Monday, September 26, 2011

Fantastic Fest 2011: Day One

I've wanted to post this for a while now (way too many of my posts begin with that statement - sorry), but with all the movie watching, drinking and eating it's been nigh impossible to find the time to write it. In case it's not obvious, I'll be using these posts to wax cinematic about the movies I watch and provide a brief description of each film to give my reviews some context. I plan to write-up the films in the order I watch them and in full disclosure I stole all of the synopses from a number of websites that are not Posterocalypse. Day one. Go!

Michael (2011)

SYNOPSIS: A drama focused on five months in the life of pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement.

REVIEW: Wow. Just wow. First things first, I've got to give it up to the filmmaker, Markus Schleinzer, for even having the balls to make this movie. One second, I think I'm still catching my breath from the fact that this film was actually made (and played at Cannes, no less). While it's impossible to deny that there are some pretty perverse and taboo elements at play in the film, I enjoyed the hell out of the story and would heartily recommend Michael to others who can get past the initial shock of the premise. Alright, maybe "enjoyed" isn't the correct word, but I was definitely impressed and on edge throughout the entirety of the film and thought the performances were flawless from beginning to end. There's a very, very complex relationship at the heart of this story and while it could have become something preachy or heavy handed, the film goes for a slow burn and rewards the audience for their time. Definitely go see this if you have the chance, but I'd think twice about bring your parents or children.

RATING: 5/5 Stars

Kill Me Please (2010)

SYNOPSIS: A doctor opens a clinic for assisted suicide, but discovers that death prefers to work alone in this pitch black comedy from Belgium.

REVIEW: I loved, loved, loved Man Bites Dog (a must-have Criterion in my opinion), and Kill Me Please features a very similar gallows humor, so this was a pretty easy win for me. I thought the first half of the film, which focused on the idiosyncrasies of the suicidal cast, was a lot more interesting than the second half of the film, in which pretty much every character goes completely insane and lots of people die (though not as quite as expected). If you like your humor black, and your films black and white, then I'd definitely recommend checking this out.

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Polvora Negra (2011)

SYNOPSIS: A man betrayed is hunted and left for dead. Long after, he returns as Castilho Paredes. With scars still deep he is placed in a family dispute to be a pawn as a hired hitman between brothers and sisters for a hefty inheritance that will draw guns and blood. As long as there are bullets, there will be vengeance.

REVIEW: This may not have been the best film, or the second best film of the day, or even the third best, but what it lacks in budget and a cohesive narrative, it more than makes up for in attitude and heart. Polvora Negra manages to combine the stoic coolness of The Man with No Name and the convoluted familial relationships of Gosford Park with neat, if confusing, results. It probably didn't help my understanding of the plot that the subtitles were riddled with misspellings, grammatical errors, and haphazard punctuation. If you speak Portuguese I say go for it, if not, enter at your own risk.

RATING: 2.5 / 5 Stars

House by the Cemetery (1981)

SYNOPSIS: House by the Cemetery is a haunted house movie. The premise is Lovecraft by way of E.C. comics (with a side trip to the butcher shop). When a New York family moves into a suitably creepy New England mansion, strange things begin to happen. There are ghostly children, rabid bats and the diabolical marks of the house's former inhabitant, the evil Dr. Freudstein. Before long, the blood is flowing like a crisp summer Chianti.

REVIEW: Awesome. Just awesome. If you're a fan of crazy 80s horror, or anything by Fulci, then this is a no brainer. The acting is enjoyably atrocious, the kills are horribly gory and cheesy (in equal measure), and the narrative more often than not is nonsensical (seriously, there are so many elements in this film that make NO sense). I had a blast with this film and would totally recommend it for anyone who enjoys the crazy, hilariously blood-drenched work of Lucio Fulci.

RATING: 4/5 Stars


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fernando Fro Reza's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" Movie Poster

I've sung Fro Design Co.'s praises before, and sure enough, the man has created yet another wonderful print, this time for the creepy Guillermo Del Toro penned Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Movie Poster
Fernando Fro Reza
11" x 17"
$30 - Limited to 100

I was a big fan of this film. Now I'm not saying it was a perfect story, but I had a lot of fun with the movie and there were some great scares! And the house, my god the house, is probably the most sinister character in the entire flick. I wanted to preface my review of Fro Design Co.'s artwork with a quick review of the film to underscore just how perfectly the artist has recreated the atmosphere of the movie. Fernando's print captures the macabre setting complete with clandestine homunculi and is, in my humble opinion, his most accomplished work to date. Unlike a lot of his other prints, which I love and admire, this poster reminds me more of a painting that tells a story (a dark story) than a clever minimalist aggregate of cinematic fragments. I've got more than enough room in my heart for both approaches, but I absolutely adore this poster.

Yes, it's a great poster, a beautiful poster even, but there's more! This print was commissioned by CHUD, and as part of that commission, Fernando has been offering a VERY generous BOGO deal that is sure to elicit joyful joy. To read more about the Fro Design Co. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark deal visit CHUD's article on the poster and be sure to mention it during the PayPal checkout process. Fernando Fro Reza's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark poster is available through the Fro Design Co. store at The giclée measures 11" x 17", is limited to an edition of 100 and costs $30. And when it comes to the film, while I may not be able to wholeheartedly recommend a blind buy (I'm sure I'll be buying it though), the film deserves, at the very least, a blind rental (is that even a phrase? it is now).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Giveaway - "Chester Burst" GPK Print by Rhys Cooper

UPDATE: has picked a winner and it's Chris Drzewiecki! Congrats Chris! He'll be receiving the "Chester Burst" art print later this week. Thanks for entering everyone! I've got a lot more posters to hand out, so be on the lookout for another giveaway later this week. Most importantly, thanks for reading!

I've been meaning to put this up for a while now, but mostly due to work and preparing for Fantastic Fest I just havent had the time. But finally that day has come and the giveaway to end all giveaways (hyperbole much?) has come.

"Chester Burst" Art Print
Rhys Cooper
12" x 18"
Limited to 100
Inspired By: Alien

(1) "Chester Burst" GPK print by Rhys Cooper

I liked Rhys' Garbage Pail Kid prints so much (here's the review if you need proof) that I wanted to give at least one of these beauties away to a loyal reader.

The rules are pretty simple: Unfortunately, since I'm the one paying for shipping this contest is only open to readers in the US (sorry everyone else, international shipping can be expensive and complicated). The only thing you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post with your email address and your full name and on October 15th I will randomly pick and email the winner to get his or her shipping address. Entries are limited to one person per household. Yay! Free stuff!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dan Mumford's "The Fly" Art Print

I've written about Mumford's Horror Movies series before, and if you've read my reviews for either his Evil Dead or The Thing print, then you'll know exactly what to expect. With that said, Mumford's monstrosities continue to delight with their sinewy organic aesthetic and The Fly poster may be his best yet!

The Fly Art Print
Dan Mumford
18" x 24"
£30 - Limited to 100

Honestly, I can't think of a better match than David Cronenberg and Dan Mumford. As I stated above, Dan's creations seem to embody the body horror themes that Cronenberg touched on in just about every film he made prior to 2000. By the way, does anyone miss that Cronenberg? Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Spider, History of Violence and Eastern Promises, and there may have been a little bit of the old gore in those films, but where did the "Baron of Blood" go? I miss him. Sorry about that, back to the artwork. Dan Mumford's Fly print is downright horrifying. Brundlefly's body seems to be made of acidic strands of mucus that almost look nuclear in nature, and the inclusion of the telepod is at once a must-have as well as a great use of background. Finally, I've already touched on this in my review, but I really love the neon green color used to represent the creature's astringent bodily fluids. To me, the glowing chemical-green fluids mean one thing: science run amok.

The Fly print by Dan Mumford is currently available through the Dark City Gallery store for £30 (approximately $47). The print measures 18" x 24" and is limited to an edition of 100. By the by, Mumford's Evil Dead and The Thing prints are still available! To see more of Dan's work be sure to visit and follow @Danmumforddraws.
"You're afraid to dive into the plasma pool, aren't you? You're afraid to be destroyed and recreated, aren't you? I'll bet you think that you woke me up about the flesh, don't you? But you only know society's straight line about the flesh. You can't penetrate beyond society's sick, gray, fear of the flesh. Drink deep, or taste not, the plasma spring! Y'see what I'm saying? And I'm not just talking about sex and penetration. I'm talking about penetration beyond the veil of the flesh! A deep penetrating dive into the plasma pool!" - Seth Brundle
Now that's how you end a blog post!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kingdom of Nonsense's "The Machines Are Winning" Show

You may have heard about the "The Machines Are Winning: A Tribute To Sidney Lumet" show curated by John Vogl and Jay Shaw and thought it was just another movie-themed art show, but after checking out the work below, I think you'll agree the quality here rivals and in many cases exceeds what we see coming from Mondo and Gallery 1988. I was thinking about covering all of the art currently available, but that sounded like a lot of writing, so I'm just going to stick to the four pieces I purchased (and are somehow still available through the Kingdom of Nonsense store).

12 Angry Men Movie Poster
Kevin Ang
18" x 24"
$30 - Limited to 35

I love this film. 12 Angry Men is a movie I've probably seen about ten times in my life, and about eight of those times were in school (for some reason public schools seem to love 12 Angry Men, Roots, and ironically Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Kevin Ang, an artist I'm not really familiar with, has done a great job capturing the eclectic (and by "eclectic" I mean white male) group of angry jurors, complete with the circumstantial evidence in the forefront. His use of black and white is certainly a nice touch and his depiction of the righteous and reasonable juror number 8 (Henry Fonda) is appropriately inspired. Kevin Ang's 12 Angry Men poster is available through the Kingdom of Nonsense store for $30. The poster measures 18" x 24" and is limited to an edition of 35. If you're a fan of the movie, this is a must own, and if you haven't seen the movie, then you should know that Criterion is coming out with a newly remastered version of the film on DVD and Blu-ray in November and plan accordingly.

Fail-Safe Movie Poster
Lloyd Stas
18" x 24"
$30 - Limited to 35

I stand by the statement that Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is my favorite film of all time - it's the most perfect piece of cinema in existence in my opinion (alright, "perfect" might be a tad extreme). But if I was to list a few more of my favorite nuclear doomsday films, you can bet that Fail-Safe would be near the top of that list. If the name Lloyd Stas is familiar to you, it might be because of his outstanding concept posters celebrating Edgar Wright's filmography that took the Internet by storm. Well, Stas has once again proven he's an incredible artist with a great eye for some of the deeper and less surface elements in the films he chooses to cover. In this fantastic Fail-Safe print, Lloyd focuses on General Black's nightmarish visions of the matador, and has taken some artistic license and made the bull-bomb metaphor a bit more explicit and a lot more beautiful. Lloyd Stas' Fail-Safe poster measures 18" x 24", costs $30, is limited to an edition of 35 and is available through the Kingdom of Nonsense store. To learn more about Lloyd I recommend checking out, his Tumblr and following him @lloydstas.

Network Movie Poster
Mayra Fersner
18" x 24"
$35 - Limited to 35

Network is by far my favorite Lumet movie. I heard about the film when I was in high school, when I thought Requiem for a Dream (which by the way is an awesome film) followed by a viewing of Donnie Darko was the zenith of cinematic appreciation - in other words: I had a lot to learn. Films like Network were gateway drugs of a sort and introduced me to the likes of Putney Swope and Dr. Strangelove. Given the special place in my heart that Network holds and Mayra's beautiful design work, this poster has to be my favorite of the bunch. Her interpretation of the television anchor-cum-prophet is pitch perfect and practically exudes the piety that Howard Beale preached to the television-watching masses. Mayra Fersner's Network poster is available for purchase through the Kingdom of Nonsense Big Cartel store. The poster costs $30, measures 18" x 24" and is limited to an edition of 35. Like the vast majority of the artists mentioned in this blog, I'd never heard of Mayra before, but will definitely be waiting to see what she does next. Be sure to check out Mayra's blog at, her Tumblr and follow her @HagCult.

Deathtrap Movie Poster
Jacob Van Loon
18" x 24"
$35 - Limited to 35

I'll be honest. I've never seen Deathtrap, but I bought this print on the quality of the art alone. It's absolutely gorgeous! It's like M.C. Escher, Inception, and In the Mouth of Madness had a mutant baby that mind-bendingly bended my mind. Is it a bad idea to purchase artwork for a film you've never seen? Not when the it looks this good! In full disclosure: after purchasing this print I immediately added Deathtrap to my Netflix Instant Queue. Jacob Van Loon, the creator of this work of art, is another artist I had no familiarity with, but will devoutly follow from this point on. Jacob's Deathtrap print is available through the Kingdom of Nonsense storefront for $30. The print measures 18" x 24" and is limited to an edition of 35. To learn more about Jacob be sure to visit his blog at, his Tumblr and follow him @tvparty. I'm totally tempted to get another one of these just to give away in a contest - brilliant stuff!

...And that's what I bought from the show. There's still fifteen posters available through the Kingdom of Nonsense store, so my brief reviews for the four prints above are only a fraction of the awesome on display. To read about the future comings and goings of show organizers, Bill Vogl and Jay Shaw, be sure to visit and

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jon Smith's "It's Alive" Movie Poster

UPDATE 1 (9/12): Sold out through Mondo, but Jon just put his copies of the print up on his Big Cartel store. Go! Go! Go!

I love that Mondo is releasing their Dumbo poster on the same day they're releasing their It's Alive print - there's something brilliantly twisted about that. I picture professional looking men and women in Disney's Burbank headquarters wiping sweat from their brow as its revealed to them that their family friendly 1941 classic (there's no denying it's a great film) will be immortalized via a Mondo screen print at the same time as Larry Cohen's schlocky 1974 cult horror flick is. I know, I know, Disney probably knew well in advance that this was the case and are completely okay with it, still, it kind of makes me giggle.

"It's Alive" Movie Poster
Jon Smith
24" x 36"
$40 - Limited to 120

This poster is gross, but that's a good thing in this case. When I first saw Jon Smith's print I was immediately reminded of the insanity that is hand drawn Ghanaian movie posters. Now I know what you're thinking That's crazy Darren! Crazy! But hear me out, or rather take a look at a few examples below and let me know if you disagree.

Child's Play

So what do you think? I'm not a hundred percent sure of what it is that made me draw a connection between the two; maybe it's the use of shadow to convey definition, or the overall smoothness of the image, but the resemblance is striking in my opinion - and I really dig it! And like many Mondo prints I have the distinct feeling that this is another poster that needs to be seen in person to truly be appreciated. Unlike yesterday's print, which is mostly made up of thick black lines, Smith's poster seems to feature an insane amount of little details from the almost transparent veins that run across our favorite mutant baby to images of police and civilians alike that appear to be superimposed on the mother's viscera. If you're a fan of creepy, disgusting (but awesome) artwork like I am, or you just really want to piss off your girlfriend/wife this is a must own. Oh yeah, and if you like the movie it should be an obvious purchase as well. That too.

Jon Smith's It's Alive poster will be available at a random time tomorrow (9/9) through Mondo's website. The poster costs $40, measures 24" x 36" and is limited to an edition of 120. If you'd like to learn more about the artist, Jon Smith, head over to and follow him on @Jon_Smith. Have a very happy Friday folks and good luck!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scrojo's "Party Down" Marathon Poster

When I discovered this poster was being released tomorrow, tonight's post was a no brainer for me. I LOVED (yeah, all caps) this show when it was on and cried tears of tearful sadness when it was canceled after only two seasons. As a little background, I had seen pictures of this poster when the Alamo Drafthouse held their Party Down marathon in June, but had no idea how to actually get my hands on one. Until now, that is.

Party Down Marathon Poster
18" x 24"
$75 - Limited to 60

Much like the show, this poster is pretty minimal; Party Down was never really about the sets (well I guess it was, kind of), it was about the interactions between the characters and the hilarity that ensued. Running with the minimalist theme here, how great is it that the only real color is the team's bow ties? That's just too perfect and adds a really dynamic element to the sparse design. And I'm not sure if this is true (please correct me if I'm wrong), but it looks like the grey background may actually be more of a metallic silver, which would be absolutely beautiful in person. If there's one thing I could nitpick, it would have to be the lack of Jane Lynch's Constance Carmell in the poster. Sure, she wasn't in every episode, but she was such an integral part of the show and was a bit more memorable than Megan Mullally's Lydia Dunfree in my opinion. Then again, Jane Lynch wasn't at the marathon in person, so it makes sense why she wasn't included.

Scrojo's Party Down marathon poster is currently available through the D. King Gallery store for $75. The poster measures 18" x 24" and is limited to 60 (that's a small run). And if that's not enough for you, Scrojo's The Big Lebowski poster will be available tomorrow for $50. To learn more about Scrojo head over to Are we having fun yet?!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rhys Cooper's Garbage Pail Kids Prints

I wasn't sure what to tackle tonight, but when I saw Rhys Cooper's Garbage Pail Kids ("GPK") prints last week I knew I'd have to write about them at some point, and now seems as good a time as any. The reason these posters appeal to me so much is because not only do they carry on the proud (and gross) legacy of the GPK trading cards, they also happen to feature some great film references. I thought tonight I'd go over a few of my favorite Rhys Cooper prints created for Gallery 1988's GPK show. Note: All of the posters included here are still available for purchase as of the writing of this post.

"2nd Hand Rob" Art Print
Rhys Cooper
12" x 18"
$25 - Limited to 100
Inspired by: Robocop

Cooper's Robocop-inspired GPK print is bat-shit crazy (in a good way). Imagine a futuristic Detroit where, instead of an efficient cyborg patrolman policing the mean streets, a snot-nosed kid comprised of metallic bits and baubles and armed with a fork and firearm prowled the Motor City burning it to the ground and leaking oil all the while. Scary, isn't it? Rhys' "2nd Hand Rob" print is available for $25 through the Gallery 1988 website. The print measures 12" x 18" and is limited to an edition of 100. I'd also like to point out that all of these posters are screen prints, so it goes without saying that they're beautifully detailed in person.

"Allen Hunter" Art Print
Rhys Cooper
12" x 18"
$25 - Limited to 100
Inspired By: Predator

The "Allen Hunter" print is about as insane as "2nd Hand Rob" and is based on a character that's just as recognizable as Robocop. This one wasn't a hard sell for me, as I'm interested in just about anything Predator or Alien related. My favorite touch has to be that, in addition to simply sporting a necklace made up of "trophies" from his deceased victims, Allen Hunter also has a pacifier attached. Wait, does that mean he killed another Garbage Pail Kid? Makes sense. "Allen Hunter" measures 12" x 18, is limited to an edition of 100 and is available through Gallery 1988 for a measly $25.

"Chester Burst" Art Print
Rhys Cooper
12" x 18"
$25 - Limited to 100
Inspired By: Alien

I briefly mentioned Alien in the previous paragraph, so this seemed like the logical next step. This print is just creepy. Rhys' "Chester Burst" takes our favorite little chest bursting xenomorph and somehow grafts a pudgy child on top of it with very disturbing results. It's not bad enough that this abomination's freakish arms and legs seem to jut out without any rhyme or reason, but did the artist have to distort Chester's face like that? It's for this reason that I am both sickened and enamored by this poster. Like all the prints in this post "Chester Burst" is available through the Gallery 1988 storefront and costs $25. Go get it!

"Dull Boyde" Art Print
Rhys Cooper
12" x 18"
$25 - Limited to 100
Inspired By: The Shining
"Ultra Vincent" Art Print
Rhys Cooper
12" x 18"
$25 - Limited to 100
Inspired By: A Clockwork Orange

I think these last two may be my favorite. Cooper managed to meld the sophisticated horror and absurdity of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and A Clockwork Orange with the potty humor crassness of the Garbage Pail Kids. I guess it's not that huge a stretch since Art Spiegelman, the man behind the comic memoir Maus, also known as the only comic book to ever be honored with a Pulitzer Prize, is the genius who originally thought up the GPK while working at Topps (my brain exploded when I learned that). "Dull Boyde" and "Ultra Vincent" exemplify the fun that can be had when merging pop-culture and repurposing iconic imagery. And I love how Rhys has managed to recreate so much of what was special about the GPK, down to the "Peel Here" arrow and the dashes that outline the sticker boundary. These are great! "Dull Boyde" and "Ultra Vincent" are currently available through the Gallery 1988 website for $25 apiece. Both posters measure 12" x 18" and are limited to an edition of 100.

To learn more about Rhys Cooper be sure to visit his Studio Seppuku store and his Facebook page. If none of these posters float your boat there's a lot more than just these five available, so be sure to visit Gallery 1988 to see the rest. And as an FYI - I'll have a giveaway later this month for one of these prints. Yay! Free stuff!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rich Pellegrino's "Royal Tenenbaums" Art Print

I probably should have posted this yesterday, since my Pellegrino contest just finished, but I was kind of drowning in work, so today it is. There's something about Pellegrino's paintings and prints that I just get lost in, and his Royal Tenebaums art print is no different.

Royal Tenenbaums Art Print
Rich Pellegrino
18" x 20" (image size 17.5" x 17.5")
$50 - Limited to 200

First things first, I love the fact that instead of just being a single Pellegrino painting, we get NINE of the buggers - that's kind of amazing. Another awesome element in Pellegrino's pantings? The hazy and ill-defined backgrounds seem to only strengthen the look of the characters and their personalities; the subject and the environment bleed into one another. The layout of this dysfunctional Sudoku grid is also kind of brilliant, as Rich has very wisely chosen to put Royal Tenenbaum (played by Gene Hackman), the man who is connected to all of these people, in the middle. I really hope Pellegrino does more of these group prints. They rock!

Rich Pellegrino's Royal Tenenbaums art print is available through the Spoke Art store. The print measures 18" x 20", is limited to 200 and only costs $50. To learn more about Rich Pellegrino head over to and follow @rich_pellegrino. And be sure to visit Spoke Art at, their tumblr and @Spoke_Art. Speaking of Spoke Art, I know this isn't necessarily film related but they've got a pretty cool group show that started tonight featuring a bunch of great artists like Craww and Handiedan. So in addition to picking up this must-have Tenenbaums piece I highly recommend you check out the Spoke Art store tomorrow (9/2) at around 2 PM PDT for some exciting new releases.