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Demons of the Mind


Baron Zorn keeps his teenaged children locked up and drugged, fearing that his insane wife passed along a congenital curse to them before her own suicidal death. Elizabeth escapes for a brief tryst with a local before being recaptured and subjected to a bleeding process to ‘draw out the bad blood.’ Emil keeps trying to escape, but is thwarted time and again by his aunt Hilda who runs the house like a prison. One reason the siblings have to be kept apart, is their incestuous attraction to each other. Local wenches are being murdered in the woods, and the superstitious peasants think demons are responsible. A wandering Priest dedicates himself to root out the evil, but isn’t taken seriously. Arriving at the castle are two more interested parties: Mountebank scientist-huckster Falkenberg stands to make a small fortune if his strange apparatus can cure the children of their inherited evil. Young Carl simply wants to rescue Elizabeth.


excellent stuff comparable with the very best giallo.

Fabulous and thoughtful, near delirious madness and mayhem from Hammer. Not at all your typical Hammer movie, this has no respectful and predictable plot and instead a wild and roaring reality of its own. We struggle to keep pace with the craziness and the violence as this gradually reveals itself to be a most demonic monster. Helped enormously by near hysterical performance from Robert Hardy offset by Patrick Magee doing marvellously what he always does and out in the woods is Michael Hordern portraying a deranged priest to the hilt and beyond. Unlike some viewers I loved every second of this until the end when, for me, there was just too much time with everyone running around in the forest. But it least it gave time to get your breath back before the final outrage. Truly excellent stuff comparable with the very best giallo.

Delirious Hammer art-house cult classic.

In the early seventies Hammer films were trying to find new directions to counteract the stagnation of it's traditional Gothic horror fayre. These very often took in new blood(!), writers, directors and actors not usually associated with the company. 'Demons of the Mind' is one of Hammer's wilder 'experiments' and probably the best. Directed by Peter Sykes and featuring a strong eclectic cast that includes Robert Hardy, Michael Hordern, Patrick Magee and pop singer Paul Jones. Whilst the film's plot of a family's curse of madness leading to incest and murder was nothing new, it was it's flamboyant execution that marked it out as special. Beautifully shot and scored the movie is a feast for both ear and eye and despite it's Gothic trappings often doesn't look like a Hammer movie at all. Some wonderfully over the top performances add to movie's general air of delirium. And you've just got to stick around for the movie's crazy climax which manages to subvert the Hammer staple of vengeful torch bearing pheasants in a fashion that wouldn't have looked out of place in a Ken Russell movie!

A flawed, but cool flick. Different for Hammer

Demons In The Mind is a left turn for Hammer, taking the Gothic horror into different territories. This has a very similar look and ambiance comparable to the other horror films made by the studio. However, this is a very psychological horror film that is devoid of monsters(unless you count human ones), but still very much feels like a Hammer movie. The movie is unpredictable and sometimes gets confusing, but overall I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Patrick Magee from A Clockwork Orange appears and delivers a sound performance to this unusual film. Demons In The Mind is a little off the wall, but somehow works. The sex and violence is at around the same level as other Hammer productions at the time. While this was not well received around the time of its release Demons In The Mind is a solid piece of work and a very interesting film.

Demons of the Mind

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