Monday, October 31, 2022

Something In The Water

The 1979 eco-horror-thriller PROPHECY has its fair share of fans, as well as detractors. Perhaps the story worked better on paper, than in execution. Sometimes its jump scares elicit more chuckles than gasps. But I feel its heart was in the right place.

A paper mill releases mercury into a river causing horrible animal mutations. Mutated animals go on rampage. Man versus nature. Nature, eventually, always wins. 

The original poster art featured a mutated animal embryo. Possibly more strange than terrifying. So my brief from the client was to amp it up a bit and include the main creature, a mutant 15-foot bear, ferociously attacking. 

Sometimes life happens when you are working, and an important personal event becomes forever linked to what you were doing at the time. I was still working on this piece when I got the call with the news that my father had passed away. So when I look at this, that's what I remember most. It was a difficult time.

Many films have a key scene that audiences remember above all others. Ridley Scott's ALIEN has the chest bursting scene. And John Frankenheimer's PROPHECY has the sleeping bag bursting scene. If you've seen the film, you likely remember this "highlight". So I illustrated the moment before that event for the booklet cover. So no spoilers, but fans should get that "oh yeah" feeling when seeing the cover.

For the Blu-ray disc art I drew a bear's paw print made of mercury.

Why don't we continue the 1970s eco-horror theme with a double feature.
That's next time. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

When the Devil Calls

In celebration of "spooky month", I look back at some cover art I did for a 1988 horror film entitled 976-EVIL

The film, directed by Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund, features a Twilight Zone-esque concept where a bullied introvert discovers a fantastical connection (a phone line in this case) to a higher power (Satan himself) enabling him to turn the tables and get revenge on his tormentors. But, of course, there's a catch. There always is.

Perhaps inspired by the epic play Faust, our protagonist descends deeper into madness as his soul becomes more and more consumed by Satan until in the final reel... well, you'll just have to witness it yourself.

The piece is fairly straightforward in concept. 

Our protagonist-turned-antagonist looms threateningly large over the cast. Enticing the viewer with his red hot phone, receiver in hand. Satan's fire reflecting in his eyes (the windows to his soul). He wears his sunglasses at night because he's a Corey Hart fan. But who isn't?

His overtly religious, domineering mother sits nervously on the plastic covered couch with her multitude of cat companions. That never ends well. 

His "bad-boy, cool-guy" cousin, whom he idolizes, tries to reach him but, "his line is busy". Always is these days. 

And his therapist, (or something, it's been so long I can't remember who she is) looks on cautiously. "Was that a strange noise? I absolutely must go, alone, unarmed, into that dark room to find out what horrible creature made such a sound. Oh, an unlocked trap door in the floor I've never noticed before. Well, I'm not exactly dressed properly for exploring mysterious, labyrinthian passageways, but what could possibly happen to me? Hello. Anyone there? Helllooo?"

See you next time as the horror continues and things get messy when someone feeds a bear a little too much mercury.