Monday, 22 October 2012

Welcome to Prime Time, Bilbo!

If there's one thing I love more than Nightmare on Elm Street, it's Lord of the Rings. And if there's one thing I love more than Lord of the Rings, it's Robert Englund.

Let's be honest now - we all love Krueger more than the actual Nightmare films. Sure, for all its shortcomings and flagrant technical ineptitude (midget stunt- Freddy, anyone?), the original was creative, imaginative and still makes for brilliant viewing...but then all the other parts happened. Although, in all fairness, 'Dream Warriors' deserves to have its name uttered (not too loudly, though).

It took the whole concept of Freddy and the workings of subconscious closer to, what I reckon, was buried deep under the original's vicious surface - that I approve of. Dream manipulation and subconscious powers were fleshed out admirably in 'Dream Warriors', albiet rather fantastical and amateurish. However, the beginnings of Krueger's puns, one-liners and bad stand-up routine, coupled with his absurd and convoluted back story, were elements that really weren't necessary.

Anyway, what if Freddy haunted the LOTR universe? Firstly, I tell you what - it would probably be less absurd than Hellraiser: Bloodlines and Jason X. Secondly, it would be rather entertaining and certainly have more integrity and intensity than the Nightmare re-boot.

My poster design isn't based on any of the Nightmare or LOTR posters. The moment I remembered the bridge going into Helms Deep, it screamed out to be Freddy's arm. I had originally planned to craft Krueger's claw from rocks and cracks, but a friend suggested that I use soldiers. I'm glad he did, because it works well. I consciously chose those insipid greens and striking red to remain as close as possible to Freddy's colour scheme.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

'Rhymes for Swines' at

The funding page for my project 'Rhymes for Swines' is now online at

It's an illustrated book of 20 - 23 rhymes about  love, death, stalkers and killers. (Think Roald Dahl and De Sade squashed together in a word press).

lease spare a few minutes to have a look at the video and incentives, it would be much appreciated. If you could pledge some money towards the project then that would be even better. Regardless of either, though, you can click the 'LOVE IT' button. It's free, takes a second and helps spread the word about the project :)


Another Gig Poster

Here's my latest poster for a local gig on the 30th October in Dundee. If you're in the area you should definitely check it out.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Gig Poster

Sorry for the lack of updates recently; things have been quite hectic. The video proposal for our project 'Rhymes for Swines' is now completely finished. Our good friend, Ross Nicoll, did a fantastic job on the sound and I finished editing it earlier tonight.

I was going to make it live today, but I'll do it tomorrow lunchtime as I need to sort out all the incentives for PleaseFund.Us.

Amongst a lot of other work (which I'll upload as I finish) I designed a poster a couple of weeks back for a local gig on the 28th September. Enjoy.


Friday, 5 October 2012

Pretty Dead for a Flyboy

This HAD to be done. There wasn't a chance I could resist paying homage to one of my favourite films of all time - George Romero's 'Dawn of the Dead'.

Along with Jason & The Argonauts, Dune, Bladerunner, Robocop and Star Wars, DOTD firmly embedded its teeth into my brain and conscience during my Primary School days - it really did strike a nerve. As a young sprout with an imagination, I was fascinated not only by the slobbering masses of  grey matter driven amblers, but the whole fantasy of being locked in a shopping mall - the tactics you'd have to employ, when to sleep, when to skirmish, what to collect. Everytime DOTD came on TV (and that was a lot during the 80's) we'd sit down as a family and watch the gore unfold.

Naturally, as a kid I was oblivious to a lot of DOTD's subtexts on religion, abortion and immigration. However, being from Dundee, one quickly saw the correlation between the masses of lost zombies and the vacuous bumbling crowds of The Wellgate. Romero's scathing social commentary and witty satire on the unstoppable growth of consumer America was as frightening as it was entertaining; perhaps even scarier that 40 years or so (!!) on people still have this inexorable urge to stuff their lives with unnecessary products and materialistic possessions in some sort of desperately blind attempt to forge meaningful and fortuitous lives for themselves. Anyhow, I digress. Seeing that one could refer to such people as 'half-loaves', it's only appropriate that I call my latest piece - 'Dawn of the Bread'.

Let's take a look at the original:

An absolute classic. I remember it vividly as a child. What amazed me was its minimalist approach with it's eye-catching gradient sky. There were a few variations on the colour scheme over the years for re-releases and video, etc. A lot of horror movies at that time (and especially the move into the 80's with Nightmare, Evil Dead, Basket Case et al) used photography or had incredibly detailed (or vibrant comic book style) artwork. The artwork on the American release of Fulci's infamous Zombi 2 was a photograph of De Rossi's iconic zombie whilst the British release was a striking painting of a huge decaying hand bursting from the ground. To this day I can't think of any other horror film that has been represented in a similar manner to DOTD. If anybody does know of one then please let me know.

Upon further inspection of the poster, I realised that the zombie isn't positioned exactly in the centre, the alignment of 'DAWN OF THE DEAD' is a law unto its own, and the last 'D' in 'DEAD' is different to the others - notice the bottom right of it.

Whether this was intentional or not I have no idea. Regardless, I decided to keep these little nuances in my poster.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Brundle of Laughs

I should have posted this up a few days ago, but I've been run off my feet trying to sort out my other project: Rhymes for Swines. If you're not familiar with it then have a squizz at - your feedback would much appreciated.

Right, back to business. I'm really hungover today, so I'll keep this short but sweet. Actually, it's probably a good thing that I'm beat so I don't prattle on for days about this film. I wrote a 7,500 word dissertation on David Cronenberg, so I'm sure I could squeeze a few more out.

'The Fly' IS the epitome of a remake done properly. Cronenberg takes the idea of the original B-Movie and transforms it into a visceral seminar on technology and his own inimitable way. Moreover, as infamous as it was for being gruesome, 'The Fly' is a triumph of love story over SFX, as Cronenberg demonstrates his deftness for fleshing out the humanness of the piece.

Speaking of 'piece', that brings us on nicely to my poster design. I thought I'd go for the other meaning of 'fly'. No. Not the colloquialism, the OTHER one.

My design doesn't have any correlation with the original poster aside from the logo and a tribute to the famous 'Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid' tagline.

Just before I post up my design, I must mention that I'm a huge fan of foreign poster designs. The Polish 'The Fly' poster is undoubtedly one of my favourites:

I had originally planned to just have close-up of the unbuttoned trousers, but when I began colouring it I realised that I could turn the pockets into fly eyes...well, something close enough to associate them with fly eyes. I then added in a few more fly elements to create some sort of insect/garment hybrid.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

When Mark G met John G

I would always confuse Guy Pearce with Heath Ledger. Maybe it was due to the fact that I began to take more notice of them both around the same time. Well, I guess it would be difficult for the confusion to continue seeing how that one is roughly 6ft and the other is under 6ft of rough.

As amazing as they both are, our focus today is on Mr Pearce. To be honest, I don't think I've seen many films starring Guy Pearce. It was the ultra gruesome and fantastic 'Ravenous' (with the inimitable Robert Carlyle) that made me take notice of him. If you haven't seen it then rectify that this instance. It also has a brilliant soundtrack courtesy of, I want to say G.Coxon from might be...I'm sure it has something to do with Blur. Here's a trailer:

 'Ravenous' was released the same year as '10 Things I Hate About You' (the source of the confusion), then Pearce went on to render viewers mind boggled in Nolan's 'Memento'...which leads us nicely onto our film parody poster #2. The joke this time is completely in the title. I didn't swap out a word for a rhyming variant or a synonym, just tweaked what was there. Nolan had obviously wanted me to do this 12 years down the line. I would actually love to sit and type for hours about 'Memento', but I'll resist and throw up an official poster:

It does exactly what it needs to do: The polaroids (along with the title) imply that there are memories and moments involved, whilst the repetition informs you that the crux of the film is an Ouroboros style infinite loop. Poor Guy. He really gets a rough time of it in 'Memento'. Even the saucy Carrie-Anne Moss gives him more abuse than Jodie Marsh gives her Boots Advantage Card. However, the casting in 'Memento' is absolutely flawless. Easily one of the best line-ups of all time. Hell, even Ned from 'Groundhog Day' is in there.

And so here is my poster design for 'Memento'. Self explanatory really. Ok, I know that it's rare to get that many yellow fruit Mentos in a pack and 'Chewy Dragees' is positioned UNDER AND ABOVE the logo, but you know what...sue me. can't, thanks to my copyright evading design technique ;) . I tried to incorporate the 'Memento' logo into the poster but it didn't really fit. I did decide to keep it completely text-free and let the visuals do the talking (with the exception of 'Chewy Dragees' on the packet). Coming back to the design, though, it smacked me like a kipper to the balls that I should actually re-create the 'Mentos' logo. I'm glad I did because it works a 'sweet'............quite.


Monday, 24 September 2012

Hang Tough

I admit it, I never have been a huge fan of Stallone (or a fan at all, for that matter). I don't care that he made Rocky, was Rambo, was uncredited in The Godfather or manages to speak without moving his face. Actually, I lie: I did really like the piss-take, 'Spambo', in Round the Bend. You should all check it out here:

Anyway, this brings me onto one of his flop films - Cliffhanger. I'm not using Wiki or IMDB here...just memory, so apologies if the facts aren't bang on. I remember it came out around the same time as Arnie's 'Last Action Hero'. Both were hyped beyond (deer)God knows what, and both suffered grilling by reviewers and the public. I think both films were instrumental in killing off both Stallone's and Arnie's big star statuses. They were to become like Van Damme - irrelevant, unnecessary and boring. But I digress...I REALLY enjoyed Cliffhanger. No idea why. Maybe it was the fact I saw it on 'pay-per view' in 1994 in Orlando when I was 14. Maybe it was the fact that I loved John Lithgow in Raising Cain. Or maybe it was the fact that I'm just thinking of the beginning of Ace Ventura 2. Regardless, the poster was, and still is, pretty cool (no pun intended):

Wait a second, not that one...THIS one >

Actually, looking at it now, it doesn't look that exciting at all. For all we know he could be on a washing line over a balcony. Although the font is still as memorable and as dramatic as ever. Give me a second here.

 That's more like it! Looks precarious, foreboding and quite a drop.

Still, for all its tackiness and nostalgic value, the washing line version is the one I hold dearest. So much so that I felt inspired to create my own parody version and call it 'Coathanger' Like Stallone, the coat hanger in my cupboard is stiff, bereft of personality and still fucking hanging around; so I thought it very apt.

These have been designed at A3 and I plan on doing a print run of 25. If anybody is interested then please email me for details. Every week or so I'll be designing a new parody poster, so keep checking back.