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Dementia 13 (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack)

3.7 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Future film-making legend Francis Ford Coppola makes his big-screen directorial debut with this cult horror classic, available for the first time in spectacular High-Definition Blu-Ray. Following the abrupt death of her husband from a heart attack, the scheming Louise Haloran (Luanda Anders) travels to her in-laws estate in Ireland, only to find herself trapped in a creepy, decrepit castle with her ex-husband s demented family. Upon arrival, she is introduced to a pair of maladjusted brothers (William Campbell, Bart Patton) and a distraught mother-in-law (Eithne Dunn), still grieving for the daughter she lost in a drowning accident many years earlier. When a mysterious axe-wielding psychopath enters the fray, leaving blood-spattered corpses in his wake, the family s doctor (Patrick Magee) takes it upon himself to try to get to the bottom of things--before it s too late! The making of Dementia 13, meanwhile, is a tale unto itself. An aspiring film-maker fresh out of UCLA, Coppola found work under the tutelage of B-movie legend Roger Corman, doing sound, editing and various other tasks. After finishing a film called The Young Racers under budget, Corman opted to use the leftover funds to finance a low-budget thriller to cash in on the success of Alfred Hitchcock s Psycho. Coppola quickly delivered a script to Corman s liking, promising plenty of nudity and gore. Corman gave him the green light. Despite the meager budget, Coppola made the most of his resources, re-purposing both sets and actors from The Young Racers, while employing the sort of creative lighting, camera angles, and storytelling that reveals an early glimpse at the great filmmaking that would follow with such titles as Apocalypse Now and The Godfather trilogy.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HD Cinema Classics
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004I3Z6GS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,670 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric Huffstutler on March 10, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is for the elusive Roan (Troma) DVD of "Dementia 13" (1963) issued in 2001. The movie itself has fallen into public domain years ago and was said by the producer Roger Corman, that the original elements have been lost. This is not the case but there was bad blood between Corman and Francis Ford Coppola (director) producing this movie that he may have simply swept it under the rug leaving us with a generally shared master that over the years has been well worn. There are tell-tale signs that one original print master was used and others made from it hinted by damages in the same exact spots.

The Roan version is said to be "The Best" out there but it is far from perfect. The compression level is better than all others with blacks being solid. The audio level is low and there is a lot of "screen door" veil over the lighter solid areas. This is the Holy Grail of Roan DVDs and fetches high prices. It has the odd and rare movie trailer along with a couple of lame extras and a so-so commentary. Supposed to be widescreen, you hardly notice due to the odd ratio (supposed to be 1:66 but closer to 1:50). Another version put out by the now defunct Diamond Entertainment is identical but shows some compression yet acceptable unless you view it on a 1080p HD set. Even the Treeline version that comes in the 50-Movie packs (now Mill Creek) has a very good transfer considering but again minor compression artifacting (even viewed in HD). These two can be great alternate choices over the hard to find Roan and a LOT cheaper. Only hardcore buffs should invest in the Roan version.

By chance an eBay seller had one at a descent non-gouging price so I landed on it quickly to add to my collection.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is not the best horror movies I've ever seen, but one of the best films in terms of *atmosphere*. The frightening parts about it are less in the film itself than what the film suggests--the really psychotic point to which codependency can build, obsession, and a host of other disturbances, none of which involve the supernatural but suggest it. Along with the Vincent Price films he did, this is the best film you'll see that Roger Corman was involved in.
Luana Anders is, ironically, the strongest presence in this film. Thing is, she doesn't last very long, and the viewer isn't all that devastated when she does disappear. A scheming, money hungry witch, she preys on the co-morbidity of an elderly woman to the point of sadism. A young girl dies tragically at a young age. An Irish family living in Nowheresville idealizes her mysterious death to the point of madness. Someone is responsible, and we eventutally find out who. There are a few 'jump out of your seat scenes', one of them being the untimely (and grisly) death of Anders. It's been awhile since I've seen this film, but much of the imagery (dolls, truly 'demented' childhood memories, and the last exclamation by the ultimate culprit: "DON'T TOUCH THAT!") have remained with me. This is an odd blend, Corman and Coppola. A worthwhile old cinematic antique of misery.
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Format: DVD
Francis Ford Coppola's first film of note, graduating from the tutelage of schlock-meister Roger Corman. It was made hot on the heels of Hitchcock's more famous Psycho, and is very similar in content and style.
Con-woman Luana Anders' husband-married-only-for-the-family-money dies before she can be included in the will, causing her to seek out a new scam. Deceased hubby's wealthy Irish family is more than usually superstitious, yearly celebrating with a morbid ceremony the date that their matriarch's youngest daughter, Kathleen, drowned in the lake out back. Anders poses as a medium and stages a few tricks to make herself look good to the rich matriarch, who buys her act. Eldest son William Campbell knows she's a phony, and kid brother Bart Patton has been generally kind of creepy ever since the day Kathleen died - which makes it kind of a toss-up as to who follows Anders out to the haunted lake one night, and cuts her up with an axe...
This movie succeeds on its acting and its atmosphere, which are terrific. Anders was good in everything she did, and this was probably her best role. Campbell never disappoints, and Patton is wonderfully intense and unsettling. The always creepy - and always good - Patrick Magee is on hand as the family doctor, who seems to know a great deal more about the recent mysterious disappearances (Anders isn't the only one who goes missing) than he's letting on. The music score isn't quite as frightening as Bernard Hermann's for Psycho, but it's damned close - the opening theme and credit sequence are terrific, even for American International Pictures, which was usually good in that department. Anders' murder scene will haunt your nightmares about as bad as Janet Leigh's in Hitchcock's film.
Well worth the time and trouble, especially for fans of film noir.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I first saw DEMENTIA 13 on late night TV back in the mid 1960s and the shadowy lighting, stark b&w photography, dissonant score, and brutal axe murders made quite an impression on me. It would be years before I would see the film again. I rented it from a Mom and Pop video store back in the early 1980s where it was on some bargain bin VHS label that touted it as Francis Ford Coppola's first film. The picture quality was not nearly as good as my old TV showing but it still remained a rather creepy film with stellar performances from Patrick Magee (of CLOCKWORK ORANGE fame) and the lovely and underrated Luana Anders whose facial expressions spoke volumes and whose late night swim was an adolescent's dream. Incidentally the reason she has dark panties during the swim (often pointed out as a goof) is that see through white panties would have been a no-no in 1963. Later on I would run across countless public domain copies of it but resisted buying one until now. I took a chance on this DVD version after reading some amazon reviews and am perfectly satisfied. It's not pristine but I think it's about as good as it's gonna get and the price is very good considering they'e throwing in a blu-ray along with it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the background story, here it is. Coppola was in Ireland in 1963 doing sound on Roger Corman's THE YOUNG RACERS when Corman gave him the opportunity to direct a low budget (estimates vary between $20,000 and $40,000) horror film using the same actors. Featuring several nearby outdoor locations and shooting interiors at the local Ardmore Studios, Coppola made this film in just a couple of weeks. It was released in America and did very well indeed while making money for American International Pictures overseas as well.
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