DEMENTIA 13 (1963)
Article #176 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-8-2001
Posting date: 1-22-2002
A woman trying to bilk an inheritance out of a Scottish family is unexpectedly murdered.
Francis Ford Coppola’s early horror film is at least partially modeled off of PSYCHO, especially in that the movie begins with one plot (about the woman trying to cover up her husband’s death in order to get an inheritance) which is derailed at the halfway point to make room for the real plot (about a madman in the castle). The initial murder is a truly shocking and totally unexpected scene, as it oocurs just at a moment when the initial story is starting to take shape, and you don’t see it coming. There are other shocking scenes in the second half of the movie, but I don’t find that half quite as engaging overall; it’s almost as if the makers didn’t really know what they wanted to do with the investigation rather than have another murder and a final revelation. Still, the movie has a lot of atmosphere, and is certainly worth a look for anyone interested in Coppola’s early work. The movie features Luana Anders, William Campbell, and Patrick Magee, and features some truly eerie music by Ronald Stein.