Dementia 13

A series of grisly murders occur on the estate on a once noble Irish family in the early directorial work of Francis Ford Coppola.
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Format:  DVD
item number:  ALP 6184D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: July 27, 2004
  • Originally Released: 1963
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , &
Performer: , &
Directed by
Screenwriting by &
Composition by
Produced by

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 23


User Ratings: 4,153
The location (an Irish castle) is used imaginatively, the Gothic atmosphere is suitably potent, and there's a wonderfully sharp cameo from Patrick Magee as the family doctor. Full Review
Time Out
Jan 26, 2006
Rating: C+ -- There was no way to tell from the debut of Coppola, then 24, a low-budget horror flick produced by Roger Corman, that in a decade he would become the most influential director. Full Review
Oct 31, 2012
It's standard horror fare -- with one interesting effect that turned up again, 12 years later, in The Conversation. Full Review
Chicago Reader
Dec 11, 2007
Rating: 4/5 -- A peerless horror film of the low-budget variety, a sort of how-to guide for future filmmakers on working with a limited budget. Full Review
Aug 19, 2011
Rating: 4/10 -- With Dementia 13, Coppola glutted himself on exploitation. Full Review
The Retro Set
Dec 27, 2018
Rating: 3/4 -- A little gem of gothic horror, stylishly helmed on a shoestring budget. Full Review
TV Guide
Dec 11, 2007
An upstart's precocious proposal on artistry, independence, and the business of family, or vice-versa Full Review
Sep 6, 2009

Description by

Gruesome axe murders plague the menacing ancestral castle of the Halorans, a family whose heritage includes greed, deception and death. Louise Haloran wants to enjoy a piece of her husband John's fortune, but when he suddenly dies without including her in his will, the scheming wife conceals the death from the family. The castle is haunted by the spirit of John's long dead younger sister Kathleen. When Lady Haloran announces she will give all her money to charity in the name of Kathleen, greedy Louise concocts a plan.

Arranging some of Kathleen's possessions in the pond where the girl drowned, Louise emerges from the dark waters only to be attacked and murdered. The weapon: a razor-sharp axe! A killing spree erupts on the Haloran estate, seemingly motivated by the murderer's obsession with Kathleen. The surviving Halorans must discover the killer's identity before their fate is sealed.

Inspired by the success of Psycho, Dementia 13 is a startling early effort from writer/director Francis Ford Coppola. Reportedly made for less than $45,000 (an astonishingly low budget), Dementia 13 still manages to pack a powerful punch with moody photography, a stirring music score by Ronald Stein and violent scenes that remain effective today.

While Roger Corman was in Europe shooting The Young Racers, crew member Coppola presented him with a screenplay and offered to direct Dementia 13 on-the-fly, borrowing The Young Racers acting principals and piecing together a technical crew from available talent, Coppola created a triumph of art over budget. As if the already ultra-sensational demise of Luana Anders was not strong enough, an additional murder sequence, directed in a cavalier manner by Jack Hill, was later inserted by Corman who insisted on more over-the-top violence.

Product Description:

Francis Ford Coppola's directorial debut, produced by horror king Roger Corman, is a terror-filled tale of family ties chopped to pieces. DEMENTIA 13's opening scene of Louise and John Haloran alone on a boat drifting nowhere (as an Elvis Presley song plays hauntingly) is reminiscent of many Hitchcock films. Its 1963 release was just the beginning of what, for Coppola, would be a long career of helming chillingly powerful masterworks such as APOCALYPSE NOW and THE GODFATHER.

Set in a spooky Irish castle, DEMENTIA 13 begins as the Haloran family gathers to memorialize the death of the youngest sister, Kathleen. While various family members plot and connive, an ax murderer is roaming the grounds, and Kathleen's body shows up at just the wrong time. Slowly, the family members become increasingly suspicious of each other--as well as of the ghosts that haunt the castle. But when the sinister family doctor is called in to help with the mystery, the expertly contrived Coppola chills really take hold.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical Release: September 25, 1963.
  • The film was released as THE HAUNTED AND THE HUNTED in Great Britain.
  • After toiling for several years as an assistant to Roger Corman, this was the first film that independent producer Roger Corman let Francis Ford Coppola direct.
  • Francis Ford Coppola's only complete film prior to this as a director was the 1961 nudie TONITE FOR SURE.
  • DEMENTIA 13 was shot on location in Ireland during the summer of 1963.
  • Patrick Magee (Justin Caleb) later became famous for his role as Mr. Alexander, one of Malcolm McDowell's victims, in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

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Michael Jackson's Muse Movie Lover: from Paris, Texas -- October, 21, 2008

It is obvious that Michael Jackson usurped Coppola's
concept for his Thriller video. This is better than Thriller though...blood, boobs, blondes and Wilhelm screams assault your senses, beat you senseless. Stranger than a trip to Jacko's Wonderland Ranch. Pre-beard Coppola at his best, faux sho!

Great stuff! Movie Lover: from County Durham, England UK -- June, 20, 2005

A great cast and a very spooky thiller by AIP and the producers of 'The Terror'!

little fishy in the brook Movie Lover: from -- November, 8, 2004

Awesome! What a classic.. If you haven't seen this movie it is worth alot more than $5.95!!! You have to get it! I love the nursery rhime... "Little Fishy In the Brook, Papas Hanged you on a hook"

Creepy Movie Lover: from Yard, Scottland -- July, 29, 2004

Corman was rushed into production of this film. "Psycho" had just been released and the psycho-horror genre was born. Coppola (or the studio) was in a hurry to get into the theatres with a like minded film. The result is a little "missing something" but the story and the production does have it's moments. There is so much atmosphere and too many suspects so often it may be hard to follow exactly why people act the way they do but the "surprise ending" makes it sort of worth the effort.
I got the real creeps the first time I saw this waaaayyy back when... prepared to be tuly creeped out! Movie Lover: from COCONUT CREEK, FL US -- May, 17, 2004

...a very scary film in its own right, though sometimes bogged down by atmosphere, but it was a real early Coppola film (college project?). Yeah, the big, stately, castle-like abode; weird locals...ghosts, dead could it miss? Might not be the film that you point at in your collection and say, "hey, let's watch this one for the 20th time", but well worth the initial viewing...enjoy!

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 2,087
  • UPC: 089218618498
  • Shipping Weight: 0.26/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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