• Title:
    The Exterminator
  • Client:
    Arrow Video
  • Design:
    DVD / BluRay Cover
  • Date:
  • Region:
The Exterminator like Savage Streets is another classic 80’s video vigilante genre film, so my initial thought was to create a sort of brother piece to accompany the Savage Streets design i created earlier. My aim was to really have fun with the title again (I’m a big fan of these vigilante Death Wish esque films) so i wanted to and create a historically accurate piece of video art and tackle the design as if it had been briefed in to sit on those old VHS store racks alongside
Media or Paragon releases.

Like everyone i knew and really dug the original artwork but i did feel justified in taking this one on to be able to shine a different light on the film as do i remember feeling somewhat disappointed at how many liberties this key art did actually take….THAT’S NOT John Eastland!!! Robert Ginty’s great as the Exterminator but hes not and overly ripped Arnie build, which was kind of the point, Steve James in this film is the action man and Roberts is the reluctant anti hero who has to take a stand, so expecting to see a buff flame throwing character just sets the wrong tone for me. Then Secondly that flame thrower… WHERE WAS IT IN THE FILM?! It turns up for about five seconds during the initial torture scene then its never heard of again!! Now having said all that don’t get me wrong, i love totally inaccurate 70’s/80’s cover art as much
as the next man probably more so because I’m sad like that
and have chosen to devote my life to the cause of
creative embellishment!

For over embellishment Guns usually come off the best in thes 80’s video covers, i love the way the main characters guns are always turned into this over the top souped up
almost futuristic cannon for greater titillation (or just that the illustrator didn’t really know how the gun actually looked!) just look at posters for films like Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity and Special Force.

So I jumped on the chance to incorporate this into The Exterminator and had the main focus of the design being Ginty’s space age OTT Magnum.  I usually like to have a fun fantasy focal point to the design it breaks up the characters and just injects some action into the proceedings (it prevents the floating head syndrome as well).

I did still want to keep some familiarity to the original key art though for the viewer to have that recognition so i kept the iconic black biker helmet for the main character, then played this off with some more narrative elements of the film like Steve James being jumped and Christopher George as the police man, i then topped the whole thing off with a nice helicopter just because you just need one! then set it all against that classic city backdrop which along with the title design are a homage to another of my favorite 80’s video classics Remo: Unarmed and dangerous, (if you spotted it) I always like to through in these little random tributes to different video cover designs as it makes it fun when putting the piece together and the little hidden homages are interesting for people to spot i like to think the same way directors do in there films, I’ve always said I’m a frustrated director and the film design/illustration work is an outlet to create my own idealised version of the movie I’m working on to paraphrase Graham Humphreys.