25 August 2009

Pick Your Favorite Siren: More Great Moments in Bad Cover Art

Since I know a number of you already traded in your month-old Criterion discs of Repulsion in favor of Koch's exquisitely packaged "Cinema Sirens" edition, I thought you might like to collect some of your other favorite silver screen ladies, crudely photoshopped into always-appropriate beach attire. My personal favorite you can find above. Vittorio De Sica's Two Women [La ciociara] was a landmark film, introducing American audiences to the imitable Sophia Loren, who became the first actor to win a Best Actress Oscar for a performance not in the English-language with this film. A devastating WWII-era drama about a mother's attempts to keep her daughter safe from the bombings in Rome deserves some classy artwork. So what better than the beautiful Loren in fishnet stockings and clown make-up looking like she's ready to lay an egg? Wasn't there a horrific rape scene in Two Women? I guess that's really beside the point.

All of these ladies know a good bikini is only as good as the high heels you pair with them... which is why Ava Gardner on the cover of The Snows of Kilimanjaro is by far the weakest. Those ankle-strapped low heels are not what I expect out of a Cinema Siren... and why did Koch choose Gardner over the film's star, Miss Susan Hayward? She doesn't even get a mention on the box, and you know mauve is her color! I could complain about the choice of Jayne Mansfield over Phyllis Diller on the box for The Fat Spy, but they didn't even bother to ask Phyllis how she prefers to spell her name. I think I like the extra S; the extra hiss sounds more appropriate for her. Mansfield and Brigitte Bardot must have both asked for the Blondie comic strip hue at the salon. That color is always à la mode. Sadly, I couldn't find a decent-looking cover for a belly-dancing Gina Lollobrigida in Bambole, but you can get a glimpse of it here. The cover touts "Three Italian Bombshells in Four Comedic Vignettes; Also Starring Elke Sommer and Verna Lisi;" I guess that means Monica Vitti isn't a bombshell, Virna Lisi changed her name and Elke Sommer is no longer German. So which siren will you be taking home with you??

4 comments:

-M said...

Jesus, that Two Women cover is priceless. Were these public domain titles, or did this company just screw the whole litter of pooches?

Joe said...

Public domain.

filmbo said...

Aren't these all Studio Canal titles?

Joe said...

MOST of these were public domain at least in the early days of DVDs. Just do an Amazon search for how many cheap versions you can find of Two Women, The Last Time I Saw Paris and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Fox finally released an acceptable version of Snows, but I'm not sure the other two have ever received a real DVD release in the US.