Art and Experience: What did Francis Ford Coppola do before his “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now”? One of his first efforts was the 1963 horror film “Dementia 13,” which most cinephiles consider to be first mainstream and legitimate directorial effort. Coppola was just 24 when he made it.
For quite some time, however, the film’s 35mm print was considered to be likely lost. Enter The Film Detective, a company known for its restoration ventures, who has now announced that it has brought the film to digital HD. In a press release announcing the restoration, the owner of The Film Detective, Phil Hopkins, said, “As a huge enthusiast of ‘Dementia 13,’ I’m very proud to be releasing the film on Blu-ray for the first time in its correct aspect ratio. The Film Detective team took great care improving the picture and sound quality and the restored 35mm HD transfer looks incredible. I hope fans old and new will appreciate it!”
Produced by Roger Corman, the film “centers on the dysfunctional Haloran family, which has converged at the family castle in Ireland to enact a morbid ritual in remembrance of the deceased daughter of Lady Haloran. Secrets abound and soon there is a mysterious interloper prowling the grounds with a big axe to grind.”
The restoration will hit the streets on July 26.