is the first movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola
. It was produced by Roger Corman
Louise Haloran is a pretty, greedy young lady who, when her husband John dies of a heart attack, does not hesitate in hiding his body and pretend he went away on a business trip in order not to lose the inheritance.
So she travels to Ireland to meet her husband's mother and two brothers and finds out a strange family, still haunted by the tragic death of the youngest child, sister Kathleen, when she was just a child.
And someone has decided to start axing people to death...
This film contains the examples of:
- Accidental Murder: How Billy killed Kathleen.
- An Axe to Grind: As Louise found out firsthand.
- Axe Crazy: Billy, and his weapon of choice was actually an axe.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Billy's death is probably the saddest scene in the movie.
- Asshole Victim: Louise had it coming.
- Cymbal-Banging Monkey: How to make the monkey even creepier? Have him wielding an axe instead of banging cymbals.
- Decoy Protagonist: Louise plays the Janet Leigh part in this one, getting brutally murdered less than halfway through the film.
- Doctor Jerk: Caleb. He abuses the help and snarks off to Richard and Kane constantly, for no readily apparently reason.
- Establishing Character Moment: Louise throwing John's dead body into the lake.
- Follow the Leader: Psycho.
- Foreshadowing: The scene where Billy idly toys with the hatchet, as well as the Cymbal-Banging Monkey chopping away with an axe.
- Gaslighting: Louise starts trying to convince Lady Haloran that her daughter's ghost is communicating to them, presumably in order to get Lady Haloran to change her will.
- Gold Digger: Louise, who wants that family money, and is willing to chuck her husband's body in the lake and presume he's still alive in order to get it.
- Jerkass: Louise, who is greedy and likes to manipulate old ladies.
- Karmic Death: Louise pretty much deserved that ax.
- Non-Indicative Name: Dementia 13. The 13 is completely random, and whatever mental illnesses we're dealing with here, dementia isn't one of them.
- Plot Hole: So, um, why doesn't Louise swim away after the axe comes out?
- The Scourge of God: The two victims who actually die in the movie were actually doing wrong, and the one who was worse got the worst death.
- Whole Plot Reference: Pretty much a blatant ripoff of Psycho, but directed with a visual flair indicating Coppola as an up-and-comer. Corman in fact specifically asked Coppola to make a Psycho knockoff.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Billy.