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Demons of the Mind (1972)

R | | Horror, Thriller | May 1974 (USA)
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2:57 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Peter Sykes

Writers:

Christopher Wicking (screenplay), Christopher Wicking (from an original story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Hardy ... Zorn
Shane Briant ... Emil
Gillian Hills ... Elizabeth
Yvonne Mitchell ... Hilda
Paul Jones Paul Jones ... Carl Richter
Patrick Magee ... Falkenberg
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... Klaus
Michael Hordern ... Priest
Robert Brown ... Fischinger
Virginia Wetherell Virginia Wetherell ... Inge
Deirdre Costello Deirdre Costello ... Magda
Barry Stanton ... Ernst
Sidonie Bond Sidonie Bond ... Zorn's Wife
Thomas Heathcote ... Coachman
John Atkinson 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They came to torture an agonised mind

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Evil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gillian Hills was a last-minute replacement for Marianne Faithfull who was recast due to insurance reasons. See more »

Quotes

Zorn: "Blood will have blood," they say. Well, there must be no more blood on our souls.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema release was cut by the BBFC to remove shots of dirt being forced into Inge's mouth and the stabbing of Hilda with a set of keys, and to optically blur shots of the scarred body of Zorn's wife and of her cutting her throat. The same cut print was used for the 1990 Warner video though this was then cut by a further 18 secs to remove shots of Inge's topless bloodstained body and a bloodstained woman caressing her breasts during a flashback montage. The 1990 video cuts were waived in 2006 for the Optimum release though the original cinema edits now appear to be lost. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Tower (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligent and entertaining Gothic thriller.
20 May 2003 | by capkronosSee all my reviews

A mad baron (Robert Hardy), haunted by memories of driving his wife insane, is obsessed with the "heritage of disorder" that he thinks might afflict his two grown children (Gillian Hills and Shane Briant), whom he keeps locked up in his beautiful castle home, searching for a "cure." With the help of bald manservant Klaas (Kenneth J. Warren) and stern aunt Hilda (Yvonne Mitchell), he drains their blood to keep them weak, forbids them to see each other (there's incest involved) and ignores the expert opinions of a doctor (Patrick Magee). Meanwhile, there's a rapist/murderer on the loose terrorizing a quaint neighboring village.

This psychological horror story is a fine deviation from Hammer's cycle of monster movies, highlighted by excellent period costumes and sets (especially the castle) and Christopher Wicking's provocative, complex screenplay (which resembles V.C. Andrews' FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, written later). Only the finale, with a mob of torch-carrying villagers hunting Hardy down a la FRANKENSTEIN, really detracts from this well above par Hammer production.


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