Sunday, January 31, 2010

Teenaged Mad Scientists

Remember my “How Nightmare on Elm Street is a grown up’s Labyrinth” post?
I don’t know if it is something with Wes Craven, but I do happen to find that a similar analogy could be drawn from Weird Science to The Deadly Friend.*
Though, other than with the former movies these are essentially aimed at the same age group (give or take a few years), toying around with one of the oldest dreams of every adolescent boy ever: To create a woman!**
I love both movies which probably means that I might grow one day into one of those scary hermits that will build a hut in the woods and make abduction plans; there’s a thought to scare you! The fact that I also have Mannequin, to which a direct line could be drawn from either of the above movies, on my fave list as well as being a fan of Lars and the Real Girl, which follows a much similar topic***, isn’t probably exactly a point in my favour either.

*or maybe I’m just making things up to have an excuse to post the VHS cover for Deadly Friend which I so far like best of the box designs I’ve encountered.

** fact is that men in particular seem to never really grow out of this fantasy which is the reason why is has become such a heavily used topic with horror and sexploitation movies, enough so that one could define it as a subgenre of it’s own.

*** and isn’t that a truly scary idea that there are grown people out there, willing to pay the equivalent of a small car just to have a live like looking sextoy around? It always makes me marvel at how small a step it must be for them to go from mere fantasizing to the next level…

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Undercover Animal

Oh my god, I love this German poster for The Howling (called Das Tier in German which translates back to The Animal).

Every now and then when I consider doing a top list, I just know that I would have to include this poster.
It simply has everything needed, it’s beautifully drawn, highly sensual & terrifying, and it features one of the greatest taglines: (Rough translation)

There’s an animal in all of us, beware if it should break loose.

The only fault I could find with it, is the fact that there’s no such scene in the movie, it doesn’t even come close to capture the movies actual mood.
That always makes me wonder about it, I harbour a secret suspicion that it was commissioned as artwork for the remake of Cat People, for which it would have been a perfect fit.
And Cat People, which has been internationally graced with one of the most erotic posters ever (another one that would prominently feature if I was to do a top list), would really have benefited from that; the alternate design used for Germany looks like an ill attempt at coming up with a cross between the original and the less suggestive (emphasizing the horror aspect) UK version:



Monday, January 25, 2010

Picture perfect moment

This scene from The Mummy III always has me think of strategy games I watched being played by a comrade. It vividly reminds me of the fact that the younger generation of action directors take more of their visual cues from PC-Games these days. A fact that becomes most visible in the works of Rob Cohen and Paul W. S. Anderson; but also with older, more consume oriented directors like George Lucas (see his second Star Wars trilogy, the last part looked like written to double as a game script).
It seems ironic at first glance that movies should work their hardest to look like games, when games these days try (again) their hardest to emulate a movie going experience (see the MGS or Uncharted series as examples).
But looking back we realize that what we witness here is just an ongoing trend that has been around probably forever. In the 80's to early 90's we could observe a similar phenomena when (action) directors started to take visual cues from music videos, while those aimed to become short movies instead. It’s the cross pollination of the media, whatever new medium the next generation will discover for itself, we will see it sway it’s influence on future movies and vice versa.

Friday, January 22, 2010


The Kiss is a all-time favoured of mine, the movie offers everything a boy can ask for and some more. It stars a few of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses of the time (namely young Meredith Salenger, delightful evil Joanna Pacula, and motherly Mimi Kuzyk) in a fun ride fuelled by teen romance and evil witchcraft.

But, alas, ain’t that poster just a let down?
I guess we should thank the heavens that this is a 80’s movie and not a 90's or later venture, else we would have gotten just one dreadful Photoshop manip. But yeah, The Kiss is close to the category of “watched despite poster” movies, with all the visual possibilities the movie had to offer, they couldn’t come up with anything better?

On a side note: Curiously enough, even though I have a total crush on Meredith Salenger, I still haven’t got round to watch The Journey of Natty Gann.
The poster of which I’d say I adore, only I’m afraid it is actually just Meredith whom I adore. I do find it to be a beautiful set-up, no doubt about that, but have this hunch that if it was starring anybody else it would speak only half as much to me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More books

I told you, a poster that features a book is a good poster in my, uhm, book ... drat!
And I just so happen to like the movie attached to this one.
Especially Jimmy Smits’ character who only tries to do the decent thing and gets demonised for it by his family. Poor guy!

High Sierra, this one could almost be the exception to the rule!
But it’s such a beautiful drawing on its own that I’m bound to graciously overlook the fact that personally I do find that the poster takes away some from the movie by emphasizing that it is a novel adaptation. High Sierra is after all in my view one of Bogart’s greatest movies, but then I’m looking at the movie, and this poster, from a far removed vantage point. And the image itself perfectly captures the thrill of reading, the coming alive of the pages. One can hardly call himself a reader that doesn’t like this image.

A haunting image, the equalization of the act of burning books to the terrorist act of 9/11 may not be what the artist meant for us to take away from it, but it gives you that idea. Not sure about the movie though, the problem is these days there seems to be just as much Anti-Semitic propaganda around as there is (Anti-Anti-) Semitic propaganda.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Erotic art - Personal Favourites

To close our little impromptu Erotic Art special, I presents some of what would definitely make the list if I was inclined to one. For convenience sake I post them in alphabetical order instead of possible ranking (Cat People would be first).
And finally at the end of this post you find a Gallery of posters I consider would belong in a best of list.

The inclusion of the rain soaked Nastassia Kinski, used for the Cat People remake, is a no-brainer. You'd be hard pressed to come up with anything that screams sex as loud as that image, as least with anything nigh as innocent and tasteful in its execution.
It's a darn shame the movie turned out to be not half as accomplished as the poster artwork which conveys the message of the original movie spot on.

Emmanuelle 4 is another lifetime favourite, and curiously enough the Emmanuelle movies come for me right next to the Cat People remake in terms of watch ability.
Great artwork, boring movies.

It's probably just me, but the way Faye’s pose half reveals her legs is downright sexy.

Essentially the poster for la petite voleuse is about the same, included for the same reason, as the poster for The company of wolves, there's an irresistible sense of magic to that perceived moment when a girl turns into a woman.

A Gallery:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Erotic Art - Her eyes, so innocent

"You gotta to sin to get saved," it says on an old Maria McKee album.
And if sin comes with such an innocent look, who could withstand it, or would want to anyway?

(Poster for The Sinner was drawn by Ernst Litterer)

Any attempt at an overview of erotic movie posters would feel incomplete to me without a look at some of Klaus Dill's work.

I love the way he had to draw women.
Sexy, yet so perfectly innocent.

Neither artist Lutz Peltzer, nor Audrey Hepburn would come readily to mind for me when debating the topic of erotic movie posters, and yet there is something to Ms Holly Golightly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Erotic Art - Girls and Guns

With a title like that it would be easy to simply go and post the entirety of Bond posters. I hope you don't mind me opening with one:
The Living Daylights, actually managed to replace an old favourite of mine among the Bond posters, and the movies, namely the iconic For your eyes only (I'm pretty sure I'll find an excuse to post that later on).

Girls and Guns, this is a staple in erotic art with a connection between the two of them almost as immediate as the popular Death & Eros image often used with Horror movies.

To include Ms. 45, after what I said about putting up Irreversible in a Erotic Movie Posters top list, must seem a odd decision and I feel that I have to make excuses for that. Well, I can only say this in my defence that I never actually saw the movie in question.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What is erotic art?

What makes art erotic?
It’s far too tempting to give you the standard answer for all things art:
“I can’t explain it, but I sure can tell it when I see it!”

A clever tagline can sometimes be enough to do the trick, it certainly works for this poster for The Company of Wolves (which, btw, became The Time of the Wolves in German):
“More than a fairy tale.
Wilder than a dream.
The end of your innocence.”
That line gives the look on her face a completely different meaning.

As the poster artwork for Women’s Prison/Camp movies goes, this one has to be called downright tasteful in its execution. I’d have to be a liar to say that I don’t like it. It’s well drawn, eventhough the artist was no Olivia De Berardinis that’s for sure, if somewhat too much in your face to still count as erotic in my book.
And as taglines go, the one used for this borders on being comedic genius:
“Here the theatre becomes a torture chamber”
I can feel you, I saw No save haven with Wings Hauser, and before the end I was willing to confess anything just to make it stop.

A suggestive pose, if there’s anything that embodies the nature of erotic art than it has to be this. And speaking of embodiment, who better to illustrate it than Brigitte Bardot, Europe’s collective dream girl. There’s an unspoken promise to the way she’s posed on the poster to En cas de malheur, and it certainly brings us closest to the answer of our opening question.
What makes erotic art, what is it about?
It’s not about what is shown, but what we believe to be shown.

We see, erotic tension is created by association.
Or would you say that Martin Sheen ever looked remotely as sexy as the virtual Angelina Jolie does on this Beowulf advance?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Erotic art?

I didn't expect to find myself talking about Irreversible, but finding the poster in a Top 100 Erotic Movie Posters list worried me. Now, one could put this down to the author of that list having had only a limited overview of posters, but circumstances indicate differently. Another possibility would be a personal preference for Monica Belluci, but the low ranking of Malèna seems to dispel that idea, too.

Maybe it's just my inability to see the art for Irreversible detached from the movie it belongs to, and its story, that clouds my judgment; maybe, this is not meant to illustrate human vulnerability; maybe it belongs in erotic art … but my gut feeling begs to differ.
Personally, I very much prefer Malèna, a poster that is deserving its spot in a Erotic Movie Posters list.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Legend of Hell-House

I love this movie, it counts for me among the better haunted house tales.
Not as great a movie or story as The Haunting of Hill House, but pretty decent und scary to young ol’ me. And if it wasn’t for that silly ectoplasm scene I would like it just that bit more.
Ah well, but the actors deliver fine performances and make even some of the more cheesy lines sound solid, it is a all-round serious horror movie.

That brings us to the poster.
I’ll be darned if I knew what exactly the illustrator was aiming at with that, maybe he saw a different version of the movie, not sure. My first thought was that might have been shooting for something akin to The House on Skull Mountain which is the younger of the two, so … the question remains unanswered. I mean I like that poster, that’s not in question, it just looks a bit like a spoof to me, it’s the olive as eye I’d say. Could it be that he tries to say in a very subtle manner that "this movie will leave you shaken, but not stirred"?

Never saw House on Skull Mountain, btw,
but that poster sure looks great!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Art comparison

"Fahre Memphis!" (German only)

Classic Elegance.

More than just inspired by.
This video poster for "Twilight Mystery" (German title of Made-for-TV Thriller "Fourth Story") came out around the same time as "La Femme Nikita", it resembles the poster for Nikita so closely (right down to the use of primary colours) that I should have put it in a copycat post rather.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year?

What could better illustrate the ongoing suffering of women all over the world, than this image of a anonymous young girl, robbed of her identity.

The world won't change anytime soon, so happy new year?
I don't think so...

Contact Year

'tis gonna be the year we make contact.
Woot, woot!