MOVIE POSTERS BY CHARLES COPELAND
Detail of Mexican lobby card
Copeland's sister Evelyn remembered he had also done a few movie posters, but the information about them has been lost over the years. Luckily, Copeland's niece Susan Reed had kept one since 1969. "When I was a teenager I thought it was really cool that my uncle had done this movie poster", Susan told me. "So I brought one home from our local movie theatre. It's still in my basement. Want to see it?"
The poster Susan had was MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND, a gory monster movie from Hemisphere Pictures with John Ashley and Angelique Pettyjohn, directed by Eddie Romero. The poster art, a nude Copeland blonde menaced by a gruesome creature, has been reproduced a million times without anyone realizing who the original artist was. This image appears on poster reproductions, on the DVD, on the soundtrack CD, on t-shirts available on eBay, and in advertising still in use today.
A search of the Copeland family archives turned up art for Eddie Romero's 1971 follow up film, BEAST OF BLOOD ISLAND (now known as BEAST OF BLOOD), also starring gore movie stalwart John Ashley. BEAST OF BLOOD was produced by Sceptre Industries, the same company Dean Severence is associated with in a 1970 BOX OFFICE article.
BEAST OF BLOOD's iconic poster image, a zombie ripping off its own head, has also been reproduced without artist credit a zillion times over the past 40 years. Although Copeland's name has never been attached to it until now, it is one of his most reprinted paintings. Today you can get BEAST OF BLOOD posters, DVDs and t-shirts on eBay. It is a perfect symbol of the schlock B movies of that time. And now you know who painted it.
Charles Copeland's file copy of his movie poster art for
BEAST OF BLOOD ISLAND
DVD covers using movie poster art by Charles Copeland
Charles Copeland also did a couple prelims for art for Jess Franco's 1976 film JACK THE RIPPER starring Klaus Kinski. Although the one-sheet poster I have seen does not use Copeland's art, at least one of the ads found for the movie incorporates Copeland's design.
Copeland's original art for JACK THE RIPPER
Thanks to my friend Ruben at paperbackart.com who noticed the movie poster for MARDI GRAS MASSACRE (1978) is a Charles Copeland. It’s even signed C.C.
DUTCH TREAT, 1977. Thanks to James Nobel.