Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dementia 13

Dementia 13 (1963)

Written and Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchell, Patrick Magee, Ethne Dunne, Karl Schanzer, Peter Read, Barbara Dowling

One of Coppola's first films, made using the same cast, crew and sets as Roger Corman's The Young Racers.

It's essentially a Psycho rip-off about this guy who kills people with an axe, which apparently has something to do with a wax doll of his sister who he saw drown in the lake seven years before. It pretty much follows the same structure as Psycho as well, from the young woman hiding the body of her dead husband in the lake (which has about as much to do with the rest of the movie as Janet Leigh stealing the briefcase full of money from the bank), to the scene in which said young woman is brutally killed at the shores of the lake, to the 'reveal' scene in which we learn who the killer is and why he done it and all that crap.

However, while Psycho actually manages to hold my attention the whole way through (granted, there is a dip in my interest levels after Janet Leigh gets it - I always thought the movie kind of goes downhill from there, but it does still manage to maintain some suspense), I sort of tuned out for the second half of this one.

There are great stretches in the middle where nothing really happens, broken up by the occasional murder and Patrick Magee being really creepy (indeed, he freaked me out, probably more than he should have).

However, the film did look pretty good, it had nice atmosphere, some creepy locations and decent acting. All in all, it was pretty average, and a lot better than some other Corman-related stuff (on the other hand, Mr. Corman has been responsible for some pretty good movies and I both respect and admire him. Go Roger go!).

Anyway, it was kind of interesting to see this film if only because Mr. Coppola went on to become, like, super famous and make everyone's favourite movie. It kind of tickles me a little bit. Yeah, pretty much average movie. Not great, but not terrible.


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