William Campbell, Luana Anders in Francis Coppola’s ‘Dimension 13’
Everyone has to start somewhere, and before winning Oscars as one of the most prominent directors of our time, Francis Ford Coppola started with B-movie master Roger Corman, assisting on films such as 1963’s The Young Racers. Then he got his shot to write and direct his own film, Dementia 13, which returns to home video July 26 on a Blu-ray release from The Film Detective.
(Prior to this Coppola is rumored to have directed some scenes in Corman’s The Terror, also recently released by The Film Detective, but he wasn’t credited for that.)
Reportedly presented in its correct 1:78:1 aspect ratio for the first time on Blu-ray, the black-and-white Dementia 13 is derivative of the edgier new horrors of Psycho and the embryonic slasher genre, while also offering a traditional haunted house tale. So it’s far from original.
Yet Coppola, then billed as Francis Coppola, showed flashes of raw talent — especially in shot composition, mood-setting and use of music — which would bloom in the ’70s when he helmed The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now and others.