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Film review: 'Drew: The Man Behind The Poster' (2013)-Netflix streaming roulette

'Drew: The Man Behind The Poster'


This is the eight in a series of 'Netflix streaming roulette' reviews. Austin horror examiner Michael Taylor reviews the first horror(ish) movie off 'Netflix' streaming that he's never seen before. Wish him luck.

'The Thing' movie poster
'The Thing' movie poster by Drew Struzan
'Drew: The Man Behind The Movie Poster' self portrait
'Drew: The Man Behind The Movie Poster' self portrait

If you were a sci-fi/horror/fantasy movie-loving kid who grew up in the 80's, certain movie poster images have been burned into your subconscious. Movies like 'Star Wars', 'Back To The Future', 'The Thing', and 'Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom' have movie poster art just as iconic as the film's themselves.

But some people might be surprised to know that one man did all of these images; his name is Drew Struzan, and he's the subject of the excellent documentary 'Drew: The Man Behind The Poster', which is currently playing on Netflix Streaming.

The doc details the early days of Struzan's career as a struggling graphic artist to his heyday as the king of movie poster art. Filmmaking luminaries George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Frank Darabont, and Guillermo Del Toro sing his praises in equal measure, crediting his work as a direct factor on their respective films success.

And actors Harrison Ford and Michael J. Fox are equally reverent with the artist's skill in depicting their likenesses in the most flattering way possible.

The film shows the fair share of heartache the artist dealt with both personally and professionally, as well as chronicling the demise of movie poster art as a medium, as it now resides in a current state of dull, uninspired photoshopping technique. His iconic style is currently out of favor in an industry that now relies on cheap technology over organic artistic technique.

But Struzan continues to thrive through fan adoration at conventions and boutique appeal, such as his poster work for AMC's 'The Walking Dead' series.

Struzan's unassuming nature makes him an unusually humble figure in the entertainment industry, but this film gives him his long overdue turn in the spotlight. And for movie fan's it's an insightful look into a largely unexplored pop-culture medium.