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THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT - THE AKUMA TRILOGY Akuma

In 1974 horror was absolutely hot in Japan.
At least it must have seemed so to Japanese distributing company Herald.

And in order to take advantage of this opportunity, Herald bought the rights to three totally unrelated horror films and released them under a common theme. These three films couldn't have been more different, as they were: the ultra-realistic terror hit THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE from the US, the blood-drenched gothic satire FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN from Italy and the atmospheric zombie movie THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE (aka LET SLEEPING CORPESE LIE) from Spain.

In order to link the three movies thematically, they were given similar Japanese titles for their releases:

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: AKUMA NO IKENIE (Sacrifice for the Devil)
FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN: AKUMA NO HARAWATA (Guts of the Devil)
THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE: AKUMA NO HAKABA (Cemetery of the Devil)

For each of these films, Herald created two B2 posters, a flyer, a press sheet, a pamphlet and a set of eight b/w lobby cards. Tatekan posters were definitely not created for the releases, and B1 or larger sizes have not surfaced yet, although they might exist.
Press sheets for TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE are two pages each and, just like the flyers (chirashi) for the films, replicate the artwork of one of the B2 posters. FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN was the only movie of the three that received its own flyer artwork and a four-page press sheet. As is usual practise in Japan, the artwork on the pamphlets was unique and did not resemble that of the posters or flyers.

Despite of these efforts by Herald, their AKUMA series saw only a small release in Japan and the posters are quite hard to find nowadays, with the rarest being the black version of THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE (see below).

Interestingly also, while the AKUMA NO (Devil's) title was only sparely used prior to the 1970's, and hardly ever for horror movies, there was a real boom of AKUMA titles in the 1970's: Brian de Palma's SISTERS was called AKUMA NO SHISUTA (Sister of the Devil), Tobe Hooper's EATEN ALIVE became AKUMA NO NUMA (Swamp of the Devil) and Larry Cohen's IT'S ALIVE was retitled AKUMA NO AKACHAN (Baby of the Devil).
And even the sleazy Nazi Exploitation movies ILSA SHE-WOLF OF THE SS (AKUMA NO SETAI JIKKEN / The Devil's Experiments on the Living Body) and Sergio Garrone's SS CAMP 5 - WOMEN'S HELL (ZOKU AKUMA NO SETAI JIKKEN / Beyond the Devil's Experiments on the Living Body) became part of the AKUMA family.


 

So let's look at the artwork:


THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

B2 poster, first artwork (Meathook)

Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-style-2-(B2,-style-1)


B2 poster, second artwork (Chair)

Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-B-(B2)

Pamphlet cover:

Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-A-(Pamphlet)

 

 

FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN

B2 poster, first artwork (Scar)

Flesh-for-Frankenstein-(B2,-style-1)



B2 poster, second artwork (Face)

Flesh-for-Frankenstein-(B2,-style-2)



Flyer for FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN

Flesh-for-Frankenstein-(Flyer)



Press sheet (front and back side of the four pages)

Flesh-for-Frankenstein-(Press-Sheet).jpg


Cover of an old Pony Video VHS release

Flesh-for-Frankenstein-Video-Cover-(

 


THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE (the poster states the alternative title LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE)

B2 poster, first artwork (Hand)

Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (b2, hand)


B2 poster, second artwork (Black)

Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (b2, black)

Press sheet (backside)

Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (press sheet)

 

Some of the eight lobby cards

Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (lobby card) Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (lobby card) Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (lobby card)

 


 
 
 

 

 

 


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