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Famous Movie Poster Rejects You've Never Seen Part 6

Today's unpublished rarities from our stash of movie poster concept designs include Force III, Meatballs III, plainclothes cop thriller Off Limits (Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines), sci-fi McDonald’s commercial Mac & Me, the Diane Lane potboiler Lady Beware, UK comedy Mr. Love, Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle, Walter Bannert’s German-language Austrian film the Inheritors, horror comedy Return of the Living Dead, the Dudley Moore/Eddie Murphy flop Best Defense, Richard Donner’s Inside Moves, William Peter Blatty’s Ninth Configuration, adventure flick Tai-Pan, German musical the Frog Prince with Helen Hunt, and the Rosary Murders.

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Full-length McDonald's commercial Mac & Me actually had an intriguing poster (below) that seemed to deliberately rip off ET, but the rejected mockup above is a bit of a head scratcher. At least the wheelchair made the reject a more honest representation of the actual flick.

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Above shows the entire photo of Diane Lane from Lady Beware, used for final print below.

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I'm so glad to see the terrific painting above did indeed make it onto the poster for the UK comedy Mr. Love seen alongside it. Below are the rejects, followed by a sheet I found online that did make use of the photo that one of them was based on.

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Hollywood Shuffle collage mockup above and final print below.

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Above: Original painted artwork for the Walter Bannert’s German-language Austrian film the Inheritors alongside final print.

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Above: U.S. variant for Ninth Configuration (foreign version below), plus Tai-Pan.

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Original painted art for the Return of the Living Dead tombstone, before the comical zombies were added (below). Note the spraycan-bearing skeleton hand was originally the only part of the zombie arising from the grave.

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Note below horizontal variant is dated a full two years before Return of the Living Dead was actually released. And it was originally planned for 3D?! As far as I know, this is a hitherto unknown component in the film's early development ---

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I LOVE above unused painting for camp(y) comedy Meatballs III with a dude in a bear suit chasing bikini-clad Shannon Tweed (Mrs. Gene Simmons must've always had a thing for guys in costumes). Apparently, the subtitle "Rudy's Big Challenge" hadn't been christened yet, as Rudy is nowhere to be seen. I also totally dig the iconic final version (below) of this guilty pleasure co-starring Sally Kellerman (and featuring Loverboy's "The Kid is Hot Tonight"! Premium cheez or what?!).

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Best Defense draft above and finished below. Now this one is flippin' bizarre - look how the tank blueprint originally had Eddie Murphy drawn in, as if part of the rendering, looking dumbfounded by the broken steering wheel. But the crazy effin final print (below) pasted in a B&W photo of Murphy's face, inexplicably grinning despite his clearly defective ride! And the rejected tagline seems much better too: "Laughter is still your best defense." Too bad nobody who saw this movie was laughing.

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Inside Moves reject above, which is a fabulous painting evocative of Norman Rockwell, versus the dull and drab final versions below.

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Rosary Murders photo pasteup above, while the whole corpse-in-a-tub motif was still in the planning stage, and final print below. Poor ol' Charles Durning - in the reject, he looks like he might have a good clue whodunnit. But the final print makes him look like some confused doofus with a runny nose.

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I think above poster was for German musical version of the Frog Prince starring Aileen Quinn and Helen Hunt - if so, it got a raw deal with both the reject and the final print below.

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Original artwork for something called Force III above, and Off Limits below, along with final version. Not sure what they were going for with the bullseye closeup.

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And, finally, a mystery poster that had no markings when I photographed it. Other than knowing it's from the '80s, I'm stumped - any Reader readers able to help ID?

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PREVIOUS ENTRIES IN THIS SERIES:

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Part 1: Batman, Witches of Eastwick, Supergirl

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Part 2: The Fly, Vamp, Fright Night, Howard the Duck, Stallone: Over the Top, Ladyhawk

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Part 3: Horror film Near Dark, horsey drama Phar Lap, the Robert DeNiro/Albert Brooks sleeper Midnight Run (still under its working title Running Scared when these two posters were mocked up), 3D cartoon Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, Airplane-style comedy Bad Medicine (with Steve Gutenberg and Julie Hagerty), and war story Hamburger Hill.

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Part 4: Collegiate comedy Campus Man, horror hits Wes Craven's Deadly Friend and Blood Diner, and rock and roll horror flop Trick or Treat, as well as Texas Godfather, Vanishing Act, China Girl, 8 Million Ways to Die, sci-fi biker flick City Limits, and war romance Purple Hearts.

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Part 5: Voyage of the Rock Aliens with Pia Zadora, the Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon/Pee Wee Herman surf comedy Back to the Beach, psycho-ex thriller Fatal Attraction, alleged comedy Planes Trains & Automobiles, James Woods in Cop, the Tom Cruise hit All the Right Moves, drive-in horror hit Deadly Blessing, the re-release of Roger Corman's original Little Shop of Horrors, import sex comedy Perfect Timing, historical drama Hanoi Hilton, Stallone sequel Rocky V (under its original title Final Bell), and Nothing But Trouble, back when it was still known as Welcome to Valkenvania.


RELATED ARTICLES ON THE READER WEBSITE:

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"Field Of Screens" -- Cover story 7-6-06: Complete theater-by-theater history of San Diego drive-ins thru the years, including interviews with operators and attendees, dozens of rare and unpublished photos, vintage local theater ads, and more. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

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"Before It Was The Gaslamp: Balboa’s Last Stand" -- Cover story 6-21-07: In the late 70s/early 80s, I worked at downtown San Diego's grindhouse all-night movie theaters. This detailed feature recalls those dayz, the death of the Balboa Theatre, etc., including interviews with operators, vintage local movie ads, and more. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

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Image "Pussycat Theaters: When 'Cathouses Ruled California" -- for the first time, the inside story of the west coast Pussycat Theater chain of adult moviehouses, which peaked in the '70s but later died out. Company head Vince Miranda owned and lived part time at the Hotel San Diego, operating several other local theaters downtown and in Oceanside, Escondido, etc. Told by those who actually ran the theaters, with a complete theater-by-theater encyclopedia covering every Pussycat that ever screened in CA -- http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...


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