|Directed by||René Bonnière|
|Produced by||F. R. Crawley|
|Written by||David Walker|
|Music by||Larry Crosley|
|Edited by||René Bonnière|
|Budget||$275,000 (estimated in CA$)|
Amanita Pestilens is a 1963 Canadian-American psychological horror-fantasy/drama film produced by F. R. Crawley, and directed by René Bonnière. It was "the first Canadian feature film to be shot in both English and French with the same set of actors". It included an early career performance by Geneviève Bujold, along with performances by Jacques Labrecque and Huguette Oligny. This was the first Canadian feature film to be produced in colour. It was filmed at Harrington Lake, Québec, Canada.
The film's script was written by American author David Walker and was initially titled Staircases. Bonnière persuaded Crawley to fund and produce a film based on this script. The new title, Amanita Pestilens, meant "Poisoned Love".
The plot concerns a Montreal suburbanite who becomes obsessed with his award-winning lawn, which has become infested with a ground fungus. His neighbour across the street identifies the species as Amanita pestilens (not a real species, although Amanita is a real genus). The mushrooms prove impossible to eradicate, and the homeowner directs all his efforts to getting rid of them, to the exclusion of all else. His obsession very nearly destroys his life and leads to a deadly confrontation with his neighbour. A surprise ending, gives the viewer hope that the main character will see the error of his ways.
- Jacques Labrecque as Henri Martin
- Huguette Oligny as Louise Martin
- Geneviève Bujold as Sophie Martin
- Benoît Girard as Simon
- Blake James as Cram
- Jean-Louis Millette as Bank manager
- Julien Lippé as Thunder Sr.
- Gabriel Vigneault
- Pierre Baron
- Denise Bombardier
- Georges Cortez as Striptease club manager
- Ronald France as Neighbour
- J. Léo Gagnon as Neighbour
- Juliette Huot
The film was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1965. It was broadcast on West German television and also broadcast into East Germany. Despite the innovations of its bilingual, colour production, Amanita Pestilens was a commercial failure.
- Amanita Pestilens at the Internet Movie Database
- "Why is this picture not being shown?". The Sixties. CBC Archives. 4 January 1965. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
- "F.R. Crawley". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. 5 April 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
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