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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Daughter of Horror")

 

Directed by John Parker 
USA 1955

 

A woman's nightmare of murder, maiming and mistrust proves to be more than a mere dream, in John Parker's influential horror.

Stripped of dialogue using only sound effects and an unnerving score - Parker combines horror, film noir and expressionist methods to depict a mind descending into madness. Shocking audiences upon its original release, the film was initially banned by the New York State Film Board, who deemed it 'inhuman, indecent, and the quintessence of gruesomeness'.

Featuring music by George Anthiel (Ballet Mecanique) and foreshadowing the techniques of future psychological horrors, Dementia is now available on Blu-ray for the very first time.

***

Dementia is a 1955 American black-and-white experimental horror film film produced, written, and directed by John Parker, and starring Adrienne Barrett and Bruno Ve Sota. The film, which contains no dialogue, follows a young woman's nightmarish experiences during a single night in Los Angeles's skid row. Stylistically, it incorporates elements of horror, film noir, and expressionist film.

Dementia was conceived as a short film by writer-director Parker and was based on a dream relayed to him by his secretary, Barrett. He cast Barrett in the film, along with Ve Sota, and ultimately decided to expand it into a longer feature. The film received a troubled release, being banned in 1953 by the New York State Film Board before finally being released in December 1955. It was later acquired by Jack H. Harris, who edited it and incorporated voice over narration by Ed McMahon before re-releasing it in 1957 under the title Daughter of Horror.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 22nd, 1955

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 0:56:01.983        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,515,558,761 bytes

Feature: 16,492,401,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
BFI

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,515,558,761 bytes

Feature: 16,492,401,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Newly recorded audio commentary by film critic and editor-in-chief of Diabolique magazine, Kat Ellinger
Daughter of Horror (1957): Dementia was picked up by producer Jack H Harris and re-released as Daughter of Horror in January 1957. Whilst also featuring music without dialogue, Harris made a number of edits and added narration by actor Ed McMahon (55:18)
Alone with the Monsters (1958, 15:44): a study of people's unconscious cruelty to others, this bold experimental film was directed by Nazli Nour with cinematography by the great Walter Lassally
Trailers from Hell: Joe Dante on Daughter of Horror (1957/2013, 2:28)
Before & After: restoring Dementia (2015, 3:14): a series of short clips from Dementia that illustrate the work done by the Cohen Film Collection for their 2015 restoration
Dementia trailer (2015 - 1:15)
Daughter of Horror trailer (1957 - 0:58)
Image gallery (2:02)
***FIRST PRESSING ONLY*** Fully illustrated booklet with new essays by Ian Schultz and the BFI's William Fowler and Vic Pratt

Second disc DVD


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 19th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: BFI Blu-ray (October 2020): BFI have transferred John Parker's Dementia (aka 'Daughter of Horror') to Blu-ray. It starts with a Cohen Media logo and we they are the source of the restoration - done in 2015. We've compared some captures to the Kino DVD from 2000 and the improvement is ginormous. The restoration is a huge leap forward considering the digital editions that have been surfacing for 20-years. The vertical scratches have been greatly minimized and grain textures are fine and exported expertly on the dual-layered disc with a max'out bitrate for the hour long film. It looked very pleasing in-motion on my system. I can hardly believe the improvement.

The presentation starts with this text: "EN GARDE! Art is a medium for the transmission of emotions. It is not difficult then to determine, for yourself at least, whether a work of art has failed or succeeded. It was intended for YOU (italicize this last word). YOU italicized) are the only judge. I (italicized) en-joyed DEMENTIA. It stirred my blood, purged my libido. The circuit was completed. The work was a work of art. Whether YOU (italicized) like it or not will depend entirely upon the permeability of your emotional shell, your idioplasm and your previous conditions of servitude. It is not important. PRESTON STURGES Hollywood, 1953 "

NOTE: We have added 70 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, BFI use a linear PCM dual-mono track (24-bit) - there is no dialogue. The audio is almost exclusively the score by George Antheil -(Not as a Stranger, The Pride and the Passion, In a Lonely Place, Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), Sirocco (1951), House by the River (1950) Tokyo Joe (1949) and other Nicholas Ray films, including, Knock on Any Door (1949) along with Rule, Britannia) - with 'New Concepts In Modern Sounds' by Shorty Rogers and his Giants in the Jazz club sequence. The musical director is credited as being Stanley Kramer-regular Ernest Gold (The Defiant Ones Inherit the Wind, Cross of Iron, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, On the Beach, The Secret of Santa Vittoria.) It all sounds authentically flat but buoyant. BFI offer optional English SDH subtitles (only signifying occasional music tone shifts) on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The BFI Blu-ray offers a new audio commentary by film critic and editor-in-chief of Diabolique magazine, Kat Ellinger. Kat discusses the transgressive impressions of the film, how it was not approved by NY State Censors board, alienation (as in Film Noir), she comments on cycles of violence less of a transgressive rejection of Mother (and Motherhood), how 'The Gamin' is excited about violence, the film's many phallic symbols, Ed McMahon's (yes, of Johnny Carson's 'Tonight Show' fame) narration in Daughter of Horror, Marni Nixon's voice overs, and much more. It is at her usual high standard although, in this case, I may agree more with John Parris Springer's analysis as a "psycho-social critique of the violence against women" but the film, as Kat states, is filled with ambiguity and it's a pleasure to hear other well thought-out views. BFI also include 1957's 55-minute Daughter of Horror. Dementia was picked up by producer Jack H. Harris and re-released as Daughter of Horror in January 1957. Whilst also featuring music without dialogue, Harris made a number of edits and added narration by McMahon. It is generally in poor quality and has not been restored. BFI include the bold 1958 experimental film Alone with the Monsters directed by Nazli Nour with cinematography by the great Walter Lassally. It is a psychological study of people's unconscious cruelty towards those who appear to be different from themselves. An old woman, tormented by Loneliness and lack of sympathy, commits suicide. Trailers from Hell: Joe Dante on Daughter of Horror has Dante describing to us that Daughter of Horror is the film playing in the Drive-In in 1958's The Blob. From 2015 is a Before & After: restoring Dementia running just over 3-minutes. It is a series of short split-screen clips from Dementia that illustrate the work done by the Cohen Film Collection for their 2015 restoration. There is a 2015 re-issue Dementia trailer and a 1957 Daughter of Horror trailer plus there is an image gallery. There is a second disc DVD included. For the first pressing there is a fully illustrated booklet with new essays by Ian Schultz and the BFI's William Fowler and Vic Pratt.

John Parker's Dementia is a wonderful 'experimental' 'Indie-feel' horror - heavy-handed in its social commentary and Freudian symbols, but brilliant in evoking Film Noir and a precursor to many horror film yet to come. I loved it. The package is a must-own with the stunning restoration improvement, the Kat Ellinger commentary and other extras. The BFI Blu-ray has our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Subtitle Sample - BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


1) Kino/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Kino/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Kino/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Kino/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Kino/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


More BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

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Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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