Amanita Pestilens (Rarely-Screened Canadian Horror Film; 1963)


Amanita Pestilens (1963)
A still from the film.
A still from the film.
Status Lost

Amanita Pestilens is a 1963 Canadian psychological horror film directed by René Bonnière, starring Jacques Labrecque and Huguette Oligny. The plot concerns a Montreal resident who develops a strange obsession with a strange, seemingly indestructible fungus that is rapidly destroying his previously perfectly-maintained lawn.

In addition to being Canada's first color film, Amanita Pestilens is notable for being the first Canadian production to be shot in both French and English while maintaining the same cast. It is also an early role for noteworthy Quebecois actress Geneviève Bujold, who plays the protagonist's daughter. Despite these innovations and cast, the film was a commercial failure when first released in 1963 and never received a video release on any format.

It was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival and broadcast on both West and East German television for a brief period of time. Afterwards, the film fell into obscurity, and it only occasionally resurfaces for screenings. Its only known televised appearance was on the Moviepix channel on May 10, 1998.

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