Celebrating “VHS Superstar” Joan Severance!
My friend Angel shared some box art for a 90’s erotic thriller featuring Joan Severance – and it’s fair to say she was a superstar of the “VHS” era!
It was an era when an exploding VHS market met late night pay cable channels, which also wanted into the “adult erotic thriller” market – and Joan Severance was there to shine in both!
Joan Severance was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
When she was 18, John Casablancas of Elite models encouraged her to go to Paris, to begin modeling.
Within months she graced the covers of all the international magazines and was doing shows for all the top designers. She landed campaigns for Chanel and Versace.
Next up: she headed to New York to continue modeling, and in 1990, she appeared in Playboy for the first time.
She shot a provocative series of artistic nudes that captured her natural beauty and style:
And as you can see, David Letterman was a fan!
The camera clearly loved her, so it was only natural for her to begin acting in film and TV!
She had more than fifty film and TV roles – mainstream films with Gene Wilder and popular TV shows like “Wiseguy” – but let’s focus on some of the wildest cult gems – as she became a “VHS Superstar” and “Queen Of Skinamax!”
This 1992 erotic thriller was at the beginning of the 90’s VHS explosion, and Joan ended up become a “VHS Superstar!”
Fully nude scenes in “Lake Consequence” the erotic TV series “Red Shoes Diaries”, and many more erotic thrillers followed:
“Criminal Passion” 1994
“Dangerous Indiscretion” 1995
“Hard Evidence” and “Black Scorpion” that same year…she sure looked good in black leather, didn’t she?
“Payback” was another erotic thriller from 1995 – Joan seemed to be in all of them!
“Black Scorpion II: Aftershock” kept her string of cult films alive, and as she showed in the 1997 film “In Dark Places” , she was fearless on camera…
“The Last Seduction II”
This 1999 direct-to-video sequel ended the decade on a high note for the Actress…there are many more films as well – she looked great on the cover of a VHS box, and late night pay cable loved her as well.
There were many more TV and film appearances since, but the 90’s were certainly her “Skinamax” period!
As she said once about appearing in her action fantasies:
“You can take charge, kick ass, do whatever you have to do and it’s okay. You can blow people up. These are things that are okay for cartoon characters to do.”
She made dozens of films, and her willingness to put it all out there made her one of the most popular Cult Movie Queens of the 90’s, when VHS home rentals allowed fans to watch her all night long:
She has never slowed down, both in her career and personal life.
Her hobbies include interior decorating, landscape and fashion design, cooking, writing and horses.
Severance finished her first book, “Manifest Your Mate: a Journal for Attraction”.
She has a gourmet cooking degree from Roger Verge from The Moulin du Mougin in the South of France, owned and was the chef of a restaurant in upstate New York, owned a catering company in New York, and has taught commercial acting classes.
Bravo on a great career! It reminds me of another 90’s “VHS Superstar”:
Shannon Tweed had a great run of direct-to-video films, and much much more – see all of her best work here:
And here’s one of the first of the “VHS” classics:
Kay Lenz was “Stripped To Kill” – a terrific action thriller – see more of her and the film here:
Sybil Danning also turned heads as one of the most empowered female stars of the 70’s and 80’s, continuing right into the VHS era:
She was fearless in many ways – see some of her most provocative films and photo shoots here:
If you like these stories, you can go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!
Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!
Let me know if you’ve seen any of Joan’s films!
Categories: Artsploitation, Books / Media, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites
Joan Severance is fondly remembered by me for her scorching turns in the Poffitt arc on “Wiseguy” and in “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” despite the presence of K*** S***** in both.
Thanks for the comment! Yes, she had a start in mainstream stuff, some have wondered why she veered into direct-to-video projects so soon? She had a great run but those are clearly not at the same level…I think perhaps because she was very supporting in mainstream but the star of VHS! Thanks for the note!
I met Joan Severance a few years ago at the Hollywood Show in Burbank. She held up a sign that said “FREE HUGS”. I took her up on the offer. She was very sweet.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I love that! Thanks for sharing! She has done so many fascinating things in her life!