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Dementia 13
The Haunted and the Hunted

USA 1963
produced by
Roger Corman for AIP
directed by Francis Ford Coppola
starring William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchel, Patrick Magee, Ethne Dunn, Peter Read
written by Francis Ford Coppola

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Louise's (Luana Anders) husband (Peter Read) dies from a heartattack while rowing a boat, but since Louise wouldn't inherit anything from his mother (Ethne Dunn) if it would come out he was dead, she throws the corpse into the lake, making up a stupid story to cover for his absence - she stays with his mother & family at an Irish castle. But as is standard for failies living in Irish castles, they are sort of creepy & have some terrible family secrets. For you know, 7 years ago, Kathleen, daughter of the family, died of causes yet to be determined, & since then, the mother & her sons (the just demised John plus Billy [Bart Patton] & Richard [William Campbell]) repeat the burial ceremony every year - culminating every year in the mother fainting. This all gives Louise some idea to drive the mother completely bonkers, thus killing her, & it has something to do with some dolls & Louise going diving in the lake in her underwear (sorry, that's the best explanation I can give you, the film isn't very clear about that either). But the plan somehow backfires when Loise finds a creepy shrine underwater &, upon pankically emerging, is axed to death (major bummer). But who could have done this ? The Mother ? Billy ? Richard ? Richard's fiancee Kane (Mary Mitchell) ? The weird family doctor Caleb (Patrick Magee) ? Or the poacher roaming the grounds ? Well no, not him, for he gets a taste of the axe next. Then the mother is viciously attacked, though not killed (at least I think not, the messed up script isn't too clear about that either). Both Kane & the doctor find out about Billy's weird nightmare (dead giveaway, actually). Then, rather out of the blue, Richard & Kane marry, but at the wedding, doc Caleb can't help but annoy Kane with some sinister warnings (why is really beyond me), so she & Richard leave thier own party early, seemingly to have sex in the hay. & while the doctor still tries to figure out the meaning of Billy's weird nightmare, Billy decides to take the axe into his own hands, attacking almost everyone in sight - which means, yes, he was the serial killer in the first place, out of guilt for he accidently caused Kathleen's death 7 years ago. Of course, Billy gets a taste of his own medicine in the end.

 

For a standard AIP-drive-in-picture, this one is rather stylishly done, mixing gothic atmosphere & contemporary settings quite well - though it of course could not stand comparison to similar movies by Mario Bava or Ricardo Freda from (roughly) the same era - & it is certainly better than everything Coppola made since he has hit mainstream-ground circa mid-80's (with such drivel as Peggy Sue got Married, Godfather III & of course the abysmal Bram Stoker's Dracula).

The script though (also by Coppola) is really bad, seemingly just standard genre-situations cobbled together at will, with no love for the genre as such & no grasp of the integral logic such a story needs (& I can assure you, I am more than willing to accept the occasional leap or lack of logic a whodunit-mystery might just need to keep the things going).

Despite of what you might have heard, not Coppola's first movie - that was the nudie Tonight for Sure from 1962.

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD