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Dementia (1955)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 991 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 16 critic

This film, with no dialogue at all, follows a psychotic young woman's nightmarish experiences through one skid-row night.

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(uncredited)
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Title: Dementia (1955)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Adrienne Barrett ...
The Gamin
Bruno VeSota ...
Rich Man (as Bruno Ve Sota)
Ben Roseman ...
Law Enforcer / Father
Richard Barron ...
Evil One
Ed Hinkle ...
Butler (as Edward Hinkle)
Lucille Rowland ...
Mother (as Lucille Howland)
Jebbie VeSota ...
Flower Girl (as Jebbie Ve Sota)
Faith Parker ...
Nightclub Dancer
Gayne Sullivan ...
Wino
...
Himself (as Shorty Rogers and His Giants)
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Storyline

As the narrator invites us to explore the horrors of an insane mind, a young woman wakes from a nightmare in a cheap hotel room. We follow her through the skid-row night and encounters with an abusive husband; a wino; a pimp and the rich man he panders for; a flashback to her traumatic childhood; violence; pursuit through dark streets; dementia. Filmed in film-noir style throughout; only the narrator speaks. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BLOOD on her hands...DOOM in her eyes... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daughter of Horror  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The flower girl was played by Jebbie VeSota. She was married to Bruno VeSota who played the "rich man" and was also the associate producer of this film. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Yes... I am here, the demon who possesses your soul. Wait a bit. I'm coming for you, I have so much to show you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Creepy Classics (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Wig Alley
Music by Shorty Rogers
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User Reviews

 
Where to begin?
4 September 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie (originally 1953, I believe) is approachable on so many levels, it is difficult to say where to begin. We could start with the acting - Adrienne Barrett (whoever she is) is perfectly cast as the troubled, sinister, smirking, sexy anti-heroine. We could then examine the style - the mix of surrealism, expressionism, and film noir. We could then comment on the atmosphere - conjured through bleak-looking streets and unnerving music. Then there are the simple images - shadows growing and shrinking, gaunt faces, sharp contrasts between lights and darks. We might take a Freudian approach - the dysfunctional parents, the father imagery, the sexual symbols (cigars, no less!). There is also the Beat culture interest in the excellent jazz-band scene. There are also the intriguing comparisons one could make between the "silent" version and the narrated one.

As a horror movie in-itself, it may appear somewhat cheesy and overstated, but it clearly does not take itself too seriously, and you shouldn't either. Compared to other horror films I give it an 8, but due to its uncommon critical and historical appeal, I rate it overall a 9. Truly a unique achievement.


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