HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Dementia 13 Unlucky For SomeBuy this film here.
Year: 1963
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchel, Patrick Magee, Eithne Dunne, Peter Read, Karl Schanzer, Ron Perry, Derry O'Donavan, Barbara Dowling
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Louise (Luana Anders) is married to John Haloran (Peter Read), and wants to get her hands on his mother's inheritance. However, John has a heart condition and Louise will only be rich if he still lives; so how unfortunate it is when they are out rowing on the bay near the Haloran estate in Ireland that after an exchange of bitter comments with his wife, John has the much dreaded heart attack. Louise searches his pockets for his pills, yet he's run out of them and she tries to frantically row back to shore - but it's too late and John has died. What to do? Dump the body over the side, of course, and pretend he's still alive...

This atmospheric shocker has its own small place in movie history as the first legitimate film to carry Francis Ford Coppola's directorial credit (I guess he'd rather forget about the nudie flicks he made beforehand). He also wrote the script, and seized his chance when producer Roger Corman was working on The Young Racers in Ireland and gave his assistant part of the budget and some of the cast of that film to make his own. The result mixed the twists of Psycho with the axe murders of Strait-Jacket, and cult fans will be interested to see Jack Hill listed as Coppola's asssitant director here.

But Dementia 13 has a Gothic mood all its own, and is interesting for having the treacherous Louise as its anti-heroine to guide us through the over-involved plotting. She types up a letter to Lady Haloran (Eithne Dunne) pretending that John has gone back home on a business engagement, and takes her place at the dinner table as if nothing is wrong. John has two brothers, Billy (Bart Patton) and Richard (William Campbell) who must take part in a ceremony held every year with their mother on a particularly fateful anniversary.

The anniversary is of the death of their younger sister, Kathleen, who Lady Haloran remains in deep mourning for. She died in mysterious circumstances in an apparent drowning accident, and when the ceremony goes ahead, with Louise watching from the parapets of the castle, Lady Haloran abruptly faints. Louise rushes down to find out what went wrong, only to be told that the flowers placed on the grave have suddenly died. Louise sees an opportunity to secure the inheritance by playing on her mother-in-law's superstitions, so hatches a plan involving placing Kathleen's toys at the bottom of the pond where they can float up during the day in an apparently supernatural manner.

And so begins Dementia 13's most famous sequence, an early sign of the talent of this director, with Anders stripping down to her underwear to dive into the pond during the night. What Louise finds shocks her, but not half as much as what shocks her when she surfaces. There are only two real suspects as to who the real villain is, and one of them is the victim of a bunch of red herrings so obvious you probably won't be taken aback by the ending, but the journey to get there is a creepy one, complete with spooky toys twenty years before Poltergeist. And there's the bonus of Patrick Magee showing up as the local doctor turned detective who is determined in his eccentric manner to get to the source of the mystery. All in all, this effort was an impressive way for Coppola to really arrive on the movie scene. Music by Ronald Stein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6628 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: