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Dementia (Daughter of Horror) Reviews

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Michael G

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2011
Daughter of Horror (or Dementia if you prefer) is an odd, odd movie. It looks like a film noir gone to hell. Ed McMahon overdramatically narrates it to the point where you'll probably make slow, uncomfortable eye contact with the person next to you. It's also full of grotesque close-ups (I thought I was going to barf watching Bruno Ve Sota eat) and whack-job randomness. That jazz club scene was a nice but odd change of pace even if the ending was completely expected. The movie felt at times like Ed Wood directed it even if there was really no dialogue. Worth the time definitely but don't set your expectations too high.
PumpkinGetsASnakeBite
December 23, 2010
Really bizarre 50's film about a seemingly psychotic woman who wanders a sort of surreal skid row and encounters all kinds of sleazy characters.
mothra911
June 5, 2006
I just remember the segment they play in THE BLOB -"Yes, I am here. The demon who possesses your soul." Tough to watch and ultimately...okay.
June 2, 2013
The narration may sound hammy with it's drawn-out, overly-enunciated words, but I did enjoy it. The first words uttered "You.... you out there.... Do you know what horror is?", voice over the slow build up of its musical score, full darkness before it shows the view of the street and the room, actually made me smile with nostalgia. This is what I love about old horror films: it has a campy feel to it and yet it's more solid than modern-day horror movies (or most movies for that matter). Nowadays, you don't hear these words anymore....

"Come with me into the tormented, haunted, half-lit night of the insane. This is my world. Let me lead you into it. Let me take you into the mind of a woman who is mad. You may not recognize some things in this world, and the faces will look strange to you. For this is a place where there is no love, no hope...in the pulsing, throbbing world of the insane mind, where only nightmares are real, nightmares of the Daughter of Horror!"


The cast is perfect. Each of them gives of a sinister feel to the movie, from a leering expression to every smirk or eye acting - perfect. Adrienne Barrett as The Gamin is really commendable. Even without the narration (which I would really love to see, I just can't find a copy), her portrayal of a disturbed or demented young woman is amazing. The camera angles and the play on shadow & light also gave her smirking face a very chilling sinister, sadistic look.

The musical score is the main reason why I wasn't bored at all. It's like a rollercoaster ride while seeing the equally rollercoaster ride of a story & visuals. It plays with your senses. Its dynamics parallels that what you're currently seeing. The crescendo and diminuendo constantly interchanges along with the continuously alternating play of light and dark photography and the sudden shifts of the psychotic mind of The Gamin played very well on each scenes. It keeps your heart racing and your focus never waning when one moment you hear the soft haunting sensuality of the music, then next thing you know, the same score becomes a shade creepier and puts you in a mind-altering, almost psychedelic mood.


It's true that the narration cheapened the movie a bit, but it's not reason enough for one not to watch this film. Sometimes I find it annoying to hear the narrator and his cheesy lines, but there are also times when what he's saying gives a more noir flavor to the scene, and I love it. The underrated, obscure status of this cult classic astounds me as this is one of the most entertaining, highly experimental "silent movie" I've seen. It may not be as sophisticated as other highly acclaimed movies of the same genre, but it sure has it's own interesting style. The weirdness is like a rich chocolate cake that beckons to you and urges you to just wanna indulge. So what are you waiting for? C'mon, take a bite. =D
January 29, 2013
A film without dialogue or sound about a young woman's nightmarish murderous night. This film is quite a mysterious experience. From the lack of sound to the decision of director John Parker not to credit himself, this film falls right between exploitation and experimental, and is quite an original cinematic experience, with some surprisingly meticulous photography and mise en scene. While the original film is delightfully unclassifiable, a re-release called Daughter of Horror with a cheesy narration exist, but ruins the very nature of the film and must be avoided at all costs.
November 20, 2010
Very similar to films of Ed Wood (Wood's cinematographer Wm C. Thompson was DP), except w/ hints of talent and style.
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