Demons of the Mind (1972)

Article #869 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-1-2003
Posting Date: 12-29-2003
Directed by Peter Sykes
Featuring Patrick Magee, Robert Hardy, Shane Briant

A depraved Baron keeps his children prisoner for fear that they have inherited his own sickness.

Title check: Actually quite appropriate, as the horror is somewhat mental in nature, as well as the fact that the deaths in the area are thought to be the work of demons by the peasantry.

Was this Hammer’s last great movie or is it self-indulgent twaddle? This seems to be a question that arises when this movie is discussed; the movie has its ardent supporters as well as its critics. Visually, it’s intriguing enough, and it’s always fascinating to look at. The story remains obscure for a lot of the movie, though, and you need to keep on your toes and pay attention to key scenes to figure out just what’s going on. Being a Hammer movie from the seventies, there is a lot of blood (the nastiest scene is a suicide sequence that is only seen in obscurely-shot flashback sequences) and an excess of nudity; there is at least one nude sequence that is completely gratuitous. I found it all quite fascinating, but it may be of more interest to fans of art film than to horror fans. Use your judgment on this one.

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