Severin Films Also Presents Four Restored Films By Juraj Herz 

Severin Films will have a strong presence at the Fantasia International Film Festival this year, with an exciting slate of films both old and new. Kier-La Janisse (WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR) will be presenting a sparkling restoration of Joe D’Amato’s notorious and shocking EMANUELLE IN AMERICA along with her new documentary short THE RELUCTANT ICON: A TRIBUTE TO LAURA GEMSER. The short was created as part of an expansive box set releasing this Summer entitled The Sensual World of Black Emanuelle. Fantasia runs from July 20th to August 9th in Montreal.

THE RELUCTANT ICON: A TRIBUTE TO LAURA GEMSER (USA/Canada, 2023): A poignant ode to the star of the Black Emanuelle series and the real-life love story at its core, written, directed and narrated by Kier-La Janisse based on an interview with longtime Italian journalist Manlio Gomarasca. Editor Stephen Broomer's layered visuals are punctuated by rotoscope animation by Ashley Thorpe (WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR) and handmade stop-motion sequences by Leslie Supnet, all rendered into a moody paean to one of exploitation cinema’s most beloved and bewitching stars.

As part of their ongoing mission to rescue the greatest underseen films from around the world, Severin Films has also created brand new 4K restorations of four extraordinary dark fantasy works from the great Slovak filmmaker Juraj Herz (THE CREMATOR), one of the most unique and subversive voices to come out of the Czech New Wave. These four films - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MORGIANA, THE NINTH HEART and FERAT VAMPIRE - will also be playing at the festival this year.

Details on the repertory films below.

EMANUELLE IN AMERICA (Italy, 1977): Fearless investigative photojournalist Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) goes undercover to expose the depraved sex lives of the wealthy elite. Perhaps the most notorious entry in the Black Emanuelle series, with one outrageous sequence after another, it’s also the most ambitious, one of several co-written by real-life journalist Maria Pia Fusco.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Czech Republic, 1978)A merchant's youngest daughter is held prisoner by a mysterious winged beast. For this perverse re-telling of the original fairy tale Juraj Herz puts his own gothic stamp on Beauty and the Beast.

MORGIANA (Czech Republic, 1972)A deliciously dark tale about female revenge and sibling rivalry, packed full of gaslighting, uncanny doubles, black cats, and sly humour. Adding a psychedelic Gothic twist to his filmic adaptation of Alexander Grin’s novel, Herz proves why he was the Czechslovakian master of dark fantasy and horror. 

THE NINTH HEART (Czech Republic, 1978)A student must rescue a princess from the castle of an evil magician who's preparing an elixir from the stolen hearts of nine children. Laced with aspects of folk horror, vampirism, and surreal fairy tales, this film’s dark fantasy components are further enhanced by quirky contraptions and gorgeous set-pieces crafted by the director’s long-time friends and collaborators, the married couple director Jan Svankmajer and surrealist artist Eva Svankmajer.

FERAT VAMPIRE (Czech Republic, 1981)A mysterious car runs on blood instead of fuel in this satire on consumerism, a potent piece of anti-automobile propaganda, and perhaps the purest horror exercise that Herz produced.