Apocalypse Now insert



There are inserts (14″x36″) from a number of films first released in the 70’s and early 80’s that are available from a small number of sellers on eBay in rolled near mint condition and in seemingly endless supply. They are probably the most controversial posters in the hobby and opinion is divided on them: those who sell them say they are genuine NSS printed inserts, everybody else in the hobby thinks they are bootlegs. They are the infamous “minty white” inserts, so called because of the bright, glossy and white cardstock they are printed on, so bright, glossy and white in fact that they could have been printed yesterday! (If, in fact, the general consensus is that they have been around since at least the mid-90’s.)

Fortunately, they are relatively easy to identify and you don’t have to put them side-by-side with originals to spot them. In most cases, either the art was cropped in reproduction and/or there were small printing defects which would allow you to identify the bootlegs.

The Apocalypse Now insert features artwork attributed to Bob Peak.

The key differences between the bootleg and the original are:

1. Colour.

In this picture, the real insert is on the right.

(click on thumbnails for full-sized photos and again to zoom in)

The bootleg looks ‘red and black’, the real insert ‘orange and brown’. In my opinion, if you gave anybody a choice between describing the colour scheme as one of those two options, somebody looking at the bootleg would answer ‘red and black’ 99 times out of a 100 and somebody looking at the real deal would answer ‘orange and brown’, without having to do a side-by-side comparison.


2. Contrast.

As the bootleg is much ‘blacker’ than the original, parts of the background art are much more difficult to pick out. This is most obvious with Martin Sheen’s right eye (left as you look), which is virtually impossible to see in the bootleg, but also, even the helicopters are difficult to pick out.


3. Art Crop.

Common to most of the minty white bootlegs, the art has been cropped in the reproduction process. See the helicopters in the original poster on the right and in the cropped one on the left.