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Friday, July 10, 2009

The Roundtable: Week 10 - Your Contributions

Night of the Creeps finally getting a release on DVD, excitement has been diluted with the very poor DVD cover art being utilised, tell me ( and send an image or a link if possible) the worst DVD cover art you've ever seen for a cult/horror title?"


The Near Dark DVD just released in R1 is quite horrible or clever (probably both). Either way, it is a clear attempt to cash in on the Twilight crowd.

James Kloda

Body Piercing! Kinky Sex! Dismemberment! Thus runs the strap-line for Troma's Truly Tromatic Tromeo And Juliet. And what perverse imagery accompanies such slutty promise? Nipples staked with metal Toxie faces? Squealing sex with a pig-woman? Severed limbs spraying ketchup on gormless bystanders? Sadly, none of these things. Rather Lloyd Kaufman and co. give us the titular couple looking bored. And solemn. And that's it. It looks like a still from some sulllen teenage version of Love Story, the two sharing a final embrace before she goes off for a spot of chemotherapy. For a movie that features a child-bending friar, a song about gizzards and Lemmy speaking iambic pentameter, surely a better image could be found. As it stands, however, the cover does fit into a long tradition of classical Shakespeare film adaptations √° la Ken Branagh. Dull as shitwater.

Kingmob (Dear Bastards)

I really don't care for the cover art for Dekker's other film Monster Squad either, but that seems like too easy of an answer, so I tried to come up with something that involved a bit more searching.

Off the top of my head, Craven's Last House On The Left got a re-release recently with the typically ho-hum Photoshop cut and paste job.

But for truly uninspired covers, the worst offender has to be the grandaddy of them all, the constant stream of public domain Night Of the Living Dead re-issues that populate the bargain bins of every DVD shop you go into. More examples here, here and here.

Kim Lindbergs (Cinebeats)

Mario Bava's 1969 film I rosso segno della follia (aka Hatchet for a Honeymoon) has been butchered since it was first released in America. First of all, the title actually translates to something like The Red Sign of Death but American distributors decided to give it a more salacious title to appeal to drive-in/grindhouse audience. Of course DVD companies have continued to call the movie by the same stupid title and churn out a lot of bad DVD cover art in the process. From the 3 or 4 releases of the film I've seen, the Westlake Entertainment version has got to be the worst of the bunch. The design looks like it was slapped together by some bored teenager in his mother's basement for a film that has very lttle in common with Bava's actual movie. Naturally I've sent along an image because it has be seen to be believed.

Vicar of VHS (Mmmmmovies)

By far the worst DVD cover art on a cult/horror DVD title I've ever seen is actually a series of titles--Redemption films' original release of many of Jean Rollin's finest films. Rollin is a director whose work is near and dear to my heart, and to see the terrible "original" art they used on great flicks like The Nude Vampire , Fascination, and Living Dead Girl is just a crime. Photographs of pancake makeup-wearing Goth girls holding skulls, scythes, or sticking their chests out while looking vapidly surprised--or even worse, bad Photoshop effects on top of said photos--ugh. Especially when in many cases the original poster art was a GAZILLION times better--I'm thinking especially the gorgeous art deco poster for The Nude Vampire, which I'd be proud to have as a tattoo. Redemption (now Salvation) has done great thing getting these movies out to the masses, but that series of cover art was not their best moment.

I should note that their latest re-releases of Rollin's stuff has used stills from the movies on the covers instead, and thus look much, MUCH better on the ol' shelf.

Keith Brown (Giallo Fever)

It's not particularly bad, at least by the standards of some old pre-certs like Don't Open the Window (HERE), but this Cat o' Nine Tails cover is still rather cheesy.

Kit Nygaard-Gavin

It has to be
as distributed by Media Blasters
I remember seeing this and thinking WTF - what made it worse was that was/is excellent artwork out there and Media Blasters chose to scrap it in favour of this cheep shite cover.
I remember thinking "Oh fuck... and I have to give a copy of this to Lenzi"... I was embarassed. The recreation/flip side of Werewolf Woman - was in a similar vein (at least it was a flip cover).

The re-releases on Vipco of their horror flicks were pretty uninspired and rubbish too - just black covers with the title in bold letters - uninspired.

I must confess I didn't like the artwork either for:-

Night Train Murders by Blue Underground

Crucible of Terror by Image Entertainment

The Region 2 Planet of the Apes cover - ummm (spoiler anyone!?!)

1 comment:

Mark Hodgson said...

R1 DVD for NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE is our current least favourite. The art is so "off-topic" it's not funny. Misrepresentative, misleading, and damaging for sales of a surreal Japanese horror classic from a distinguished director.