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Dementia 13 (1963)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller | 1964 (UK)
A scheming widow hatches a daring plan to get her hands on her late husband's inheritance, unbeknownst to her that she is targeted by an axe-wielding murderer who lurks within the family's estate.

Director:

(as Francis Coppola)

Writers:

(as Francis Coppola), (second unit written by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Bart Patton ...
Billy Haloran
...
...
Eithne Dunne ...
Lady Haloran (as Ethne Dunn)
Peter Read ...
John Haloran
Karl Schanzer ...
Simon
Ron Perry ...
Arthur
Derry O'Donavan ...
Lillian
Barbara Dowling ...
Kathleen
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Storyline

Whilst out on a rowboat with his wife Louise, John Haloran has a heart attack and dies. She casts his body overboard and hides his death telling the family he left on an urgent business trip. Louise's main concern is that she can only hope to inherit part of his family fortune if he's still alive. The Halorans are a strange family. They are still grieving over the death of the youngest daughter, Kathleen, who drowned in a pond when she was a young child. The family hold an annual ceremony of remembrance, on the anniversary of her death. But this year someone is wielding an ax...intent on murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are you afraid of death by drowning? Have you ever attempted suicide? Have you ever thought of committing murder? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1964 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dementia  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (colorized)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Francis Ford Coppola met his wife Eleanor Coppola during the making of the film. See more »

Goofs

In the movie's latter half, Dr. Caleb enters a work shed and discovers the body of Louise and the lifelike Kathleen doll. Carefully picking up the doll, he closes the shed door, and immediately in the next scene is shown walking with the doll in his arms and a cigar in his mouth. See more »

Quotes

Justin Caleb: Consider your mind as a bird in your hand.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Elvira's Box of Horror (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Thomas Moore
Music: traditional Irish air
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User Reviews

 
Eerie Irish Horror Story
3 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

******SPOILERS****** Early 1960's collaboration of director Francis Ford Coppala and film producer Roger Corman of a horror story set in and around Ireland's Haloran Castle. The movie has really two stories that intersect each other halfway into the movie which sets off a series of brutal ax murders which for the time, the early 1960's, are as graphic as anything seen in films back in those days.

John Haloran, Peter Reed, dies of a sudden heart attack, which seemed self-induced, rowing a boat with his wife Louise, Luana Anders, on board one night. Getting nothing from John's estate if he dies before she does which was stated in John's will Louise frantically tries to hide John's body by throwing him overboard into the lake. Louise ties an anchor to his waist to keep John from floating to the surface and being discovered.

Back home Louise writes a letter attributing it to John stating that he's gone on an urgent business trip to New York and may not be back for some time. Louise then plans to talk John's emotionally unstable mother Lady Haloran, Eithne Dunne, into re-writing the will and include her in it with or without the survival of her husband. The next day John's older brother Richard, William Campball, is set to see his fiancée Kane, Mary Mitchel, who's arriving from the USA to meet Richard's family in Ireland. When Kane is picked up by Richard's younger brother William, Brent Patton, at the airport William tells Kane that tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of their 13 year-old sister Kathleen's, Barbara Downing, tragic death and the family is having it's annual ceremony to commemorate it.

Louise knowing how much Lady Haloran misses her beloved daughter Kathleen tries to manipulate her by trying to prove to her that she's somehow in touch with the dead Kathleen through communications with her from the "other side". This is to get her to like Louise, who Lady Haloran despises, and get her to change the will that she wrote up that left Louise out in the cold if her husband dies in terms of his inheritance. Trying to convince Lady Haloran that she's really in communication with her daughter Louise tries to stage an event by taking some toys from Kathleen's room and planting them at the bottom of the pound where she drowned seven years ago.Louise plans at the right moment to have the toys rise to the surface in Lady Haloran presence to prove, to Lady Haloran, that she's telling her the truth.

What Louise doesn't know, by reviving suppressed memories of Kathleen's death, is that she set off and put into motion the person who was responsible for it to commit a number of bloody ax murders with Louise being his first victim.

Despite a shoe string budget and a unknown cast "Dementia 13" is a pretty effective Horror/Mystery movie.The murderer is more or less reviled almost at the beginning of the film but in such a way to make you not realize it. In a good attempt of misdirection by Francis Ford Coppala the audience is made to look somewhere or at someone else in the movie which keeps you guessing who the killer is until the very end. Coppala's use of striking black and white photography as well as the effective use of sounds and shadows greatly adds to the suspense as well as creepiness of the movie.


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