Demented (1980)

Article 3873 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-13-2012
Posting Date: 3-22-2012
Directed by Arthur Jeffreys
Featuring Sallee Young, Harry Reems, Deborah Alter
Country: USA
What it is: Rape victim freaks out

A rape victim, still troubled by her experience, returns home with her husband. When some hoods begin threatening her, she is not believed by her husband or the cops, since they think she’s having a flashback. When the hoods return, she snaps, and…

You know, the subject matter, unpleasant as it is, isn’t unworkable, but there’s at least three things you need – a decent script, strong acting (especially from the woman playing the rape victim) and solid direction. For this movie, that means “Three strikes, you’re out!” The script is obvious, loaded with cliches, and has no subtlety; it’s one of those scripts where the characters remind you that the woman was raped every five minutes or so, just in case you forget. Sallee Young is really trying her best in the central role, but she just doesn’t have the acting chops to pull it off, and the crazier her character gets, the worse her performance gets. And the functional-at-best, petrified-at-worst direction just makes the whole experience seem lifeless; it’s one of those movies where you realize the only thing that keeps you from going to sleep is the high exploitation quotient (nudity and violence). I’m sure that’s enough for some; me, I found this one just plain lousy.


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