After more than a year of work, my new ONLINE GALERY PROJECT finally begins in just two weeks, on MARCH 23, 2015. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE for the official announcement.
That image, by the way, is a sneak preview of some of the art you’ll be seeing in the next three months, as I roll out my exclusive, all-new RETRO 13 series. This is not a new book or a DVD or anything like that. This is an ongoing online gallery of original one-sheet posters based on CLASSIC AND OBSCURE GENRE FILMS, which I am posting exclusively at Dread Central. You’ll not be able to see these awesome new posters anywhere else. And you are invited to download them, share them, give them away to your kids, whatever. It’s completely FREE to fanatic fans of fantastic films! The series includes wild new takes on such well-known masterpieces as HELLRAISER, along with eye-scorching tributes to forgotten shlock gems like DEATH COLLECTOR.
In addition to the posters, I’ll be talking a little bit about each film immortalized, explaning my take on each one, which should be oodles of fun for everybody. And be sure to stop by here every week for a corresponding entry at The Express, full of fun beyond-the-scenes factoids on the creation of the RETRO 13.
On March 23, we will begin the series with none other than BLOOD BEACH.
This is a relatively obscure horror film from 1980 starring Marianne Hill, John Saxon and the late David Huffman, which has never been released on DVD, Blu-Ray or HD streaming, and which, in my opinion, had a truly GREAT poster. (Pictured above is the European release six sheet.) But it was not an awesome PAINTED poster, in the grand, garish multicolor freakshow tradition. You’ll see my gory new take on this classic film at Dread Central exclusively, and I’ll see you here for the “supplement” section, too!
This project has been a dream of mine for years, since I first released SHOCK FESTIVAL, the book on which I first learned the craft of exploitation poster art. I was still learning when I did that book and wasn’t half the artist that I am now, so this is a way of really seeing how far I can go with the real movies out there. Where SHOCK FESTIVAL was completely fictional, RETRO 13 is the real deal. I’m using new techniques and practicing different art styles, and I’m seeing just exactly how authentic I can make these. The idea is that you are supposed to really think these are real at first glance. I think mostly this has been achieved. And I also took the challenge of seeing where I could take certain titles that have been done (almost literally) to death in the “fan fiction” platforms. This will allow you to see some of your horror and sci-fi heroes as you’ve never seen them before. (Just wait’ll you see what I did with THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, kiddies!)
The other exciting element for me is the idea of this as a SERIALIZED ONLINE GALLERY. Fan art and fan films have come such a long way in such a short period of time, and there are thousands of amazing works out there, posted for free, by incredible artists and filmmakers. I think we live in truly special times. You can click up so many awesome illustrations and movies featuring everything from Pinhead to Spider-Man to the Power Rangers, and all of it is twisted, brilliant fun. The key is that nobody really makes any money off this stuff (usually) and so the internet has become a world-sized sketchbook, in which we can see every demented fan’s wild new ALIEN movie. (One of those has even become the new official ALIEN movie, which tickles me to no effing end!) This is the way of the future, I believe. And so my RETRO 13 will proudly exist here, in this new wild west of demented professional fanboys. And for those of you who just have to have a paper version of my HELLRAISER poster to hang on the wall, I”ll be offering the entire series as an HD download, after it completes its run at Dread Central. You’ll be able to take the high quality digital file to your local print shop and have one made, just for yourself! This will also be free to you, the fans.
Because I am a fan too.
Also, this series is truly personal and special to me, because I created most of the RETRO 13 during a time when I was literally re-learning how to walk again, after a terrible accident which almost took my life. These were fun “doodle” projects that allowed me to have fun and sharpen my skills between actual paying gigs (not to mention agonizing seasons of physical therapy), and it’s never been anything but fun, fun, FUN!
On a final note, MARCH 23 is also my mother’s birthday.
Last year, I painted this for her:
It’s a portrait of my other favorite woman, Zoe Tamerlis, a beautiful muse and a prophet who left us too soon. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done as an artist. Until this year.
This year, I begin RETRO 13.
It’s gonna be a slaughter, mom.
I totally promise!