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House of Psychotic Women is an autobiographical exploration of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films. Anecdotes and memories interweave with film history, criticism, trivia and confrontational imagery to create a reflective personal history and examination of female madness, both onscreen and off.
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, Fire and Ice, etc.
Fascinating, engaging and lucidly written: an extraordinary blend of deeply researched academic analysis and revealing memoir.
- Iain Banks, author of The Wasp Factory
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.
Named after the U.S.-retitling of Carlos Aured's Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN is an examination of these characters through a daringly personal autobiographical lens.
This sharply-designed book with a 32-page full-colour section 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. Films covered include The Entity, The Corruption of Chris Miller, Singapore Sling, 3 Women, Toys Are Not for Children, Repulsion, Let's Scare Jessica to Death, The Haunting of Julia, Secret Ceremony, Cutting Moments, Out of the Blue, Mademoiselle, The Piano Teacher, Possession, Antichrist and hundreds more!
Have You Got a Magnificent Problem?
Part 1: Wound-Gatherers
The Entity; Paranormal Activity
Part 2: Broken Dolls
The Corruption of Chris Miller; The Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll; Singapore Sling; Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly; The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!; Martyrs; Images; 3 Women; Sisters
Part 3: All Safe and Dead
The Glass Ceiling; All the Colors of the Dark; Gently Before She Dies; Anima Persa; Let's Scare Jessica to Death; The Reincarnation of Peter Proud; The Haunting of Julia
Part 4: Secret Ceremonies
Ms.45; Four Flies on Grey Velvet; Autopsy; The Perfume of the Lady in Black; Toys Are Not for Children; Secret Ceremony; The Witch Who Came from the Sea; Daddy; The Geography of Fear; The Ladies Club; A Gun for Jennifer; Defenceless
Part 5: Afterschool Special
Trance; May; The Collector; Out of the Blue; Don't Deliver Us from Evil; Alucarda; Cutting Moments; In My Skin
Part 6: The Strange Passenger
Marnie; Born Innocent; Christiane F.; Streetwise; A Lizard in a Woman's Skin; Footprints; Nabi: The Butterfly; La nuit des traquées; Love Me Deadly; Nekromantik
Part 7: You've Always Loved Violence
The Whip and the Body; The Frightened Woman; The Isle; Bad Guy; The Blood Spattered Bride; Rebecca
Part 8: Heal Me with Hatred
Symptoms; Prey; Cat People; The Devils; The Killer Nun; Mademoiselle; The Piano Teacher
Part 9: Piercing Reality
The Other Side of the Underneath; The Brood; Possession; Szamanka; Man, Woman and Beast; Antichrist
Part 10: You Carry a Coffin Today
Venus Drowning; Mermaid in a Manhole
Epilogue: The Monster at the End of this Book
Compendium of Female Neurosis. A cross-section of horror and violent exploitation films that feature disturbed or neurotic women as primary or pivotal characters.
Alice, Sweet Alice; All the Colors of the Dark; Alucarda; Anima persa; Antichrist; Asylum; The Attic; Audition; Autopsy; The Baby; Bad Dreams; Bad Guy; Bas-fonds; Bedevilled; The Beguiled; La Belle Bête; The Bird with the Crystal Plumage; Black Narcissus; Black Swan; The Blood Spattered Bride; The Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll; Born Innocent; Boy Meets Girl; The Brave One; The Bride; The Brood; Burnt Offerings; Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker; Can Go Through Skin; A Candle for the Devil; Carrie; La casa muda; Cat People; La cérémonie; Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things; Christiane F.; The Collector; The Corruption of Chris Miller; Les cousines; "Criminally Insane"; The Curse of the Cat People; Cutting Moments; Daddy; Dead Creatures; Defenceless: A Blood Symphony; Dementia; Descent; The Devil's Widow; The Devils; Diabel; Die! Die! My Darling!; The Dinner Party; Dirty Weekend; Dr. Jekyll and His Women; Don't Deliver Us from Evil; Don't Look Now; Don't Torture a Duckling; Doppelganger; Dracula's Daughter; Dream Home; The Entity; The Escapees; Eyes of a Stranger; Fatal Attraction; Feed; Five Across the Eyes; Footprints; Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion; Four Flies on Grey Velvet; Freeze Me; The Frightened Woman; Frightmare; Funeral Home; Gently Before She Dies; The Geography of Fear; The Girl Next Door; The Glass Ceiling; Goodbye Gemini; A Gun for Jennifer; Handgun; Happy Birthday to Me; Hard Candy; The Haunting (1963); The Haunting (2009); The Haunting of Julia; Haute tension; Heavenly Creatures; The Honeymoon Killers; A Horrible Way to Die; I Never Promised You a Rose Garden; Images; In My Skin; The Innocents; Inside; The Isle; Julie Darling; Kichiku; The Killer Nun; Kissed; Knife of Ice; The Ladies Club; The Last Exorcism; The Legend of Lylah Clare; The Legend of the Wolf Woman; Let's Scare Jessica to Death; A Lizard in a Woman's Skin; Love Me Deadly; The Loved Ones; Macabre; The Mad Room; Mademoiselle; Madhouse (1974); Madhouse (1981); Madness; The Mafu Cage; Man, Woman and Beast; Marnie; Martyrs; Masks; May; Misery; Morris County; Morvern Callar; Mother's Day; Ms.45; Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly; Nabi: The Butterfly; Neighbor; Neither the Sea Nor the Sand; Nekromantik; Nekromantik 2; Next of Kin; The Night Porter; A Night to Dismember; Nightbirds; Nightmares; La nuit des traquées; The Other Hell; The Other Side of the Underneath; Out of the Blue; Paranoia; Paranormal Activity; The Perfume of the Lady in Black; Persona; Phenomena; The Piano Teacher; Pigs; Play Misty for Me; Possession; Pretty Poison; Prey; Psycho Girls; The Rapture; The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!; Rebecca; Red Desert; Red Sun; Red White & Blue; The Reincarnation of Peter Proud; Repulsion; Road to Salina; Roman's Bride; Santa Sangre; Schizo; Scissors; Scream 4; Séance on a Wet Afternoon; Secret Ceremony; The Secret Life of Sarah Sheldon; Shock; Singapore Sling; Sinner; Sisters (1973); Sisters (2006); Slaughter Hotel; The Snake Pit; Sombre; Spider Baby; The Stendhal Syndrome; Straight On Till Morning; Strait-Jacket; The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver; The Strange Vengeance of Rosalie; Symptoms; Szamanka; That Cold Day in the Park; They Call Her One Eye; 3 Women; To Let; Toys Are Not for Children; Trance; Trilogy of Terror; Trouble Every Day; Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; The Uninvited; Venom; Venus Drowning; The Washing Machine; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; The Whip and the Body; Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?; Windows; The Witch Who Came from the Sea; The Woman; Woman Transformation; Wound
Click here to download or listen to The Projection Booth podcast with author Kier-La Janisse.
About the Author
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 House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films, published by FAB Press in 2012.
Size: 235mm x 197mm
Extent: 360 pages, heavily illustrated in colour and black and white
Original Publication Date: July 2012
This Pressing Publication Date: 15 May 2014
Market: Cinema / Autobiography
Edition: Second Pressing
Cover Price: £39.99 (UK) / $69.95 (US)