BFI Giving John Parker’s Horror Dementia A Home Release

A woman’s nightmare of murder, maiming and mistrust proves to be more than a mere dream, in John Parker’s influential 1953 horror film DEMENTIA.

Foreshadowing the likes of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965), the film comes to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK, released in a Dual Format Edition by the BFI on 19 October 2020, just ahead of Halloween. An extensive package of extras includes a newly recorded commentary, and an alternative cut of the film, retitled Daughter of Horror (1957) which has added narration by actor Ed McMahon.

Stripped of dialogue and using only sound effects and an unnerving score by George Anthiel (Ballet Mécanique), in DEMENTIA John 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’.

Special features

  • Presented in Standard Definition and High Definition
  • Newly recorded audio commentary on Dementia by film critic and editor-in-chief of Diabolique magazine, Kat Ellinger
  • Daughter of Horror (1957, 55 mins): after being picked up by producer Jack H Harris, Dementia was re-released as Daughter of Horror. Whilst also featuring music without dialogue, Harris made a number of edits and added narration by actor Ed McMahon
  • Alone with the Monsters (1958, 16 mins): 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 mins)
  • Before & After: Restoring Dementia (2020, 3 mins): a series of short clips from Dementia that illustrate the work done by the Cohen Film Collection for their 2015 restoration
  • Dementia trailer (2015)
  • Daughter of Horror trailer (1957)
  • Stills and publicity gallery
  • ***FIRST PRESSING ONLY*** illustrated booklet with new essays by Ian Schultz, William Fowler and Vic Pratt

USA / 1953 / black and white / 56 mins (+ extras) / optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.37:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 2.0 dual mono audio (48kHz/24-bit) / DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio (320kbps).

John Parker‘s DEMENTIA  is coming to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK, released in a Dual Format Edition with simultaneous release on iTunes and Amazon Prime by the BFI on 19 October 2020.