Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Night of the Living Dead / Dementia 13|
Actors: George A. Romero, Francis Ford Coppola
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Similarly Requested DVDs
A pair of classic low-budget black & white horror films
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD brings together too of the best of the low-budget black & white horror films of the 1960s. I first saw "Night of the Living Dead" when I came home one afternoon and discovered that the Iowa City Public Library Channel on cable was showing the film. I have to admit, I was rather surprised that this cult classic horror film would be on at a time when kids could come home and discover it on television (one of the living dead is naked and they do like to eat human flesh), but Iowa is a state that thinks caucuses are a good way of selecting presidential nominees, so what can I say? But this is a horror movie that is even scary in the daytime with all the lights on.
"The Night of the Living Dead" is a true horror classic, which is rather surprising when you take into account that director George A. Romero made the film in 1968 for $114,000 without a cast of first time actors (extras who playing the zombies were paid $1 and a t-shirt that said "I was a zombie on Night of the Living Dead"). Filmed in black and white with Romero as the cinematographer, this film has a technical proficiency that is missing from other low-budget classics like "Dementia 13" and "Carnival of Souls." You can take or leave the various sequels to this film, but this one has to be on everyone's Top 10 list when it comes to horror films.
The horror comes from the situation and the simple effectiveness of the slow moving, silent zombies in their growing numbers, their arms reaching out to find human flesh to eat. Barbara (Judith O'Dea) runs to an abandoned house, where she is joined by Ben (Duane Jones). After fending off the first attack of the living dead, they discover five more people hiding in the basement: Harry Cooper (Karl Hardman), his wife, Helen (Marilyn Eastman), and their daughter (Kyra Schon), along with a young couple, Tom (Keith Wayne) and Judy (Judith Ridley). Harry wants to hide out in the basement, but refuses to be trapped down there, and the two spend more time arguing about what to do than doing anything. They listen to the radio and watch the TV, learning that the dead are rising to eat the living, and try to figure out a way of getting out of the death trap in which they find themselves. Meanwhile, the little girl in the basement is getting weaker.
The only real weakness in the film is the attempt to explain why the dead are walking around as flesh-eating ghouls (which is, I believe, redundant), which has something to do with a satellite and scientific mumbo-jumbo that really does not mean anything to the people trying to survive against the growing horde of zombies. Fortunately, the "why" does not matter in this story; just the "how" in terms of taking these creatures down. Besides, if anything clinches this one it is the end of the film, both with its final twist, and the use of grainy still photographs to show the end of the tale. Few horror movies, whatever their budgets, have an ending this memorable.
"Dementia 13" was the result of producer Roger Corman's infamous "apprentice" program at AIP. Corman was shooting his own film in 1963 and let Francis Ford Copolla get his first director's credit by shooting "Dementia 13" on the same location (Why "Demenita 13"? Because there was a 1955 entitled "Dementia"). "Dementia 13" is just a nice little low-budget horror film for which the biggest complaint is that the pace is a tad slow. The story is set in Ireland and if it bears a strong resemblance to Corman's film adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe, well "duh." When her husband drops dead, Louise Haloran (Luana Anders) know she will be cut out of the Haloran family inheritance so she pretends he is in New York on business and heads off to the ancestral home in Ireland to try and get in good with the family. But at Castle Haloran the family is engaged in a morbid ritual marking the death of John's sister Kathleen, who drowned in the pond six years earlier. The question of inheritance becomes more interesting once family members start being hacked to death by an ax-murderer.
Despite this development "Dementia 13" ("The Haunted and the Hunted" in the U.K.) is not a gory film, but more of a character study, which alone makes it somewhat atypical for the time and genre. Copolla manages to creat atmosphere so that the film is more of a psychological exercise than it is a splatter flick, and the submereged scream is certainly a memorable touch. The most recognizable faces in the film are Patrick Magee as Dr. Caleb and William Campbell, soon to go to a small measure of fame in a couple of episodes of the original "Star Trek" and a place in Beatles trivia as the man who supposedly had plastic surgery to replace Paul McCartney in the Beatles after his "death" (he was also married to Judith Exner, and anybody who has links to JFK, the Beatles and Star Trek is a pop culture immortal). "Dementia 13" is not a classic horror film and not on the same level of "Night of the Living Dead," but it is above average and makes for a decent pair of such films to put together on one DVD (the only better pairing I have seen would be "Night of the Living Dead" and "Carnival of Souls")."
60's Horror At Its Best
R. A. Brezenski | NE,USA | 07/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two great horror movies of the 60's, together is great to watch over & over on a rainly night. Goerge Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" is one of the best & still works today & Francis Coppoal,"Dementia"is just as good to watch. So go out & buy them both together & set back & enjoy the horror,that is still great."
Very good bargain, cool horror flicks.
Jeff | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Surprisingly good quality for the money, glad I made the purchase."
Cult horror at its best
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 07/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cult horror movies are the like zombies -- they don't die, but stick around. And two excellent ones are in this collection: zombie frightfest "Night of the Living Dead," and Francis Ford Coppola's early "Dementia 13." Not only are the movies excellent, but the transfers are good as well.
"Night of the Living Dead" starts when a crashed satellite starts emitting radiation, which causes the dead to rise out of their graves to devour the living. Barbara (Judith O'Dea) is visiting a grave with her brother -- when suddenly a shambling, dead-faced man murders him, and chases her down the road to a farmhouse.
But she's not alone -- a kindly man named Ben (Duane Jones), a young couple, and a family are also hiding there. The refugees barricade themselves for protection -- but now there are hundreds of zombies closing in. They must fight with fire and their wits... but it may not be enough.
"Dementia 13" is a whole different kind of horror. Louise Haloran's (Luana Anders) unpleasant husband has just died of a heart attack, during a row out on a lake. Because he died before his mother, in-law Louise won't get a penny. So she sinks his body, claims he's in New York, and returns to the ancestral home in Ireland, hoping to get the old lady to adjust the will.
But his family is just as weird as her scheme, with a troubled sculptor, shy type, dead father, and a mother obsessed with her dead child. They presently attending the annual memorial for one of the daughters, who died (ironically) by drowning. But of course, things get spiced up as Louise arrives -- somebody is running around the castle, killing with an axe.
Both movies are excellent examples of their own genre. George A. Romero created the blueprint for zombie movies, while Coppola's first masterpiece is a Poe-esque suspense film. Each is outstanding in its own way, so it's a pleasure to see them together and in good condition.
And both directors do an amazing job. Romero creates a nightmarish, claustrophobic atmosphere in his movie, where no matter where you go, you're trapped -- and the humans might kill you if the zombies don't. The finale is a tragic, but very realistic twist.
Coppola was still a young, raw director when he made "Dementia 13," compared to the more experienced touch he brought to the "Godfather" movies and "Apocalypse Now." But he showed in this movie that he had rare talent -- a Hitchcockesque talent for suspense, and a way with cameras and actors that made everything scarier than before.
Diamond Entertainment did a pretty solid job with both of these films. Usually two films on one disc are of poor quality, but the quality of both these is quite good. There's a lingering dark tint on the left side of "Dementia 13's" print, but it doesn't obscure anything. Otherwise, most of the time it's sharp and clear, as is the sound.
This double-pack not only provides two classic cult movies, but in excellent condition. Definitely one for fans of the dark, unusual and bizarre."