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Freitag, 16. September 2011

"Now we go to Hell, Daigoro!" - the LONE WOLF AND CUB series

When the six parts of the LONE WOLF AND CUB movies were released by Toho Studios between 1972 to 1974, they took gore in the Japanese chambarra (swordfighting) genre to a new level.

Based on a highly popular comic book series by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, the films follow Itto Ogami (played by Tomisaburo Wakayama), formerly the shogun's executioner, in his pursuit for revenge for the murder of his wife and the betrayal by the Ura-Yagyu clan. 



 In the early 70's, gory films were nothing new in Japanese cinema as several years earlier, infamous director Teruo Ishii had already introduced new heights of violence in his TOKUGAWA series for Toei Studios.



What was new was the combination of bloodshed and aesthetic cinematography, which made the LONE WOLF AND CUB films stand out. It did for swordfighting films what Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH had done for the Western genre several years earlier.


Responsible for four of the six films in the series was veteran director Kenji Misumi. Misumi was already well known for directing the very first of the highly-successful and long-running ZATOICHI movies (starring Shintaro Katsu, who also produced the LONE WOLF AND CUB series and was the brother of the main actor) as well as the second and best of the three DAIMAJIN films.


Probably to reference the comic books it was based on, the poster artwork for the first part (LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE) was done as illustration, which was very rare in the 70's. The later ones however featured again the then popular photocollages.





Montag, 15. August 2011

Welcome visitor!


If you found your way to this website you love Japanese movie paper and you won't be disappointed: The Posteroid will keep you entertained with frequent posts about Japanese cult movie advertising and background stories about the movies themselves.

So let's take our first ride into the darker regions of filmmaking with
some wonderful posters from the legendary SHINTOHO company (新東宝株式会社). SHINTOHO was started by a breakaway group of creatives from the famous TOHO studios. Originally they had in mind to produce art films, but luckily for us they were later forced for financial reasons to focus on exploitation movies.

AMA NO BAKEMONO YASHIKI
(House of the Ghost of the Female Shell Diver, 1959)

Triple Feature of War Movies

THE VAMPIRE BRIDE
(Hanayome Kyuketsuma, 1960)

Among SHINTOHO's most memorable films are the SUPER GIANTS (Supa Jiantsu) series and Nobuo Nakagawa's two classic horror films GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA (Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan) and INFERNO (Jigoku). Unfortunately, INFERNO, which is now widely considered a masterpiece, was also their last production as SHINTOHO declared bankruptcy in 1961. In the process, the vast majority of their stock of advertising materials for their films was destroyed, and the few surviving posters are now highly sought-after pieces.

After SHINTOHO had collapsed, its former president Mitsuga Okura founded a new company called OKURA EIGA (大蔵映画), which originally specialised in distributing foreign exploitation films in Japan and created some outrageous poster artwork for them, but that is another story.....


KENPEI TO YUREI
(
Military Police and the Ghost, 1958)


INFERNO
(Jigoku, 1960)

Triple Feature of Horror Movies

ZOKU SUPA JAIANTSU
(Beyond the Super Giants, 1957)

Still photo for THE GHOST OF KASANE
(Kaidan Kasane ga Fuchi, 1957)