Dementia 13

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Dementia 13Louise's fiance dies of a heart attack before their marriage, so she does not qualify for a cut of an inheritance from a recently dead relation in Ireland. She disposes of John's body & strives to keep his death a secret.

While his relations think business keeps John in New York, Louise shows up at the Irish castle of her dead fiance's subtly demented self-tortured family. Soon the gathering of relatives are being picked off one by one.

Dementia 13 (1963) turns into a "who'se the psycho?" simpleminded mystery-slasher, filmed by Roger Corman's studio on the usual twenty-five cent budget. But future big-cheese director Francis Ford Coppola just starting out in the business was already pretty darned good & makes much more of Dementia 13 than the premise would suggest is likely.

This was Capola's first feature film, from his own script. His model was Alfred Hitchock's Psycho rather than the usual product from Corman or William Castle.

It strives at least a little for psychological realism, so ends up being a lot creepier than the typical slashers of the following decade. That fact that it came near the beginning of the slasher craze rather than at its height makes it formative for the genre, with greater historical significance than is often credited.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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