Dementia 13 - The Haunted and the Hunted is a 1963 horror-thriller released by American International Pictures, starring William Campbell, Patrick Magee, and Luana Anders.
The film was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Roger Corman. Although Coppola had been involved in at least two nudie films previously, Dementia 13 served as his first mainstream, "legitimate," directorial effort.
The plot follows a scheming young woman who, after having inadvertently caused the heart attack death of her husband, attempts to have herself written into her rich mother-in-law's will. She pays a surprise visit to her late husband's family castle in Ireland, but her plans become permanently interrupted by an axe-wielding lunatic who begins to stalk and murderously hack away at members of the family.
Corman offered Coppola the chance to direct a low-budget horror film in Ireland with funds left over from Corman's recently completed The Young Racers, on which Coppola had worked as a sound technician. The producer wanted a cheap Psycho copy, complete with gothic atmosphere and brutal killings, and Coppola quickly wrote a screenplay in accordance with Corman's requirements. Although he was given total directorial freedom during production, Coppola found himself fighting with Corman after the film was completed. The producer declared the movie unreleasable and demanded several changes be made. Corman eventually brought in another director, Jack Hill, to film additional sequences.
The seventh anniversary of the death of then pre-teen Kathleen Haloran is approaching, she who died from drowning in the pond on the family estate, Haloran Castle, in Ireland. Since, her mother, the family matriarch Lady Haloran, who still lives in Haloran Castle, has had a maniacal obsession with Kathleen's memory. She holds a memorial ceremony every year on the estate on that anniversary, the ceremony only reserved for those blood members of their immediate family, namely her and her three now adult sons, John Haloran, Richard Haloran and Billy Haloran. She works herself up into a frenzy more so around this time of the year because of the ceremony. And she has deeded her entire estate to a charity in Kathleen's name. None of these facts sit well with John's greedy wife, Louise Haloran, who believes her mother-in-law is crazy. Another soon to be addition to the family is Richard's fiancée, Kane. On the eve of the ceremony, John dies from a heart attack in front of Louise, who hides his death from the family as she tries to work her and John back into the will through an elaborate scheme involving Lady Haloran's obsession with Kathleen, and Louise acting the caring, concerned daughter-in-law. Coinciding with this anniversary is the disappearance of several people from the estate. What those remaining on the estate are unaware of is that the missing people have been hacked to death by an ax murderer. Lady Haloran's physician, Dr. Justin Caleb, takes it upon himself to find out the cause of all the strange goings-on on the estate if only for Lady Haloran's sake. If he or anybody finds out the truth, they will learn that these ax murders are connected to Kathleen's death seven years earlier.
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