Named after the sinister institution in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Spectacular Optical began as an online journal in April of 2011, in anticipation of the Fantasia Film Festival’s 15th Anniversary. An outgrowth of the festival’s seasonal blog, the journal was the festival’s way of connecting with movie-goers on a year-round basis, and nurturing the exciting talents that are a part of the festival’s lineup each year. In fall of 2012, the journal was bequeathed to its editor Kier-La Janisse, who re-established Spectacular Optical as a small-press publisher of collectible film and pop culture books with an emphasis on supporting Canadian genre film writers and designers.

In addition to our print books, throughout the year Spectacular Optical brings you articles, essays and interviews with established and emerging genre filmmakers, artists, curators and exhibitors on our website.



Owner and Editor-in-Chief: Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, the founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival in Vancouver (1999-2005) and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Filmmaker, Shindig!, Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to The Scarecrow Movie Guide (Sasquatch Books, 2004) and Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and 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). She co-edited Spectacular Optical Book One: KID POWER! with Paul Corupe, and is currently writing A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time, about children’s programming in the counterculture era.

Managing Editor: Paul Corupe

Since 1999 Paul Corupe has shared his passion for Canada’s film history at Canuxploitation.com, a site recognized as the essential source for uncovering the forgotten films of Canada’s past. He regularly writes about genre film and Canadian cinema in publications including Rue Morgue magazine and Take One: Film and Television in Canada. He has appeared in several documentaries about Canadian film and scripted episodes of Bravo’s On Screen! television series.

Website Design: Plank


PRESS COPIES: Promotional copies of our books are available to the press for review. To request a press copy of a Spectacular Optical book, please email bigsmashproductions@gmail.com with the name of your media outlet and its web address, your mailing address and an approximate time when we can expect the review to be published. PDFs are also available.

SUBMISSIONS: We are always accepting pitches for articles, essays and interviews to appear on our website. Our focus is genre cinema, animated cinema and experimental cinema, as well as television, musical and pop cultural ephemera. There are two ways to submit an article:

1) Send in a completed piece that you feel fits our mandate, that has not yet been printed or published in any other format. There is no limit on length, but under 4,000 words is preferred.

2) Pitch a piece that you have not yet written that you feel fits our mandate. To do this, please send a 400-word summary of the content and angle of your piece, along with three writing samples that reflect the quality and approach of the piece you are pitching.

In both cases, the EIC and Managing Editor will look over your submission and get back to you within two weeks about whether we feel it’s a good fit for Spectacular Optical.