Hard To Buy

Man, if all had gone according to my plan I would’ve posted in a week or so to show off a photo of the all time greatest movie poster. What I didn’t foresee was some other motherfuckers were able to pay more money for a Japanese Above the Law poster than I was.

Click through to see the picture of the poster and feel my pain.


Look at that! Fuckin beautiful. I love how this is from when he was young but the artist made him more grizzled, like he knew he would look tougher as he aged. And it’s got Henry Silva in there, it’s got Vietnam, Seagal hugging Sharon Stone…

Apparently it’s a Japanese artist who also did Star Wars and Godzilla posters. I don’t think there will ever be another Seagal poster as good as that one.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 7:05 pm and is filed under Seagal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

42 Responses to “Hard To Buy”

  1. You were not exaggerating. That is spectacular. The caricature of Seagal is dead-on.

    Was there only one available for purchase?

  2. Jareth Cutestory

    August 27th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I know it’s no consolation – and I’m sure you’ve seen this similar but less spectacular version – but here you go, buddy:


  3. Did you try this site? They have it for cheaper (assuming it is in stock – he says to email for availability):


  4. Thanks guys, good catches. I like that other one too Jareth, why have I never seen these before? I guess I never explored the world of painted Seagal posters.

  5. Man do I miss awesome poster art like this.

    I’m sorry in advance for being ‘one of those’

    But what happened to art of poster art? All those wonderful painted prints that made you want to see or interested in the movies they depict? Or those crazy Polish posters?

    Oh yeah they created photoshop and could get an intern to do it for free and under five minutes rather than pay an artist a couple hundred/thou (?) and five weeks to make a piece of art. (and to avoid paying royalties when the art is used again)

    And what’s up with these photoshop kids and decapitated heads that fly?
    Some kind of fetish? Cause shits kinda freaky…

  6. Wow, these are some badass Above the Law posters.

    Vern, I feel like if the winning bidder were any kind of S. Segal fan he’d want you to have the poster.

  7. That’s a shame – no one deserves that poster more than you, Vern.

    Does that mean that It was only called Above The Law in the US? It was Nico in the UK and apparently asia too. It’s another one that I’m torn on – they’re both good names. Hardly a Blue Jeans Cop vs Shakedown kind of deal.

  8. geoffreyjar – true everything was better when we were younger, but there is still good work being done: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2008-12-11-awards-campaign-2009/posts/first-look-george-clooney-and-the-poster-for-up-in-the-air

  9. Jesus. That’s incredible.

  10. hey vern and friends,

    just thought i’d chime in from japan to translate the title.

    the main title (in red) says “Detective Nico” (“Keiji niko”), and the sub-title (in white) says “Blind Spot of the Law” (“Hou no shikaku”), which i guess could roughly be translated into “Above the Law.” so anyway, i guess the main title in japan is “Detective Nico.” not bad.

    btw, huuuuuge longtime fan, been waiting around to bust my comments section cherry.

  11. Blind Spot of the Law. I like that. No one is blind spot of the law.

    Thanks Gary.

  12. oh, also, the tagline on the right (in yellow) says “Crime that the law can’t reach, Leave it to me!” (“Hou no todokanu yama ha, ore ni makasero!”). that’s a very literal translation.

  13. The Japanese own when it comes to posters, it’s a fact:


    Every one of those is solid gold, and this list doesn’t even have the best Ran poster! I’ve only seen that one in a book.

    Bummer you didn’t get that kiler poster Vern, but it will make it all the better when you do finally snag one. Happy hunting.

    Also count me among those who miss old school movie posters. There may be a good one here or there, but it used to be that even crappy movies had great posters. It was deceiving, and I miss that. Why else would I have given Neon Maniacs a try?
    This is the best series of posters I’ve seen in awhile, and even they aren’t so good as much as kinda funny:


  14. A couple of years ago I was looking for a few posters to hang near the TV , to create that cinema feel , and the one I wanted was the THUNDERBALL 007 poster , this one :


    Look at it , there’s everything in this poster : Sean Connery , a jet pack , an underwater battle , girls . The only thing missing is NINJAS!!
    I always liked the lower part , with Bond trying to look cool with all the girls around , in full scuba gear !! Unfortunately the price for an original was too much for me , so I decided to , uhh.., print it on a A4 piece of paper. Pathetic .

  15. I’m also a big fan of all the aspects of art departments in movies : storyboards , posters , design ,matte painting . One of my favorite painters was the great late Albert Whitlock , matte painter extraordinaire , of The Thing , Earthquake and The Birds fame. Being an amateur painter myself , I am blinded by the quality of his work . And I , too , think that it’s better to pay good money for a professional artist instead of a quick CG shot . Look at the work of Moebius , Ron Cobb and Giger on movies like Aliens and Dune . Their work DEFINES this movies almost as much as the work of directors and actors.

  16. I am the proud owner of this amazing piece of art devoted to the film from which I stole my name: http://www.moviegoods.com/movie_product_static.asp?master_movie_id=5090&sku=204374

    I could look at Bronson kicking that guy’s hat off all day.

  17. a

    I refuse to believe you that ANYthing that comes out after I ‘turned into an adult’ is good.

    Quality ceased when I turned 20! Now everything is bad and just trying to be as good as the worst thing I saw from my childhood!

    -I’m really not nostalgic for these posters by the way. I grew up late-80s & early-90s and by then these beautiful things were already a thing of the past.

  18. One Guy From Andromeda

    August 28th, 2009 at 6:59 am

    I just have to jump on this Seagal topic opportunity to finally ask this unrelated question, which has been so important to me over the years i always forgot to ask. But i guess around here the issue can finally be settled once and for all: Is it SEA-gal or sea-GAL, pronounciation-wise?

  19. It’s sea-GAL, as in “I can’t believe you had the gall to come at me with a meat cleaver.”

  20. I believe I have now acquired one of the posters, and for below my top bid in the first auction. Thank you to the Vern Junior Outlaw Squad for getting my back on that one.

    As for how SEAGAL is pronounced, I believe it was a Vanity Fair article that claims his family pronounces it like Siegel, but that he changed it after viewing an exhibit of Chagall paintings.

    No big deal though – unless we want to start calling Van Damme “Van Varenberg” and Bronson “Buchinski.” Great poster, Majestyk.

  21. On a completely different topic i just thought i’d post this for anyone who’s interested in ‘Ninja’. 5 behind the scenes videos that make the film look badass. Looks like there’s going to be a “ninja in feaudal japan” scene and the finale seems to be old skool ninja vs. high tech ninja, which sounds fucking awesome. One of the videos even gives background on the history of real life ninjas which is cool.


    I do wonder who decides whether a film gets a cinematic release or not, the amount of money they spend on a lot of DTV efforts nowadays is often equal to smaller budgeted cinema releases.

  22. On that note, does anyone know what the most expensive DTV ever made is? I thought it was SOLAR CRISIS with $55million (in 1990 money!) but it turns out that actually had a brief theatrical release (I bought it just because of this, although I suppose a barely theatrically released 1990-$55million film is interesting enough). I think it might *still* be THEODORE REX from 1995, with a $33.5 million budget, and that’s without adjusting for inflation. Before it was released INTO THE SUN was said to have a $30-35million budget, but IMDB lists it at $16million, which, if you’ve seen the film, I think you’ll agree is much more believable (although the production values are good for a Seagal DTV)

  23. Those are all some cool posters but if you want something a bit different I give you the Polish Movie poster people…


    Unfortunately that’s the only Seagal one they have I think.

  24. That’s amazing. How did Above the Law get turned into a madcap 1960s farce?

  25. Polish people are heavy drinkers traditionally. That probably helps.

  26. Man, those Poles are crazy. I really want this awesome Return of the Jedi poster where Darth Vader’s head explodes, but unfortunately, I don’t have several hundred dollars lying around.


  27. That’s a awesome print.

  28. *an* awesome print too.

  29. That poster is pure OLEG!
    blind spot of the law….GREAT!

  30. Ha these polish posters are awesome. I love this one where it looks like C-3PO is the main character of Return of the Jedi.


  31. Virgin Gary,

    Please, please, please translate every Seagal movie you can be bothered to. Preferably preceded with Seagal-San is… (even if it doesn’t really fit)

    You know it’s going to be worth it.

  32. Fuck Avatar. That literally fucked my eyeballs.

  33. GoodBadGroovy : Holy shit , thanks for the NINJA links !!!

  34. I’ve been trying to figure out what the Blind Spot of the Law (CAUTION! If you cannot see the law’s sideview mirrors, the law cannot see you!) poster reminded me of, when finally it hit me: Mad magazine covers from the 70s. Check it out: http://www.collectmad.com/madcoversite/index-covers.html

  35. excellent posters guys. a few are incredible eye candy. think i need to reconsider my living room decorations.

  36. I grabbed my avatar from a Polish poster for Weekend At Bernies.


  37. hey guys,

    if you link me to other japanese posters (seagal or not), i will be happy to try and translate them. i am, however, far too lazy and worhtless to look for them myself.


  38. It’s rumored that when it came time to create the poster art, Segal was unavailable, so they got Dan Hedaya to pose for it instead.

  39. Great art. Sharon Stone has de longest arm ever in that poster.

  40. Late on this talkback, but I thought some of you guys would appreciate these hand-drawn film posters from Ghana…

  41. Wow. And you can’t even buy a cheap repo? When I saw your article. I never imagined it be this good!

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