Demons of the Mind

1972

Horror / Thriller

6
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 39%
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 1111

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Robert Hardy as Zorn
Michael Hordern as Priest
Robert Brown as Fischinger
Patrick Magee as Falkenberg
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
733.56 MB
1204*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 4 / 7
1.4 GB
1792*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 5 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jangu 5 / 10

Sometimes a mess, sometimes very innovative

Hammer films had by 1972 clearly some problems coming up with new and fresh ideas. Their old style monster movies were beginning to show their age and the formula had been remade too many times (ie. Dracula AD 1972). So some experiments were made. "Captain Kronos" is one and this one another. The story moves very slowly in the beginning and what is happening is never really quite clear. The story about one family's inherited madness is intriguing but never fully developed. And those expecting some gory horror movie will be very disappointed, because for the most part, this is a rather slowmoving psychological study with added chilling elements. The biggest drawback here is the pace, which is non-existent for three-thirds of the movie. The final twenty minutes or so are more satisfying in that sense. Robert Hardy is also not a bonus, overacting like mad. But there are compensations. Other performances are very good, like Patrick Magee as the mock-psychiastrist and Gillian Hills as the young and maybe mad daughter of the family. And the basic plot IS interesting! A remake with a revision of the script might do wonders. Arthur Grant behind the camera does a great job too, contributing his usual skill and thereby making everything look more expensive than it really is. The art-director knows what he is doing too and the score by Harry Robinson is excellent (he really was an underrated filmcomposer).

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 8 / 10

Not your typical Hammer film.

The folks at Hammer Studios take one of their usual Gothic environments and use it for a more cerebral and subtle film than what their fans are used to. The title really does make it quite clear: the "demons" here are those that dwell in the human mind, affecting mental stability and having a profound effect on the next generation. It does take the time to include some more exploitable elements - namely, gore and nudity - but these moments feel gratuitous given the nature of the balance of the film.

It takes place in Bavaria where a Baron named Zorn (Robert Hardy) is afraid of his children, afraid that they have inherited the madness of their predecessors. They do seem to be showing the signs. More than anything, the Baron is convinced that they are possessed. A self styled psychiatrist named Falkenberg (Patrick Magee) and his young associate Carl (Paul Jones, formerly of the band Manfred Mann) arrive on the scene, using radical methods to probe the psyche of father and children (Gillian Hills, Shane Briant). Meanwhile, the local villagers are convinced of the existence of demons, and spurred on by a wandering priest (Michael Hordern), they determine to take care of the problem.

"Demons of the Mind" does appear to divide the audience, but this viewer would consider himself in the camp that considers this one of the more interesting and hence more effective of the latter day Hammer productions. Australian director Peter Sykes creates a suitably eerie atmosphere, which is enhanced by wonderfully spooky music composed by Harry Robertson. The script by Christopher Wicking is heavy on symbolism, and it offers meaty roles to a sterling bunch of actors, with the under-rated Hardy delivering the goods in a particularly great role. Magee is fun as always as the hard-driving psychiatrist, and good looking pair Hills and Briant are affecting as the troubled kids.

The film does end on a very Hammer-esque note with angry torch bearing villagers set for a final confrontation, but getting there is every bit as enjoyable. Those horror fans looking for different offerings from Hammer are advised to give this one a look.

Eight out of 10.

Reviewed by capkronos 7 / 10

Intelligent and entertaining Gothic thriller.

A mad baron (Robert Hardy), haunted by memories of driving his wife insane, is obsessed with the "heritage of disorder" that he thinks might afflict his two grown children (Gillian Hills and Shane Briant), whom he keeps locked up in his beautiful castle home, searching for a "cure." With the help of bald manservant Klaas (Kenneth J. Warren) and stern aunt Hilda (Yvonne Mitchell), he drains their blood to keep them weak, forbids them to see each other (there's incest involved) and ignores the expert opinions of a doctor (Patrick Magee). Meanwhile, there's a rapist/murderer on the loose terrorizing a quaint neighboring village.

This psychological horror story is a fine deviation from Hammer's cycle of monster movies, highlighted by excellent period costumes and sets (especially the castle) and Christopher Wicking's provocative, complex screenplay (which resembles V.C. Andrews' FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, written later). Only the finale, with a mob of torch-carrying villagers hunting Hardy down a la FRANKENSTEIN, really detracts from this well above par Hammer production.

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