Francis Ford Coppola has had a career that many cinephiles would call enviable. Enviable for many in that it has a scale tipped strongly toward good films. From universally successful films like THE GODFATHER PART I and II, to cult classics like THE CONVERSATION, to outstanding cinematic feasts like APOCALYPSE NOW as bold stand outs in a very fascinating career. All great careers start somewhere and in the words of Pulps Common People, it started there, with Roger Corman. Corman productions gave life to him as an assistant after avoiding skin flicks and on the strength of writing a sex comedy. After a film shoot in Ireland led Corman to spot an opportunity and give him his break, Coppola pounced and took the chance to write and direct a horror film called DEMENTIA 13.

John Haloran (Peter Read) dies while on a boat with his less than loving wife, Louise (Luana Anders). She is angry that he is to be denied the inheritance that she married him for. After all money is money but as he lays dying, she realises that it might not need him to gain the lot. Fabricating a story about John traveling to the United States, she joins the rest of the Haloran family at their Irish estate. Holding a memorial for John’s long dead sister, she sees a chance at exploiting the weakness of the matriarch of the family. Louise sees a scheme but as she explores the options, this plan starts to seem more difficult to execute. When an axe murderer sets out to kill all on the estate, it seems that survival is her only hope.

DEMENTIA 13 has been well covered elsewhere. Some have seen it as the first chapter in the testament of Coppola. From its financial success, to its very bold use of conventions and utilisation of a minimal budget. It is seen as a standard that many should hold high. I am actually in truth, not really a fan of the film. It is laboured, feels under motivated and its 70 minutes is a chore. But on the consideration of a first film, it is exceptional. The problem with any release of DEMENTIA 13 the problem of its availability, or where it has been in the public domain for quiet some time anyone can get a copy, is problematic. So this means that the main thrust of the Vestron release is what state the transfer is in and what extras they will offer us. The transfer is lovely. The best version I have seen of it. That is in the three versions. Two on DVD (one public domain standard blur fest and another was the broad releases that had a standard restoration that was adequate). The third was the US release version (which this is!). The extras here have appeared before there and elsewhere.



INTRODUCTION BY Francis Ford Coppola



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