Posteroid
 

THE MYSTERY OF THE SEVEN POSTERS

When Paul Morrisey's excellent BLOOD FOR DRACULA (aka Dracula cerca sangue di vergine... e morì di sete!!!) was released in Japan under the title SHOJO NO IKICHI (Fresh Blood of the Virgin), its Japanese distributor created an unprecedented seven different B2 poster artworks and an additional design for the film's flyer. So all in all, the distributor commissioned the printing of eight different artworks for a single film (not even counting the pamphlet, press sheet and lobby cards).

Why create such a high number of designs for a movie with comparably limited commercial appeal?
Normal at that time and for similar exploitation releases by the same company, e.g. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN or THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE, were two poster versions - and, at the most, an additonal flyer design.

One assumption is that the distributor wasn't sure how to market the movie, so they developed different posters to cater to different audiences. Another is that whoever was in charge of marketing the movie liked the film so much that he/she wanted a wide range of posters designs developed.

You can see from the artwork posted below that the designs range from lurid and bloody to rather artistic, so there is no clear marketing strategy visible, leading to the conclusion that the first assumption seems to be the more plausible.

Talking to many knowledgeable Japanese collectors over the years I was not able to find a definite answer. BLOOD FOR DRACULA received such a limited release in Japan and its posters are rare (some more so than others) that very little information is available about its history.


 

So let's look at the artwork:

First the "multiple heads" poster. A rather artistic poster and my favourite design for the movie. Right after the "green head" artwork it is the rarest of the Japanese posters and very difficult to find.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


This design is similar to one of the one-sheets created for the US release.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


The first of the "big head" artworks. This one has an eirin mark, unlike the very similar poster below.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


The second "big head" design. Notice that it is much simpler than the one above. This poster does not have an eirin mark, therefore it was possibly used as a give-away to cinema goers.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


This is the more common and unfortunately rather bland "impaling" artwork.
The writing on the poster makes a reference to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN, and promises an even more horrific experience, targetting this artwork more at the splatter crowd.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


The bloodiest of all the posters for BLOOD FOR DRACULA, it shows a collage of horrific images from the movie.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


The ultra-rare "green head" artwork.
It does not promote the horror aspects of the movie, and instead puts a strong emphasis on the artistic side of BLOOD FOR DRACULA by featuring renowned actor/director Vitorio de Sica, and director and sometimes actor Roman Polanski.

Japanese B2 movie poster of Andy Warhol's Blood for Dracula

 


Finally, the flyer for the movie with an interesting design that was unfortunately not carried over to a B2 poster.

 
   
     
 

 

 

 


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