Movie Posters: Def-Con 4 (1984)

Defcon 4 Poster 1984

On the shortlist for my best movie posters of the ’80s, I slobbered over the VHS cover for years, even after watching the dull-as-post-apocalyptic-sand indie it was meant to (mis)represent. The artist is Rudy Obrero, who, aside from poster art (the pumped-up Mad Max 2 international one-sheet, for starters) and a massive amount of advertising art, was one of the defining illustrators on Mattel’s early Masters of the Universe packaging. He painted the box covers for the Wind Raider, Battle Cat, and Castle Grayskull, among others. (See an interview with Obrero at Poe Ghostal.)

The Def-Con 4 poster is not as original as I thought, however. The painting below is by Angus McKie and comes from the cover of The Year’s Best Science Fiction #8 (Sphere, 1976), as well as a British sci-fi/fantasy art tome called The Flights of Icarus (Paper Tiger, 1977). While Obrero’s changes to the original are pretty ingenious—the movie is about astronauts who return to a mutant-infested Earth after watching World War III unfold from space—there’s no doubt that the enduring motif is McKie’s.

Icarus McKie 1977

(Angus McKie art via Ski-Ffy, where you can see more work from Flights of Icarus)

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