Matt Bradshaw over at Cinematical recently had a nice article listing his favorite grindhouse flicks. Me being me, I immediately thought “yeah, but what about the posters?” So consider this a companion piece to that article, as well as a way to get yourself in the right mood to see the new Tarantino/Rodriguez double feature coming our way this Friday.
The Street Fighter
You might know Sonny Chiba as Hatori Hanzo, the master swords maker from Tarantino’s Kill Bill. But much before that, he was an action star in Japan. A very mean action star.
For example, in this one he plays a mercenary that tries to save a rich heiress from a gang of thugs. That is, he tries to save her after the gang fails to pay him enough money to kidnap her. Nice guy.
The poster itself goes for the drawn characters look, which was quite common at the time. You don’t see much of that anymore.
Enter The Dragon
No list of would be complete without Bruce Lee. And I don’t just mean lists of grindhouse movies, I mean every list. Doing a list of cars? Put Bruce in there. Trust me, it will make the the list better.
The poster uses an illustration of Lee. Because putting a photo of him would make the poster too badass. You can’t have all those old ladies fainting as they pass by it on the street.
Faster Pussycat Kill Kill
The best known film from director Russ “I Like Big Breasts” Meyer. Featuring a gang of violent strippers going on a murderous rampage. We don’t get many gang of violent strippers films anymore. *Sigh*
The poster itself follows the honorable tradition of looking like it was a collage put together in somebody’s basement and then xeroxed at Kinko’s.
Also, notice the “Filmed in Black and Blue” tagline. Pretty much encapsulates the world view behind these movies.
Massacre at Central High
I guess you have to add some teenagers getting slashed films to the mix. This one stands out because it is also a teenager fights back against the bullies revenge flick. Two for one!
Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks
Ilsa-She Wolf of the SS is the more well known film in this series. Also, the more shocking one. But I think that it is important to remember that the Ilsa story went on beyond her nazixploitation roots.
This poster, like all Ilsa posters, features the main character and her, ahn, “generous” cleavage. Whatever it takes to get people innto the theaters I guess.
Confessions of a Psycho Cat
Rita Bennett is credited in imdb for this movie as having done “Sex inserts”. Apparently the film was originally a much more straightforward thriller, but they decided, after the film was done, that it would do better with a little more sex. Which lead to some nudie scenes being (badly) inserted into the film. You have to love the sixties.
The poster itself mostly sells the sex, with some references to the possibility of there being some scary elements in the film. I love how the different images are juxtapositioned in order to hide the “good parts”. Classy stuff.
The Black Gestapo
Mixing Blaxploitation with Nazi themes, that is one idea that must have Hitler rolling in his grave.
The poster itself looks a lot like the Enter The Dragon poster doesn’t it? Only, instead of Bruce Lee we get a guy in Nazi attire.
Last House on the Left
Repeat to yourself: It’s only a movie! it’s only a movie! Classic exploitation tagline.
Last House on the Left introduced the world to horror master Wes Craven. First, about one hour of two girls getting tortured and molested by the bandits. Then, half hour of bloody revenge.
Craven would go own to do better things, but never nastier more sickening things.
I like to brag about having a strong stomach, but this poster seriously upsets me. Not sure why, but it does.
I have never seen Cannibal Holocaust, but from what I have heard and seen it is one of the nastier examples of Grindhouse movie making. Don’t think I’ll be seeking this one out anytime soon.
I Drink Your Blood / I Eat Your Skin
And to end, we need a double feature poster. And you can’t get much catchier and more complementary than the “I Drink Your Blood / I Eat Your Skin” double feature. I wonder what he did with the organs, muscles etc.
I drink you blood includes as villains a “band of satanist hippies”. This doesn’t have much to do with anything, I just thought you should know.
So, now you understand why in my look at the Grindhouse posters I said they looked much better than any actual poster for a grindhouse flick, right?