movies Archive

Japanese Box Art – Comedies Part 2

Here’s the final clump of box art from Japanese versions of American movies. More comedies!

The Addams Family

There’s nothing particularly weird about this one, I just like how the screenshots are at silly angles and Thing is pointing at stuff. It looks like something I’d design myself.

Home Alone

This one hits all the right marks. You get to see Kevin goofing around on his own (I love the popcorn shot), his cunning expression when he’s setting traps, and there’s even some slapstick of Harry getting his head set on fire.

Wayne’s World

The layout and design of this one brings back feelings of the early 90s big time. I love the translated exclamations all around the box, hehe. And dang, they even show the Terminator 2 reference!

Stand By Me

Okay this one isn’t a comedy, but I didn’t have enough “coming of age” movies to make a separate post for it. I just thought it was fascinating that they prominently show a kid holding a gun on the back cover, especially since handguns are outlawed in Japan. I guess guns make things seem more American? ;_;

Japanese Box Art – Horror Movies

We continue our look at Japanese box art with a group of horror movies. Asia as a whole knows how to scare the heck out of me with their horror stories, so I wonder how Japan dressed up the boxes of some of my favorite American horror movies.

Warning: there are disturbing images on some of these.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Ah jeez, they went straight for the gross-out stuff – bugs in your mouth, tongues in your phone, and a guy on fire. Looks like they were going for shock value with this cover.

The Exorcist

This VHS was released in 1979. I saw more recent Japanese releases of The Exorcist with much creepier things on the covers, specifically a big red image of Regan staring menacingly at the camera. It’s interesting how this back cover is so tame. All that text is apparently explaining the history of how the movie came to be made.

The Silence of the Lambs

The LaserDisc edition of this one goes right for the jugular. I’m shocked that they decided to feature some of the more gruesome scenes in the movie here. And that huge red photo of the death’s head moth over Hannibal’s mouth is something I haven’t seen on English releases of the movie. It’s really evocative.

Japanese Box Art – Comedies Part 1

Let’s take a look at the box art used for subtitled versions of American comedy movies over in Japan.

Army of Darkness (Captain Supermarket)

As noted beforeArmy of Darkness was released as Captain Supermarket in Japan. Mato guesses it’s because while it looks like a horror movie on the surface, it’s definitely a comedy at its core. To release it in Japan as “Army of Darkness” would make it seem like a generic horror movie that nobody would pay attention to.

You can see by the artwork that they really ran with the “comedy” theme. The front cover kind of looks a little like a comic book setup.

Ernest Goes to Camp

I was surprised and extremely happy to learn that Ernest Goes to Camp, one of Poemato’s favorite movies, was released in Japan. It’s an 80s camp movie where an accident-prone janitor-turned-camp-counselor is put in charge of reforming a group of delinquents, while also trying to save the camp from being taken over by an evil mining company.

This box is simply covered with screenshots from the movie, which is an interesting approach. I like how the biggest image on the front is of the two cooks shoving a disgusting dish into Ernest’s mouth. And on the back cover I spot… a scene that never happened in the movie?! Or at least it wasn’t in the version I grew up with. I don’t remember anyone wearing a big ol’ fuzzy moose head.

Super Mario Bros. Movie

Ehhhhh, this movie. Had to get it.

The cover art looks really good, but what the hell is up with that giant disintegrating Koopa head on the back? Wouldn’t that scare kids rather than make them want to watch it? Oh, hmm… Maybe that was the plan all along!

Special Delivery! Movies from Japan

Well holy crap, LoL is in possession of tons of Japanese-subtitled movies!

These are research for a project we’re slowly working on. A lot of the back covers are pretty interesting – it’s neat to see the types of screenshots they used to market these movies to a Japanese audience. I’ll do a few more updates highlighting the best back covers.

LaserDiscs are Cool

The LoL team is always juggling at least 5 projects at once; here’s a peek at one of them. We began collecting a bunch of Japanese-subtitled movies, and this led to Mato & me becoming LaserDisc owners. I… kinda want to buy my movies exclusively on LaserDisc from now on…