'Dementia 13' (Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack)
(William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, et al / Blu Ray+DVD / NR / (1963) 2011 / HD Cinema Classics)
Overview: 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.
Blu ray Verdict: Sadly, classic film actor William Campbell passed away April 28th at the age of 84. Campbell was known for being the first actor to ever sing with Elvis Presley in a movie in Love Me Tender (1956); for such classic films as Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) with Bette Davis; as Jerry Austin in the popular ’50s television series Cannonball; and for guest-starring in two memorable episodes of the original Star Trek TV series, playing the all-powerful Trelane in the episode “The Squire of Gothos” and Koloth, a Klingon, in “The Trouble With Tribbles,” both of which aired in 1967; among many, many other notable film and television credits.
As noted in the Overview, Campbell was also known for his role in this iconic cult film, Dementia 13, which was produced by celebrated B movie icon Roger Corman and directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, in what was considered Coppola’s first mainstream, “legitimate” directorial effort.
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. [BR] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Original Movie Art Postcard Included
Before And After restoration Demo