Demons of the Mind – UK, 1972

Demons-of-the-Mind-1972

Demons of the Mind is a 1972 British horror feature film directed by Peter Sykes (Venom; The House in Nightmare ParkTo the Devil a Daughter) from a screenplay by Christopher Wicking (Scream and Scream Again), based on a story by Frank Godwin. The movie was co produced by Anglo-EMI, Frank Godwin Productions and Hammer Film Productions.

demons-of-the-mind-2

Gillian Hills played a role originally intended for Marianne Faithfull and Robert Hardy was a substitute for a role originally intended for Eric Porter (Hands of the Ripper).

Buy Blu-ray + DVD: Amazon.co.uk

Demons-of-the-Mind-1972-2

Count Zorn, a wealthy widower, locks up Emil and Elisabeth, his two young adult offspring, afraid that they will go mad, as did his wife. He then invites Falkenberg, a doctor of dubious reputation, to supervise the young people’s mental health. Meanwhile, in the vicinity of their mansion, grisly murders are happening…

demons-of-the-mind-672x372

Reviews:

FilmDemoniosDeLaMenteMLC“an exotic, Wildean horror story, visually as extravagant and tantalising as a decadent painting … badly let down, though, by some grotesque overacting.” Time Out Film Guide

“Although it is made with style …the content is meagre … The film’s principal distinction is its violence, mostly gratuitous and, in the case of the final bloodbath, thoroughly unpleasant.” Monthly Film Bulletin

“oblique, ambitious and suffused with an air of primal dread, Demons of the Mind deserved better.” Marcus Hearn, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films

” … a complex and unusual film which is sometimes confusing but always compelling.” Gary A. Smith, Uneasy Dreams

“Although Demons of the Mind is confusing and a bit hysterical, at least it is different; and in the copycat world of horror movies, that is worth something.” Tom Johnson, Deborah Del Vecchio, Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography

e0042361_23303981

“flashes of great originality and panache …a lifeless performance from Robert Hardy. EMI hated the film.” David Pirie, A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema

“Breathless, with excellent exposition of early psychoanalytical techniques, this is one of the best horrors of the period because it manages to be both thrilling and thought provoking at the same time.” Andy Boot, Fragments of Fear: An Illustrated History of British Horror Films

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 23.46.41

“a strange, bleak tale of abnormal psychology in which Hammer’s characteristic period settings and horror-film clichés such as the raging mob are, for once, used with imagination.” The Curmudgeon

Patrick-Magee-Demons-of-the-Mind

” … a right load of old cobblers, which mixes costume drama with cod psychology and ends with a particularly gruelling amount of hand loppings, shootings, stabbings, and burning-crucifix-impalings. What makes it worth seeking out are the performances – Hordern’s nutty priest is a sight to see, Hardy is his usual hammy self and Magee is… well, Magee.” British Horror Films

Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Main cast:

demonsofthemind-thornemi

blood_will_haveblood
Artwork by Tom Chantrell

demoni_mente_bel

demons_of_the_mind_poster_02

41FHT7QM3QL

Buy DVD: Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

  • Robert Hardy as Zorn
  • Shane Briant as Emil
  • Gillian Hills as Elizabeth
  • Yvonne Mitchell as Hilda
  • Paul Jones as Carl Richter
  • Patrick Magee as Falkenberg
  • Kenneth J. Warren as Klaus
  • Michael Hordern as Priest
  • Robert Brown as Fischinger
  • Virginia Wetherell as Inge
  • Deirdre Costello as Magda
  • Barry Stanton as Ernst
  • Sidonie Bond as Zorn’s Wife
  • Thomas Heathcote as Coachman
  • Sheila Raynor as Old crone

Choice dialogue:

Falkenberg: “The world is chaos. We must try and find some order, in our small part of it.”

Zorn: “The world will be a better place without me! And it won’t even know you’ve died.”

Filming locations:

Wykehurst Park House, East Sussex (also seen in All the Colours of the DarkThe Legend of Hell House)

Trivia:

The film’s working title was Blood Will Have Blood

Image credits: VHS Wasteland

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.