CANCELED: Dementia 13
All film screenings and public programs at BAMPFA have been cancelled through March 29. Learn more
James Mockoski is a film archivist and postproduction supervisor at American Zoetrope, where he has supervised the restoration of classic films including Dementia 13, Apocalypse Now, and The Rain People.
Luana Anders, William Campbell, Bart Patton, Patrick Magee,
This atmospheric tale of terror, Coppola’s second venture, was considered so shocking that a test was devised to determine the viewer’s fitness for watching it. The “D-13 Test” (screened before the feature) plumbs one’s predisposition for traumatic breakdown. “IF YOU FAIL THE TEST . . . you will be asked to leave the theatre!” Dementia 13, for its part, is no ordinary shockfest. The first stunning scene, with a body slowly sinking to a lake bottom followed by a transistor radio still playing garbled music, propels you into the murky world of a family cursed by its own suffocating memories. Luana Anders plays the unwelcome visitor at the castle Halloran, glum enclave of brooding siblings, their morbid mom, and, yes, a dark, dank secret. Lurking in the abundant shadows is an unnamed loony, wielding his woeful ax. Dementia 13 is a chopping spree in chiaroscuro.