It has been brought to my attention that a hand-painted AGAINST THE DARK poster from Ghana is for sale on the ebay for $250.75. That may seem like alot, but please keep in mind that it’s 15% off of the regular price. And it’s not like it’s $251. It’s a quarter cheaper than that. Not bad.
Nah, I’m just fuckin with you, actually it is a reasonable price for an artifact like this. If you’re not familiar with the Ghana approach to movie posters, they are literally one-of-a-kind original paintings, usually done on cut open flour sacks, that hang outside of the little shacks where the movies (I believe on DVD now) are shown on a TV screen. I have a really good book about it called Extreme Canvas: Movie Poster Paintings from Ghana, but I think that one’s hard to find now. There’s another one that’s supposed to be good called Ghanavision. I enjoy these posters because of their crude look and occasional extreme disregard for movie accuracy. Also I like when they obviously didn’t have much reference material, so they’ll put Arnold Schwarzenegger in his RAW DEAL undershirt for T2 or something.
I know from reading the movie websights that the young artists and designers now like to do their own designs for posters of cult movies or movies from their youth or whatever. Some of them follow the Mondo Tees model of printing up limited editions, or some just post them online, but almost all of them use similar clean, retro styles, usually inspired by the old Saul Bass movie titles, trying to find some very simple image that’s supposed to boldly represent the content of the movie. I knew if I went to /film I could find an example and sure enough their top item includes a pretty nice looking one for DRAG ME TO HELL.
But I say okay guys, it was cute, but we’re done with that game now. Throw the clean silhouettes in the dungeon with zombie movies and ironic musicals where it’s called ____: THE MUSICAL and it’s supposed to be funny because the word in the blank is supposed to be wildly appropriate for a musical, ha ha ha. I’m not impressed anymore. You wanna impress me, I challenge you young artists to rip open a burlap sack and hand paint your own design for a poster to BEST OF THE BEST 2, STONE COLD or BLACKJACK.
I think AGAINST THE DARK is my current choice for Seagal’s worst movie. He’s made ones that were more technically crude, but with his part being so small and the rest of the movie being so generic and dull it’s probly the very worst use of his talents ever, even though he gets to use a sword. So it kind of makes me sad that it’s made it out there to Ghana. If he had known that would be its fate then maybe he would’ve tried harder.
On the other hand I’m glad it’s not a poster for a more awesome movie available on ebay. If it was BELLY OF THE BEAST or something I might find myself going without food for a while.
To see many great examples of Ghana movie posters, or to find me the best Christmas present ever, check out ghanamovieposters.com.
thanks to Zack C. for tipping me off on this one
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.