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Painted Box Spotlight Episode 3: Power vs. Force

Welcome back to the Painted Box Spotlight, a semi-regular feature where we will continue to explore the fine (and not-so-fine) art of movie advertisements created with the use of actual paintbrushes and pigments. Power and Force. Two words that kind of mean the same thing sometimes, and also two words that sound good in the titles of '70s and '80s action movies. Today, we will see which word is better represented in the world of painted box art. FIREPOWER (1979) Firepower thumbnail Firepower is directed by Michael Winner (The Mechanic, Death Wish), but it doesn't have Charles Bronson in it. Instead we have an ensemble of James Coburn, O.J. Simpson, Sophia Loren and Eli Wallach - sounds like the all time greatest episode of Love Boat. The box was oversized, so some previous owner cut it up and put it in a more uniformly sized case at some point (sorry about the ugly fold). I am in awe of these painters who did the elaborate collage style posters, a style often used for blaxploitation and spy movies. Firepower detail It doesn't scan well, but there's a closer look at Coburn, Loren, O.J., and a burning car. ZEBRA FORCE (1976) Zebra Force thumbnail Representing 'force' is this weird story of Vietnam vets killing mobsters (and police, from the looks of it). This one stands out because you rarely see painted boxes this dark. It could almost be a velvet painting. In fact, it's so dark I almost didn't notice this guy plummeting from the window: RAW FORCE (1982) Raw Force thumbnail This US-Phillipines co-production is a favorite oddity of many here at Scarecrow. And the poster is a classic for about ten thousand reasons. You have a guy flying through the air who is both kicking and punching. You have evil monks holding women in cages. An exploding boat. A blue-skinned samurai. Macho taglines. A ninja star in the logo. And look at those colors! So much more vivid than most people use. The baby blue border for this VHS version really brings it out, too. A perfect 10 for this box. POWERFORCE (1983) Power Force So, looks like 'force' pretty much has it in the bag. But wait a minute, what if there was some way we could give equal weight to both Power and Force? Perhaps through a movie called Powerforce? The movie has no connection to Raw Force, but it does have the great Bruce Lee clone Bruce Li in it. When held up against the eye popping hues of Raw Force, it's easy to look down on Powerforce. But come on - look how the giant snake wraps his tail all the way around the box! (Or around the world?) And the letters of the logo are made out of shiny metal, that's pretty powerful. In the middle, right beneath the snake, is that a plane? And behind the plane is some sort of red and white energy burst. You know what that is? That's POWERFORCE! Here's a better look at the lady with the mystical hood and tattoos. I hope she's not sacrificing anybody with that dagger. Power Force detail By the way, they're trying to save a princess played by Mandy Moore, but I don't think it's the same Mandy Moore they have now. I think we can safely conclude that both Power and Force are legitimate words to use in a title, though it is preferable to use both. Previous installments: Painted Box Spotlight #1 Painted Box Spotlight Episode 2: Deadly Death Warriors

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