Here's the colorful pressbook for Republic Pictures' 12-chapter serial, Spy Smasher, which may be the best serial ever done. When originally shown, waiting for each cliffhanger ending to be resolved in the next episode was like waiting through the mid-season, after-season, before-season, and when-the-hell-is-the-season-starting for Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead to continue.
The stunning cover on this pressbook for Queen of the Amazons compelled me to get it. I won it in an auction on emovieposter.com a while back, and it went for less than I thought it should (lucky me!). The large size format of 17 by 22 inches is also eye-catching. That "Queen of the Amazing Sex" tagline on page 3 is pretty daring even if the actual costume filmed isn't as much as the one in the poster art.
Here's the Mexican lobby card for Vacaciones De Terror 2. I haven't seen it (or Vacaciones De Terror 1, either), but it's a Mexican movie from the 1990s, so I'm game. There's a lack of sense, sensibility, and sanity in much of the color Mexican horror movies circa 1980s to 90s, which makes them fun to watch, so I'll track this one down for sure.
It's difficult to describe the phenomenon that was television's Batman, starring Adam West and Burt Ward, but let's keep it simple by saying it was cooler than all the other cool pop culture things we lovingly remember about the 1960s. So any kid worth his or her cape and tights went to see this movie because it was the cool thing to do.
I remember this one because my dad took me to see it. I insisted. He didn't care for it much, thinking it was too "cute," but I liked it (that Death Blossom was awesome). This movie was one of the early birds to use computer graphics extensively to create the fantasy-reality of the science fiction storyline. Hey, it even had Will Wheaton in it! Until they cut his scenes, that is. Now, you may be wondering why the Mexican lobby card shown here is in English, except for the "El Ultimo Guerrero." The litho credit is USA, so this was printed in the United States, probably for US theaters catering to Spanish-speaking audiences. My educated guess is that they took a regular English lobby card, added the Spanish title, and thereby saved money. But this is the first time I've seen this, so I;m not too sure about that.
I've not seen this German and American production directed by Roland Emmerich (his third movie). It hit VHS shelves and did get a DVD release but that died quickly. Still, may be worth a look. The story (see Wikipedia article on Hollywood-Monster, this movie's alternate title) reads rather well in synopsis. It's getting that story onto the screen that's the hard part.
An unexpectedly gritty and mature movie from Disney is Dragonslayer. While its initial release to theaters may have confused parents, this movie became a VHS treasure with its special effects and Dark Ages storyline. With no happy ending for the princess, and a questionable future for the young magician and his love, this movie kept it dark indeed.
If you were wondering how Stanley Kubrick and his production team could have imagined some of those brilliant special effects in 2001 A Space Odyssey, wonder no more. Der Weg Zu Den Sternen showed a space station wheel years before 2001, and some scenes could be twins between both movies, according to sources cited in the Wikipedia article on this movie. This pocket-sized pressbook caught my attention with its stylized graphics.
This French pressbook for Le Fantome De La Rue Morgue opens to a long montage centerfold (split across the center two pages shown here). How can you not love two gorilla hands reaching ominously for a terrified woman (or man, for that matter)?
Here's the French pressbook for House on Haunted Hill. The remake creeps me out, too, but the original still works its horror quite well (read my review). Watch it in the dead of night at your own peril.
Non-English pressbooks usually aren't very large or filled with pages like the American pressbooks, but they still pack a neat promotional wallop in a small package. Here's the French pressbook for the film noir, Conflict (1945).
Thanksgiving Day, 1927 -- If I told you there was this guy, Urbain Ledoux (I know, the papers liked Urban instead of Urbain), who gave up a business career to help the homeless and foster humanity among his fellows, who wanted to be a priest but got turned off by seeing very unpriestly misconduct, and who worked hard to awaken the slumbering conscience of the people to help those less fortunate and less news-sensationalized than the bombastic morons parading as intelligentsia today, you'd say I was crazy. I'm not, he was, and we all should be just as crazy as him.
With nefarious and icky one-eyed aliens, the Navy's new strategic weaponry of atomic powered submarines, and a budget take on alien encounters, pacifism versus fighting, and somewhat passable underwater staging, The Atomic Submarine launched before Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's Seaview and the underwater warship Atragon. And I built the Revell atomic sub model, too!