Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse (1972-) is a Canadian film writer and programmer, founder of international horror school The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and micro-press Spectacular Optical Publications. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (1999-2005) in Vancouver, was the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has mounted many site-specific screenings, activating film locations and showing films in a church, on a screen of snow, and with the audience in the water.

She is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012) and contributed to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), Recovering 1940s Horror: Traces of a Lost Decade (Lexington, 2014) The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul (University of Toronto Press, 2015) and We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale (PS Publishing, 2017). She co-edited (with Paul Corupe) and published the anthology books KID POWER! (2014), Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (2015), Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin (2017) and Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (2017). She edited the book Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive (forthcoming 2021), and is currently co-authoring (with Amy Searles) the book ‘Unhealthy and Aberrant’: Depictions of Horror Fandom in Film and Television and co-curating (with Clint Enns) an anthology book on the films of Robert Downey, Sr., as well as writing a monograph about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter.

She was a producer on Mike Malloy’s Eurocrime: the Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s (2012), Sean Hogan’s We Always Find Ourselves in the Sea (2017), Mike McKinlay’s Tights Worship: The Processes of THE RITA (2019) and David Gregory’s Tales of the Uncanny (2020), and wrote the fashion films S.W.A.L.K. and S.W.A.L.K. II (2020) in collaboration with designer John Galliano for photographer Nick Knight and Maison Margiela. In 2019 Janisse participated in the restoration and re-release of Harry Nilsson’s 1971 animated TV movie The Point, offering the use of her personal 16mm film print and contributing to several of the bonus features as a producer and editor. Her first film as director/producer, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror is due out from Severin Films in 2020.

In 2020 she released a spoken word recording of Catherine Robbe-Grillet’s “Spike Heels” on the split cassette Introduction/Immersion with noise artist THE RITA, and began the podcast A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time, expanded from a proposed book project about cult kids film and television from 1965-1985.

She has shared her genre film expertise as a guest speaker in documentaries ranging from Eli Roth’s History of Horror (2019/2020) to Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr Moreau (2014), and in classes, conferences and conventions across the globe. There is even a character named after her on Season 2 of Torchwood.

More detail on all these projects is available on the Films, Publications, Programming and Audio pages.