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Happy Birthday to Me cover art...Columbia Strikes Again

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27 replies to this topic

#1 of 28 OFFLINE   Walt Riarson

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Posted August 16 2004 - 12:00 PM

I think Real Genius has been dethroned. Posted Image

From DVDAnswers.com...

"Happy Birthday To Me:
Columbia has announced the first time release of Happy Birthday to Me which stars the likes of Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford and Lawrence Dane. This 1981 horror film will be available to own for the first time from the 26th October this year, and should set you back around $24.96. The disc itself will include a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer as well as an English Dolby Surround track. The only DVD extra material will be trailers for other Columbia releases. We've attached our first look at the artwork below:"

Posted Image

Posted Image How dreadful. This cover is misleading and completely mis-represents the movie. I would've accepted a giant close-up headshot of Melissa Sue Anderson. Anything but this generic and obvious photoshop hack-job.

And with this generic model's (who isn't even in the movie) glowing eyes, are they trying to make this look like a zombie movie? And...is that a CASTLE in the background? And what of the Gilligan's Island-ish title font? What gives?? Columbia should be ashamed. Posted Image

Wanna let Columbia know what you think of the cover art?

Fire off a polite e-mail telling them what you think of the current artwork, and urge them to change it to the classic, iconic "shish-kabob" artwork that it is famous for, here...


This worked for the Friday the 13th boxset's artwork. It may work with Columbia if enough of us write them. Only takes a few secs, so please let them know what you think.

"My advice to young film-makers is this: Don't follow trends. Start them!" -- Frank Capra

#2 of 28 OFFLINE   JeffMc


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Posted August 16 2004 - 12:05 PM

The scariest thing about that cover is that Columbia actually spent time and money creating something this awful when they already had quality key poster art to use. You really have to wonder who is running the marketing and design departments in these companies. Who greenlighted this cover? Manohman.

#3 of 28 OFFLINE   ArthurMy


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Posted August 16 2004 - 12:27 PM

So, when Columbia does right by the transfer (anamorphic - proper ratio) there is STILL stuff to complain about, like cover art. Do you want the film or do you want the cover art? I just don't get it, really. I don't think there's a single studio that can win.

#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Walt Riarson

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Posted August 16 2004 - 12:35 PM

Allow me to clarify... I AM extremely grateful that we're finally getting the film in anamorphic widescreen. About it not being uncut...well, I never expected it to be. No extras...I never really expected a lot there either. The least they could've done was give the film decent, non-embarassing cover art (for a film that already had a VERY memorable marketing campaign, this shouldn't have been very hard). And they completely screw it up, successfully making an early 80's slasher film (one of the most fondly-remembered) look like nothing more than a 2004 piece of direct-to-video garbage. The sub-genre isn't known for being particularly classy, but this film definitely deserves better than that artwork.
"My advice to young film-makers is this: Don't follow trends. Start them!" -- Frank Capra

#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Todd Phillips

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Posted August 16 2004 - 12:36 PM

Seems easy to me, and there are plenty of DVDs that succeed on all counts.
"Safe? Who knows what's safe? I know a man who dropped dead from lookin' at his wife. My own grandmother fought the indians for sixty years, then choked to death on lemon pie."

#6 of 28 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H



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Posted August 16 2004 - 01:13 PM

This is just as bad as the Hardcore artwork.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   Rob P S

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Posted August 16 2004 - 01:22 PM

That's pretty horrible. Though I wonder if they need to get the clearance rights from the guy in the original poster or the creator of the poster or something...

Here's what it should look like:

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   EricSchulz



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Posted August 16 2004 - 01:48 PM

That was a GREAT poster for the film (a real guilty pleasure for me since I first saw it twenty years ago) and a no-brainer (you would think). That is also my favorite killing in the movie! I gotta write them an email!

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted August 16 2004 - 01:53 PM

Hands down, the WORST cover art I've ever seen! (At least for a movie I was planning on buying.) I'll never understand why some studios insist on recreating artwork when the original is clearly superior!

Where are you, dvdcoverart.com, when we need you?!

Posted Image

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted August 16 2004 - 02:24 PM

What's really frustrating is when I see art like this, but can't do anything about it... literally. I would love to get a job making DVD covers for studios' home video divisions, but I have no idea how to get in... does anyone have any suggestions?

I don't know if there are any DVD cover professionals who read this site, but I'm hoping somebody can point me in the right direction.

Any thoughts?

Craig Sherman
Graphic Designer
Hollywood, CA

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   DeanR


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Posted August 16 2004 - 02:52 PM

Box cover artwork is usually way down on the list of my priorities. The huge noggin covers in vogue currently do not bother me. But, that is the worst cover art I have seen in years from a major studio. Nobody in the movie looks like that girl on the cover. Thank goodness I still have the laserdisc, not for the craptastic non-letterbox picture, for the original cover art.

#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

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Posted August 16 2004 - 04:20 PM

Seriously... is that some kind of joke?

Looks like an Ed Wood movie... Posted Image

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Ryan Wishton

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Posted August 16 2004 - 05:15 PM

Oh wow. The is dreadful. Some of the worst ever. Total DTV. Looks like cover art for something from Full Moons 2002 line. Truly horrible. I guess I missed the deleted scene where they visit a castle. I really dont understand why studios keep changing covers to horrible looking crap (especially for horror)? Some of these horror movies had cover art that was interesting, caught attention, and ended up better than the movie. This movie especially had a very interesting campaign for it's time with the six most bizarre murders tagline and Shishkabob boy on the cover and posters. Of course none of this is here. Oh well. It is a cover and all, but come on. These studios do way more damage than good. How did the clown who come up with this lame cover even graduate from 9th grade art class let along get a college degree? These newer hip (way to be) covers are to do nothing more than attract new generations. But, at least do a good job. I mean this cover certainly wouldnt attract me to this movie at all if I had not seen it. I would think exactly what someone who never saw it would think. DTV Full Moon flick from 2004 about some demon gal with yellow eyes who throws a birthday party at a castle.

#14 of 28 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted August 16 2004 - 06:26 PM

You'd think they'd at least utilize the names or images of Melissa Sue Anderson or Glenn Ford. They were pretty big names (at the time) for a horror movie. Most other studios were using complete unknowns. Hell, even director J. Lee Thompson's name should appear on the cover. They could proclaim "From the director of CAPE FEAR and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE." Granted, Thompson's glory days were well behind him when he directed this. I believe he took a break from directing the Charles Bronson movie marathon to direct this. I remember the movie being noteworthy for its director and star power, not to mention the huge marketing campaign. I recall a news story and protests regarding the "six of the most bizarre murders you will ever see" campaign. By 1981, the horror bandwagon was in high gear after the success of HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH. Studios were mass-producing "calendar" themed horror titles like "reality" TV shows are produced today. A few examples: GRADUATION DAY, NEW YEAR'S EVIL, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, APRIL FOOL'S DAY, PROM NIGHT, CHRISTMAS EVIL, FINAL EXAM, MOTHER'S DAY, LABOR DAY...LABOR DIE, THE EASTER BUNNY: HOPPING MADMAN and FATHER'S DAY: FATHER GNAWS BEST. (OK, I made up the last few, but you get the idea.)

#15 of 28 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

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Posted August 16 2004 - 06:57 PM

That's what I find funniest. They honestly think someone would pick this up blind with that kind of cover? I honestly had little or no interest in ever seeing this movie. I almost rented it once or twice, but never got around to it... then the video store near us that had the huge horror section got closed due to the blockbuster across the street... If I were to see this in 5 years in the bargain bin, the cover would catch my eye, and who knows, I might plunk down 10 bucks for it. Oddly enough... if I see that cover in 5 years, it'll still catch my eye. I don't think I'll ever forget it... but will it rekindle my 13 year old urge to pick it up? Probably not. Seeing the same cover I saw when I was a kid might have though... Seeing that cover will only remind me that there's a DVD release of a movie I never got around to renting. I wouldn't buy or avoid a movie based on cover art alone, that's not what I'm saying... I'm just saying... that cover art is NEVER going to seem like it belongs with THIS movie... so my mind is never going to tie the two together...

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Matt Harrison

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Posted August 16 2004 - 10:57 PM

I was hoping for the original cover art aswell. Still glad it's being released though.

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted August 17 2004 - 12:05 AM

Exactly. I knew, as soon as I read the title of the thread, that we'd get the usual: "do you want the MOVIE or the COVER??" comments. As long as the MOVIE is represented properly I'm not too worried about the cover; but there is still nothing wrong with also enjoying attractive cover art (especially when an original movie poster ad is used, as WB is currently doing for their releases). I want the movie; I also like an appealing package to house it in. Doesn't mean that stating disapproval of the artwork means you're dismissing the release or not buying it.

#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted August 17 2004 - 12:53 AM

It certainly is ugly coverart, but I can't say that the original poster is much better.

#19 of 28 OFFLINE   Magnus T

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Posted August 17 2004 - 01:01 AM

There's worse things to complain about. Be thankful CHTV is releasing this movie in anamorphic widescreen.
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but there is a fork with a cork!

#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted August 17 2004 - 02:10 AM

And since it's from Columbia, it's a virtual lock to have excessive edge enhancement, so it's not as if the transfer's particularly good either.