An Evening With Deadly Prey Gallery
From the venue:
Videodrome is proud to team up with the Plaza Theatre to bring this one of a kind art show and film screening event to the city of Atlanta. Deadly Prey Gallery is a Chicago-based art gallery dedicated to hand-painted movie posters from Ghana. Guaranteed to melt your mind, these posters are fascinating examples of imagination and ingenuity. Most of them were made by artists who had never seen the movies and were working from just a plot summary or, at best, the VHS sleeve. The show will feature a selection of posters from Deadly Prey Gallery's extensive collection and feature artists such as Heavy J, Salvation, Farkira, Mr Nana, Stoger, Leonardo, Mr Brew, Papa Warsti, Classic Arts, Adomako, Wise Arts, Sly Fox Video Club. All posters will be available for purchase.
Deadly Prey Gallery Founder Brian Chankin will be on hand for a Q&A before the film to discuss the gallery's background and mission. He'll also bring one of his favorite films to screen, THE DEVIL'S SWORD, an absolutely bonkers Indonesian martial arts/fantasy adventure featuring crocodile men, witches, warlocks, and 80s action star Barry Prima. This film defies categorization and embodies the spirit of Chankin's gallery. Come for the exhibit (free) and stay for the Q&A and film ($15).
Opening Night Schedule
6pm-9:30pm: Deadly Prey Gallery hand-painted poster exhibit in the lobby of Plaza Theatre
8:30pm: Discussion and Q & A with Deadly Prey Gallery Founder Brian Chankin
9:30pm: Film Screening: The Devil's Sword (1984) Dir. Ratno Timoer
Exhibit runs through June 23rd
These posters were once the product of a much larger industry known as the “Ghanaian Mobile Cinema”. This business started in the late 1980s when artistic industrious groups of people formed video clubs. With a television, VCR, VHS tapes, and a portable generator, they’d travel throughout Ghana setting up makeshift screening areas in villages devoid of electricity. An interesting selection of movies became popular because of this trade including Hollywood action and horror, low budget American schlock, Bollywood films, Hong Kong martial arts movies, and native Ghanaian and Nigerian features.
As more people gained interest in this rising business, competition arose. Mobile cinema operators found a need to set their products apart, so an advertising motif came into play. With no affordable access to printing, the hand-painted movie poster was the most logical advertising vehicle. Skilled local artists were now part of this growing entertainment industry in Ghana, and they all brought their own distinct touch to each film they were called upon to promote. By sewing together two used flour sacks, a perfect-sized canvas for a movie poster was created. Each unique poster varies in size ranging from 40–50 in. width X 55-70 in. height. The ruggedness of these posters is immediately noticeable. Though a specific poster might only be 10-20 years old, its appearance will far surpass its actual age due to the elemental toll it takes from constant transit, being rolled, folded, left in the sun, rain, etc.
Today access to printing is far less expensive and movies have become more accessible to the general public in Ghana. The mobile cinema has all but passed away, but these hand-painted movie posters remain a wonderful, tangible product of the time.
Deadly Prey Gallery is a space dedicated to West African poster and sign art created by brother & sister duo Brian and Heidi Anne Chankin. Brian is also the owner and founder of Odd Obsession Movies, a video store in Wicker Park specializing in genre film, foreign, classic, and independent cinema.