Thursday, November 8, 2007

100 Greatest Movie Posters: #89 and #88 - Needful Things and Dead & Buried **Childhood Memory Edition**

Needful Things (1993)
Directed by Fraser Clarke Heston
Poster Designed by Bemis Balkind
Film Nationality - USA
Poster Nationality - USA

Dead & Buried (1981)
Directed by Gary Sherman
Unknown Designer
Film Nationality - USA
Poster Nationality - USA

[Click to enlarge]

Okay, it's now that I need to confess that while enjoying each of these posters thoroughly the main reason they appear on the list is because they are possibly the two designs that got me interested in posters many many years ago. They are perhaps the very reason that I am not only doing this countdown, but also why I had my entire bedroom wall covered in film and television posters since I was young.

I remember distinctly where I first came across these designs. It was at the video store on High Street, opposite where Blockbuster video is now. I believe the building is now a Purple Cow outlet, but that's not the point because almost all my visitors have never been to Geelong (good for them) so they will have no idea where I am describing. So, moving on. I first came across them on the shelves at this video store (I believe it was a family-run store, they quickly shut up shop after Blockbuster opened), Needful Things on the New Release shelf and Dead & Buried in the weekly section.

I was fascinated by both of the designs. Why were there faces in the paper bags? That shit creeped me out! Why is there a face emerging from the ground? That shit creeped me out too. But what made them even scarier (in 1993 I was eight, thank you) was that their respective VHS covers (aah, VHS) were made this.... well, I don't really know how to describe it. But when you touched them the designs actually rose off the cover. As in you could actually feel the faces emerging out of the paper bag and out of the ground. They felt bubbly. The titles were done in this style as well. I used to love just holding the VHS boxes.

I really hope some people know what the hell I am talking about. If I remember correctly the bubble design was relatively popular, but not overly so, but I remember just thinking it was really cool on these two particular designs. Every time I went to the video store, which was a lot - my family has always been into watching movies, I would peruse the store just looking at all the videos with their colourful covers and I knew I wanted to see them all. I have not seen these two films, but apparently they're kind of crap so that's alright. I'll survive. No matter what I was doing though at the video store I would always happen across these two videos. When Needful Things was eventually moved to the weekly section they were located very close to each other so if I saw one it just became normal to see the other as well.

...yes, I am weird, but if I didn't do that back then then I wouldn't be doing any of this stuff now. You should be thankful that crap horror movies had such good VHS covers!!

Just a word of note, Bemis Balkind who designed the Needful Things poster appears many more times throughout the countdown. They've designed some amazing posters throughout the years.

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