Film: Dementia 13


Dementia 13 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 pretend 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.