releases:

The tags on Mistress of the Dark - Elivra:

"Don't turn around, Elvira goes around."
"If young if old - Elvira leaves nobody cold."

10 to Midnight, from round '84

Asterix in Britain