Author: Jacques Boyreau
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Are you longing for the days when Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold graced the silver screen? Did you cry at the tragic end of The Man With Two Heads? Did you release a nervous chuckle at the "twist" in Soylent Green? And, most importantly, are you really just disappointed in the sorry state of movie marketing today? If so, step on board, Mr. Boyreau & Co. have something in store for you...
The book itself is simply arranged: six categories - "Race Trash", "Sex Trash", "Groovy Trash", "Sick Trash", "Docu Trash", and "Action Trash" - filled with movie posters from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. Of course, these aren't the box office studs and Oscar winners of their eras - here, in four-color glory, is the dirty underbelly of Hollywood see-ay, the B-movie, the bomb, the shock flick, the schlock pic, the cult classic. And there are some doozies.
With over 150 posters exposed all in all, Boyreau (who co-owns San Francisco's hip sci-fi nightclub The Werepad) brings back a glorious gobbledygook of sex, drugs, rock n roll (with plenty of blood to boot) right to your coffee table. Perhaps the only drawback is that several of the posters are of poor quality - I can't imagine there's not a mint edition of the Burt Reynolds smash flop White Lightning somewhere - but that's only a minor concern, given the scope and quantity of sights to be seen here.
I think this book has its own subtle impact: there's the superficial first glance factor of "Oo, I've never even heard of this movie before!", and then there's the follow up factor .. "but I think I'd like to watch it, just to see what it's all about!" Considering these are some of the worst movies to come out of the era, isn't it a bit disheartening to hear that the artwork on these posters is so creative and inviting that people would be willing to sit through them? Look at the current movie posters next time you head to the theater. A semi-witty tagline, four looming heads of the various co-stars, a tidied up background image of the general locale for the movie, and then the title, in 48-point Times New Roman. Where's the splash, the pizzazz, the wonderment? This book goes a long way to show just how safe and benign the modern movie business is today.
I would highly recommend looking around used bookstores for this priceless gem. My own copy sits in my parents' guest bathroom, to be enjoyed by whoever stops in for a visit. It is simply a marvelous and eye-opening glimpse into a world of cinema that sadly has all but vanished in 2003.