Dementia 13 - Director's Cut (1963)

Movie Title: Dementia 13 - Director's Cut

Year Released: 1963

Rated: Not Rated

Runtime: 1h 9min

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: Francis Ford Coppola and Jack Hill

Starring: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchel, Patrick Magee, Eithne Dunne, Peter Read, Karl Schanzer, Ron Perry, Derry O'Donavan, Barbara Dowling,

Review: A scheming widow (Luana Anders) is desperate to get her greedy hands on her late husband's inheritance. But her plans are interrupted by an axe-wielding murderer who's lurking around the family's estate. It's a twisted mystery filled gothic horror, dark secrets, and a disturbing case of Dementia 13.

Dementia 13 is Francis Ford Coppola feature-film debut and for a quickie Roger Corman production it ends up being a creepy psychological horror flick that chills audiences to the bone. It has atmosphere to spare and hooks audiences with its mystery plot and spooky cinematography.

Coppola definitely has a great eye for shadowy shot composition. He also knows who to created tension filled scenes that will make you shiver. The script, however, is a bit goofy and doesn't really make the mystery too difficult to solve, but this cult favorite is fun, frightening, and is quite effective for a movie shot in nine days on a shoestring budget

As you watch you'll surely notice that Dementia 13 owes a lot to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, but has a style all it's own made by a director on the rise.

So if you're in the mood for the quintessential gothic horror thriller then be sure to check out Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13. Oh, and this review was written for the 2018 high-definition director's cut release. It has never looked or sounded better; and the special features have Coppola doing an introduction and an audio commentary which I rather enjoyed. If you love cult classics then make sure to seek it out!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The lyric in Tom Petty's song "American Girl" that goes "raised on promises" appears to have come from a line of dialogue in this film. Referring to another woman, Louise states, "Especially an American girl. You can tell she was raised on promises."


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