House of Psychotic Women
An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films
By Kier-La Janisse
OFFICIAL BOOK-LAUNCH AT FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL, with a screening of FULL CIRCLE (aka The Haunting of Julia) July 22 at 3.15PM @ J.A. De Seve Theatre.
Further supporting screenings at Cinematheque Quebecoise as follows:
POSSESSION – July 22 at 8.30PM
CHRISTIANE F. – July 27 at 8.30PM
DR. JEKYLL ET LES FEMMES – July 28 at 6.30PM
“God, this woman can write, with a voice and intellect that’s so new.
The truth in the most deadly unique way I’ve ever read.”
– Ralph Bakshi, director of ‘Fritz the Cat’, ‘Heavy Traffic’, ‘Lord of the Rings’, etc.
Cinema is full of neurotic personalities, but few things are more transfixing than a woman losing her mind onscreen. Horror as a genre provides the most welcoming platform for these histrionics: crippling paranoia, desperate loneliness, masochistic death-wishes, dangerous obsessiveness, apocalyptic hysteria. Unlike her male counterpart - ‘the eccentric’ - the female neurotic lives a shamed existence, making these films those rare places where her destructive emotions get to play.
HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN is an examination of these characters through a daringly personal autobiographical lens. Anecdotes and memories interweave with film history, criticism, trivia and confrontational imagery to create a reflective personal history and a celebration of female madness, both onscreen and off.
This sharply-designed book is packed with rare stills, posters, pressbooks and artwork that combine with family photos and artifacts to form a titillating sensory overload, with a filmography that traverses the acclaimed and the obscure in equal measure.
“Fascinating, engaging and lucidly written: an extraordinary blend of deeply researched academic analysis and revealing memoir.”
– Iain Banks, author of ‘The Wasp Factory’
Kier-La Janisse is a writer and film programmer who co-founded the Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre and The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies in Montreal, where she also edits the Fantasia Film Festival’s online magazine, Spectacular Optical. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival and the Big Smash! Music-on-Film Festival (both in Vancouver) and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror. She has written for Filmmaker, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to The Scarecrow Movie Guide (Sasquatch Books, 2004) and Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punk on Film (Fantagraphics, 2010), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi, published by FAB Press in 2007.