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Dementia 13 (1963)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  18 November 1966 (Denmark)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 4,728 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 86 critic

When her husband John has a heart attack while out in a rowboat on the lake, Louise Haloran throws his body overboard and later tells the family that he has left on an urgent business trip.... See full summary »

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(as Francis Coppola)

Writers:

(as Francis Coppola) , (second unit writer)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Richard Haloran
...
Louise Haloran
Bart Patton ...
Billy Haloran
Mary Mitchel ...
Kane
Patrick Magee ...
Justin Caleb
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

When her husband John has a heart attack while out in a rowboat on the lake, Louise Haloran throws his body overboard and later tells the family that he has left on an urgent business trip. Her main concern is that she can only inherit a part of the family fortune if if her husband is alive. The Halorans are a strange family, still grieving over the death of the youngest daughter Kathleen who drowned in a pond when she was just a child. They hold an annual ceremony of remembrance every year on the anniversary of her death. This year however, someone is wielding an ax intent on murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Terrifying Screen Experience Of Your Life! A Brand New Concept in Motion Picture Shock! A Thrilling New Creation of Terror Thru Sight and Sound, Filmed Entirely in the Shock-Packed Process of Dementia 13! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1966 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Demência 13  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (colorized)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis Ford Coppola's first Director credit, as "Francis Coppola". 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

Louise Haloran: It's nice to see her enjoying herself for a change. The mood around this place isn't good for her.... Especially an American girl. You can tell she's been raised on promises.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Sopranos: University (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth much more than rating reflects
9 October 2002 | by (Walled Lake, MI) – See all my reviews

Being a film buff, and not exclusively a fan of the horror genre, I saw the average rating on imdb and expected a kitchy, amateurish farce-of-a-flick. What it turned out to be caught me absolutely off-guard. The only thing more terrifying than the film itself was the poor overall rating it received on imdb. This is a superb example of a psychological thriller, and certainly the most underrated and underappreciated film of this genre I have ever seen.

Dementia 13 is a fairly simple narrative on the surface, but underneath it is an interweaving story, each branch adding depth and mystery to the story and each branch being a carefully-planned twist of the senses.

My wife, being a huge fan of the genre, especially of films from the 60s, has already encouraged me to watch numerous other films similar in narrative feel, such as "The Innocents" based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James or "The Haunting" based on the Shirley Jackson story. After seeing so many films, many of which were based on well-crafted stories by famous authors, it astounds me to think that A young Francis Coppola not only directed this superb film, but CONCEIVED it and WROTE it as well. The result reads just as well (and even better, in many cases) than many well-crafted novels, itself being a story of an utmost macabre and chilling nature... and the storytelling leaves little to be desired.

Francis Coppola, only 22 at the time, made this film with a miniscule budget of only $20,000 and an extremely rushed shooting schedule. It is no wonder Coppola blossomed into a well-respected, master craftsman of film. And the limited resources all but completely excuse any of the flaws in this film. Looking at the facts about the film and its maker surely must invoke jealously in any artist who realizes what true masters can accomplish at a young age.

Yes, it is true that Dementia 13 takes elements from Hitchcock's Psycho (among other Hitch films), including anticipatory tension, a finely dissonant score, and even several camera shots, but Coppola isn't just mimicking Hitchcock. He's manipulating the very essence of what makes Hitchcock frightening, while adding his own distinct style and flavor to the film.

And it IS genuinely frightening. It implies unspeakable things and it toys with one's mind as one watches it. And when the screen DOES show you something you've been anticipating, (partly in thanks to the demented film score,) expect to be surprised and expect your skin to tingle something fierce. The psychological angle with which Coppola approached Dementia 13 leaves one with the terrible sense that the human mind REALLY IS capable of this kind of demented horror... which, of course, makes the film all the more terrifying and satisfying.

This film is not merely an amateur's flailing attempt. It is the first masterpiece of a blooming genius.

The rating it has on imdb is appallingly low. I can't even begin to wonder what kinds of bad horror films are getting better ratings by people. Maybe more people just need to see this fairly obscure film before it will get its overdue appreciation. 9 out of 10


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