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Demons of the Mind (1972)

 -  Horror | Thriller  -  May 1974 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 822 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 24 critic

A physician discovers that two children are being kept virtually imprisoned in their house by their father. He investigates, and discovers a web of sex, incest and satanic possession.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Zorn
...
Emil
Gillian Hills ...
Yvonne Mitchell ...
Hilda
Paul Jones ...
Carl Richter
Patrick Magee ...
Falkenberg
Kenneth J. Warren ...
Klaus (as Kenneth Warren)
...
Priest
...
Fischinger
Virginia Wetherell ...
Inge
Deirdre Costello ...
Magda
Barry Stanton ...
Ernst
Sidonie Bond ...
Zorn's Wife
Thomas Heathcote ...
Coachman
John Atkinson ...
1st Villager
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Storyline

Baron Zorn keeps his teenaged children locked up and drugged, fearing that his insane wife passed along a congenital curse to them before her own suicidal death. Elizabeth escapes for a brief tryst with a local before being recaptured and subjected to a bleeding process to 'draw out the bad blood.' Emil keeps trying to escape, but is thwarted time and again by his aunt Hilda who runs the house like a prison. One reason the siblings have to be kept apart, is their incestuous attraction to each other. Local wenches are being murdered in the woods, and the superstitious peasants think demons are responsible. A wandering Priest dedicates himself to root out the evil, but isn't taken seriously. Arriving at the castle are two more interested parties: Mountebank scientist-huckster Falkenberg stands to make a small fortune if his strange apparatus can cure the children of their inherited evil. Young Carl simply wants to rescue Elizabeth. As more murders mount, Falkenberg enlists village lass ... Written by Leo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They came to torture an agonised mind

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Evil  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shane Briant made his film debut as the tormented Emil. See more »

Quotes

Priest: I have been led here, I have work to do. But what?
See more »

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User Reviews

Gothic Hammer with unsympathetic characters
12 August 2013 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

"Demons of the Mind" is an obscure Hammer film from 1972. The plot revolves around a Baron in 1835 who keeps his adult son & daughter locked-up and drugged because he thinks they're insane, like his dead wife. He hires a dubious doctor and another man to assist him. Meanwhile there are murders in the local area and a priest meanders around babbling about the evils of the Baron, etc., which incites the villagers.

On the positive side, "Demons of the Mind" has many of the positives of Hammer horror films -- lush Gothic atmosphere, serious characters & story, stunningly gorgeous women and a quality score. On the downside, the plot isn't interesting and there are no characters to sympathize with, except for maybe the Baron's daughter (the beautiful Gillian Hills) and the guy who comes to the castle to aid her. Unfortunately, Elizabeth is too zoned-out to care about and the guy is a secondary character.

Another plus is the fanatical priest who rings true, but the character isn't given enough screen time or dimension.

FINAL WORD: Although "Demons of the Mind" is a decent Gothic horror flick from Hammer, it's not as good as most of their vampire, Frankenstein or werewolf flicks. It's hard to relate to the topic of generational "insanity" (I put that in quotes because it's never clear if the son & daughter are truly insane or if the father causes their condition through his misguided treatments) and there aren't any major characters in which to sympathize.

The film runs 89 minutes and was shot in England.

GRADE: C+


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